While the sage stood looking on, the Lord left by the pathway leading to Vaikuntha, a path extolled by all great liberated souls. The sage stood listening as the hymns forming the basis of the Sama Veda were vibrated by the flapping wings of the Lord’s carrier, Garuda.
In the Vedic literature it is stated that the two wings of the transcendental bird Garuda, who carries the Lord everywhere, are two divisions of the Sama Veda known as brhat and rathantara. Garuda works as the carrier of the Lord; therefore he is considered the transcendental prince of all carriers. With his two wings Garuda began to vibrate the Sama Veda, which is chanted by great sages to pacify the Lord. The Lord is worshiped by Brahma, by Lord Siva, by Garuda and other demigods with selected poems, and great sages worship Him with the hymns of Vedic literatures, such as the Upanisads and Sama Veda. These Sama Veda utterances are automatically heard by the devotee when another great devotee of the Lord, Garuda, flaps his wings.
Srila Prabhupada’s morning walk, January 12, 1974
Prabhupada: Yes. He [Garuda] is not vegetarian. So if one becomes a sincere devotee like Garuda, you can allow him to become non-vegetarian. If he cannot give it up. [break]
Nara-narayana: Garuda is from the jiva-tattva or he is an expansion?
Prabhupada: No, he is jiva-tattva. Nitya-siddha.
Nara-narayana: Does that mean that there is some soul who can come under influence of maya in the spiritual sky and some soul who cannot?
Prabhupada: Yes, that potency is there always.
Umapati: Is that the difference between jiva-tattva and Vishnu-tattva?
Prabhupada: Yes. Therefore Vishnu-tattva is called acyuta, infallible. [break]
Bhagavad-gita 6.24 – Purport
As for determination, one should follow the example of the sparrow who lost her eggs in the waves of the ocean. A sparrow laid her eggs on the shore of the ocean, but the big ocean carried away the eggs on its waves. The sparrow became very upset and asked the ocean to return her eggs. The ocean did not even consider her appeal. So the sparrow decided to dry up the ocean. She began to pick out the water in her small beak, and everyone laughed at her for her impossible determination. The news of her activity spread, and at last Garuda, the gigantic bird carrier of Lord Vishnu, heard it. He became compassionate toward his small sister bird, and so he came to see the sparrow. Garuda was very pleased by the determination of the small sparrow, and he promised to help. Thus Garuda at once asked the ocean to return her eggs lest he himself take up the work of the sparrow. The ocean was frightened at this, and returned the eggs. Thus the sparrow became happy by the grace of Garuda.
Among the Daitya demons I am the devoted Prahlada; among subduers I am time; among the beasts I am the lion, and among birds I am Garuda, the feathered carrier of Vishnu.
Bhagavad-gita 12.6-7 – Purport
A child is completely cared for by his parents, and thus his position is secure. Similarly, a devotee does not need to endeavor to transfer himself by yoga practice to other planets. Rather, the Supreme Lord, by His great mercy, comes at once, riding on His bird carrier Garuda, and at once delivers the devotee from this material existence. Although a man who has fallen in the ocean may struggle very hard and may be very expert in swimming, he cannot save himself. But if someone comes and picks him up from the water, then he is easily rescued. Similarly, the Lord picks up the devotee from this material existence. One simply has to practice the easy process of Krishna consciousness and fully engage himself in devotional service.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.8 – Purport
Kasyapa: One of the prajapatis, the son of Marici and one of the sons-in-law of Prajapati Daksa. He is the father of the gigantic bird Garuda, who was given elephants and tortoises as eatables.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.11.13 – Purport
Signs of decoration in special festivals were also collected from the gifts of nature, such as the plantain trees, the mango trees, fruits and flowers. Mango trees, coconut palms and plantain trees are still accepted as auspicious signs. The flags mentioned above were all painted with the picture of either Garuda or Hanuman, the two great servitors of the Lord. For devotees, such paintings and decorations are still adored, and the servitor of the master is paid more respects for the satisfaction of the Lord.
Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya 8.246 – Purport
One may become famous as a brahma-jnani, an impersonalist scholar, or one may become a materially opulent person. In either case, such reputations are inferior to the reputation of Krishna's devotee. In the Garuda Purana it is said:
kalau bhagavatam nama
durlabham naiva labhyate
guruna kathitam mama
"In this Age of Kali, the fame of one who is known as a great devotee is very rare. However, such a position is superior to that of the great demigods like Brahma and Mahadeva. This is the opinion of all spiritual masters."
"It is said that out of thousands of brahmanas, one is qualified to perform sacrifices, and out of many thousands of such qualified brahmanas expert in sacrificial offerings, one learned brahmana may have passed beyond all Vedic knowledge. He is considered the best among all these brahmanas. And yet, out of thousands of such brahmanas who have surpassed Vedic knowledge, one person may be a visnu-bhakta, and he is most famous. Out of many thousands of such Vaisnavas, one who is completely fixed in the service of Lord Krishna is most famous. Indeed, a person who is completely devoted to the service of the Lord certainly returns home, back to Godhead."
Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya 15.277 – Purport
If one becomes a Vaisnava through proper initiation, he automatically becomes a brahmana. There is no doubt about it. The Garuda Purana confirms this:
"Out of many thousands of brahmanas, one may become qualified to perform yajna. Out of many thousands of such qualified brahmanas, one may be fully aware of the Vedanta philosophy. Out of many millions of learned Vedanta scholars, there may be one visnu-bhakta, or devotee of Lord Vishnu. It is he who is most exalted."
Unless one is a fully qualified brahmana, he cannot advance in the spiritual science. A real brahmana is never envious of Vaisnavas. If he is, he is considered an imperfect neophyte.