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Old 16-07-2012, 06:45 PM   #52
lightgiver
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Arrow Garuda

The Garuda (Sanskrit: गरुड garuḍa, "eagle") is a large mythical bird or bird-like creature that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology...In Hindu religion, Garuda is a lesser Hindu divinity, usually the mount (vahana) of the God Vishnu. Garuda is depicted as having the golden body of a strong man with a white face, red wings, and an eagle's beak and with a crown on his head. This ancient deity was said to be massive, large enough to block out the sun.


Garuda is the Hindu name for the constellation Aquila and the Brahminy kite and Phoenix are considered to be the contemporary representations of Garuda. Indonesia adopts a more stylistic approach to the Garuda's depiction as its national symbol, where it depicts a Javanese eagle (being much larger than a kite)...The story of Garuda's birth and deeds is told in the first book of the great epic Mahabharata. According to the epic, when Garuda first burst forth from his egg, he appeared as a raging inferno equal to the cosmic conflagration that consumes the world at the end of every age. Frightened, the gods begged him for mercy. Garuda, hearing their plea, reduced himself in size and energy...Another name for the Garuda is suparṇa (Pāli: supaṇṇa), meaning "well-winged, having good wings". Like the nāga, they combine the characteristics of animals and divine beings, and may be considered to be among the lowest devas.



Throughout the Mahabharata, Garuda is invoked as a symbol of impetuous violent force, of speed, and of martial prowess. Powerful warriors advancing rapidly on doomed foes are likened to Garuda swooping down on a serpent. Defeated warriors are like snakes beaten down by Garuda. The field marshal Drona uses a military formation named after Garuda. Krishna even carries the image of Garuda on his banner...The Garudas were among the beings appointed by Śakra to guard Mount Sumeru and the Trāyastriṃśa heaven from the attacks of the asuras...In the Mahasamyatta Sutta, the Buddha is shown making temporary peace between the Nagas and the Garudas...Garud Commando Force is a Special Forces unit of the Indian Air Force, specializing in operations deep behind enemy lines.


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