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Silver Garuda Pendant Length 1” inches
Garuda 🙏 A Mythical Creature
On the outer level, the garuda is a mythical semi-divine bird-like creature that is the enemy of the nagas. It is represented in both Hindu and Buddhist traditions (especially in Tibetan, Cham, Khmer and Javan art). They appear in many tales recounting the Buddha's previous lives, and are said to pay homage to the Buddha. In the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition, the garuda was associated with the khyung, which are important deities of the Bön pantheon, and practised during healing rituals in order to counter certain illnesses provoked by nagas.
One of the Four Dignities
The garuda is also one of the four dignities associated with the windhorse. In this context, the garuda represents the fire element, and it is said to to symbolize freedom from hopes and fears.
Deity of Protection
Garuda is also an important deity of protection. For example:
- It is one of the Three Deities of the Great Master Vajrapani
- It is depicted above Vajrakilaya in Vajrakilaya thangkas
- The practice of Takhyung Barwa combines the practices of Hayagriva, Guru Drakpo, and Garuda.
Our Primordial Nature
In the Dzogchen teachings, the garuda represents our primordial nature. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying says:
- The Dzogchen Tantras, the ancient teachings from which the bardoinstructions come, speak of a mythical bird, the garuda, which is born fully grown. This image symbolizes our primordial nature, which is already completely perfect. The garuda chick has all its wing feathers fully developed inside the egg, but it cannot fly before it hatches. Only at the moment when the shell cracks open can it burst out and soar into the sky. Similarly, the masters tell us, the qualities of buddhahood are veiled by the body, and as soon as the body is discarded, they will be radiantly displayed.