Garuda is the Hindu name for the constellation Aquila and the Brahminy kite and Phoenix are considered to be the contemporary representations of Garuda. Indonesia adopts a more stylistic approach to the Garuda's depiction as its national symbol, where it depicts a Javanese eagle (being much larger than a kite).
Garuḍa is depicted as having a golden body, white face, red wings, and an eagle's beak and wings but a man's body. He wears a crown on his head like his master, Vishnu. He is ancient and huge, and can block out the sun. The exact size of the Garuḍa is uncertain, but its wings are said to have a span of many miles. This may be poetical exaggeration, but it is also said that when a Garuḍa 's wings flap, they create hurricane-like winds that darken the sky and blow down houses. A human being is so small compared to a Garuḍa that a man can hide in the plumage of one without being noticed (Kākātī Jātaka, J.327). They are also capable of tearing up entire banyan trees from their roots and carrying them off.
Garuda Bherunda is a double-headed form that may have led to the Austro-Hungarian and American forms called the Double Eagle (as in the title of J. P. Sousa's famous march.)
Worship of Garuda is believed to remove the effects of poisons from one's body. The Garuḍas have kings and cities, and at least some of them have the magical power of changing into human form when they wish to have dealings with people. On some occasions Garuḍa kings have had romances with human women in this form.
Their dwellings are in groves of the simbalī, or silk-cotton tree. There is a Garuda Valley, Kyunglung, to the south-west of Mount Kailash. Once the capital of the land called Zhang Zhung, it was the site of the Silver Palace (Khyunglung Ngulkhar,) the ruins of which are still there in the upper Sutlej Valley of India.
In HinduismEditIn Hindu religion, Garuda is a Hindu divinity, usually the mount (vahana) of the God Vishnu. Garuda is depicted as having the golden body of a strong man with a white face, red wings, and an eagle's beak and with a crown on his head. This ancient deity was said to be massive, large enough to block out the sun.
Garuda is known as the eternal sworn enemy of the Nāga serpent race and known for feeding exclusively on snakes, such behavior may have referred to the actual Short-toed Eagle of India. The image of Garuda is often used as the charm or amulet to protect the bearer from snake attack and its poison, since the king of birds is an implacable enemy and "devourer of serpent". Garudi Vidya is the mantra against snake poison to remove all kinds of evil.
His stature in Hindu religion can be gauged by the fact that an independent Upanishad, the Garudopanishad, and a Purana, the Garuda Purana, is devoted to him. Various names have been attributed to Garuda - Chirada, Gaganeshvara, Kamayusha, Kashyapi, Khageshvara, Nagantaka, Sitanana, Sudhahara, Suparna, Tarkshya, Vainateya, Vishnuratha and others. The Vedas provide the earliest reference of Garuda, though by the name of Śyena, where this mighty bird is said to have brought nectar to earth from heaven. The Puranas, which came into existence much later, mention Garuda as doing the same thing, which indicates that Śyena (Sanskrit for Eagle) and Garuda are the same. One of the faces of Śrī Pañcamukha Hanuman is Mahavira Garuda. This face points towards the west. Worship of Garuda is believed to remove the effects of poisons from one's body. In Tamil Vaishnavism Garuda and Hanuman are known as "Periya Thiruvadi" and "Siriya Thiruvadi" respectively.
In the Bhagavad-Gita (Ch.10, Verse 30), in the middle of the battlefield "Kurukshetra", Krishna explaining his omnipresence, says - " as son of Vinata, I am in the form of Garuda, the king of the bird community (Garuda)" indicating the importance of Garuda.
Garuda wears the serpent Adisesha on his left wrist and the serpant Gulika on his right wrist. The serpent Vasuki forms his sacred thread. The cobra Takshaka forms his belt on his hip. The snake Karkotaka is worn as his necklace. The snakes Padma and Mahapadma are his ear rings. The snake Shankachuda adores his divine hair. He is flanked by his two wives ‘Rudra’ and ‘Sukeerthi’ or (Sukirthi). These are all invoked in Vedanta Desika's Garuda Panchashath and Garuda Dandaka compositions. Garuda flanked with his consorts 'Rudra' and 'Sukirthi' can be seen worshipped in an ancient Soumya Keshava temple in Bindiganavile (or Mayura puri in Sanskrit ) in Karnataka state of India.
Garuda Vyuha is worshiped in Tantra for Abhichara and to protect against Abhichara. However, the interesting thing is that Garuda is the Sankarshna form of the lord who during creation primarily possesses the knowledge aspect of the lord (among Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha forms). The important point is that Garuda represents the five vayus within us : prana, vyana, udana, samana, brahmana through his five forms Satya, Suparna, Garuda, Tarkshya, Vihageshwara. These five vayus through yoga can be controlled through Pranayama which can lead to Kundalini awakening leading to higher levels of consciousness.
Garuda plays an important role in Krishna Avatar in which Krishna and Satyabhama ride on Garuda to kill Narakasura. On another occasion, Lord Hari rides on Garuda to save the devotee Elephant Gajendra. It is also said that Garuda's wings when flying will chant the Vedas.
Garuda is the son of Kashyap, a great sage, and Vinata, a daughter of Daksha, a famous king. He was hatched from an egg Vinata laid. When he was born he was so brilliant that he was mistaken for Agni, the god of fire, and worshipped.
Garuda was born with a great hatred for the evil and he is supposed to roam about the universe devouring the bad, though he spares Brahmins as his parents had forbidden him to eat them. Garuda is also well-known for his aversion to snakes, a dislike he had acquired from his mother, Vinata.
The Garuḍas are enemies to the Nāgas, a race of intelligent serpent- or dragon-like beings, whom they hunt. The Garuḍas at one time caught the nāgas by seizing them by their heads; but the nāgas learned that by swallowing large stones, they could make themselves too heavy to be carried by the Garuḍas, wearing them out and killing them from exhaustion. This secret was divulged to one of the Garuḍas by the ascetic Karambiya, who taught him how to seize a nāga by the tail and force him to vomit up his stone (Pandara Jātaka, J.518).
In the Mahasamyatta Sutta, the Buddha is shown making temporary peace between the Nagas and the Garuḍas
In the Shaiva tradition of Hinduism, Garuda is a guardian of Lord Shiva. A tale is told how once, perched on Mount Kailash, Garuda noticed a tiny bird. He was struck by the contrast between the majesty of Kailash and Shiva's palace, and the delicacy of " . . . a beautiful creature, a little bird seated on the arch crowning the entrance to Shiva's place. Garuda wondered aloud: "How marvelous is this creation! One who has created these lofty mountains has also made this tiny bird -- and both seem equally wonderful."
Just then Yama, the god of death appeared, riding his black buffalo. Garuda noticed that the gaze of the Master of Death briefly fell upon the bird, but then he continued on his way into the abode of Shiva.
Since a mere glance from Lord Yama presages death, Garuda's heart was filled with pity for the tiny bird. He gently picked it up and flew off with it clutched carefully in his powerful talons. He took it far, far, away to a deep forest where he gently placed it on a rock beside a rushing brook. Then he returned to Kailash and assumed his customary position at Shiva's gate.
When Yama emerged from his consultation with the Great God, he nodded to Garuda in recognition. Garuda took this opportunity to ask Lord Death, "Just before you went inside, I saw you notice a little bird. You seemed to have a pensive expression on your face. May I know why?"
Yama answered, "When my eyes fell on the bird, I saw that soon it would find its death in the jaws of a great python. But there are no such serpents here, high on Kailash, and I was briefly puzzled."
Again, Garuda marveled; this time at the inevitability of karma.
How Garuda Became Vishnu's MountEdit
The bird, Garuda, was the son of Vinata and Kasyapa. As soon as the massive bird crawled from his egg, he was immediately hungry. Upon seeing his size, his mother sent him to see his father, who would feed him.
Kasyapa instructed the bird that there were a hundred thousand evil Nisadas (Aborigines) by the ocean shore. These people were like crows, a danger to the environment. However, a brahmin that lived among them in concealment. Garuda was to leave him alone.
So Garuda went to the ocean and devoured the Nisadas. In the process, he accidentally swallowed the Brahmin and could neither spit it out or swallow it. So he went back to his father and asked for help. The father spoke to the brahmin, but it was adamant that it would not leave until the Nisadas, who have always been his friends, were freed. Out of fear of brahmin-murder, Garada spit out the people and their brahmin.
After this incident, Garuda was still terribly hungry, so his father told him that somewhere in the ocean are a mighty elephant and tortoise who are trying to kill each other. They would make good food for the bird. Garuda immediately set off and found the two creatures.
But Garuda soon found that no mountain or tree would hold himself and his two creatures of prey so he flew two hundred thousand leagues with the speed of a gale and finally perched on a huge rose-apple tree. The branch immediately snapped, but Garuda was able to catch it before it killed any cows or brahmin.
Vishnu Hari (Vishnu in human form) was watching from below and asked the bird what it was doing. Garuda explained the situation and Hari offered his arm to sit on while the bird ate. After Garuda had finished his meal, he was still hungry, so Hari offered him the flesh on his arm to eat. Garuda ate plentifully, and not a wound showed on Hari's arm. Garuda then asked what favor he could do. Hari replied that he could be his mount for all time to come. The bird graciously accepted the offer.
Garudas and NagasEdit
Kashyap, Garuda's father, had two wives: Kadru, the elder, and Vinata, Garuda's mother, the younger. There was great rivalry between the two wives. They could not stand each other. Once, they had an argument over the color of the horse Uchchaisravas, produced during the Churning of the Ocean just after the time of creation. Each chose a color and laid a wager on her own choice. The one who lost would become the other's slave. Kadru proved to be right and, as part of the agreement, imprisoned Vinata in the nether regions, Patala, where she was guarded by serpents. The serpents are, according to another myth, the sons of Kadru herself.
Garuda, on hearing of his mother's imprisonment, descended to Patala and asked the serpents to release Vinata. They agreed to do so and demanded as ransom a cup of amrita (ambrosia). So Garuda set off for the celestial mountain where the amrita was kept. Before he could get to the amrita he had to overcome three hazards set up by the gods to guard the celestial drink. First, Garuda came upon a ring of flames fanned by high winds. They roared and leapt up to the sky but Garuda drank up several rivers and extinguished the flames. Next, Garuda came upon a circular doorway. A very rapidly spinning wheel with sharp spikes on the spokes guarded it. Garuda made himself very small and slipped through the turning spokes. Lastly, Garuda had to defeat two fire-spitting serpents guarding the amrita. He flapped his wings rapidly and blew dust into the eyes of the monsters and blinded them. Then he cut them to pieces with his sharp beak. So Garuda finally reached the amrita and started to fly back with it to the nether regions but the gods anticipated his purpose and gave chase. Indra, king of the gods, struck him with his thunderbolt but Garuda proved a superior warrior and defeated the gods and continued unscathed on his journey to Patala.
When the serpents got the amrita they were overjoyed and released Vinata. Garuda got his mother back but he became an inveterate enemy of the serpents, the sons of his mother's rival Kadru. Also the serpents, the Nagas, symbolized evil and that automatically invoked Garuda's hatred.As end-piece to this myth it must be told that, as the Nagas were about to consume the amrita Garuda had just brought them, the chasing gods entered Patala and Indra seized and took away the cup of amrita. Anyway, the serpents had just had time enough to lick a few drops of amrita and this was enough to make them immortal. Also, since the celestial drink was very strong, their tongues were split and that is why, to this day, serpents have forked tongues.
In the MahabharataEdit
Birth and deedsEditThe 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. Garuda's father was the creator-rishi Kasyapa. His mother was Vinata, whose sister was Kadru, the mother of serpents. One day, Vinata entered into and lost a foolish bet, as a result of which she became enslaved to her sister. Resolving to release his mother from this state of bondage, Garuda approached the serpents and asked them what it would take to purchase her freedom. Their reply was that Garuda would have to bring them the elixir of immortality, also called amrita. It was a tall order. The amrita at that time found itself in the possession of the gods, who guarded it jealously, since it was the source of their immortality. They had ringed the elixir with a massive fire that covered the sky. They had blocked the way to the elixir with a fierce mechanical contraption of sharp rotating blades. And finally, they had stationed two gigantic poisonous snakes next to the elixir as deadly guardians. Undaunted, Garuda hastened toward the abode of the gods intent on robbing them of their treasure. Knowing of his design, the gods met him in full battle-array. Garuda, however, defeated the entire host and scattered them in all directions. Taking the water of many rivers into his mouth, he extinguished the protective fire the gods had thrown up. Reducing his size, he crept past the rotating blades of their murderous machine. And finally, he mangled the two gigantic serpents they had posted as guards. Taking the elixir into his mouth without swallowing it, he launched again into the air and headed toward the eagerly waiting serpents. En route, he encountered Vishnu. Rather than fight, the two exchanged promises. Vishnu promised Garuda the gift of immortality even without drinking from the elixir, and Garuda promised to become Vishnu's mount. Flying onward, he met Indra the god of the sky. Another exchange of promises occurred. Garuda promised that once he had delivered the elixir, thus fulfilling the request of the serpents, he would make it possible for Indra to regain possession of the elixir and to take it back to the gods. Indra in turn promised Garuda the serpents as food.
t long last, Garuda alighted in front of the waiting serpents. Placing the elixir on the grass, and thereby liberating his mother Vinata from her servitude, he urged the serpents to perform their religious ablutions before consuming it. As they hurried off to do so, Indra swooped in to make off with the elixir. The serpents came back from their ablutions and saw the elixir gone but with small droplets of it on the grass. They tried to lick the droplets and thereby split their tongues in two. From then onwards, serpents have split tongues and shed their skin as a kind of immortality.
From that day onward, Garuda was the ally of the gods and the trusty mount of Vishnu, as well as the implacable enemy of snakes, upon whom he preyed at every opportunity.
According to the Mahabharata, Garuda had six sons from whom were descended the race of birds. The members of this race were of great might and without compassion, subsisting as they did on their relatives the snakes. Vishnu was their protector.
As a SymbolEdit
Throughout the Mahabharata, Garuda is invoked as a symbol of impetuous violent force, of speed, and of martial prowess. Powerful warriors advancing rapidly on doomed foes are likened to Garuda swooping down on a serpent. Defeated warriors are like snakes beaten down by Garuda. The field marshal Drona uses a military formation named after Garuda. Krishna even carries the image of Garuda on his banner.
In BuddhismEditIn Buddhist mythology, the Garuda (Pāli: garuḷā) are enormous predatory birds with intelligence and social organization. Another name for the Garuda is suparṇa (Pāli: supaṇṇa), meaning "well-winged, having good wings". Like the nāga, they combine the characteristics of animals and divine beings, and may be considered to be among the lowest devas.
The exact size of the Garuda is uncertain, but its wings are said to have a span of many miles. This may be a poetic exaggeration, but it is also said that when a Garuda's wings flap, they create hurricane-like winds that darken the sky and blow down houses. A human being is so small compared to a Garuda that a man can hide in the plumage of one without being noticed (Kākātī Jātaka, J.327). They are also capable of tearing up entire banyan trees from their roots and carrying them off.
Garudas are the great golden-winged Peng birds. They also have the ability to grow large or small, and to appear and disappear at will. Their wingspan is 330 yojanas (one yojana being 40 miles long). With one flap of its wings, a Peng bird dries up the waters of the sea so that it can gobble up all the exposed dragons. With another flap of its wings, it can level the mountains by moving them into the ocean.
There were also the four garuda-kings : Great-Power-Virtue Garuda-King, Great-Body Garuda-King, Great-Fulfillment Garuda-King, and Free-At-Will Garuda-King, each accompanied by hundreds of thousands of attendants.
The Garudas have kings and cities, and at least some of them have the magical power of changing into human form when they wish to have dealings with people. On some occasions Garuda kings have had romances with human women in this form. Their dwellings are in groves of the simbalī, or silk-cotton tree.
The Garuda are enemies to the nāga, a race of intelligent serpent- or dragon-like beings, whom they hunt. The Garudas at one time caught the nāgas by seizing them by their heads; but the nāgas learned that by swallowing large stones, they could make themselves too heavy to be carried by the Garudas, wearing them out and killing them from exhaustion. This secret was divulged to one of the Garudas by the ascetic Karambiya, who taught him how to seize a nāga by the tail and force him to vomit up his stone (Pandara Jātaka, J.518).
In the Mahasamyatta Sutta, the Buddha is shown making temporary peace between the Nagas and the Garudas.
The Thai rendering of Krut (Garuda) as Vishnu vehicle and Garuda's quest for elixir was based on Indian legend of Garuda. It was told that Garuda overcame many heavenly beings in order to gain the ambrosia (amrita) elixir. No one was able to get the better of him, not even Narai (Vishnu). At last, a truce was called and an agreement was made to settle the rancor and smooth all the ruffled feathers. It was agreed that when Narai is in his heavenly palace, Garuda will be positioned in a superior status, atop the pillar above Narai's residence. However, whenever Narai wants to travel anywhere, Garuda must serve as his transport.
The Sanskrit word Garuda has been borrowed and modified in the languages of several countries. In Burmese, Garudas are called galone (ဂဠုန်). In Burmese astrology, the vehicle of the Sunday planet is the galone. In the Kapampangan language of the Philippines, the native word for eagle is galura. In Japanese a Garuda is called karura (however, the form Garuda ガルーダ is used in recent Japanese fiction - see below).
For the Mongols, the Garuda is called Khan Garuda or Khangarid (Mongolian: Хангарьд). Before and after each round of Mongolian wrestling, wrestlers perform the Garuda ritual, a stylised imitation of the Khangarid and a hawk.
In the Qing Dynasty fiction The Story of Yue Fei (1684), Garuda sits at the head of the Buddha's throne. But when a celestial bat (an embodiment of the Aquarius constellation) flatulates during the Buddha’s expounding of the Lotus Sutra, Garuda kills her and is exiled from paradise. He is later reborn as Song Dynasty General Yue Fei. The bat is reborn as Lady Wang, wife of the traitor Prime Minister Qin Hui, and is instrumental in formulating the "Eastern Window" plot that leads to Yue's eventual political execution. It is interesting to note The Story of Yue Fei plays on the legendary animosity between Garuda and the Nagas when the celestial bird-born Yue Fei defeats a magic serpent who transforms into the unearthly spear he uses throughout his military career. Literary critic C.T. Hsia explains the reason why Qian Cai, the book's author, linked Yue with Garuda is because of the homology in their Chinese names. Yue Fei's style name is Pengju (鵬舉). A Peng (鵬) is a giant mythological bird likened to the Middle Eastern Roc. Garuda's Chinese name is Great Peng, the Golden-Winged Illumination King (大鵬金翅明王).
The Garuḍas were among the beings appointed by Śakra to guard Mount Sumeru and the Thirty-three gods heaven from the attacks of the asuras.
Cha Khyung (Bird-Garuda) was a mountain deity of Rebkong, Tibet, an area on the west side of the river in Amdo province. After he was subjugated by Padmasambhava he became a worldly protector. Shang-shang
In some cultures, the garuda acquired a human torso and became half human -- a man-bird known as a kinnara or shang-shang. The shang-shang is associated with Buddha Amoghasiddhi (Unerring Accomplisher) whose consort is Green Tara.
Amoghasiddhi is the Buddha of the northern direction and is representative of the skandha Samskara. He is depicted as green, with his hands in the abhaya -- the "do not fear," or protection, mudra. He is the conqueror of "thirst." That is, working with visualizations and other Vajrayana methods that focus on him, we can transmute the yearning leading to attachment, which is often simplistically expressed as "desire" or "greed." Another of his symbols is the vishvavajra or double vajra that stands for Foundation and also, for resolve and stability -- here as concerns meditation and its objective (as in Shabkar's Song 6 linked above.)
The srory of ChhepuEdit
In Nepal, the "mask of protection" is the face of a garuda-child called Chhepu. Folklore tells of his origin. He was one among the three brothers, Garuda, Chhepu and Hitimanga. Their mother had requested her husband to help her produce a son
". . . who would be the bravest, most truthful, and endowed with all superior marks. Her husband told her to wait for a certain period. She being too impatient to wait for a long period, looked in the nest to see whether he was born or not. She found Chhepu in a premature condition, only with his head formed.
It is also told that Chhepu disappeared from the world as he did not want to see the Kaliyuga, the great yuga, when evil would completely triumph over good and the world would be destroyed by Vishnu in his incarnation as Kalki, the destroyer.
Knowing his bravery, truthfulness and endowment with all superior marks, Manjushree wanted to see him and requested Chhepu to show his full form. Chhepu appeared slowly amidst the cloud. Manjushree, as a veteran artist, immediately drew his form with his foot secretly without the knowledge of Chhepu. When Manjushree had only finished drawing his head, Chhepu came to know Manjushree’s deception and immediately disappeared. Due to his bravery, truthfulness and superior marks, he was given the [pride of] place at the top of the main entrance of stupas [as a] protection from all the dangers. Nagas [snakes] are the food of Chhepu." ~ Nepali site, no longer available.
Buddha and SussondiEdit
Garuda is king of the class of beings known as suparnas. To demonstrate and share his profound understanding of the lure of a woman with a monk who was having difficulty with his vow of celibacy, the Buddha is said to have recounted his own experience as King of the "sunbirds," who once ruled the Isle of Seruma, a land of nagas:
Once while on a gambling junket to Varanasi (formerly anglicized as Benares,) he had a love affair with his host's extraordinarily beautiful chief wife, Sussondi. She had been informed of the garuda's gorgeous appearance by palace attendants, and he was smitten as soon as she entered the gaming room. Under the cover of a dark and dangerously violent wind that the suparna had stirred up, they flew away to his island home. There, they made passionate love, but then he had the nerve to return to the host-king's palace - without her.
Meanwhile, Sagga, the magical minstrel of the King of Benares, was sent to search for the missing Queen. On board ship, his song was so wonderful that a makara emerged from the ocean depths in excitement and smashed it to bits. He drifted on a plank that finally landed under a banyan on Seruma. Queen Sussondi, walking alone by the shore, recognized the nearly-drowned man and took him to her quarters to revive him. She had to hide him in case the garuda should recognize him, of course, and with Sagga living in secret there in her quarters, one thing led to another.
Six weeks went by until a ship from Benares landed to provision there, and Sagga made it successfully back to his home having fulfilled, at least to a certain extent, his royal mission.
Skillfully and with delicacy, he sang of his adventure and his longing to the King and his faithless guest, the suparna, who even joined in with his wonderful voice. On hearing Sagga's story expressed so skillfully, the garuda understood its significance.
Though he was the most splendid of all creatures, he had not been able to keep Sussondi for himself alone. Now filled with regret, he flew away to fetch her and returned her to the King. In that lifetime, he never again visited Benares.
There, in Jeta's Grove, Buddha then told The Four Noble Truths and all about the births revealing also, that the long-ago King of Benares had been his own student, Ananda.
As a cultural and national symbolEditIn India, Indonesia and the rest of Southeast Asia the eagle symbolism is represented by Garuda, a large mythical bird with eagle-like features that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology as the vahana (vehicle) of the god Vishnu. Garuda became the national emblem of Thailand and Indonesia; Thailand's Garuda is rendered in a more traditional anthropomorphic mythical style, while that of Indonesia is rendered in heraldic style with traits similar to the real Javan Hawk-eagle.
India uses Garuda as military symbols:
- Garud Commando Force is a Special Forces unit of the Indian Air Force, specializing in operations deep behind enemy lines.
- The Brigade of the Guards of the Indian Army uses the Garud as their symbol.
- The elite bodyguards of the medieval Hoysala kings in Karnataka, India, were called Garudas, because they served the king in the way that Garuda served Vishnu.
- In both Kerala and Andhra pradesh,its state road transport are using Garuda as the name for Volvo buses.
- Garuda rock A Rocky cliff in Tirumala hills in Andhra pradesh
- 13th century Aragalur chief Magadesan's insignia was Rishabha the sacred Bull and the Garuda.
Indonesia uses the Garuda, Garuda Pancasila as its national symbol, it is somewhat intertwined with the concept of the phoenix.
- The Garuda Pancasila is coloured or gilt gold, symbolizes the greatness of the nation and is a representation of the elang Jawa or Javan Hawk-eagle Nisaetus bartelsi. The black color represents nature. There are 17 feathers on each wing, 8 on the lower tail, 19 on the upper tail and 45 on the neck, which represent the date Indonesia proclaimed its independence: 17 August 1945. The shield it carries with the Indonesian Panca Sila heraldry symbolizes self-defense and protection in struggle.
- The Indonesian national airline is Garuda Indonesia.
- Indonesian Armed Forces United Nations peacekeeping missions is known as Pasukan Garuda or Garuda Contingent
- Airlangga University, one of the oldest and leading university in Indonesia uses Garuda on its emblem. The emblem, containing a Garuda in a blue and yellow circle, is called "Garudamukha", and depicts Garuda as the bearer of knowledge, carrying a jug of Amrita, the water of eternity, symbolizing eternal knowledge.
- In Bali and Java Garuda has become a cultural symbol, the wooden statue and mask of Garuda is a popular artworks and souvenirs.
- In Bali, we can find the tallest Garuda statue of 18 metres tall made from tons of copper and brass. The statue is located in Garuda Wisnu Kencana complex.
- Garuda has identified as Indonesian national football team in international games, namely "The Garuda Team".
- The stylized brush stroke that resemble Garuda is appear in the logo of 2011 Southeast Asian Games, held in Palembang and Jakarta, Indonesia.
- The stylized curves that took form of Garuda Pancasila is appear in the logo of Wonderful Indonesia tourism campaign.
Thailand uses the Garuda (Thai: ครุฑ, khrut) as its national symbol.
- One form of the Garuda used in Thailand as a sign of the royal family is called Khrut Pha, meaning "Garuda, the vehicle (of Vishnu)."
- The statue and images of Garuda adorned many Buddhist temples in Thailand, it also has become the cultural symbol of Thailand.
- The Garuda, known as Khangarid, is the symbol of the capital city of Mongolia, Ulan Bator. According to popular Mongolian belief, Khangarid is the mountain spirit of the Bogd Khan Uul range who became a follower of Buddhist faith. Today he is considered the guardian of that mountain range and a symbol of courage and honesty.
- The bird also gives its name to Hangard Aviation
- Khangarid (Хангарьд), a football (soccer) team in the Mongolia Premier League also named after Garuda.
- Garuda Ord (Гаруда Орд), a private construction and trading company based in Ulaanbaatar, also named after Garuda.
- State Garuda (Улсын Гарьд) is a title given to the debut runner up in wrestling tournament during Mongolian National Festival Naadam.