Garula, aka: Garuḷa, Garulā; 5 Definition(s)


Garula means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Garuḷa can be transliterated into English as Garula or Garulia, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

1. One of the palaces occupied by Phussa Buddha in his last lay life (Bu.xix.15). The Commentary (BuA.192) calls it Garulapakkha.

2. A class of mythical birds generally mentioned in company with Nagas (E.g., J.iv.181, 202).

They live in Simbali groves (E.g., J.i.202) and are usually huge in size, sometimes one hundred and fifty leagues from wing to wing (J.iii.397). The flapping of their wings can raise a storm, known as the Garuda wind (J.v.77). This wind can plunge a whole city in darkness and cause houses to fall through its violence (J.iii.188).

A Garula has strength great enough to carry off a whole banyan tree, tearing it up from its roots ( The Garulas are the eternal enemies of the Nagas (J.ii.13; iii.103) and live in places, such as the Seruma Island (J.iii.187), where Nagas are to be found. The greatest happiness of the Nagas is to be free from the attacks of the Garulas (J.iv.463). A Garulas plumage is so thick that a man - e.g., Natakuvera (J.iii.91) - could hide in it, unnoticed by the bird. Sometimes Garulas assume human form; two Garula kings are said to have played dice with kings of Benares and to have fallen in love with their queens, whom they took to the Garula city - one of the queens being Sussondi (J.iii.187) and the other Kakati (J.iii.91). In each case the queen, being found unfaithful to her Garula lover, was returned to her husband. The Garulas know the Alambayana spell, which no Naga can resist (, 184). It is said that in olden days the Garulas did not know how to seize Nagas effectively; they caught them by the bead, and the Nagas who had swallowed big stones were too heavy to be lifted from the ground; consequently the Garulas died of exhaustion in trying to carry them. Later the Garulas learnt this secret through the treachery of the ascetic Karambiya, as related in the Pandara Jataka (

Garulas are mentioned as sometimes leading virtuous lives, keeping the fast and observing the precepts. One such was the Garula king mentioned in the Pandara Jataka, and another, the son of Vinata, who visited the park of Dhananjaya Koravya and gave a golden garland as present after hearing Vidhurapandita preach (

The Garulas body was evidently considered to be specially formed for quick flight, for the ancient proto type of the aeroplane was based on the Garula (DhA.iii.135). One of the five guards appointed by Sakka to protect Tavatimsa from the Asuras was formed of Garulas (J.i.204).

The Bodhisatta (J.iii.187) and Sariputta (J.iii.400) were both, on different occasions, born as Garula kings. The Simbali is the special tree of the Garula world (Vsm.i.206). The Garula is often represented in art as a winged Man. (See Fergusson: Tree and Serpent Worship, pl.xxvi.1; xxviii.1. etc.; also Grndwedel: Buddhistische Kunst, pp.47-50).

The Garulas are sometimes called Supannas (Suvannas). VvA.9.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Garuḷa (“mythical bird”)–they are the eternal enemies of the Nagas. Garuḷa is a Pali word. Compare with the Sanskrit Garuḍa.

Source: Wisdom Library: Buddhism

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Garula in Pali glossary... « previous · [G] · next »

garuḷa : (m.) a mythical bird; a harpy.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Garuḷa, (Derivation uncertain. Sk. garuḍa, Lat. volucer winged, volo to fly). N. of a mythical bird, a harpy Ps.II, 196=Nd2 235, 3 q.; Vism.206; VvA.9 (=supaṇṇa); DhA.I, 144. (Page 246)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Garula (गरुल).—Garuḍa, the chief of birds.

Derivable forms: garulaḥ (गरुलः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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