Lord Garuda

Lord Garuda or Garutmanta, is the eagle like divine bird used by Lord Vishnu as his vehicle. He is not an ordinary bird and you can imagine his size since he serves as the vehicle of Vishnu, who is preserver and the lord of the Universe.

According to the Puranas, Garuda was the son of sage Kashyapa and Vinata. According to the legends, Vinata has a sister named Kadru. She is the mother of snakes. Once, Kadru captured Vinata due to a personal rivalry and held her captive. She insisted that if Garuda brought her the ambrosia (amrit) from the heavens, she would free her.

To save his mother, Garuda went to heaven, killed two serpents who were guarding the pot of ambrosia and brought it to Kadru. His mother was released. However, Indra, the Lord of the heavens, was not pleased with these developments. He insisted on Garuda to bring the pot of ambrosia back to heaven and in return gave permission to Garuda to kill and eat the snakes. Since that day, Garuda has begun feeding upon

In the iconography Lord Garuda is depicted with a strong human body and an eagle like face. He holds two snakes in his two hands, wears several snakes as ornaments on his body, as belt around girdle, sacred thread, necklace and rings. He is also depicted in many images either with folded hands or carrying a pot of ambrosia either with one or two of his hands. Sometimes he is shown as devouring serpents. In some images, he is flanked on both sides by his two consorts, Rudra and Sukriti. 
According to the epic, Garuda six sons, who are the progenitors of the entire bird community. Garuda served as the vehicle to Lord Krishna and Satyabhama in their war with Narakasura, the demon who is mentioned  with the origin of the festival of Dipawali.

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