Thursday, 7 July 2011

Shri Bhairava Deva

Once Brahma insulted Lord Shiva and his fifth head teasingly laughed at Lord Shiva. From Lord Shiva came out the Kalabhairava (Black Bhairava) who tore off the fifth head of Lord Brahma. On the entreaties of Lord Vishnu, Shiva pardoned Lord Brahma. But the sin (in the form of a lady) of beheading Lord Brahma followed Kalabhairava everywhere. Also the head of Brahma stuck to him. To keep away the sin and punishment which were chasing him, Kalabhairava entered the city of Benaras ( now Varanasi ). The sin could not enter the city. Kalabhairava was made as the Kotwal (Inspector) of the city of Varanasi. Bhairava rides on a dog. A pilgrimage to Kasi (Benares) is not supposed to be complete without visiting the temple of Kalabhairava.

Another story identifies Kalabhairava with Veerabhadra who cut off the head of Daksha the father of Sathi Devi, when he insulted lord Shiva. Sathi’s body was cut into pieces and strewn all over India giving rise to Shakthi Peetas. Outside every Shakthi Peeta is the temple for Bhairava.

The Rudrayamala Tantra, quoted in a puja manual Bhairava Upasana, describes the worship of Vatuka Bhairava, or Bhairava as a small boy, and gives his mantra as hrim vatukaya apadudharanaya kuru kuru batukaya hrim. Although the ascription to Rudrayamala is commonly found in the colophons of tantrik texts, these passages do not appear in the modern work now available.

However, the same work gives dhyanas, or meditation images of Vatuka Bhairava as comprising the entire three gunas, and also separately as Vatuka in his sattvik, rajasik and tamasik guises. In his form as the three gunas, he is described as being like pure crystal, effulgent as the rays from 1,000 suns, shining like a sapphire thundercloud and wearing sapphire coloured clothing. He has three eyes, eight arms, four arms and two arms, depending on the preponderance of the guna, has a fanged, fearsome gaping mouth, and a girdle and anklets of live serpents. He is digambara (naked as space), He is the prince-lord (Kumaresha), and is very powerful. In his right hands he holds a staff with a skull on the top (khatvanga), a sword, a noose and a trident. His left hands hold the hourglass-shaped damaru drum, a skull, he shows the mudra bestowing boons and holds a snake in the last.

The sattvik dhyana describes Vatuka Bhairava as resembling crystal, and as white as the kunda flower, wearing celestial clothing and nine gems, of a flaming appearance, adorned with anklets of bells, having a bright, beautiful and handsome face, with three eyes. He has two hands, one of which wields a trident (shula).

The rajasik dhyana says he resembles the rising sun, with three eyes, with red limbs, in his four hands showing the sign bestowing boons, and holding a skull. In one of his left hands he holds a trident and with the other shows the mudra (hand gesture) dispelling fear. He has a blue, bejewelled throat, on his forehead is a fragment (kala) of the crescent moon and he wears clothes red as the banduka flower.

The last, tamasik dhyana, has Vatuka Bhairava as stark naked, blue in colour, with reddened hair, with terrifying fangs, three eyes, anklets of jingling bells, and with eight arms.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice work.
    Its really informative. I came here looking for an english translation of Vatuk Bhairava's 108 names, as given in Apaduddharaka Stotra Kavacham.