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"I am the wings of the Lord... the highest in the bright sky, whose heights no human could attain. Shallow, foolish humans, who crawl across the face of the Earth and consume all they touch... How have you come to think that I might deign to speak with you? Grovel at my feet instead, as is only natural."
—Garuda, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
Garuda (ガルダ or ガルーダ, Garuda or Garūda)? is a demon in the series.
The Garuda is a large mythical bird or bird-like creature that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology.
In Hindu mythology, a Garuda is a lesser Hindu divinity, usually the mount of Vishnu. Garuda is depicted as having a golden body, white face, red wings, and an eagle's beak, but with a strong man's body. He wears a crown on his head. He is ancient and has size enough to block out the sun.
In Buddhist mythology, the garudas are enormous predatory birds with intelligence and social organization. Like the Nagas, they combine the characteristics of animals and divine beings, and may be considered to be among the lowest devas. In Japan, he is called the Karura, a beast that breathes fire and attacks anyone unless they convert to the teachings of Dainichi Nyorai or unless they are a dragon wearing a Buddhist talisman.
The exact size of the garuda is uncertain, but its wings are said to have a span of many miles. This may be a poetic exaggeration, but it is also said that when a garuda's wings flap, they create hurricane-like winds that darken the sky and blow down houses. A human being is so small compared to a garuda that a man can hide in the plumage of one without being noticed. They are also capable of tearing up entire banyan trees from their roots and carrying them off.
In both Hindu and Buddhist mythologies, the Garuda is an enemy of the Naga race.
"Origin: India. Vishnu's half-man, half-bird mount. His mother became a slave after losing a bet with the Nagas. To save her, he stole Amrita from the gods to exchange it for her freedom. On his way back, he was intercepted by Vishnu, but Brahma intervened. Garuda became Vishnu's mount in exchange for immortality. Afterwards, he devised a plan to take his mother back and became a scourge of the Nagas. In Buddhism, Garuda is known as one of the 28 attendants of Senju-Kannon."
"A divine bird-man in Hindu mythology. He hunts Nagas as a result of a dispute between their mothers. He fought with the gods once, and was granted inmortality in exchange for becoming Vishnu`s carrier."
Garuda appears as support for Vishnu when he acts as a boss. A floor of the Steven instance also references the animosity between Garuda and the Naga, as a floor of re-spawning Naga cannot be passed without having a Garuda summoned. By gathering seven Flame Hearts, players are able to fuse a strengthened variation of Garuda called Golden-Winged Bird God Garuda, which learns the unique rush skill Killing Wind.
Garuda is first encountered as a boss and accompanied by Jatayu. Once the party has reached an elevation of 4264ft they will come to an external area where the two can be seeing circling in the skies. Once the party has raised the third platform and reaches the end of the final bridge they will attempt to block their path.
Garuda is fought as reinforcements after Jatayu falls and typically likes to use Power Wave and physical attacks. It will also typically respond to -kaja buffs and -nda debuffs as soon as possible with Dekaja and Dekunda.
"The king of birds in Hindu lore. He has a human body with the head, claws, and beak of an eagle. He once attacked the heavens for an elixir of eternal life, needed to save his mother who was seized by the serpents through trickery. His strength in fending off many gods impressed Vishnu, who granted him immortality in return for becoming a personal carrier."