27. Naagaas command to Garuda

“Soota said, ‘Then the Naagaas (snakes) drenched by that shower, became exceedingly glad. Borne by that bird of fair feathers (Garuda), they soon arrived at the island (Ramaniyaka). That island had been fixed by the Creator of the Universe (Lord Brahma) as the abode of the Makaras. There they saw the terrible Lavana Samudra (ocean of salt). On arriving there with Garuda, they saw there a beautiful forest washed by the waters of the sea and resounding with the music of winged singers (birds). There were clusters of trees all around loaded with various fruits and flowers.

“There were also fair mansions all around; and many tanks full of lotuses. It was also adorned with many lakes of pure water. It was refreshed with pure incense-breathing breezes. It was adorned with many a tree that grew only on the hills of Malaya, and seemed by their tallness to reach the very heavens. There were also various other trees whose flowers were scattered all around by the breeze. That forest was charming and dear to Gandharvas and always gave them pleasure. It was full of bees maddened with the honey they sucked.

“The sight of all this was exceedingly delightful. In consequence of many things there, capable of charming everybody, that forest was fair, delightful, and holy. Echoing with the notes of various birds, it delighted greatly the sons of Kadru (Naagaas i.e. snakes).

“The snakes, after arriving at that forest, began to enjoy themselves. They commanded the lord of birds, viz., Garuda, of great energy, saying, ‘Convey us to some other fair island with pure water. You traveller of the skies, you must have seen many fair regions while travelling (through the air).’

“Garuda, after thinking for a few moments, asked his mother Vinata, saying, ‘Why, mother, have I to do the command of the snakes?’

“Vinata thus questioned by him spoke to that traveller of the skies (Garuda), her son, invested with every Dharma, of great energy, and great strength, as follows: “Vinata said, ‘O you best of birds, I have become, from misfortune, the slave of my co-wife (Kadru). The snakes, by an act of deception, caused me to lose my bet and have made me so.’

“When his mother had told him the reason, that traveller of the skies (Garuda), dejected with grief, addressed the Naagaas, saying, ‘Tell me, O Naagaas, by bringing what thing, gaining a knowledge of what thing, or doing what act of skill, we may be freed from this state of bondage to you.’”

“Soota continued, ‘The Naagaas, hearing him, said, ‘You bring Amrita by force. Then O bird, you shall be freed from bondage.’”


Author: Prasanna TG on

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