My Sculpture Saturday post this week features the Garuda, a fearsome-looking, divine bird-like creature that appears in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religious texts. Garuda is the mount of the Hindu god Vishnu, a protector of universal truth in Buddhism, and the Yaksha (benevolent spirit) of the Jain Tirthankara Shantinatha.

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Garudas are the national symbols of Thailand and Indonesia and also appear in the national symbols of other countries throughout Asia. Garuda Indonesia is the Indonesian national airline. A Garuda serves as the insignia for several units in the Indian military and even for an electronic attack squadron (VAQ-134) of the U.S. Navy.

This statue pictured above sits at the base of the Phuket Big Buddha statue on Nakkerd or Nāga Hill. I appreciated the Garuda in this location because Garudas are generally a protector with the power to swiftly go anywhere, ever watchful and an enemy of the serpent. Nāga Hill means serpent hill. The Garuda was doing its job because I saw no snakes.

Sculpture Saturday is a challenge hosted by No Fixed Plans.

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