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From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Sun Mar 14 1999 - 12:50:12 PST
Dear BhakthAs : Sri HayagrIvan is the VidhyA Moorthy , whom we worship for being blessed withSadh VidhyA and Ajn~Ana nivrutthi . He took the form of Haya Siras and Manushya Tanu ( Man-Horse form with the horse's head and man's trunk) and descended into the abysmal depth of rasAtalam ( one of the seven lower worlds )to seek out Madhu and KaitabhA ,the two dhaityAs , who had stolen the VedAs from BrahmA . Sri Hayagrivan destroyed the two asurAs and brought back the Sruthis and taught them to Brahma to help him to continue with his assigned duties of creation . Srimadh BhAgavatham describes this valorous deed of BhagavAn HayagrIvA this way : VedAnyugAnthE tamasA thiraskruthAn RasaatalAdhyO Nruturanga Vigraha: prathyAdhadhE vai kavayEabhiyAchathE tasmai namasthEavidhadEhidhAyinE ---Srimadh BhAgavatham : 5.18.6 My salutations to You , Nru-Turanga ( Haya vadhana ) mUrthy ! At the end of the kalpam , you rushed to RasAtalam to recover the stolen VedAs from the asurAs and brought it back and instructed Brahma Devan on them . The usage of the Naamam ," Nru-turangan " for the subAsraya Vigraham of BhagavAn Hayagrivan is a beautiful one . It evokes memories of Nru-simhan , the Lion-faced avathAram of Sriman Lakshmi NaarAyaNan . Both are indeed MaalOlans and are known as Lakshmi HayagrIvan and Lakshmi Nrusimhan . The abode of Lakshmi HayagrIvan is in one of the kantams (sections) of the nine dhveepams : Jambhu dhveepam . The nine sections of Jambhu dhveepam surrounded by the salty oceans are:(1)ILaavrutham (2)BadhrAsvam (3) Harivarsham (4) Kethumaalam (5)Ramyakam (6) HiraNmayam (7)Uttsarakuru (8) Kimpurusham and (9)Bhaaratham . >From Mount Meru descends the river Jambhu .At the southern foothills of Meru and on the southern banks of Jambhu river is iLAvrutham section of Jambhu dhveepam . Lord SankarshaNan is the presiding deity here . East of ILAvrutham is the section of Jambhu dhveepam known as BadhrAsvam with the name of asvam (horse) embedded in it. Here Bhadravasus worship HayagrIva BhagavAn for His valorous deed of bringing back the VedAs lost during the end of the yugam( kalpAntha gUDa nigamOddhAraNa praveeNan ) .He is a dharma svarUpan and Brahma VidhyA anugraha mUrthy . He is the essence of the meaning of PraNavam . He removes our avidhyAs through meditation of Him . Srimadh Bhagavatham salutes Him as follows : (praNavam ) namO BhagavathE dharmAyaathmavisOdhanAya nama ithi His sthothram by Bhadravasus in Srimadh BhAgavatham is: ahO vichithram bhagavdh vichEshtitham gnantham janOyam hi mishannapasyathi dhyAyannasadhyarhi vikarma sEvithum nihruthya puthram puthram jijeevishu: (meaning): Our Lord's maayai is mysterious . On the same day a man experiencing the death of his father and son performs cremations for them and thereafter looks forward to enjoying the wealth left behind by them . He accumulates sins and does not comprehend that the body is perishable . This is entirely due to Bhagavaan's wonderous MaayAi. To banish this Maayai and to remove ignorance and viparItha Jn~Anam , one should meditate on BhagavAn HayagrIvan , who will confer the boons of SadaachAram ,SadaachArya sambhandham , Brahma Jn~Anam and BramAnandham of nithya kaimkaryam in Sri Vaikuntam . Sri VaadhirAja TheerthA , one of the famous MadhvAchAryas and a great HayagrIva UpaasakA summed up the mangaLams attained by HayagrIva Manthra dhyAnam in three short slOkams in his " HayagrIva SampadhAsthothram ". HayagrIva HayagrIva HayagrIvEthi Vaadhinam naram munchanthi paapAni dharidhramvayOshitha: HayagrIva HayagrIva HayagrIvEthi yO vadhEth Tasya nissarathE VaaNi JahnukanyA pravAhavath HayagrIva HayagrIva HayagrIvEthi DHVANI: visObhathE sa VaikuNtam KavADOdhghADanakshhama: (Meaning ):The sins leave one immediately as one recites the Naamam of HayagrIvan . As One speaks the name of Hayagrivan , the true knowledge (Sarasvathi ) flows from his tongue like the torrent of holy GangA river. The auspicious sound of Sri HayagrIva naamam opens the door(gates) of Sri Vaikuntam . Sri Vaadhiraaja Yathi , who is econd only to Sri Anandha Theertha in the hierarchy of Maadhva sampradhAyam should know since Sri Hayagriva Bhagavan partook the kadali naivEdhyam from the vessel held on the head of His bhakthan . Sri HayagrIvan appeared before the yathi holding the naivEdhyam over his head as a white horse and the Lord placed His two forefeet on the shoulder of VaadhirAjar from behind ,while He ate the offered naivEdhyam .When the vessel became empty , Lord neighed to indicate His satisfaction and disappeared . One can see apicture of this event in Sri krishNa temple at Uduppi even today . In his hayagrIva sthothram , Sri Vaadhiraaja yathi prays movingly to His Ishta Dhaivam , Sri HayagrIvan : HayagrIvam ChidhAnandha Vigraham sadhanugraham dasagrIvacchidham saapAn maNigrIva VimOchanam Here the celebrated Yathi visualizes his UpAsana mUrthy as the blissful SvarUpan , who took the RaamAvathaaram to cut the ten heads of RaavaNan ( DasagrIvan ) and released MaNigrIvan , the Gandharvan from his curse as Baala KrishNan , when he went between the two YamaLArjunaa trees in YasOdhA's back yard . Sri VaadhirAjar then prays to Sri hayagrIvan for all auspiciousness( Vidhyai , VivEkam , tolerance and steadfast faith (ananya Bhakthi and MahA VisvAsam ): VidhyAm dEhi VivEkam dEhi sam cha sarvathra dEhi sraddhAm dEhi tathA paahi maa hinasthi yathA parA : Sri HayagrIvan and Tibetean Buddhism ************************************** Tibet until 1950 was an isolated kingdom cut off from all. The Buddhism that arrived there from Nepal developed its own unique Tantric modes of worship . In the Tibetan Buddhism ,hayagrIvan is one of the archetype dities . HayagrIvan has a fierce form of AvalOkithEsvara, the Lord of Compassion in their tradition He is known as Guhya Saadhana HayagrIvan . There are specific Mandalaas in which HayagrIvan is invoked . There is a specific chanting practise known as " VajrapANi-HayagrIvan-Garudan " for empowerment .In art of Nepal version of Buddhism , HayagrIvan is a red colored , horse-headed Vedic God accompanying AvalOkithEsvarA . Like MahA KaalA , HyagrIvA is recognized by NepAl Buddhists a sone of the 8 great protectors of their sacred texts and a destroyer of all obstacles to enlightenment . Although Buddhism has been rejected by Sri VaishNavite AchAryAs as an avaidhika Matham , one can see clearly the influence of Vedic Texts and sampradhAyam on the Taantric texts of Buddhism . The wrathful reflex of the peaceful AvalOkithEsvarA appears to be connected to the anger of Lord HayagrIvan , when He angrily fought the two asurans to retreive the VedAs . Nepaal's vision of Lord HayagrIvan as Jn~Anandha mUrthy , who banishes the obstacles to "enlightenment " is closer to the Upanishadic concept . From India to Nepaal ( the birth country of Gauthama BuddhA ) , the conception is still the same and when TibEteans adopted Buddhism and developed it in iolation , the visualization of Sri HayagrIvan took a strange turn . But , one can still recognize the original conception of HayagrIvan even in the TibEtean version .