By Swami Harshananda
Vālakhilyas were great sages, 60,000 in number, born of the parents Kratu and Kriyādevī. They were of the size of a thumb. Once they helped the sage Kaśyapa in the performance of a sacrifice and became tired. Indra who saw them in that condition laughed at them incurring their wrath. They cursed him that Garuḍa born out of their tapas would punish him for his arrogance.
- Tapas means austerity.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore