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Bhairava

Bhairava

Overview
Bhairava sometimes known as Bhairo or Bhairon or Bhairadya or Bheruji (In Rajasthan), Kaala Bhairavar or Vairavar (In Tamil), is the fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

 associated with annihilation. He is one of the most important deities of Rajasthan
Rajasthan
Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

 and Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

 who originated in Hindu mythology and is sacred to Hindus , Buddhists and Jains
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

 alike.

He is depicted ornamented with a range of twisted serpents, which serve as earrings, bracelets, anklets, and sacred thread (yajnopavita).
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Bhairava sometimes known as Bhairo or Bhairon or Bhairadya or Bheruji (In Rajasthan), Kaala Bhairavar or Vairavar (In Tamil), is the fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

 associated with annihilation. He is one of the most important deities of Rajasthan
Rajasthan
Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

 and Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

 who originated in Hindu mythology and is sacred to Hindus , Buddhists and Jains
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

 alike.

He is depicted ornamented with a range of twisted serpents, which serve as earrings, bracelets, anklets, and sacred thread (yajnopavita). He wears a tiger skin and a ritual apron composed of human bones. Bhairava has a dog
Dogs in religion
Dogs , which are humankind's first and most common domestic animals, have played a role in many religious traditions.-Hinduism:...

 (Shvan
Shvan
Shvan, a Sanskrit word meaning a dog, finds repeated references in Vedic and later Hindu mythologies, and such references include the following:*The bitch of Indra, an Indo-Aryan god, is named Sarama, and it is mentioned in the Rig Veda...

) as his divine vahana
Vahana
Vāhana denotes the being, typically an animal or mythical entity, a particular deva is said to use as a vehicle. In this capacity, the vāhana is often called the deity's mount. Upon the partnership between the deva and his vāhana is woven much iconography and mythology...

 (vehicle).

Bhairava himself has eight manifestations: Kala Bhairava, Asitanga Bhairava, Samhara Bhairava, Ruru Bhairava, Krodha Bhairava, Kapala Bhairava, Rudra Bhirava and Unmatta Bhairava. Kala Bhairava is conceptualized as the Guru of the planetary deity Saturn. Bhairava is known as Vairavar in Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

 where he is often presented as a Grama Devata or folk deity who safeguards the devotee on all eight directions (ettu tikku). Known in Sinhalese as Bahirawa, he protects treasures. Lord Bhairava is the main deity worshipped by the Aghora sect
Aghori
The Aghori or Aghora are a Hindu sect believed to have split off from the Kapalika order in the fourteenth century AD. Many mainstream Hindus condemn them as non-Hindu because of their taboo violation of orthodox practices...

.

Legends


The origin of Bhairava can be traced to the conversation between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

 recounted in "Shiv Maha-Puran" where Lord Vishnu asks Lord Brahma who is the supreme creator of the Universe. Arrogantly, Brahma tells Vishnu to worship him because he (Brahma) is the supreme creator. This angered Shiva who in reality is the creator of all. Shiva then incarnated in the form of Bhairava to punish Brahma. Bhairava beheaded one of Brahma's five heads and since then Brahma has only four heads. When depicted as Kala Bhairava, Bhairava is shown carrying the decapitated head of Brahma
Brahma
Brahma is the Hindu god of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Mānu, and from Mānu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the...

. Cutting off Brahma's fifth head made him guilty of the crime of killing a Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

, and as a result, he was forced to carry around the head for years and roam as Bhikshatana
Bhikshatana
Bhikshatana or Bhikshatana-murti is an aspect of the Hindu god Shiva as the "Supreme mendicant" or the "Supreme Beggar". Bhikshtana is depicted as a nude four-armed man adorned with ornaments who holds a begging bowl in his hand and is followed by demonic attendants and love-sick...

, a mendicant, until he had been absolved of the sin.

In another version, when Brahma sees the cosmic confusion while creation of universe and ponders how to settle it. He created Saraswati
Saraswati
In Hinduism Saraswati , is the goddess of knowledge, music, arts, science and technology. She is the consort of Brahma, also revered as His Shakti....

 from his imagination ('Manasaputri'). She issued as Shatarupa
Shatarupa
In Hindu mythology, when Brahma was creating the universe, he made a female deity known as Shatarupa . According to the Matsya Purana, Shatarupa was known by different names, including Satarupa, Sarasvati, Sandhya, or Brahmi.Hindu mythology uses her story to explain Brahma's four heads...

. She presented him with the wealth of knowledge and wisdom. But Brahma was infatuated with her beauty and pursued her. He sprouted a fifth head to gaze at her continuously. The horrified goddess took multiple forms to escape his eye, but Brahma continued to take a complementary form and chase her. This unlawful lust caused an imbalance in the universe and Lord Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

 took the form of Bhairava to put an end to such incest
Incest
Incest is sexual intercourse between close relatives that is usually illegal in the jurisdiction where it takes place and/or is conventionally considered a taboo. The term may apply to sexual activities between: individuals of close "blood relationship"; members of the same household; step...

. He confronted Brahma and cut off his fifth head which brought him to his senses. He then performed a yagna to purify himself, reciting mantras with his four heads for salvation.

In the form of the frightful Bhairava, Shiva is said to be guarding each of these Shaktipeeths. Each Shaktipeeth temple is accompanied by a temple dedicated to Bhairava.

Temples


  • Chomukha Bhairavji Temple , Kharkhara , Khetri
    Khetri
    Khetri Nagar is a town in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan in India. It is part of Shekhawati region. Khetri is actually two towns, the first "Khetri Town" was founded by Raja Khet Singhji Nirwan. The other is the town of "Khetri Nagar", which is about 10 km away from Khetri. It is known for...

     , Rajasthan
    Rajasthan
    Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

  • Shri Kal Bhairava Temple, Amer Fort , Jaipur
    Jaipur
    Jaipur , also popularly known as the Pink City, is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, the city today has a population of more than 3.1 million....

     , Rajasthan
    Rajasthan
    Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

  • Kala Bhairava Temple, Varanasi
    Varanasi
    -Etymology:The name Varanasi has its origin possibly from the names of the two rivers Varuna and Assi, for the old city lies in the north shores of the Ganga bounded by its two tributaries, the Varuna and the Asi, with the Ganges being to its south...

    , Uttar Pradesh
    Uttar Pradesh
    Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

  • " Sri Kala Bhairava Temple pogular village gudiyattam Tamil nadu "
  • Kala Bhairava Temple, courtalam, Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

  • Kal Bhairava Temple, near Purana Qila, New Delhi. Said to be established by the Pandava brothers during the building of their capital Indraprastha. Purana Qila is sometimes said to be their castle and the temple is situated in its backyard.
  • Ashta Bhairava at Sri Kamanada Eswar temple, Aragalur
    Aragalur
    Aragalur is a village in Salem district, Tamil Nadu, India. It is about 6 km from Thalaivasal and 70 km from Salem.-Etymology:...

    , Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

    .
  • Bhairavar Temple, Vairavan Patti, Karaikudi
    Karaikudi
    Karaikudi is a town in Sivaganga District in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.Chettinad literally 'Chetti land' in Tamil, is a collection of 76 villages/towns. Chettinad stretched from Ramnad District and Pudukottai State of 'British' India. The Chettiars, or more properly the Nattukottai...

    , Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

    .
  • Bhairaveswarar Temple, Cholapuram
    Cholapuram
    Cholapuram is a panchayat town in Thanjavur district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.-Geography:Cholapuram is located at . It has an average elevation of 123 metres .-Demographics:...

    , Kumbakonam
    Kumbakonam
    Kumbakonam , also spelt as Coombaconum in the records of British India , is a town and a special grade municipality in the Thanjavur district in the southeast Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located 40 kilometres from Thanjavur and 272 kilometres from Chennai, it is the headquarters of the Kumbakonam...

    , Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

    .
  • Ajaikapada Bhairava Temple
    Ajaikapada Bhairava Temple
    Ajaikapada Bhairava Temple is dedicated to Ekapada Bhairava - an aspect of Shiva - present in Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa, India.-Historical evidence:...

    , Nuagaon, Jagatsinghpur
    Jagatsinghpur
    Jagatsinghapur is a town and a Municipality area in Jagatsinghpur district in the Indian state of Orissa. Jagatsingpur got the recognition of a district on 1 April 1994, which is situated at a distance of 60 km from Cuttack. Jagtsingpur district has made Orissa's literature and culture...

    , Orissa
    Orissa
    Orissa , officially Odisha since Nov 2011, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April...

  • Kal Bhairav Temple at Ujjain
    Ujjain
    Ujjain , is an ancient city of Malwa region in central India, on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River , today part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the administrative centre of Ujjain District and Ujjain Division.In ancient times the city was called Ujjayini...

    , M.P.
  • Kalbhairav Temple at Dhargal, Goa
    Goa
    Goa , a former Portuguese colony, is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located in South West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its...

    .
  • Kalabhairaveshvara Temple at Adichunchanagiri, Karnataka
  • Kalabhairaveshvara Temple at Jogi Mutt, Kadri, Mangalore, Karnataka
  • Kalabhairav Temple at Adhiyaman Kottai, Dharampuri district, Tamil Nadu
  • Sri Kalabhairava Swamy Temple at Ramareddy, Nizamabad district, Andhra Pradesh
  • Naga Bhirava Kona, P.K.Padu,Somasila, SPSR Nellore District, Andhrapradesh, India
  • Bhairava Kona,Nellore, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Kala Bhairav Temple at Toliasar, Sri Dungargarh, Rajasthan
    Rajasthan
    Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

  • Kodamdesar Ramdevra Temple, Jaisalmer Highway, Rajasthan
    Rajasthan
    Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

  • Bhairava Moorthi ( Bhairava Natha Moorthi) Temple, Morepalayam, Tiruchengodu Thaluk, Namakkal District
    Namakkal District
    Namakkal District is an administrative district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The district was bifurcated from Salem District with Namakkal town as Head Quarters on 25-07-1996 and started to function independently from 01-01-1997...

    , Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

  • Sri Vairavamoorthy, Illupaikudi Temple, Karaikudi, Tamilnadu
  • Konguvadukanatha Swami, Kundadam, Dharapuram, Tamilnadu
  • Kala Bhairava temple, Gadag, Karnataka
  • Sri Nakoda Bhairav Jain Temple , Barmer District , Rajasthan
  • Bhairava sela or Bayyanna sela in Srisailam, Andhrapradesh

In the Kathmandu valley



Bhairava is an important deity of the Newar
Newar
The Newa , Newār or Newāl) are the indigenous people and the creators of the historical civilization of Nepal's Kathmandu Valley. The valley and surrounding territory have been known from ancient times as Nepal Mandala, its limits ever changing through history.Newas have lived in the Kathmandu...

s. All the traditional settlements of Newars have at least a temple of Bhairava. Most of the temples of Bhairava in Nepal are maintained by Newar priests. There are several Bhairava temples in the Kathmandu valley. Some of them are:
  • The Kala Bhairava temple in Hanuman Dhoka (Durbar Square
    Durbar Square
    Durbar Square is the generic name used to describe plazas opposite old royal palaces in Nepal. Before the Unification of Nepal, Nepal consisted of small kingdoms, and Durbar Squares are most prominent remnants of those old kingdoms in Nepal...

    ) has a 12 feet (3.7 m) high stone image of Kala Bhairava sculpted in the 5th or 6th century and later redicovered in paddy field in the 17th century CE by King Pratap Malla. It was believed that people die if they speak false in front of this sculpture. So, this temple served as the supreme court of Nepal for a long time.
  • Akash Bhairav
    Akash Bhairav
    Akash Bhairav is a Hindu deity. Considered the "god of the sky", several large temples in Kathmandu are dedicated to him.The head of the Aakash Bhairav was dug up several hundred years ago in Kathmandu...

    a (Sava Bhakku Deva or Wanga Dya)
  • Swet Bhairava
  • Shanta Bhairava (Majipa Lakhey
    Majipa Lakhey
    Majipa Lakhey is a special Lakhey. He is also known as the peaceful Bhairav. The dance of this lakhey takes place only in the week of full moon of Yenlaa month of Nepal Sambat. This lakhey is considered to be the protector of the children...

     Dya)
  • Kirtimukha Bhairava
  • Unmukta Bhairava (inside the Pashupatinath Temple
    Pashupatinath temple
    Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most significant Hindu temples of Lord Shiva in the world, located on the banks of the Bagmati River in the eastern part of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The temple served as the seat of the national deity, Lord Pashupatinath, Nepal is a secular country...

    )
  • Bagh Bhairava temple of Kirtipur
  • Batuk Bhairava temple, Lagankhel
  • The Kaal Bhairav Nath Mandir temple is in "Varne Goan" - {Satara-Maharastra}.
  • "Kaal Bhairicha Navane Changbhale"
  • "Kala Bhairava Temple pogular village gudiyattam Tamil nadu "

See also


  • Aghori
    Aghori
    The Aghori or Aghora are a Hindu sect believed to have split off from the Kapalika order in the fourteenth century AD. Many mainstream Hindus condemn them as non-Hindu because of their taboo violation of orthodox practices...

  • Muthappan
    Muthappan
    Sree Muthappan is a folk Hindu deity commonly worshiped in North Malabar region of Kerala State, South India. Muthappan and Thiruvappan,as a process of sanskrisation,he is being considered to be a manifestation of Shiva and Vishnu...

  • Kapala
    Kapala
    A kapala or skullcup is a cup made from a human skull used as a ritual implement in both Hindu Tantra and Buddhist Tantra...

  • Kapalika
    Kapalika
    In Hindu culture, Kapalika means bearer of the skull-bowl, and refers to Lord Bhairava taking the kapala vow. As penance for cutting off one of the heads of Brahma, Lord Bhairava became Bhikshatana, an outcast and a beggar...

  • Aragalur
    Aragalur
    Aragalur is a village in Salem district, Tamil Nadu, India. It is about 6 km from Thalaivasal and 70 km from Salem.-Etymology:...

  • Sirkazhi
    Sirkazhi
    Sirkazhi , is a city and a municipality in Nagapattinam district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located just 10 km from the Bay of Bengal; 5 km from Kollidam; 20 km from Chidambaram; 250 km from Chennai and 90 km from Pondicherry.-Geography:Sirkazhi is located at...

  • Kashmir Shaivism
    Kashmir Shaivism
    Among the various Hindu philosophies, Kashmir Shaivism is a school of Śaivism consisting of Trika and its philosophical articulation Pratyabhijña...


External links