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About Garuda – Story of Garuda in Hinduism

Majority of Hindu Gods and Goddess have a vehicle or Vahana and Garuda is the Vahana of Bhagvan Vishnu. Murti of Garuda is in the form of a man with a big beak and wings. The story of origin of Garuda is found in the Mahabharata and numerous other Puranas.

Garuda was the son of Sage Kashya and Vinata. Legend has it that when Garuda came out of the egg, the Devas (demi gods) mistook him for Agni and praised him and requested him to diminish his splendor a little so that people can view him.

Garuda soon discovered that his mother was held in slavery by his fathers’ other wife Kadru. The sons of Kadru were all snakes and promised to free his mother if they brought Amrut or ambrosia from the gods.

He then went to abode of gods and after a fight with the guards got hold of the pot of ambrosia. While returning, he met Bhagvan Vishnu and requested him to make him his vehicle – the request was granted

Garuda brought the amrit to his step brothers and placed it on a heap of kusha grass. On seeing the amrit, the snakes released Vinata and went to perform purification rituals. Meanwhile Indra came and took away his pot of Amrita.

Some scholars are of the view that Garuda represents Sun or Surya.

The murti of Garuda should have the color of emerald and the beak and legs should resemble those of kite (eagle). He has four arms and the wings are of golden yellow color and bright.

In one hands he holds an umbrella and in another the pot of Amrita. The remaining two hands are in Anjali mudra.

When murti of Garuda is depicted as a mount of Vishnu, the two hands holding umbrella and amrita is depicted as supporting the feet of Vishnu.

Garuda in the Ramayana