The Glories of Garuda

November 2, 2017 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

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1.)SB 3.21.24
While the sage stood looking on, the Lord left by the pathway leading to Vaikuṇṭha, a path extolled by all great liberated souls. The sage stood listening as the hymns forming the basis of the Sāma Veda were vibrated by the flapping wings of the Lord’s carrier, Garuḍa.
In the Vedic literature it is stated that the two wings of the transcendental bird Garuḍa, who carries the Lord everywhere, are two divisions of the Sāma Veda known as bṛhat and rathāntara. Garuḍa works as the carrier of the Lord; therefore he is considered the transcendental prince of all carriers. With his two wings Garuḍa began to vibrate the Sāma Veda, which is chanted by great sages to pacify the Lord. The Lord is worshiped by Brahmā, by Lord Śiva, by Garuḍa and other demigods with selected poems, and great sages worship Him with the hymns of Vedic literatures, such as the Upaniṣads and Sāma Veda. These Sāma Veda utterances are automatically heard by the devotee when another great devotee of the Lord, Garuḍa, flaps his wings.
2.)Jan 12 1974 morning walk
Prabhupāda: Yes. He[Garuda] is not vegetarian. So if one becomes a sincere devotee like Garuḍa, you can allow him to become non-vegetarian. If he cannot give it up. [break]
Nara-nārāyaṇa: Garuḍa is from the jīva-tattva or he is an expansion?
Prabhupāda: No, he is jīva-tattva. Nitya-siddha.
Nara-nārāyaṇa: Does that mean that there is some soul who can come under influence of māyā in the spiritual sky and some soul who cannot?
Prabhupāda: Yes, that potency is there always.
Umāpati: Is that the difference between jīva-tattva and Viṣṇu-tattva.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore Viṣṇu-tattva is called acyuta, infallible. [break]
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3.) BG 6.24 purport–As for determination, one should follow the example of the sparrow who lost her eggs in the waves of the ocean. A sparrow laid her eggs on the shore of the ocean, but the big ocean carried away the eggs on its waves. The sparrow became very upset and asked the ocean to return her eggs. The ocean did not even consider her appeal. So the sparrow decided to dry up the ocean. She began to pick out the water in her small beak, and everyone laughed at her for her impossible determination. The news of her activity spread, and at last Garuḍa, the gigantic bird carrier of Lord Viṣṇu, heard it. He became compassionate toward his small sister bird, and so he came to see the sparrow. Garuḍa was very pleased by the determination of the small sparrow, and he promised to help. Thus Garuḍa at once asked the ocean to return her eggs lest he himself take up the work of the sparrow. The ocean was frightened at this, and returned the eggs. Thus the sparrow became happy by the grace of Garuḍa.
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4.)BG 10.30–
Among the Daitya demons I am the devoted Prahlāda; among subduers I am time; among the beasts I am the lion, and among birds I am Garuḍa, the feathered carrier of Viṣṇu.
5.)BG 12 6-7 purport–
A child is completely cared for by his parents, and thus his position is secure. Similarly, a devotee does not need to endeavor to transfer himself by yoga practice to other planets. Rather, the Supreme Lord, by His great mercy, comes at once, riding on His bird carrier Garuḍa, and at once delivers the devotee from this material existence. Although a man who has fallen in the ocean may struggle very hard and may be very expert in swimming, he cannot save himself. But if someone comes and picks him up from the water, then he is easily rescued. Similarly, the Lord picks up the devotee from this material existence. One simply has to practice the easy process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness and fully engage himself in devotional service.
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6.)SB 1.9.8 purport
Kaśyapa: One of the prajāpatis, the son of Marīci and one of the sons-in-law of Prajāpati Dakṣa. He is the father of the gigantic bird Garuḍa, who was given elephants and tortoises as eatables.
7.)SB 1.11.13 purport-
Signs of decoration in special festivals were also collected from the gifts of nature, such as the plantain trees, the mango trees, fruits and flowers. Mango trees, coconut palms and plantain trees are still accepted as auspicious signs. The flags mentioned above were all painted with the picture of either Garuḍa or Hanumān, the two great servitors of the Lord. For devotees, such paintings and decorations are still adored, and the servitor of the master is paid more respects for the satisfaction of the Lord.
8.)Madhya 8.246 purport-
One may become famous as a brahma-jñānī, an impersonalist scholar, or one may become a materially opulent person. In either case, such reputations are inferior to the reputation of Kṛṣṇa’s devotee. In the Garuḍa Purāṇa it is said:
kalau bhāgavataṁ nāma
durlabhaṁ naiva labhyate
guruṇā kathitaṁ mama
“In this Age of Kali, the fame of one who is known as a great devotee is very rare.However, such a position is superior to that of the great demigods like Brahmā and Mahādeva. This is the opinion of all spiritual masters.”
“It is said that out of thousands of brāhmaṇas, one is qualified to perform sacrifices, and out of many thousands of such qualified brāhmaṇas expert in sacrificial offerings, one learned brāhmaṇa may have passed beyond all Vedic knowledge. He is considered the best among all these brāhmaṇas. And yet, out of thousands of such brāhmaṇas who have surpassed Vedic knowledge, one person may be a viṣṇu-bhakta, and he is most famous. Out of many thousands of such Vaiṣṇavas, one who is completely fixed in the service of Lord Kṛṣṇa is most famous. Indeed, a person who is completely devoted to the service of the Lord certainly returns home, back to Godhead.”
If one becomes a Vaiṣṇava through proper initiation, he automatically becomes a brāhmaṇa. There is no doubt about it. The Garuḍa Purāṇa confirms this:
brāhmaṇānāṁ sahasrebhyaḥ
satra-yājī viśiṣyate
viṣṇu-bhakto viśiṣyate
“Out of many thousands of brāhmaṇas, one may become qualified to perform yajña. Out of many thousands of such qualified brāhmaṇas, one may be fully aware of the Vedānta philosophy. Out of many millions of learned Vedānta scholars, there may be one viṣṇu-bhakta, or devotee of Lord Viṣṇu. It is he who is most exalted.”
Unless one is a fully qualified brāhmaṇa, he cannot advance in the spiritual science. A real brāhmaṇa is never envious of Vaiṣṇavas. If he is, he is considered an imperfect neophyte. 
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(And this is just the tip of the iceberg-there are so many quotes in Srila Prabhupdas books about Garuda)
Hare Krsna
damaghosa das