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Aadi Parv, 20-30
Kathaa - 0 Prolog - page 7

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Garud-1: Birth of Garud

Soot Jee said  - "Thus I told you the story of how the ocean was churned for Amrit and how Uchchshraivaa horse came out of it. So it was this horse about which Kadroo asked Vinataa - "Tell me immediately what color is of Uchchshraivaa horse?" And Vinataa replied "Certainly he is white. Otherwise what do you think of which color he is? Let us put a bet on it." Kadroo said - "I think its tail is black, bet with me and you will lose. If you lose you will be my slave." Thus agreeing on this bet they went away home making it sure on next day. Now Kadroo asked her 1,000 sons to make the horse tail look black so that she should not serve her sister as her slave. But her sons refused to do this. At this Kadroo got angry and she gave Shaap to them - "You all will be burned in Janamejaya's Sarp Yagya."

Brahmaa also heard this cruel curse given by a mother to her sons impelled by fate. The snakes had multiplied greatly. Fate always gives punishment of death who seek death of other creatures. Devtaa supported Kadroo's action. Brahmaa Jee called Kashyap Jee and said to him - "Your snake children have been cursed by their mother. Do not grieve for them the least, because the destruction of the snakes was ordained long ago." And thus consoling Kashyap Jee Brahmaa Jee went away."

Soot Jee said - "Next day when the morning broke, the Sun came out, Kadroo and Vinataa went out to check the color of the tail of Uchchshraivaa. On their way they saw the vast ocean full of sea animals."

Soot Jee said - "The Naag arrived at the conclusion that they should obey their mother lest she lessens her affection towards them and burn them all, but if they obeyed her, she could free them from her curse. And it is said that they became the hairs of the horse's tail. The two sisters (co-wives) were going along the sky to the other side of the ocean. After crossing the ocean they soon saw the horse. They both saw the horse going with speed, his body as white as snow but with black tail. Thus Vinataa became her slave.

In the meantime her second egg broke out and Garud came from it - a mighty being, capable of assuming any figure, of going at will anywhere, shining like heap of fire. Immediately after his birth he increased so much in size that all Devtaa sought the protection of Vibhaavasu (Agni, or Fire) and said - "Please do not increase in size. Are you going to consume all of us?" Agni Dev said - "It is not me but it is Garud who is equal to me in splendor and is of great energy. So do not be afraid. Come and see him with me." Then Devtaa prayed Garud and he decreased his size, energy and splendor."

Soot Jee said - "Hearing thus Garud reduced his size and splendor and said - "Let no other creature be afraid of me too like you." Then he took Arun (his brother) on his back and flew from his father's home to his mother's home on the other shore of the ocean. He got off his brother on eastern side just at the time when Soorya was about to burn the worlds."

Shaunak Jee asked - "When did Soorya decide to burn the worlds? What wrong Devtaa did to him so he had to do this?" Soot Jee said - "When Raahu was drinking Amrit, Soorya and Chandramaa complained about him to Naaraayan. Since then he had an enmity with them. So Raahu thought to devour him. Then Soorya thought, "Raahu is going to devour me because I wished good for Devtaa, and I alone have to do it. I will destroy the whole world." and thinking thus he started rising in the middle of the night as if he is going to burn everything. Rishi went to Brahmaa Jee and asked him what was happening. Brahmaa Jee said - "I have already thought about it. The intelligent son of Kashyap, Arun, is going to stand in front of him, doing the duty of his charioteer and taking away all of his energy. This will save the world." Arun did what he was told to do so Soorya rose with the veil of Arun as a person. Now you listen the answer to your other question."

Soot Jee said - "Then Garud Jee went to the other side of the ocean where his mother was living as a slave of her sister. Once Kadroo called Vinataa and said to her- "There is a place in ocean where Naag live, take me there." So Vinataa put her on her shoulder and took her to Naag's region and Garud also took Naag carrying on his back. Garud flew towards Soorya, so when he reached near Soorya, Naag became unconscious because of heat. Seeing her sons in this condition, Kadroo prayed Indra to shower rains to save her children from scorching heat."

Soot Jee said - "Pleased with the prayer of Kadroo Indra showered rains. Naag got very happy with this rain and all of them safely reached "Ramaniyaka" island."

Soot Jee said - "This island was assigned for fishes. There they saw the great Lavan ocean (ocean of salt). There was a beautiful forest and fragrant air flowing there. Snakes started enjoying there and they said to Garud - "Take us to some other sweet water island." Garud thought for a moment and asked his mother - "Why do I have to do all this for them?" Vinataa said - "Because I am their mother's slave. These snakes deceived me and I lost the bet, this made me her slave." The Garud asked the snakes - "By bringing what thing, or gaining a knowledge of what thing, or doing what act of power, we may be free from this bondage?" The snakes said - "Bring us the Amrit, then only you can be free from this bondage."

Garud Goes to Bring Amrit

Soot Jee said - "Mother, I am going to bring Amrit. On the way I wish to eat something, so direct me for that." Vinataa said - "In the midst of the ocean, there is an island where Nishaad live. You may eat them, and then bring Amrit. But do not take life of any Braahman even in anger." Garud asked - "What is the form of a Braahman? How does he behave? Tell me everything so that I can recognize Braahman." Vinataa said - "Who, if entered your throat, seems like a fish hook, he is Braahman. The Braahman will not be digested by you." Then she blessed him, "Let Vaayu Dev protect your wings, Soorya and Chandramaa your middle part of the body, Agni Dev your head, and Vasu your whole body. Go and return safely after accomplishing your objective." And Garud flew in he sky and came to Nishaad's island. He ate Nishaad, drank water from the ocean."

Soot Jee further said - "[While he was eating Nishaad] A Braahman entered his mouth. This made his throat burning as if he had swallowed a piece of burning charcoal, so he asked the Braahman to come out because a Braahman should never be killed and he opened his mouth for him to come out. The Braahman said to him - "Let this Nishaad woman should also come out because she is my wife." Garud said - "Come out with your Nishaad wife, because you cannot be digested by my stomach." The Braahman immediately came out with his wife and went away, and Garud resumed his journey.

He met his father who asked him - "Are you well, my child? Do you get enough food for yourself in this world of men?" Gaud replied - "We all are well. I do not always get enough food for me, that is why I am not always at peace. The snakes have sent me to bring Amrit. I will bring it today and free my mother from her bondage. My mother told that I could eat Nishaad, I ate them by thousands but I am not yet satisfied, so tell me some other place of food so that by eating that food I can be strong enough to bring Amrit." Kashyap Jee said - "This lake which you are seeing now, is sacred. There lives an elephant who continually drags his elder brother, a tortoise. I will tell you about their previous life later, just listen to me why are they here.

There was a great old Rishi named Vibhaavasu. He had a younger brother named Supreetikaa. The elder brother was always very angry while the younger brother always kept his wealth jointly with his elder brother. Once Supreetikaa asked his brother to make partition of his wealth. Vibhaavasu said - "Only fools make such proposal. After making partition of the wealth both fight with each other. That is why wise never suggest to make partition of the wealth among brothers. But if you are not agreeing at my advice, you will become an elephant." Then Supreetikaa also gave Shaap to Vibhaavasu to become a tortoise and live always in waters. Thus both became elephant and tortoise by each other's Shaap. Even now they quarrel with each other. The elephant is 6 Yojan in height, and 12 Yojan in circumference. The height of tortoise is also 3 Yojan and its circumference is 10 Yojan. They are bent upon slaying each other. Eating that elephant you will bring you Amrit. Go and be successful in your endeavor."

Garud set off on his journey. He came to the shore of that lake and saw the elephant and the tortoise. He caught them, one in each claw, and flew in the sky. He came to a sacred place called "Alamb" where many Divine trees were standing. As he was flying those trees started shaking. There was a banyan tree also of giant size. He said to Garud - "Sit on my branch which is 100 Yojan long and eat your elephant and tortoise here." But as Garud tried to sit on that branch it broke down."

Soot Jee said - "So at the very touch of Garud that branch broke. As he looked around, he found Baalkhilya Rishi hanging upside down for Tap from that branch. He feared that if he dropped that branch the Rishi will be killed, so he caught it up in his beak and resumed his flight. The great Rishi stuck with wonder seeing this wonderful work which was impossible even for Devtaa and they named him Garud. Now again he was looking for some place. He went to Gandhmaadan mountain. There he saw his father Kashyap doing Tap. Seeing him coming nearer, he said to his son - "Do not take any quick judgment, then you have to suffer a lot of pain. Baalkhilya Rishi are supporting themselves with sun rays, they might blast you." Soot Jee said - "Then Kashyap Jee asked Baalkhilya Rishi to grant Garud permission to accomplish his objective." Hearing this they left the branch and went to Himvant mountain.

After Baalkhilya Rishi had left, Garud asked Kashyap Jee where to throw that branch. Kashyap Jee told him about a mountain. The branch with which Garud was flying, could not be surrounded even by the rope made by hundred cow hides. He flew hundreds of Yojan in a very short time and dropped it on that mountain. The he ate that elephant and tortoise sitting on the peak of that mountain. Then he again resumed his flight. Because of the movement of his wings strong wind started blowing, meteors started falling down, thick showers of blood started dropping. Seeing this Indra asked Brihaspati - "What is this? I have never seen such sudden natural disturbances." Brihaspati said - "It is because of your fault and your carelessness owing to the Tap of Baalkhilya Rishi that Garud is coming to take Amrit and he will take it. He can do anything, he can achieve anything."

Hearing this Indra said to caretakers of Amrit - "An extraordinary bird is coming to take Amrit, take care of it so that he cannot take it away." Devtaa got alert. They armed themselves with various kinds of arms.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 11/14/10