Here is a collection of stories that I have heard / read while growing up and / or googled now to tell my daughter :)

Hope you / your children enjoy it as much as we did.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Story of Garuda - Part 2 - How Garuda became the vehicle of Lord Vishnu

Today we will know how Garuda became the ehicle of Lord Vishnu.

Where were we yesterday, ok. after depositing the sages, Garuda sat on the ground and finished his meal. Feeling charged, he started flying towards heaven to get Amrita.

As Garuda approached heaven, Indra the king of gods felt his throne shake and saw a few bad omens. He ran to the deva guru Brihaspati to seek his advice. Brihaspati realises what Garuda is up to and tells Indra to safe guard the Amrita and tells Indra all about the request from the snakes.

Indra turned pale when he heard Garuda's name and started yelling to all his followers to prepare for war and tells about what Garuda is up to. All the gods assembled - Agni and Surya say "we will be the make 10000 devas stand and fight, they will be the first line of defence. If he passes them I and Surya will create a wall of fire and we will burn him into dust"

Vayu then says "that is not enough let us place the Amrita in the centre of the huge wheels which have rotating blades, so that no one can steal it". They also decided to have snakes guarding the area.

When Garuda reached the gates of heaven, the devas seeing him for the first time got very scared, Garuda was very huge and the devas appeared tiny infront of him. As they had tasted Amrita, they knew they cannot die, but they could be hurt and it would take sometime for them to recover enough to fight back. Indra sensing that he devas are scared, yelled ATTACK. The devas attacked Indra with all the weapons they had.

Garuda flapped his wings hard. As he was soo huge, the dust that rose from the wings was soo much that the Devas could not see anything, and instead of attacking Garuda by throwing the weapons, they were attacking themselves

Indra asked Vayu to swallow the air and yelled at the devas to keep attacking Garuda. All the weapons thrown at Garuda were of no use. He just grew his body and the weapons starting bouncing off his skin. The larger he grew the brigter he became. The devas were becoming blind by the white light coming from Garuda. The Devas seeing how ineffectual their weapons were started running from the battle.

The first defence line of the devas crumbled. Then Garuda was faced with the fire from Sun and Agni. He grew into a huge bird with 80K faces. He flew back to earth and filled water in all his mouths and flew back to heaven and drenched the fire. Agni and Sun could not take the amount of water pouring in and ran from the battle. This crumbled the second line of defence.

Garuda saw the metal wheels and grinned, he reduced his size and became the size of a mosquito and went under the metal wheels, saw the snakes slithering towards him. The snakes reminded him of this brothers who had tortured his mother, he ran towards them and killed them with his bare hands.

He went to the centre of the wheel, got hold of the pot of Amrita and just grew in size, the wheels shatterred when he became huge. He let out a victory whoop and with the pot of Nectar in hand flew back home.

Lord Vishnu saw this huge bird flying with the pot of nectar in its hand. He was impressed with the rigid control Garuda had on himself that even when he had Amrita in his hand, he did not drink it. He had also witnessed the strength of Garuda when he defeated the devas.

He called Garuda to stop, When Garuda saw Vishnu his heart was filled with devotion, he bowed infront of the Great Lord and bowed his head with bhakti. Lord Vishnu was impressed with the humility of Garuda. He tells Garuda "O, Garuda, I saw the whole thing and I am impressed with you, I want to grant you 2 boons, ask anything and you will have it"

Garuda thought about it and says "Oh! Lord Vishnu as my first boon I want to be immortal and free from all diseases, as my second boon I want to be above you". Lord Vishnu laughs out loud and asks Garuda to sit on top of his staff. This made Garuda sit above lord Vishnu. Garuda was impressed by Lord Vishnu and tells him "as you have given me the privilage os sitting above you, I want to do something for you too, ask what ever you want. Vishnu smiles and tells Garuda "I want you to be my vehicle, to carry me around!'

Garuda then explains to Lord Vishnu about his mother and seeks permission to finish his job. Indra seeing Garuda flying alone comes back and starts fighting him, a fierce fight ensures. Indra hurled his weapon Vajrayuda [thunderbolt] at Garuda. Vajrayudha is one of the most feared weapon of the Gods. The effect of the Vajrayuda was devastating. But nothing happens to Garuda, one feather shakes and falls to the ground.

Indra then realises that he will not be able to defeat Garuda, so he bows to Garuda and offers friendship. Garuda seeing that Indra sincinelry wants to be his friend accepts the friendship. Indra then begs Garuda not to give the Amrita to snakes. Garuda comes up with a plan to save his mother and not give Amrita to the snakes.

Indra was very happy he grants Garuda a boo. He says, 'My dear Garuda, ask me anything and I will grant you the wish'. Garuda thought of all the problems he faced from his brothers and asks Indra "I want snakes to be my natural food!'. Indra grants the wish and asks Garuda "O, Garuda you single handedly defeated my army, vajrayudha could not hurt you, how strong are you?". Garuda smiles and replies "My one feather can balance the earth on its tip". Indra disappears with a astounding expression on his face.

Garuda then goes to Kadru and offers the pot of nectar to his brothers. Looking at the pot, the snakes tell Garuda and Vinata, "You are both free. You are no longer our servants". Overjoyed Garuda remembers his plan which he had hatched with Indra, he turns to the snakes and tells them "O my brothers you are about to taste Amrita, why don't you havev a bathe before tasting it"

The snakes placed the pot of Amrita on the sharp "Kusha" (grass) and go for bath. Indra sneaks in and steals the pot. Seeing this the snakes rush to stop Indra, but Indra escapes to heaven. While he was carrying the pot a few drops if Amrita falls on the Kusha grass. The Snakes start licking the nectar, but the sharp grass cut the tongues of the snakes and since then it is believed that snakes have a forked tongue and Garuda became the vehicle of Lord Vishnu

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