>>Garuda’s Protective Power

Garuda’s Protective Power

If you travel to Bali, will see Garuda everywhere … templates, at the front door entrance of the houses, in the masks hanging on the walls of most souvenir shops etc. That’s not without a reason … he’s the one Balinese people believe will protect them from all bad things and evil.

Garuda – the all-powerful King of Birds

Known as The King of Birds (Khagesvara), Garuda is a large bird-like creature, or humanoid bird that appears in Hindu mythology. The story of Garuda’s birth and deeds is told in the first book of the great epic Mahabharata. His father was the creator-rishi Kasyapa, while his mother was Vinata.

Garuda was born out of a huge egg with the torso and limbs of a human male and the talons, wings and beak of an eagle. His body is gold in colour, his wings are red and his face is white.

In Hinduism, Garuda is an Upadevata, a divine entity, and he’s depicted as a vahana or mount of Sri Maha Vishnu. Garuda is also Lord Vishnu’s vehicle. As the King of Birds he knows the secrets of death and the beyond.

Garuda is also known as “he who has beautiful feathers” (Suparna), as “golden bodied” (Suvarnakaya) and “the devourer” (Nagantaka). The latter name is connected to his role as the enemy of all snakes which are symbolic of death and the underworld.

Garuda is said to have been the first to teach humankind how to cure snake poison; moreover, worship of or meditation upon Garuda is said to remove snakes from one’s path. In contrast, Garuda represents birth and heaven; in addition he is associated with the sun and fire.

According to the Mahabharata, Garuda fathered six sons from whom were descended the race of birds. The members of this race were of great might and without compassion, subsisting on the nagas. Fittingly, Vishnu was their protector.Garuda is also the Hindu name for the constellation Aquila. The brahmin kite and phoenix are considered to be the contemporary representations of Garuda.

The modern symbolism of Garuda

Garuda as represented today on Indonesia's national flag.Garuda as represented today on Indonesia’s national flag. In Indonesia, India and the rest of Southeast Asia Garuda stands for the eagle symbolism. 

The Coat of Arms of Indonesia is called Garuda Pancasila and itwas designed by Sultan Hamid II of Pontianak. On February 11, 1950 it was adopted as national coat of arms

The main part of the coat of arms is the golden mythical bird Garuda with shield on its chest and a scroll gripped by its leg bears the national motto: “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika”, roughly means “Unity in Diversity”. The shield’s five emblems represent Pancasila, the five principles of Indonesia’s national philosophy. The numbers of feathers was meant to symbolize the date of Indonesian Proclamation of Independence; 17 feathers on each wings, 8 tail feathers, 19 upper tail feathers (under the shield, above the tail), and 45 neck feathers; all symbolize 17-8-1945; 17th August 1945.

The Coat of Arms of Indonesia is called Garuda Pancasila. The main part of the coat of arms is the golden mythical bird Garuda with a shield on its chest and a scroll gripped by its leg bears the national motto: “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika”, roughly means “Unity in Diversity”. The shield’s five emblems represent Pancasila, the five principles of Indonesia’s national philosophy. The numbers of feathers was meant to symbolise the date of Indonesian Proclamation of Independence; 17 feathers on each wings, 8 tail feathers, 19 upper tail feathers (under the shield, above the tail), and 45 neck feathers; all symbolise 17-8-1945; 17th August 1945. Garuda Pancasila was designed by Sultan Hamid II of Pontianak, and was adopted as national coat of arms on February 11, 1950.

About the Author:

Ana Maria, Chakana.me's Founder & Editor-in-Chief, or Anda as most people call her, is one of the most experienced digital business transformation consultants in Romania, yet for many years she paid attention to her own personal transformation by engaging with various alternative therapies and healing practices. She also writes about these therapies, the Romanian IA she so much loves, symbolism and different cultural topics.

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