This discourse tells you about- 1. How Garuda ate nishadas. 2. How he swallowed a Brahmin by mistake. 3. Why Brahmins are powerful.
What is the favorite food of Garuda?
Garuda took the serpents on his back to the island Ramaneeyaka. It was a beautiful island. The serpents enjoyed there. After some time they told Garuda: take us to another beautiful place like this. Garuda asked his mother Vinata: mother, why do I have to listen to them? Why are they treating me like this? Vinata said: that's because I have become the slave of their mother. They together cheated me in a bet. Garuda turned around and asked the serpents: if we have to be reliev....
Garuda took the serpents on his back to the island Ramaneeyaka.
It was a beautiful island.
The serpents enjoyed there.
After some time they told Garuda: take us to another beautiful place like this.
Garuda asked his mother Vinata: mother, why do I have to listen to them?
Why are they treating me like this?
Vinata said: that's because I have become the slave of their mother.
They together cheated me in a bet.
Garuda turned around and asked the serpents: if we have to be relieved from slavery, what do I have to do?
What should I get you?
Get us amrita, then we will relieve you.
Garuda told his mother: I am going to get amrita.
What can I eat on the way?
There is an island where horrific cruel nishadas live.
You can eat them.
But never ever harm a Brahmana in your life.
They always think and act in favor of everyone.
Brahmanas are friends of everyone.
But how will I make out whether someone is a Brahmana?
He will be as brilliant as fire and if you accidentally swallow one, your throat will pain as if it is pierced by a spear.
Of course, it is obvious here that the reference is not to a Brahmin merely by birth or caste, it is about tapaswis.
Brahmana means someone who is in the path of Brahma, mantras, Vedas, who has tapashakti in him.
So much of tapashakti that he can burn.
Vinata says: the way a Brahmana can burn, not even the Sun and fire can.
न ह्येवमग्निर्नादित्यो भस्म कुर्यात्
This power is acquired through tapas.
It is not something that you are born with.
It comes only to those who do tapas.
Tapas in the form brahmacharya, learning of Vedas, memorizing what is learned.
Vratas such as kricchra, chandrayana, performing prescribed yajnas.
Then only this power comes.
As per Vedic principles, for this you have to take one more birth, the dwijanma.
That is why an accomplished Brahmana is also called a Dwija, twice-born.
For this birth, the one who bears him in pregnancy is the guru.
This pregnancy is not nine months.
This pregnancy is for that duration as long as it takes for him to learn the Vedas and Shastras.
Then when he comes out of the gurukul, he is a Dwija the twice-born.
Upanayana is the beginning of this pregnancy.
Upanayana is taking him to the guru so that he can be conceived again for the second birth.
आचार्य उपनयमानो ब्रह्मचारिणं कृणुते गर्भमन्तः - says Veda.
And when he is born again,
तं जातं द्रष्टुमभिसंयन्ति देवाः
Even devas come to see him.
They come, you are not going to them.
We will deal with this subject in detail later.
As per his mother's instruction, Garuda went to that island and started devouring the cruel nishadas.
But just as his mother had cautioned him,suddenly there was piercing stinging pain in his throat.
Garuda immediately realized it must be a Brahmana.
He said: Oh! Dwija-Shrestha, please come out through my open mouth.
The Brahmana said: I won’t, my wife who is a nishada stree is also with me here.
Either we both come out together, or we both stay here.
Garuda said, please come out with your wife.
Brahmana came out with his wife.
Mind you, it was not that the Brahmana was trying to pack at garuda's throat with something.
This happened on its own.
That is the tapashakti.
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