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Date: Fri Apr 11 1997 - 08:05:55 PDT

Dear Members of the List,

Sri Mani and several other members of the list requested me to continue 
the series of posts on Garuda Bhagavan. 
I have attempted to summarize the first part of the Garuda Dandakam in this 
post. The concluding portion of the Dandakam follows in the next post.
This is a difficult work to translate and therefore, I seek forgiveness for 
any errors or inaccuracies. The translation is very loose at best. This 
work resembles the Garuda Panchasat of Swami Desikan especially, in the 
description of Garuda's form and more importantly with respect to the 
Garuda Mantram. Sri Sampath Rengarajan posted an excellent introductory
summary of the Garuda Panchasat sometime back. I request him to continue this 
series as and when his time permits.

                 SRI GARUDA DANDAKAM
Srimathe Nigamantha Maha Desikaaya Nama:
Sriman Venkatanaatharya: kavithaarkika Kesaree I
Vedanthaacharya Varyome Sannidhattaam sadha HrudhiII

Nama: pannaganaddhaaya vaikunta vasavardhineh I
Srutisindhu Sudhotpaadamandaraaya Garutmathe II

I salutate Garuda who possesses  beautiful wings, whose limbs are adorned by 
the mighty serpents, which he conquered in battle. They  are his ornaments. He
performs all the intimate kainkaryas for his Lord. Garuda
is forever devoted to the Lord and engaged in his service. He is replete like 
the Mandara mountain in churning the milky ocean of Vedas and to bring out 
the Brahma Vidyas. One can get the benefits of these Brahma Vidyas by 
offering homage to him.

Garudamakhila Veda Needhadhirootam Dwishad Peetanothkantithaakunta
vaikuntapeetikruta skandhameedhe svaneedhaa gatipreetha Rudraa  Sukeerthi
sthanaabhogakadopakuda sphuratkantakavraata veda vyataavepamaana
dwijihavaadhikalpa vishpaaryamaana spataavatikaa ratna rochischataa raaji
neerajitham kaanti kallolinee raajitam I

Garuda Bhagavan has designed  the Vedas  as his  cage and uses that cage  as his
seat. It is implied here that the Vedas sing his praise. This becomes clear
in the next salutation when seen in the context of Garuda being SankarshaNa 
among the Vyuha Murthis. Vyuha is one of the forms of worship of Lord 
Narayana. Since, the Vedas sing the praise of Lord Narayana, and Garuda is an 
Amsham of Lord Narayana, it can be inferred that the Vedas sing his praise.

Lord Sriman Narayana is bent upon destroying the enemies of his Bhaktas. No 
one can stop Sriman
Narayana in these endeavours. When He sets about to destroy  the enemies of His
devotees, he uses the shoulders of Garuda as his transport (cf: Killing of 
the crocodile in the Gajendra Moksham, killing of Narakasura. Lord Krishna's 
chariot always carried the banner of Garuda. This symbolized his victory)

When Garuda is serving as his Lord's vehicles during his Lord's campaigns, 
his wives, Rudrai and Sukeerthi, miss him very much. Garuda returns to his 
wives upon successful completion of the Lord's mission. His wives (who have 
lusciuos bosoms) embrace him intimately with affection. Consequently, 
the hairs on the body of Garuda become  stiff like thorns. This
in turn hurts the serpents, which are covering his body. The serpents raise 
their hoods in fright, at which time the gems on their hoods radiate 
brilliant red rays. The dazzling beam of red rays which appear at that time as 
the Mangala Aarathi to Garuda and he sparkles in the halo of red light.   

Jaya Garuda Suparna Darveekaraahaara  Devaadhipaahaarahaarin Diwowkaspati
Kshipta Dambholi Dhaaraa kinaakalpa Kalpaantha Vatoola Kalpodhayaanalpa
Veerayithoodhyacchamatkaara Daityaari Jaitra Dhwajaarohanirdhaaritotkarsha
Sankarshanaatman Garutman Marutpanchakaadheesa Satyaadimurthe na kascchit  
samaste namaste punaste nama: II  

Hail Garuda Bhagavan! 
Due to the beauty of your wings, Garuda acquired the name Suparna. 
Your natural food consists of serpents of immense size. 
You brought Amrit, the nectar of immortality, from the kingdom of Indra to 
release your mother from the bondage of slavery. At that time the enraged 
Indra used his mighty Vajra against you. The sharp edge of that powerful weapon 
caused wounds on your wings and rest of the body. The scars from those wounds 
adorn your body like ornaments. These ornaments bear testimony to your 
valour in defeating Indra. Your other heroic deeds stand out like the mighty 
winds that sweep the universe during the time of  the great deluge. 

You are perched on your Lord's banner, which denotes His victory over His 
enemies and from your position on the flag of you Lord, we are able to glean
your glories. You have incarnated as Sankarshana
among the four  Vyuha Murthys of Sriman Narayana , which are Vasudeva,
Sankarshana, Pradyumna and, Aniruddha. You have divided yourself into five
forms, i.e., Satyar, Suparnar,Garudar, Taarkshyar  and Vihageswarar and matched
those five forms  with the five Vayus (Praanan, Apaanan, Samaanan, Udaanan and
Vyaanan) and shine thereafter  as  a supreme Deva. O Lord with the most
exquisitely beautiful golden Wings! There is none, who is equal to you. I 
offer my salutations to you first and then again repeat my eulogy to you.

Namo Narayana,

Muralidhar Rangaswamy