Garuda and Naga


Klut le Phaya Naak
Dang saeng sa-wang gap kwam-muet
Dtor-suu gan dtalod gaan.

The Story
The Garuda and the Naga are two of the most recognized characters of Thai mythology. These two creatures are in constant opposition, and their epic battle inspired writers, poets and artists through centuries. This artpiece is my homage to the Garuda-Naga motif.

Garuda – the Light
Garuda is a bird-like creature, popular in Hindu and Buddhist stories. Nothing could prove its high status more than the fact that it’s the national symbol of Thailand and its ruling royal dynasty. Traditionally, it’s the mount of Phra Narai (Vishnu).

Naga – the Darkness
The Naga is an equally powerful symbol. It symbolizes the underworld; it is featured on every temple in Thailand, and is the protector of none other than the Buddha himself! It’s no wonder then, that the clash of two such titans has been a favored theme for artists and storywriters alike.

Staying true to traditions, this pic shows the Garuda in winning position. The Naga is sort of like the underdog in these battles, although in theory it’s possible for a stronger Naga to win over a weaker Garuda (their strenght is determined by the circumstances of their birth). I tend to root for the underdog, so I find the Naga a bit more interesting than the Garuda. )

The poem
I came up with the English version, Cherry translated it to Thai, and then we transcribed it to the drawing using a special Lanna font to give it a Northern flavor. 😉 The meaning of the poem is the following:

Garuda and Naga
Like light and darkness
Eternally fight each other.

Or in Thai:


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