Wednesday, February 20, 2013


HINDU DEITIES VEHICLE Animals and birds play an important role in Hindu religion. Hindus are known to respect cow as it is considered to be extremely sacred. Cow is also known as Aditi, meaning 'Mother of Gods'. In Hindu mythology, the cow is considered the mother of all including Gods and humans. Every part of the cow holds religious symbolism; the horns symbolize the Gods, legs represent each of the Himalayan mountains and her face represents the sun and the moon. The Gopuras or the tower in South-Indian temples are often carved with the deities and animals. Some of the animals and birds which are popularly known to be the vehicles of the Hindu deities are:
The Rat is Lord Ganesha's vehicle. It symbolizes Ganesha's ability to destroy every obstacle. The Bull (Nandi) is Lord Shiva's guardian and vehicle. The bull is said to embody sexual energy and fertility. Riding on its back, Shiva is in control of these impulses. The Tiger is the vehicle of Goddess Durga, the destroyer of evil. Sometimes it is drawn as a lion, appearing without stripes which symbolizes mercilessness, anger and pride.

The Peacock, vehicle of Goddess Saraswathi, represents arrogance and pride over its beauty, and by having a peacock as her mount, the Goddess teaches not to be concerned with external appearance and to be wise regarding the eternal truth. The Owl, vehicle of Goddess Lakshmi, the owl represents spiritual wisdom, the blindness associated with seeking worldly rather than spiritual wealth. The Swan, also known as Hamsa is the vehicle of Lord Brahma, symbolises intelligence and discrimination. Garuda is the lord of all birds and Lord Vishu's vehicle. He is a remover of obstacles and a fanatic enemy of serpents. 
The Elephant (Airavat) is the vehicle of Lord Indra, the Storm God and bringer of rains. It symbolises reliability, dignity, power, royalty and pride. The Crocodile or Makara is the vehicle of Lord Varuna, the God of Rain. The crocodile symbolises dignity, power, speed, strength, cunning and bravery. The Horse, the vehicle of Lord Surya or the Sun God, who is the chief of the 'Navagrahas'. He rides upon seven horses which symbolise the seven rainbow colours.

Great reverence is given to the animals in Hindu mythology either with direct representation or as God themselves, such as Lord Ganesha (Elephant God) and Hanuman (Monkey God). Vijayalakshmi, the author of the article, mentions various animals which are considered the vehicles of Hindu Gods. She says that some people may think that these animals just act as a means of transportation, but they are symbolic representative of something immaterial and formless. These creatures or Vāhana (“vehicle”) serve as the vehicle and as the sign of a particular deity. Apart from those already mentioned, other vahanas are: Agni's carrier is usually a ram. Lord Yamaraja's vehicle is a water buffalo. Karttikeya's vehicle is a peacock. Vayu, the god of wind, rides an antelope. Yamuna devi rides on a turtle or fish, and Saraswati devi and Ganga Ma on makaras. 

The Sanskrit word Vihana means 'vehicle' or 'carrier', denoting an animal or creature that serves as a vehicle or mount for a deity. The vahana accompanies, pulls the chariot of, or serves as the seat or mount of the transcendental personality he serves. A vahana is sometimes depicted on banners and emblems to identify the cult or affiliation of the devotee. In some instances, the vahana assists an exalted personality to manifest on planes or in spheres or worlds hierarchically inferior to their own. In one of Vishnu's pastimes, for example, he is described as riding upon Garuda, "since the Lord is not accustomed to stand on earthly ground". ... The Supreme Personality of Godhead said, "Of lordly elephants I am Airavata", thus Airavata is the king of all elephants. Airavata (Airaawat) is the vehicle of Lord Indra, king of the demigods.

The Hare Krsnas :
"The Philosophy" - "The Supreme Personality of Godhead"
"Transcendental Associates" - "Transcendental Carriers"

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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