Garuda Becomes Vishnu’s Vehicle

Painting of Garuda as Vishnu’s vehicle (Image by Unknown author – Online Collection of Brooklyn Museum)

Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

Previous Post: Garuda Breaks Past Obstacles to Seize the Amrit

Note: In the previous post, we read about how Garuda broke through the three layers of obstacles to get hold of the amrit. Once he got the amrit, he did not drink it to benefit himself. Instead, he left immediately for the island where his enslaved mother was waiting for him.

In this post, we will read about the interaction Garuda had with Vishnu when the kind of birds met the great lord while flying with the amrit, and how Garuda became Vishnu’s vehicle.

As he flew towards the island, Garuda met Vishnu who was pleased with Garuda for not drinking the amrit. And Narayana (another name for Vishnu), the deity who knew no deterioration, said to Garuda, “O ranger of the skies, I want to give you a boon.”

Garuda said, “O great one, I wish that I should always stay above you and I should be immortal and free of disease without drinking the amrit.”

The great Vishnu said to Vinata’s son, Garuda, “So be it!”

Having received his two boons from Vishnu, Garuda said to Vishnu, “O great one who possesses the six attributes, I also wish to give you a boon.” Granted a boon by Garuda, Vishnu asked the king of the birds to be his vehicle. After that Vishnu put Garuda’s image on his flagstaff which always flew above him and said, “O Garuda, this way, through your image on my flagstaff, you shall always be above me.”

“So be it,” Garuda replied to the great lord and swiftly flew toward his destination.

Note: In the next post, we will read about another conflict between Indra and Garuda, following which they became eternal friends.

Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

Next Post: Indra and Garuda Become Eternal Friends