Garuda - a semibird-semiman, able to speak on-human
Many Indian legends contain stories about a huge mythical bird of Garuda which was capable to carry people. One of them tells about the theft of soma-amrita by this bird - a beverage of immortality from Indra garden on a top of the Meru mount. In the colourful ancient description Garuda appears before readers
in the appearance of "a tsar of feathery, a bird-man or a bird-human", who can speak on-human. According to one myth Garuda had been created the first among the birds and then became the rideable (flyable) bird of Vishnu.
The "Vishnu-purana" names Garuda (by) the son of Kashyapa, the tsar of the birds, the rideable animal of Vishna.
Garuda - the tsar of the feathered, endowed with great force
According to the "Vishna-purana", Garuda had received authority all over the birds. It (or he) had been endowed with great power and immeasurable force, on his back the bird could deliver several sacred wise men simultaneously to the distant northern mount Meru. The colourful appearance of Garuda in the description is amplifyed by the next fantastic details:
"the body from gold, the wings is of dazzling red colour, a human head with a beak, when Garuda had a seat on trees, under his heaviness branches and trunks were broken".
The appearance of the ancient Aryan igneous bird - the source of the dazzling red light (at Garuda birth, gods dazzled by his glowing have accepted this bird-man for an embodiment of the sun) - bears a strong resemblance to
the appearence of the Firebird from Russian legends and the tsar of the birds - Simurg from Persian legends.
Garuda - the peculiar magic bird, exceeding by his size the sizes of eagles, with horns on a head, which symbolized in ancient times the energy of light considering in the Bon religion as the most active element among the five elements. Garuda - one of the main deities of the Bon.
Descriptions and images of Garuda
The image of Garuda was saved in myths of many northern people and people of Central Eurasia. Buryats know him under the name (of) Herdig, Kalmyks - Herd, Mongols - Hangaruda. In the North Ural Mountains a great number of bird-men's bronzed figures is discovered. Some of the discovered bronzed figures show beings with three heads. Metallic amulets of Garuda occur very often in the Western and Northern Tibet.
© The material presented above (text and all photos) is kindly granted by Sergey Volkov (Irkutsk)
On many statuettes and pictures Garuda is imaged with horns and a little resembles the "old people" from the "Popol-Vuh" and from the other works of Maya, Naua and Aztecs, and a mythical basilisk (cockatrice) . All of them had imposing sizes, large wings, as a rule, had a bird's beak and membranous paws, "wore" horns. However, if the first two types of mythical beings with high probability was dragons-people or demons-snakes (reptiles), Garuda had no any ratio to them. To the contrary, according to the "Vishnu Purana" and the "Mahabharata", it (or he) was an ardent opponent and a fighter of snakes.
Read my works about other chimeras in the section of "Chimeras"
Read my works about other mythical creatures - elves and mermaids