Previous Post: How the Snakes Became Garuda’s Natural Food
|Note: In the previous post, we read how the snakes became Garuda’s natural food.
In this post, we will find out how Garuda frees his mother from slavery.
Upon reaching the island with the pot of amrit in his claws, Garuda addressed the snakes joyfully in the following words, “Here, I have brought the amrit for you. I’ll place it on a bed of kusa grass. O snakes, sit here and drink the amrit after performing your ablutions and religious rites.”
Garuda continued, “Since I have brought the amrit, free my mother as you had promised.”
The snakes said to Garuda, “So be it,” and went to perform their ablutions so they could drink the amrit.
As soon as the snakes went to perform their ablutions, Indra came to that spot, quickly took the amrit, and returned to heaven.
The snakes returned after completing their ablutions, but, to their dismay, the bed of Kusa grass was empty. The amrit was no longer there.
|Note: Here, Vyasa Muni mentions the plan that Garuda and Indra had made, as a counter-act of deceit.
Disappointed and saddened at not finding the amrit, the snakes began to lick the kusa grass on which the amrit was placed. Licking the kusa grass caused the initial part of the snakes’ tongues to become split into two parts.
From that day onwards, having come in contact with amrit, kusa grass became sacred.
Thus, the illustrious Garuda brought the amrit by battling the devas, freed his mother, did not allow the snakes to take the amrit, and also caused the snakes’ tongues to be split.
Garuda, that bird of fair feathers, roamed the beautiful woods of that island with his mother. He also gratifiedehis mother by devouring the snakes.
It is said that great merit is acquired by the person who listens to this story or recites it to an assembly of good brahmanas.
Reading or reciting this story of Garuda’s feats creates the conditions for a person to go to heaven.
|Note: It’s worth contemplating on Garuda’s decisions of not battling the snakes but, instead, battling the devas to seize the amrit, and then, eventually supporting Indra and not allowing the snakes to drink the amrit, and finally, devouring the snakes after freeing his mother.
In the next post, we will find out the names of the principle snakes involved in this tryst with Garuda.