garudaW250xD80xH220mm, Tibet

The Garuda is a mystical bird who appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythologies.  An ancient symbol of the Hindu sun, Garuda is the vehicle of the god Vishnu and his wife.  He has the golden body of a man, white face with an eagle’s beak,a pair of red wings, two horns, a crown on his head and eats naga (snakes) for a meal.  In Buddhism, he is the vehicle of Vajrapani and the symbol of the transcendent Buddha Amoghasiddhi.  In Tibetan Buddhism, Garuda fuses with the mythical Himalayan Khyung bird of fire and became a god both for Bon (ancient Tibetan religion) and Tibetan Buddism.

In the Tibetan legend, Garuda stole a jewel from Naga king of Mount Meru, he carefully swallow the jewel and later vomited out.  (The jewel is on the crown of this figurine).  It seems no coincident the Tibetan rememdy for snake bite is the vomit of the eagle.