What Is The Secret Behind Hayagriva Avatar?

 To understand what the Hayagriva Avatar is, one must understand the Supreme Lord Vishnu. Known to be the preserver and protector of the Universe, his role as a deity is to visit Earth every time Adharma takes place to balance the good and evil. Therefore, it is believed that Lord Vishnu takes up an incarnation on Earth, each of them different to tackle the imbalance. The Bhagavata Purana states Lord Hayagriva as one such incarnation.


The Legends of Hayagriva

Lord Vishnu incarnated as Hayagriva Swamy with a unique appearance having a head of a horse and a human body. Worshipped as 'Gnanaswaroopa’, he embodied spiritual growth, wisdom and enlightened knowledge. Sages and seers prayed to him to attain spiritual insights and supernatural powers through the use of Hayagreeva Mantra chants and worship rituals. Inspired by the belief that the powerful chant of Lalitha Sahasranama (The 1000 names of Lalithambika) was taught by Him to Agastya Rishi- worshippers seek Divine wisdom through Him. His knowledge surpasses worldly limits and is known to share them with those that worship Him.


There are several legends around Lord Hayagriva, with one of the versions saying that Lord Vishnu revealed the four Vedas- Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda to the deity Bramha to create the Universe. Knowing the power of these texts, demons Madhu and Kaitabha stole them, tucking them away deep into the ocean. Bramha sought the help of Lord Vishnu to retrieve these precious texts, so Vishnu then took the incarnation of Hayagreeva. He killed the two demons and became the protector of Vedas.


The Devi Bhagwat Purana narrates there was once a demon named Hayagriva (with a horse face) who was the son of Kasyapa Prajapati. Aware of the boons Goddess Durga bestows on her worshippers, he performed severe penance and prayed that if he were to be killed, to only be killed by a Hayagriva and none other. The Goddess was pleased by his offerings and granted the boon. Soon, the demon became arrogant and created mayhem in Devaloka. Lord Vishnu was summoned to destroy the demon and understood that only if he took the same form could he slay the demon. With this, Lord Vishnu incarnated as Hayagriva Swamy- the personification of knowledge, education and the brightness over dark with a horse's head and a human body in brilliant white.


The Hayagreeva Stotram

Typically chanted during Navami, the Hayagreeva Stotram or Hayagriva Mantra is a powerful chant to receive blessings and spiritual powers (siddhis) from this powerful deity. Chant the stotra as follows:

Jnananand mayam  devam  nirmala sphatikakriteem

Adhaaram sarvavidyanaam  hayagreevam upasmahe.”


The stotra roughly translates to:

"We worship or meditate upon, Lord Hayagreeva, who is the embodiment of  wisdom or Divine knowledge (Gyaana) and bliss  (aanandam), who is the base of all vidyas, whose body is radiant emanating brilliant white light like that of a blemish-less Spatikam."

The secret behind Hayagriva Avatar may be many, as per the legends, but the power of this deity is unbeatable.

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