Good Bird Jatayu at Ramayana Times :

In ancient Hindu epic Ramayana, Jatayu has been described as a demi-god in the form of a vulture. He was the son of Aruna and Garuda was his uncle. Jatayu was an old friend of Dasharatha and when we saw Ravana abduct Sita in his Pushpaka Vimana, he tried to rescue her. Jatayu fought bravely with Ravana, but being old was wounded and defeated by Ravana. Rama and Lakshmana in their pursuit of Sita came across Jatayu, who was wounded badly and was about to die. Before dying Jatayu tells them about his fight with Ravana and tells them the direction in which Ravana went.

Jatayu and Rama

Jatayu - Image Source :http://www.flickr.com/photos/indi/4398692295/

When Jatayu was young he used to compete with his brother Sampati as to who could fly higher. One day when both of these brothers were competing with each other, Jatayu flew really very high and was about to get burned by the flames of the sun.

His brother Sampati realized the danger and soon saved his brother by shielding Jatayu with his wings, but Sampati while trying to save his brother himself got injured, due to which he had to lose his wings. Sampati had to live wingless for the remaining part of his life.

Today the spot where Jatayu was found wounded by Lord Rama is situated in Nashik district (Maharashtra) in outskirts of a village called Taaked. Jatayu was granted moksha by Lord Rama. It is mentioned that Lord Rama called all the scared rivers together known as

teertha by hitting his arrow in the ground. Out of seven six rivers arrived but the seventh river did not arrived at the call of Lord Rama. Lord Rama forced the seventh river to arrive at that spot and at last Jatayu was given the water from these seven sacred rivers and this is how he attained moksha.

Today in Taaked village these sacred six river water can be seen together in single pond and the seventh river water lies a few feet away from them as a punishment. This site has become a place of religious importance and thousands of devotees visit this place every year.

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