Hayagriva – the Horse-headed God in Indian Mythology

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H – day

Today, let’s discuss a new avatar of Lord Vishnu. In this avatar, Vishnu becomes a horse headed god. As today it’s H-day, I think you are able to get his name by now, isn’t it? Yes, he is none other than the Lord Hayagriva, the horse-headed avatar of Lord Vishnu.

Introduction to Hayagriva – the horse headed God

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Lord Hayagriva

As stated earlier, Hayagriva is depicted as the horse-headed god. Lord Hayagriva is described as adorning white robes and seen sitting on white lotus. His head is also from the white majestic horse. Do you want to know why he became like that? There are a lot of stories about how this avatar came into place. But I like the one my granddad narrates to me. Here comes this story.

Long time back, during the initial days of the cosmos creation, there was a demon named Hayagriva in Indian Mythology. He got a boon from, Durga Mata, that he can be killed only by another Hayagriva.

After this boon, he thought that there is no chance for a hayagriva to be born and so he can not be defeated by anybody. So he started doing what he decides and one day, just to tease Lord Brahma, he stole the Veda’s from Brahma’s hands and went into hiding.

Figthing to get the Veda’s back:

Hearing this incident, all the warriors of the God’s army including Shiva and Vishnu tried fighting this Hayagriva the demon. But they couldn’t defeat him due to the Durga Mata’s boon. After a long fight, Vishnu got tired and started taking a small nap by leaning on the bow he used in the war.

Then, all the god’s tried waking up Vishnu and Brahma asked the nearby insect to bite the thread that’s tied to the bow, when the insects ate away the thread, the bow shot up, taking away the Lord Vishnu’s head too with it.

Seeing this, all the god’s got perplexed and started praying to the ultimate power the Durga Mata. She then asked the god’s to get the head from Sun god’s horses and attach to the Vishnu’s body. Do you guy’s know why? Because white colour symbolizes purity.

Now with the Horse Head, Vishnu fights the demon Hayagriva and defeats him. So he hands over the Veda’s to Brahma post the fight. Since he gets back all the veda’s from hiding, he is also called as the Lord of wisdom. That’s the reason why this god is shown wearing all whites just like Goddess Saraswati.

You can read other stories related to Lord Hayagriva in the following book at Amazon.

My take on Lord Hayagriva:

Since he is known as the god and also the protector of knowledge (as he gets back all the Veda’s from demons). My granddad taught me the Lord Hayagriva’s shloka and I recite that every day before going to school.

Do you guys need it? If yes, please let me know I can share that shloka with you all.

#A to Z Challenge, #shravmusingswrites, #BlogChatterA2Z
A to Z Challenge

So, friends, this is my story for H – the Horse-Headed avatar of Lord Vishnu. Hope it’s of some interest to you all. Please read my other articles in Indian Mythology series here under #A to Z Challenge. I am happy to participate in the #BlogchatterA2Z and #AtoZChallenge

Author’s Note:
All the pictures used in this blog are “Free to use” ones from Google, Wikimedia Commons or from Wikipedia only.

39 thoughts on “Hayagriva – the Horse-headed God in Indian Mythology

    1. All the credit goes to my dad and MIL Mahesh. Both of them keep telling mythological stories to my kid

    1. Here you go dear!!

      Jnananandam mayam devam, nirmala spatikakruthim, aadaram sarva vidyaanaam, hayagrivam upasate!!

  1. I remember my grandmother telling this story to me. I used to be very fascinated while listening to it.

    1. Yes, can imagine that fascination. My kid comes up with weird combinations of head and body after hearing this story…and he went one step ahead and asked me to change his head too.. 😊

    1. Ayila..Abhijit jee, in front of you, I am just a small kid…your stories have such a knack in them. I am just retelling the already told stories.

  2. These stories are taking me back to the time when my grandmother used to tell me stories from the dashavatar I like the hayagriva story but the one I found most entertaining in a comical sense was the varaha avatar. Thanks for bringing back memories of my childhood.

  3. Griva is neck I remember and I have read about Hayagriva in the books. You should convert these posts into an ebook, it will come out very well especially for the kids. I personally would want to read it out to my kids too.

    1. You have a good memory power Vartika. Sure, I just started thinking along the lines of converting this into E-Book

  4. Indian mythology is like an ocean. You dive into it and are sure to get pearls of wisdom. Thank you so much for sharing this educative post.

  5. Ganesha, Hayagreeva, Narasimha etc are the Gods wearing faces of animal. We also have sweet dish named ‘Hayagreeva’ not sure whether it relates to the God or not.

  6. Oh wow! This I wasn’t aware of. I partly remember the Vedas being stolen from Brahma. But not in this much detail. Thanks again for refreshing my memory.

    1. Thank you Alex for visiting my blog. Yes you are very correct that everyone has something to learn from Mythology

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