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The garuda is a mythical eagle-like bird with spiritual significance in Hinduism and Buddhism. The garuda is powerful and swift, able to fly as soon as it is hatched. With one movement of its wings it can go cross the entire universe. In art the garuda is shown with a snake in its beak. This symbolizes the predominance of the intellect or spirit (the garuda) over the baser human instincts (the snake) - or, in other words, the conquest of evil (ignorance) by good (wisdom). In Hinduism, the garuda is the "mount" of the god Vishnu (each deity has an animal that he or she rides). So to ride the garuda suggests mastery of the power of primordial wisdom.