Note on Hayagreeva

Hayagreeva with consort Lakshmi

Hayagreeva Jayanthi looms on the morrow, so we look to the significance of Hayagreeva for Jyothish, the science of light within the human. The giving of the Vedas to Brahma is the giving of light to prakriti, nature. Therein we look to the significance of the avatar Hayagreeva for jyothisha. Astrologers ever seek to give accurate messages to those who seek their services and the need for purity in thought, word and action is examined, along with the purity of knowledge within which is granted by Lord Hayagreeva.

The incarnation of Hayagreeva took place to restore the Vedas to Brahma. Hayagreeva is an incarnation of Vishnu with the head of a horse. The Hayagreeva Upanishad extols Vishnu in the form of Hayagreeva. It also provides instructions on how to chant Hayagreeva mantras. Lord Narayana incarnated as Hayagreeva, appeared as the white Horse faced, faultless sphatika (crystal) hued form, embodiment of truth with divine radiance, lustrous form and destroyed the Asuras and restored the Vedas to Brahma. When the Vedas were stolen from Lord Brahma by the demons Madhu and Kaitabha, there was darkness all over. When Sri Hayagreeva took form - (note the crystal-hued body reference for the crystal light exists within all - therefore Sri Hayagreeva was filled with self effulgence and divine radiance), killed the asuras and returned the Vedas to Lord Brahma, the light returned to all the worlds.

Astrology is the science of light (jyothisha). The soul within is self effulgent as it has same light as the paramatman. That light is then modified as per the radiance of, and the magnetic energies of the planets within the body. In essence the human form is light, and as per our soul-contract (with Source and with our Oversoul) we take birth and the position of the planets at our birth time determines the light within. With the soul comes the soul-contract, manifest as impressions on the mind of the new-born, past skills and habits, and greater abilities as the case may be. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Our basic nature and purpose is spiritual.

Astrology may be regarded as an extension of spirituality, for it provides a map of the soul-journey in the kundli, the birth-chart. Samskaras and vasanas can be discerned, along with immediate past life karma in D60. (This, you will understand, is why it is very important to have an accurate time of birth. Astrology provides a map of your soul's path in this body, at this time. Your soul has a blue-print of the path you will take, the people you will meet, with whom you will grow up, and those who you fight with, and those who you fall in love with. As you are a soul – a spiritual being – you are having a human experience, a physical experience wherein you are birthed into a family and experience the love and warmth of family. You are a spiritual being on a path called human life; it is a spiritual path to a spiritual goal. Astrology, then, is a spiritual map of your soul's choices, learnings and experiences chosen for this lifetime. It can also show achievements and learning of past lives, and what is to be learned in this life.

Hayagreeva gives the Vedas to Lord Brahma

Hayagreeva gives the Vedas to Lord Brahma

Need for Purity

The predictions made in astrology are somewhat different from each other in their reading, and this implies some correction is needed. Moreover, Sathya Sai Baba has taught that astrologers need to be living with profound purity. It is not only purity of thoughts, words and actions (the famous triple purity which is the foundation of true humanness and dharma), Astrologers need to walk their talk and never hurt any person in their profession. For example, the famous Bangalore astrologer B.V. Raman told, "Never tell anyone they are going through a period where death may occur; always tell them this is a critical period for their health and to take all precautions to preserve same." This is an example of speaking the truth; speaking the truth softly and sweetly.

Sathya Sai Baba makes reference to purity in the quotation above. He has spelled out exactly what this purity is; it is trikarana suddhi, of thoughts, words and actions. This includes jnanendiryas (instruments of knowledge and wisdom) and the karmindriyas (instruments of action). All these instruments of action are part and parcel of this triple purity. Sathya Sai Baba made reference to "great purity". I am thinking that this great purity is in relation to devas, asuras, ishta devata, and the very planets as deities, also. Ekam sath viprah bahuda vadanthi (Truth is only one; the wise men say it in different ways or give it different names). I think this great purity has to include this capacity to relate to, work with, worship, and give the indications of the planets as amsa (fragment, partial incarnation ) of divinty.

That's a tall order for many people.

Great purity has another dimension: Truth is eternal. It cannot be destroyed. It is said, "Sathyam bruyath, priyam bruyath, na bruyath sathyamapriyam (speak truth; speak pleasantly; avoid speaking truth that is unpalatable)." Truth is not born out of an individual, nor does it go away with one individual. Truth is universal: it applies equally to all human beings. You must cultivate such universal truth. What you think, you must speak; what you speak, you must put into action. That is real humanness.

It is clear, then, that astrologers need to be people of profound purity, with lives based on truth, and they must not hurt anyone with their predictions from the kundli, the birth-chart. Whatever is predicted must come from within. What is that which is within based on? Knowledge, wisdom, truth, purity? It is based on all of these, for they are all part and parcel of the discipline of jyotisha. Hayagreeva imparts knowledge of the Vedas and very pure knowledge. He is the giver of the Vedas (and hence, the light of knowledge, wisdom, jnana, and purity) wherin the light comes to prakriti, the manifest universe.

Hayagreeva and Knowledge

In Hayagreeva Upanishad, Sage Narada approaches Lord Brahma and asks for knowledge of Brahmam, that knowledge which destroys sins (inner failings, transgressions, etc) quickly. Brahma replies, "The one who masters the mantras for which Lord Hayagreeva is the master would know Sruthi (heard knowledge), Smrithi (memorized knowledge), Ithihasas (history) and Puranas (epics) and would be blessed with all types of wealth. The wealth with Sri Hayagreeva may give us is a wealth of knowledge, which when known, all else is known: that knowledge is that of very Brahmam, itself.

The Lord of Vaikuntha (Vishnu, the Supreme Divinity) has immeasurable attributes; in fact, all attributes of Srishti (creation) are attributes of divinity. These attributes are called Kalyana Gunas. So you will understand that the number of auspicious Kalyana Gunas of Sri Vishnu as the supreme God is countless, but these six are the most important:

  • Jnana (Omniscience), defined as the power to know about all beings simultaneously
  • Aishvarya (Sovereignty), derived from the word Ishvara, which consists in unchallenged rule over all
  • Shakti (Power or Energy), which is the capacity to make the impossible possible
  • Bala (Strength), which is the capacity to support everything by will and without any fatigue
  • Virya (Vigour), which indicates the power to retain immateriality as the supreme being in spite of being the material cause of mutable creations
  • Tejas (Splendor), which expresses His self-sufficiency and the capacity to overpower everything by His spiritual effulgence.

The soulabhyam (ease of access) of Vishnu in all his incarnations is defined by two more Gunas: souseelyam and vatsalyam. Souseelya guna permits Him to mingle even with lowly ones readily in spite of His supremacy. Vaathsalya is the guna of great affection for those that seek refuge in Him by overlooking the dosams (deficiencies) that they have. This means Sri Hayagreeva is readily accessible to all who seek refuge in Him, and bestows very pure - supreme - knowledge on those who are devoted to Him.

Hayagreeva Gayatri Mantra

Armour of Hayagreeva

Link to Hayagreeva Kavacham: Armour of Hayagreeva:

Hayagreeva - Tibetan Buddhism:

Like Mahakala, Hayagreeva is one of the Eight Great Protectors of Buddhism, a guardian and a destroyer of obstacles to enlightenment. He is a popular personal, or tutelary, deity among the Gelug order of Tibetan Buddhism. Hayagreeva’s crown of skulls is surmounted by Hayagriva’s attribute, a horse’s head, alluding to his origin as a horse-headed Hindu god. The terrific neigh that emanates from this horse’s head is said to pierce through the illusory nature of reality. Although he was also popular in Tibet and China, Hayagreeva’s association with the horse may have had a particular appeal to the Mongols.


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