Difference between revisions of "Garuda"

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[[Image:Garuda_cal.jpg|thumb|325px|]]
 
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'''Garuda''' (Tib. ''khyung'') – a mythical bird that symbolizes various aspects of the Buddhist path.
  
'''Garuda''' – (Tib. ''khyung'') one of the [[four dignities]], which represent qualities of the [[windhorse]].
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===Overview===
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The Garuda symbol can have the following meanings:
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* A mythical Tibetan creature
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* One of the [[four dignities]] associated with the windhorse
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* A deity of protection
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* Our primordial nature
  
Garuda symbolizes the [[fire element]]. It abides in the north. It is sometimes said to symbolize freedom from hopes and fears.  
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===A Mythical Creature===
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On the outer level, the Garuda is a mythical bird-like creature that is the enemy of the [[nagas]].
  
Garuda images often depict the Garuda holding a serpent in its arms and beak.  
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===One of the Four Dignities===
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The Garuda is also one of the [[four dignities]] associated with the [[windhorse]]. In this case, the garuda can symbolize freedom from hopes and fears. It also represents the fire element.
  
In some prayers, it is also considered one of the [[three deities of protection]].
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===Deity of Projection===
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The Garuda can also represent a deity of protection. For example:
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* It is one of the [[Three Deities of the Great Master Vajrapani]]
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* It is depicted above [[Vajrakilaya]] in Vajrakilaya thankas
  
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===Our Primordial Nature ===
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In the Dzogchen teachings, the Garuda represents our primodial nature. [[The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying]] says:
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:The Dzogchen Tantras, the ancient teachings from which the bardo instructions 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. <ref> ''The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying'', page 109. </ref>
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===Notes===
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<small><references/></small>
  
 
[[Category:Buddhas and Deities]]
 
[[Category:Buddhas and Deities]]
 
[[Category:Symbols]]
 
[[Category:Symbols]]

Revision as of 20:16, 26 August 2008

Garuda cal.jpg

Garuda (Tib. khyung) – a mythical bird that symbolizes various aspects of the Buddhist path.

Overview

The Garuda symbol can have the following meanings:

  • A mythical Tibetan creature
  • One of the four dignities associated with the windhorse
  • A deity of protection
  • Our primordial nature

A Mythical Creature

On the outer level, the Garuda is a mythical bird-like creature that is the enemy of the nagas.

One of the Four Dignities

The Garuda is also one of the four dignities associated with the windhorse. In this case, the garuda can symbolize freedom from hopes and fears. It also represents the fire element.

Deity of Projection

The Garuda can also represent a deity of protection. For example:

Our Primordial Nature

In the Dzogchen teachings, the Garuda represents our primodial nature. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying says:

The Dzogchen Tantras, the ancient teachings from which the bardo instructions 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. [1]

Notes

  1. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, page 109.