The Legend Of Garuda: From Mythical Bird to National Emblem

The Legend Of Garuda

The Legend Of Garuda

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Garuda, the majestic mythical bird, has a revered place in the tapestry of Indonesian culture and history. endangered animals, often depicted as a divine eagle, is not only a symbol of power and strength but also the embodiment of extraordinary legends that played an important role in shaping the nation’s identity. In this article, we explore the interesting story of the Legend of Garuda freeing his mother and how this myth is associated with the Indonesian national symbol.

The Origin of the Garuda Myth (The Legend Of Garuda)

The story of Garuda is rooted in ancient Hindu mythology, particularly within the Hindu epic, the “Mahabharata.”

The Legend of Garuda’s Birth

Vinata and Kadru were the wives of Kashyapa, a revered sage. They engaged in a celestial wager, betting on the color of the tail of the divine horse Uchchaihshravas.

Kadru, desiring to win the bet, coerced her serpent sons, known as the Nagas, to cover the horse’s tail with their dark bodies to create the illusion of a dark tail. Vinata, who had placed her bet on the horse having a white tail, lost the wager.

Garuda’s Quest for His Mother’s Freedom (The Legend Of Garuda)

Garuda, born to Vinata and Kashyapa, grew into a magnificent bird with unparalleled strength. Witnessing his mother’s suffering as Kadru’s servant, he felt a deep sense of responsibility to liberate her.

Kadru, knowing that acquiring the amrita required a perilous journey to the heavens, agreed to Garuda’s terms, believing that he would fail in obtaining it. With his vast wingspan and extraordinary abilities, he embarked on a heroic quest to secure the amrita.

Garuda’s Arduous Journey

Garuda’s journey to obtain the amrita was a treacherous one. He faced numerous obstacles and adversaries, including gods, demigods, and divine serpents guarding the elixir. One of the most iconic episodes of his quest was his battle with the mighty serpent king, Vasuki, who coiled around Mount Mandara, which served as the churning rod for the ocean of milk.

The Acquisition of Amrita (The Legend Of Garuda)

After overcoming countless trials, Garuda finally reached the abode of the gods, where the amrita was kept under their protection. He seized the elixir and, as promised, delivered it to Kadru in exchange for his mother’s freedom. Kadru and the Nagas, now in possession of the amrita, released Vinata.

The Legacy of Garuda

Garuda’s triumphant quest to free his mother and obtain the amrita symbolizes courage, sacrifice, and the triumph of good over evil. His unwavering devotion to his mother and his determination to uphold righteousness have endeared him to the hearts of Indonesians.

Garuda as Indonesia’s National Emblem (The Legend Of Garuda)

The “Garuda Pancasila” is the official emblem of the Republic of Indonesia, featuring a majestic Garuda bird with outstretched wings, clasping a shield emblazoned with Indonesia’s national motto, “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” (Unity in Diversity). The choice of Garuda as the national emblem is significant. It represents Indonesia’s spirit of unity and diversity, symbolizing the country’s strength, freedom, and the triumph of justice. The Garuda Pancasila serves as a constant reminder of the values that underpin the nation’s identity.


The legend of Garuda, born out of ancient mythology, continues to inspire and resonate with the people of Indonesia.