Well, I believe it wouldn’t be so hard for you to identify me. You would have seen me in every vaishnava temple. I am a bird (Eagle) and the vahana or mount of Lord Vishnu. I am called as Garuda or Vainatheyan. I follow my Lord’s teachings. Hence, am watchful and could quickly reach anywhere in heaven or earth to protect the devotees. You may know that the Indian Air Force also uses the Garuda in their coat of arms and named their special operations unit after my name as Garud Commando Force. I am blessed to serve my master as his mount. While, there’s an interesting story which would explicate the reason behind me being the vahana of Lord Vishnu. Let me share it with you all..
The great sage Kashyapa is my father. He married two daughters of Daksha – Kadru matha (கத்ரு மாதா) and Vinata matha (வினதா மாதா). My father offered to grant a boon to both of them. Kadru matha wished for a thousand sons of incomparable strength and valor be born to her. The race of serpents, with great strength was born to her. My mother (Vinata matha) wished for birth of two sons who could eclipse the strength, valor and fame of her sister’s sons.
Kadru matha gave birth as per her wish and she was very happy. In due course, Vinata matha too had delivered eggs, but there was an unprecedented delay in them hatching of the eggs. Matha became impatient and she broke open one of the eggs. Unfortunately, the upper part of the embryo had the fully developed, but its lower half was yet to be formed. The child grew angry at his mother’s act and cursed her to slavery! He strictly didn’t allow my mother to come near the other egg. (I wasn’t born yet!)
Meanwhile, the two sisters had an argument. One day, the sisters beheld the celestial white horse Ucchaishravas flying in the sky. They entered into a wager about the colour of the horse’s tail. Vinata matha claimed that it would be white, while Kadru matha had bet that the white horse had a black tail. They agreed that the loser of the bet would spend her life in servitude to the other sibling. Deciding to ascertain the color of the tail the next day, the sisters returned home.
To be continued…..