I have completed 30 chapters of first sector of Mahabharata text with Hindi translation. Due to the job that I recently took up and change in my residence, I get lesser time to read it but still manage to read around 1 chapter in a week. It is during this 30th chapter that I came across another very nice revelation–how the king of birds “Garuda” got its name?
The 5th canto of this chapter reads like this:
गुरुं भारं समासाद्यो़ड्डीन एष विहंगमः।
गरुडस्तु खगश्रेष्ठस्तस्मात् पन्नभोजनः।।
(This king of birds who roams in the sky and consumes serpents is flying with a heavy weight; and therefore, he will be known as “Garuda”.) (Here Guru means big and Udd means to fly or flying–so combining them becomes Garuda.)
The story behind the weight is that while going towards “swarga” to bring elixir from gods so that her mother could be spared from the bet of being a slave to her husband’s other wife, Garuda was suggested by his father Rishi Kashyapa to eat an elephant and a tortoise who were big in size and were engaged in a constant struggle from births. However, when Gaurda landed on a branch of a big tree with that elephant and tortoise, it could not bear the weight of Garuda and broke.
However, there were other Rishis who were hanging up-side-down on that branch and were engaged in penance. Garuda was aware that it untoward to disturb somebody who is engaged in penance. So, he held that elephant, tortoise and that branch (while he was hungry and looking to eat) and flew up in the sky again so that he could land that branch safely somewhere. This they say could not be done by gods even and so those Rishis thus named him Garuda.
What a revelation…it tells that you need to be very careful about others while even fulfilling your own personal needs. I really love these sorts of stories where there is something new and insightful. I hope you also liked this; feel free to post your comments.