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Re: Digest bhakti.v003.n043
Date: Tue Aug 11 1998 - 05:34:28 PDT

In a message dated 8/11/98 12:13:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time, Sri TV Venkat

<< I have a doubt regarding the name Hayagreeva. While it is known that
      Sri Hayagreeva is the form of Sriman Narayana as the bestower of
      knowledge, it is also known that the name Hayagreeva is given to an
      asura who in fact tried to destroy all the Vedas by taking it under
      the sea. How is this that the same name is given to both the Supreme God
and to a demon. I request the scholars in our group to enlighten me on what
      is the difference between the two names. >>

While pure Bhaktas may be able to offer deeper insight into the term,
"Hayagriva", let me share with Sahridayas here what I gathered from my study.
An understanding of Tantra and its spread across isms of the past lends
insight into how Hayagriva, the asura becomes the Hayagriva, emanation of the
Supreme. References of Hayagriva abound in Buddhist works where the
transformation seems to have taken place. Like Ganesha, whose origins can be
found in the non-Vedic Tantric beliefs, Hayagriva, the asura who stole the
Vedas and hid it under the sea, also had Tantik beginnings. His act naturally
caused resentment amongst the established Brahminical Order. But, killing it
with an embrace, as it were, in order to send the original Hayagriva into
oblivion and absorb its believers into the Brahmincal fold, legends of
Hayagriva, the Supreme Mahavishnu, the protector of the Vedas, had to be
created to deal with the asura who stole the Vedas. A poison as an antedote to
poison. Today, Hayagriva, the Buddhist redhorse-faced demon, has also been
likewise transformed into Hayagriva, the white-horse faced emanation of
Avalokiteshwara, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom and Compassion. All this can be
dated to periods later then 5th Century, prior to which there is no historical
evidence of Hayagriva. Matsyapurana or the Vedas do not have any refs to this
concept. I hope other Bhaktas can illumine further...
Adiyen daasi