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Sri HayagrIva BhagavAn & Swami Desikan's sthothram : Part 1

From: Sadagopan (
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 .