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Penance of Sri Garuda

(Ref: Skanda Purana - Badarikashrama Mahatmya - 2)

Badrinath DhamMeditation: I meditate on the penance of Sri Garuda on mount Gandhamadana on the southern side of Badarikashrama for thirty thousand years and subsequently for three days at Badarikashrama, and the appearance of Lord Narayana, blessing him with the boon to become His vehicle.

Penance of Sri Garuda at Badarikashrama (Garudi shila): Sri Garuda wanted to become the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. He performed penance on mount Gandhamadana on the southern side of Badari. Taking only fruits, roots and water, he stood on only one foot and performed japa for thirty thousand years. The Lord appeared to him in His true form but Garuda could not hear His voice due to absorption in meditation. Then the Lord blew His conch, but still Garuda was not awakened from his meditation. Finally the Lord entered through his breath and made his mind extroverted. Seeing the Lord, there was horripilation on his body due to devotion. Garuda eulogized the Lord with various hymns. Then Garuda invoked Ganga and washed the feet of the Lord. The Lord was pleased and told Garuda to ask for a boon. Garuda asked for great strength and the boon to become His vehicle. He also asked the Lord to make the rock where he performed penance to be known after his name. The Lord granted the boon and told him to go to Badari. By taking holy bath there and observing fast for three days with purity it is easy to get His vision. Thereafter Garuda went to Badari and after performing the holy rites saw the Lord stationed at Narada tirtha.

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