How Garuda Became Vishnu's Mount

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Mythological Stories Main Birth of Srikrishna Kalia Kansa Krihsna and Indra Gopal
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Garuda wanted to get amrit from the gods to free himself and his mother, Vinata from the slavery of his stepmother, the snakes. He asked his mother how he could get the amrit. Vinata replied, "You will have to fly to the kingdom of Indra, the king of the gods and get it. But for flying such a distance, you need to have lots of food to make you strong. You should go to the ocean and eat the nishadas (a tribe of fishermen). This will satisfy your hunger. But a brahmin lives with the Nishadas, do not eat him. Garuda followed his mother's instructions and ate the Nishadas but by mistake he swallowed the brahmin too. Soon after, he felt a fire burning in his throat and he immediately released the brahmin. Even after eating the Nishadas, his hunger was not satisfied and so he went to his father, Sage Kashyapa.

Kashyapa said, "At some distance, you will find an elephant dragging a tortoise. The two of them were sages in their previous birth. They were brothers who had quarlled over property. They had cursed each other to become an elephant and a tortoise. If you eat both of them, your hunger will be satisfied." So Garuda went and ate the two animals. Then he flew towards the kingdom of Indra to get the amrit. When the gods came to know that Garuda was coming to take the amrit from them, a fierce battle started between them but Garuda defeated them easily. Then he went to the place where the amrit was kept. Huge flames surrounded the vessel containing the amrit. Garuda went to the ocean and swallowed lots of water to put out the flames. As he moved towards the amrit, he noticed a big wheel with sharp spokes revolving in front of the vessel. Garuda became small in size and flew between the spokes of the wheel. Then he saw two ferocious animals guarding the vessel. He flapped his wings rapidly and blew dust into the eyes of the monsters and blinded them. Eventually, he reached the vessel and took it away using his talons.

Garuda could have drunk the amrit himself and become immortal but he had to offer it to the snakes to free his mother. This selfless act of Garuda impressed Vishnu, who granted him a boon that he would become immortal even without drinking the amrit. But Vishnu asked him to prevent the snakes from drinking the amrit. Garuda took the amrit to the snakes who released Vinata and Garuda from slavery at once. Vishnu and GarudaAs they were about to drink the amrit, Garuda stopped them and said that they should clean themselves first. The snakes agreed and went to clean themselves first. In the meantime, the gods were furious with Garuda for stealing the amrit and wanted to stop him. Indra tried to attack Garuda and a battle followed. Garuda smashed Indra's thunderbolt but Indra managed to escape with the amrit. However, a few drops of amrit fell on the ground and the snakes licked it. The amrit was so strong  that it burnt their tongues and made them forked. This is the reason why snakes have forked tongues.

Meanwhile, Vishnu was watching everything from a distance and was pleased with Garuda's strength and determination. He made him the king of all birds. In return, Garuda agreed to become Vishnu's mount and since then, Vishnu is always accompanied by Garuda.

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Mythological Stories Main Birth of Srikrishna Kalia Kansa Krihsna and Indra Gopal
Ganesh Hanuman Eklavya Link to us Refer this page Feedback



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