Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka 20 Rupees 2001 UNC
Front: Garuda (destroyer of snakes)
Back: Fishermen; sea shells

The Garuda is a large mythical bird or bird-like creature that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology. From an Indian perspective, Garuda is the Hindu name for the constellation Aquila and the Brahminy kite is considered to be the contemporary representation of Garuda. Other nations adopt a more stylistic approach to the Garuda's depiction, where it depicts an eagle. In Hindu mythology, Garuda is a lesser Hindu divinity, usually the mount (vahanam) of Vishnu. The story of Garuda's birth and deeds is told in the first book of the great epic Mahabharata. According to the epic, when Garuda first burst forth from his egg, he appeared as a raging inferno equal to the cosmic conflagration that consumes the world at the end of every age. Frightened, the gods begged him for mercy. Garuda, hearing their plea, reduced himself in size and energy. Also according to the Mahabharata, Garuda had six sons from whom were descended the race of birds. In Buddhist mythology, the garuḍas (Pāli: garuḷā) are enormous predatory birds with intelligence and social organization. Another name for the garuḍa is suparṇa (Pāli: supaṇṇa), meaning "well-winged, having good wings". Like the Nāgas, they combine the characteristics of animals and divine beings, and may be considered to be among the lowest devas. Read more

Garuda, the Vahana of Lord Vishnu
Information and Image Obtained From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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