Statue depicting the god Vishnu riding on the back of Garuda.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of Corel Corporation.
In Vedic mythology, Garuda is the king of birds and the enemy of serpents. His body was that of a handsome man with the beak and the talons of a predatory bird. He is associated with the all-consuming sun's rays. Garuda is often depicted with the
supreme Hindu god Vishnu and his wife Lakshmi riding on his back flying across the
His father was Kasyapa, one of the seven great sages called the Rishis. Hindu
people believe that he has the power to cure those suffering from snake-bite.
In one myth, it is said that Garuda stole the water of life, named Amrta. Garuda
needed the Amrta to release his mother Vinata, who had been enslaved by her rival
Kadru with a subterfuge.
Kadru had asked the elixir of immortality as a ransom. The
water of life was the ambrosia of the gods and it was carefully guarded in Indra's heaven. The task appeared impossible to him. Nevertheless, Garuda succeeded and won his mother's freedom. Indra had his thunderbolt broken during the battle.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
Ahsonnutli was the sky father and chief deity of the Navajo Indians. He created heaven, Earth, and the sky. Each of the four cardinal directions was supported by a giant. Each direction was also associated...more
Amphitrite was one of the fifty Nereids, the attendants of the sea-god Poseidon. Poseidon (Neptune) had fallen in love with Amphitrite after seeing her dancing on the island of Naxos. Amphitrite rejected...more
Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She was known to the Romans as Venus. There were actually two different Aphrodites, one was the daughter of Uranus, the other the daughter of Zeus and...more
In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Jupiter(in Greek Zeus) and Leto (Letona). He was the god of the Sun, logic, and reason, and was also a fine musician and healer. Leto travelled all over Greece...more
According to an ancient Greek legend, the figure of a gigantic crab was placed in the nighttime sky by the goddess Hera to form the constellation Cancer. Hera was the jealous wife of the sky god, Zeus....more
In the Northern Hemisphere sky is the constellation Cepheus, king of Ethiopia, and that of his wife Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia claimed that she and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than the sea nymphs,...more
According tho the Navajo mythology, the Milky Way was created by the misbehavior of the mischievous deity, Coyote. When the world was created, the Holy People gathered around Black God to place the stars...more