The Great Eagle of India
Garuda is a fantastic creature in Hindu mythology, half man and half eagle. In some stories he is said to be
the Sun in the from of a bird. He is king of the birds, and devourer of serpents and all evil things. It is upon
the back of Garuda that the God Vishnu and his wife Lakshmi ride across the skies. Garuda has the beak,
wings and feet of an eagle, and th body, head, arms and legs of a man.
Hinduism, the major Indian reliogon, is one of the oldest living faiths, with roots that go back thousands of
years. Over 805 million people worldwide are Hindu. The basis of Hinduism is not the preachings of one
single person, but has grown out of sacred writings called the Vedas. The Vedic Gods are Brahma, Vishnu
and Shiva, each of whom may take on a multiple of forms on Earth, each of which is known as an
Garuda is decribed as the fabulous and radiant king of the birds, who carries Vishnu across the skies.
Vishnu in turn has ten different forms, or avatars, one of which is Krishna, another Buddha.
For reference, see Goddesses, Heros and Shaman - the young people's guide to world mythology;
published by Kingfisher, 1994; pg. 105
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