Sunday, March 1, 2015


Hayagreeva   Avatar  Reposited and Rendered Vedas to Humanity
(Compilation for a discourse at Ganesha Temple, Nashville by N.R.Srinivasan, March 2015)

Hayagreeva is a horse-necked Avatar of Vishnu. He is the male deity and God of Learning like Sarasvati who is female deity and the Goddess of Learning.   He is also hailed as Hayaseersha meaning Horse headed. Yajnyavalkya, the most renowned Vedic Rishi, lost his knowledge of Yajurveda as a result of his Guru’s curse. As you know in those days there was no written form of Veda and   Veda mantras were memorized gifted by the Guru and stored in memory. They in turn taught Vedas to their disciples and explained to them in detail their meanings in order to facilitate them to store them in their memory. Therefore this needed great discipline and attention.  Yajnyavalkya performed severe penance to please Sun-god.  Pleased by his penance Sun-god appeared before him as a deity with the horse’s head and taught him Veda in another form. This section of the Vedas has come to be known as the Vaajasaneyee Samhitaa. ‘Vajee’ in Sanskrit means horse.   The Hayagreeva Avatar, the deity with the horse’s head is perhaps originated here from the Vedas which gave Puranas scope for coming with their own mythological stories. As we have discussed earlier Aswini Kumaras are also minor Hindu deities with horse heads and human bodies always described together as twin gods who are responsible for our health and happy living as well as mental health and intelligence. They   often figure in Veda mantras and are worshiped.  Mahabharata, Bhagavata, Vishnu purana, Brahmanda Purana and others describe Hayagreeva Avatar.   Hayaseersha Upaakhyaana in Shantiparva of Mahabharata describes Hayagreeva Avatar. Paushkara samhita explains that the Vedas are personified in human forms with faces of horses (vaaji-vaktra sthitaa vedaah sampoorna naralakshanah). Therefore Vishnu as the presiding deity of Vedic learning desired to descent as a man with horse’s face--Hayavadana (kalpayet purushaakaaram asva-vaktram).

The strength and guile of Vishnu made him famous in the three worlds with his three strides as Trivikrama. The Devas loved him, the sages respected him, and the demons admired him, though grudgingly. They did not like his favoritism. Once, the assembly of seven rishis called Sapta Rishis found Vishnu seated next to Indra in Amaravati as Upendra his brother. They saluted Vishnu and praised him that without his support Devas are powerless against mighty demons that often got powerful boons from Brahma and Siva. This comment upset Devas and they thought of removing Vishnu from the scene.  As you know he was a minor deity in Vedas and was not among the 33   main deities. Vishnu was later raised to the status of Trinities by Puranas alone. They found Vishnu in deep thought resting his chin on his bow Sarnga. Turning into termites, they chewed the taut bowstring until it snapped. The bow-shaft straightened with force and in the process slashed Vishnu’s head off. Thus Devas avoided sin of killing (Brahmahatyaa dosha). Without Vishnu there was no one to stop the demons stealing the sacred Vedas and mutilating its mantras. Saraswati the Goddess of Knowledge felt the absence of Vishnu, cursed the Devas who had harmed Vishnu. Devas were ashamed of their conduct; consumed by guilt. The Devas decided to resurrect their benefactor. They were facing the wrath of goddess of Knowledge and also felt the absence of their books of wisdom, Vedas.

Vishnu’s head had become one with the Sun, his long hair (as he is called Kesava) turning into rays of light. Devas were blind folded by the brilliance of the rays and did not know where the head was.  Devas after great search found the head of a horse with long manes and with the help of divine surgeons and prayers placed the same on Vishnu’s body and pleaded to him to come back to active life. Merciful Lord appeared with full strength as an Avatar,   pleased with the prayers of Devas, restored the Vedas to Saraswati and made her responsible for the spread of knowledge to the world. Saraswati chose Vishnu as her eternal guardian. He also gave her two sages    Dattaatreya and Vyaasa (his own minor incarnations for a specific task) to help her in her task. Lord Dakshinamoorty joined the team to spread the knowledge. Saraswati was glad she could enlarge her field of operation apart from para and apara vidya and focus on Fine Arts as well with the help of her husband. Hayagreeva remained in the background as an authority holding sealed particulars (AHSP) of “Aadhaarah Sarva Vidyaanam” foundation of all knowledge and learning.  That is how Saraswati today is popular as Goddess of Learning with the support of later development of Sakta concept. We do celebrate however birthdays of Vedavyaasa, Dakshinamoorty, Dattatreya and Hayagreeva as Jayantis. None of their temples are popular including Saraswati though their worships are popular.  Only Hayagreeva is popular in South India and worshiped in exclusive temples and as the Vishnu Avatar deity of Parakala Math and Sode Vadiraja Mutt of Udupi.

Hayagreeva is considered an Avatar of Vishnu and worshipped as the God of Knowledge and  Wisdom,   both in    Paravidya and Aparavidya   with a human body and a horse's head, brilliant, white in color   clad in white garments and seated on a white lotus associated with white always like Sarasvati, Goddess of Learning and Wisdom. Symbolically, Puranic stories represent the triumph of pure knowledge, guided by the will of God, over the demonic forces of passion and darkness. Lord Hayagreeva is a veritable abode of knowledge and bliss, unbounded love and compassion for those who contemplate on him. He is said to be the benefactor of even Dakshinaamurthi (an aspect of Siva), Brihaspati (the Guru of Divines) and Vedavyasa, known for their profound knowledge. This Avatar is worshiped by those who are keen on acquiring proficiency in knowledge—both secular and spiritual.

Indo-Aryans who are considered as natives of Saraswati Valley   by Hindus today and   migrants by many Westerners, worshiped Hayagreeva as early as 2000 BCE, for his speed, strength and Intelligence. Horses often saved the lives of their masters in the battlefield taking them away from danger when hurt and so venerated from very early days. Hayagreeva is one of the prominent deities in Vaishnava tradition. Most of the famous Vishnu Temples in Tamil Nadu have a separate shrine and sanctum sanctorum for Lord Hayagreeva. Mention may be made of Lakshmee Hayagreeva Temple, Bangalore, Tirumala Hayagreeva Temple in Tirupati, Tiruvahindrapuram Hayagreeva Temple near Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, Chettypunyam Hayagreeva Temple near Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu, Sri Lakshmi Hayagreeva Temple Nanganallur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, Hayagreeva temples at Yadugirigudda, Machilipatam, Mahaboobnagra in Andhra Pradesh, Madurai and Pondicherry. It seems these temples are mostly found in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. There is an icon of Hayagreeva in Lakshmana temple in Kajhuraho though his worship is not popular in the North.  In Kajuraho, image of Hayagreeva appears on the rear wall of the inner ambulatory, with images of Varaha on the south wall and Narasimha on the north wall, all surrounding a centrally enshrined image of Vaikuntha or multi-headed Vishnu. The interpretation of iconography on that temple remains unclear, but it has a counterpart in this single stele. Lakshmi and Garuda are shown as subsidiary or attendant figures. Lord Hayagreeva is also amongst the deities present at the Srirangam Temple. Hayagreeva in Srirangam is very famous for children's education. The sanctum (sannidhi) is very beautiful and all rituals done according to Vedic principles very strictly.

The Vaishnva saint Vedanta Desika after attaining perfection in Vedic studies (Siddhi) had the direct vision of this Lord in Tiruvahindrapuram, when he was 20. This shrine of Haygreeva is located in the temple of Devanayaka in this town which is 3 miles west of Tiruppaapuliyur in Tamil Nadu. 

Tradition avers that Vedanta Desika was initiated into Hayagreeva mantra by Garuda, the Vehicle of Vishnu who is also celebrated as Azhwar.

Hayagreeva is worshiped alone without his consorts as Yoga Hayagreeva in Brahmatantra Parakaala Mutt of Mysore, a Srivaishnava monastic institution. The mutt got its name “Parakaala”   named after Tirumangai Azhwar who is known as Sri Parakaalan.  This Mutt follows Vedanta Desika as torch bearer of Sri Ramnuja’s teachings of Vishishthaadvaita Philosophy. The head of this Mutt is the heredity Guru of Mysore Royal Family and draws financial support from them liberally. The Hayagreeva idol in this temple is handed down by Vedant Desika and consecrated. The other Mutts who are worshipers of Hayagreeva are—Ahobila mutt of Srirangam, Sri Srirangam Andavan Ashramam and Sri Poundarikapuram Andavan.

His birth day is celebrated on the day of Full Moon in August (Sraavan Poornima). He is also worshiped on Mahanavami Day during the Navaratri festival along with Sarasvati, Goddess of Learning by Sri Vaishnavas.

Hayagreeva Vishnu Avatar has a human form with two, four, eight or twelve hands and with a horse’s head. The god is Sasibimbastha, stationed upon the lunar orb, luminous like moonlight, and illumining the whole world by his brilliance. He is also seated on a white lotus with the lunar orb.  

In his simplest form Hayagreeva is depicted with one face, two arms and two legs. Everything about him is wrathful - a scowling face with three glaring eyes, a roaring mouth with protruding fangs, a pose of warrior’s aggressiveness, a broad belly bulging with inner energy, a sword raised threateningly in his right hand (poised to cut through delusion), his left hand raised in a threatening gesture and snake ornaments. This terrifying aspect expresses compassion’s fierce determination to help us overcome inner egotism and outer obstructions. When in four armed, he holds the gesture of boon-bestowal and rosary and in his left hands book and conch. The book is identified as four Vedas. When eight armed, he carries, discus, mace, lotus, book, noose, goad and gesture scriptural exposition (Jnaana Mudra) and when twelve armed, he carries in addition to the above, fire (agni), Vajra, weapon known as Kunta and shield. Padma Samhitaa shows him as comfortably seated on serpent-couch with hoods rising up behind him. Hayaseersha Samhita makes the god’s left foot rest on serpent (sesha) and the right foot on tortoise. According to this text he is accompanied by two consorts Lakshmi and Bhudevi (Mother Earth).

A goldsmith of Daivajna Brahmin community was once trying to make an idol of Ganesha. But each time he tried to do that it ended up having a horse’s head instead of an elephant’s. He kept trying, melting the gold and remolding it. But each time he ended up with a horse’s head. Finally he got tired of it and threw it away. The same night, Lord Hayagreeva--Lord Vishnu’s horse faced incarnation  appeared in  the dream of philosopher-saint  Sri Vadiraja Swami  of Udupi Sri  Krishna Mutt   and asked him to pick up his idol which has been thrown away and worship it daily. He then installed it in Shri Sode Vadiraja Mutt. Since then it has been worshipped there as the ruling God of the Daivajnya Brahmin community. He used to offer cooked horse gram (Kollu) to Lord Hayagreeva. He used to recite the Hayagreeva Śloka and keep the offerings on his head. Lord Hayagreeva would come as a beautiful white horse form and would eat the horse gram. As a very staunch devotee, Vadirajatirtha would recite the following   hymn:
Na Hayagrivaat  param asti Mangalam
Na Hayagrivaath param asti Paavanam
Na Hayagrivaat  param asti Daivatam
Na Hayagrivam pranipatya Seedhathi!

[There is no auspiciousness greater than Hayagreeva. Nothing is more sacred than Sri Hayagreeva to destroy our accumulated sins. No other God is superior to Hayagreeva. No one grieves after going through Saranaagati (complete surrender) at the sacred feet of Hayagreeva]

The idol then on predominantly horse faced was worshiped by Daivajna community. They   offered a gram based food offering as horses are fed on grams (horse gram or Bengal gram).  A delicacy using cooked Bengal gram with jaggery (solidified molasses) and coconut called maddi   offered to the Lord is popularly known as Hayagreeva in Karnataka.

The members of the community, who were originally Advaita Smartha Brahmins, were inducted into Dvaita philosophy and received into the fold as Mukhya Śiṣyas by the revered Sri Vadiraja Teertha. To this day, Daivajña Brahmins continue to make offerings to the Mutt and Lord Hayagreeva.


Hayagreeva, the Vajraayaana God is an attendant or companion of the Khasarpana and Lokanaatha forms of Bodhi-satva Avalokiteswara. As attending on Khasrpana, he is red complexioned, short-statured, pot-bellied and clad in tiger skin.  His hair, tawny red in color, rise up in flames; his moustache and beard are even tawnier, His eye brows knit and crooked. He has three eyes, red and round, He carries cudgel as a weapon. But his right hand shows the gesture of submission and prayer. In all probability this is the Hayagreeva demon which Hindu Puranas describe as a demon who stole the Vedas whom the Vishnu as Hayagreeva vanquished into submission. Hayagriva is known as Bato Kannon in Japan.

There is however in Vajrayaana ideology, an independent form of Hayagreeva, more like the form of Vishnu, known as Hayagreeva Lokeswara. Here he sits upon a lotus in vajara-paryanka posture. He has four hands, in two of which he shows the gesture of scriptural exposition, the other two hands carry rosary on right hand and lotus on left hand.

n the Mahavairocana-sutra [Sūtra of the Great Sun] translated and copied in 1796 by I-Hsing it says:
Beneath the Buddhas is Hayagreeva. His body is the color of the sun at dawn. He wears flaming effulgence and skulls as a garland. His nails are long and sharp; his face shows a pair of bare tiger’s fangs. His hair is that of a burning lion’s mane. He is awesomely powerful and fierce! This is the fierce Vidyaraja [wrathful vehicle] of the Lotus section. He is just like a horse-jewel of a  Chakrvartin that wanders the four continents, nowhere and never does he rest, having all the great and terrible force of all the Buddhas. This is his nature, and therefore he possesses this terrible and all-mighty light. Amidst the greatest obstacles of death and evil he is without the slightest care for his own welfare, his conspicuous and uncommon gallantry, intrepidity, and wrath is legendary among the gods, and therefore he easily and quickly vanquishes all who oppose him! Many others submit to him at first sight! This is because though he is fierce and terrible; his heart is full of compassion (unbiased, dispassionate understanding).”

Hayagreeva is one of the Tibetan Buddhism’s Dharmapala or Protector of Teaching. He is the Lord of   Wrath, the leader of the terrifying gods known as Dragshed. His name means horse’s neck and he is small, with pot belly and   horse head. In Buddhism, Hayagreeva is regarded as emanation of either the Buddha Amitabha or the Buddha Akshobhya and as the terrifying   aspect of the Bhodhisatva Avalokitesvara.

According to one myth, when Avalokitesvara was looking down (his name suggests so; the Lord who looks down on earth) on the suffering in the world, his head burst open in pain. Amitabha put the piece back together as   nine new heads.  Then, because Avalokitesvara wanted to help all creatures, he grew 1000 arms   and in the palm of each hand was an eye. From his eyes were derived the Sun and the Moon,  from his forehead Mahesvara,  from his shoulder  Brahma and other gods, from his heart Narayana,  from his thigh Sarasvati,  from his mouth  the winds (Vaayu),  from his feet  the earth (Prithvee) and  from his belly Varuna.

[You can see how it is not possible for Buddhism to live separated from Hinduism. This and many other mythological beliefs  clearly show  Buddha never wanted to be away from Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma but his followers named their way of thinking as  a separate religion called Buddhism. It is   no wonder Hindus consider Buddha as an Avatar of Vishnu and Hindu Americans want the idol of Buddha consecrated in Hindu Temples though a section strongly feels Buddha was silent on Brahman and therefore a Nastik and his philosophy Nastikavada, which was even the thought by Sankara as revealed in his condemnation of Nehalism.]

In Tibetan and Japanese Buddhism Hayagreeva is a wrathful manifestation of Avlokiteswara. There are believed to be 108 forms of Hayagreeva, his special ability to cure disease, especially skin diseases even as serious as leprosy, which is said to be caused by the Naagas (water spirit with serpent bodies) like Asvini Devatas n Hindu Mythology (note the connection between  horse and health). In Tibet Hayagreeva was promoted by Buddhist monk Atisha. It is said that Tibetan horse dealers worshiped Hayagreeva because he could frighten away demons by neighing like a horse. When invoked he announces his coming by neighing the sound of which pierces false appearances and disguised figures. Hayagreeva statue in Sanye Ling has green horse’s head on human body.

Where Hindu and Buddhist cultures meet and where Narasimha is worshipped as  Hayagreeva.

Hayagriva Madhava Temple is situated on the Monikut hill in Assam. The hill is situated in Hajo of Assam which is around 30 km to west of Gauhati.  The present temple structure was constructed by the King Raghudeva Narayan in 1583.  According to some historians the King of Pala dynasty constructed it in 6th century. It is a stone temple and it enshrines an image of Hayagreeva Madhava. Some Buddhists believe that the Hayagreeva Madhava temple, best known in the group of Hindu temples, is where the Buddha attained Nirvana. At this imposing temple, the presiding deity is worshiped as the Man-Lion incarnation (Narasimha avatar) of Vishnu by the Hindus. It is a stone temple and it enshrines an image of Hayagreeva Madhav. The rows of elephants are seen on the body of the temple and they are fine specimens of Assamese art. There is a big pond known as Madhab Pukhuri near the temple. Doul, Bihu and Janmastami festivals are celebrated every year in the temple. Moreover this temple preaches both Hinduism and Buddhism, which attracts Buddhist Monks from far flung places. Sayani, the first wife of Kalia Bhomora Borphukan donated a family of Paiks and also a plot of land for their maintenance to the Hayagriva Madhava temple during the reign of Ahom king Kamaleswar Singha. Here we can see a blend of Hindu and Buddhist cultures with a common form of worship.

Hayagreeva is referred to as the “Horse necked one”, Defender of faith”, the “Terrible executioner”, the “Excellent Horse”, and the “Aerial horse”. The Horse God is seen as pulling the sun up to the heavens every day, bringing light to darkness. Hayagreeva’s consort is Marichi   and or Lakshmi (possibly an avatar of Marichi or Kan'non), the goddess of the rising sun, more accurately the sun’s light, which is the life-force of all things, and which is seen as the female     aspect of Hayagreeva. This relationship is the classic non-duality of the Hindu Tantra. Marichi represents the essence of the power of creation of the cosmos, and is the in/yin half of Dainichi Nyôrai, whereas Hayagreeva represents the other yang/yô aspect, that of the manifestation of the power of yin/in as action. In other words, Hayagreeva represents the manifestation of yin/in as the power and action of the cosmos manifested as action. This is the very definition of Tantra, that of action.

A legend has it that during the creation, the demons Madhu-Kaitabha stole   the    Vedas from Brahma and Vishnu then took the Hayagreeva avatar to recover them. The two bodies of   Madhu and Kaitabha disintegrated into twelve pieces (two heads, two torsos, four arms and four legs). These are considered to represent the twelve seismic plates of the Earth.

In several other sources he is a white horse who pulls the sun into the sky every morning. In others such as the great epic Taraka battle where the gods are fallen on and attacked by the   demons, Vishnu appears as a great ferocious warrior called Hayagreeva when he comes to their aid--“Hayagriva appears in his chariot, drawn by 1,000 powerful steeds, crushing the enemies of the gods beneath him!”

Hayagreeva is listed as one of the ten incarnations of Vishnu in Canto 10 (Skandha Purana 10), chapter 40 of the Śrīmadbhagavatam, and Akrūra's prayer contains Hayagreeva's name when he had a vision while bathing in Yamuna.

Srimad Bhagavatam contains  Nrisimha stotra composed by Prahlada to calm down  Ugranarasimha who turned to Prahladavarada pleased by his prayers  which includes a sloka as follows;

Tasmai bhavaan haya siras tanuvam cha bibhrat  veda druhou ati balou madhu kaitabha  aakhyou / hatvaa aanayat  sruthiganaamstu rajas tamas cha satvam  tava priyatamaam tanum aamananthi   ||  37  ||

Oh! Lord! You took the form of Hayagrieva and killed the two asuras Madhu and Kaitabha, who once stole away the Vedas and you restored the same to Brahma. All great men proclaim that   Hayagrieva form of yours is producing Sattvaguna and to youthe   most pleasing  characteristic (guna) is Sattva.

There are many other references to Hayagreeva throughout the Mahabharata. It describes Vishnu as coming from battle as a conqueror in the magnificent mystic form of the great and terrible Hayagreeva:

The great Hayagreeva having been praised in this way by the different saints and ascetics, assumes a great white horses head. The verda’s [mantras] made up his shape:  his body built of all the great gods; in the middle of his head was Siva, in his heart was Brahmaa [god of heaven]; the rays of sun (Marichi) were his mane, the sun and moon his eyes; the Vasus and Sadhyas were his legs, in all his bones were the devas. Agni [Ka-ten; god of fire] was his tongue, the goddess Satya his speech, while his knees were formed by the Maruts and varuna. Having assumed this form, an awesome wonder to behold to the gods, he vanquished the asuras.” [Please refer to Avalokitesvara’s description]

According to Puranas, Hayagreeva Avatar took place to restore the Vedas to Brahma. Lord Vishnu (Narayana) had taught earlier Brahma the way to create the worlds through His breath of Vedas. Thus Brahma could understand how various Kalpas (we are now in Svetavaraaha kalpa) had begun due to Lord’s grace to start his work of   Creation.  In due course Brahma became extremely proud and head strong of his position as the creator enamored by his powers. Lord Narayana as usual wanted to teach Brahma a lesson, humble him   removing his pride. A couple of water droplets from the lotus seat of the Lord incarnated as two demons-- Madhu and Kaitabha. Kaitabha was of Tamoguna (Darkness) and the other (Madhu) was of Rajogona (ego action). They stole the Vedas from Brahma. Lord Vishnu in Anantasayana (reclining on serpent Anata) smiled. Unable to carry on his work of creation without the Vedas, Brahma rushed   and pleaded to Lord Narayana for mercy and to get back the Vedas from demons. Brahma prostrated to the Lord and said: “Vedas alone are my eyes; they are my wealth; they are my Lord. The whole world is surrounded by darkness due to the absence of Vedas. How am I to proceed on my creation without the Vedas? I am not able to be awake. Please wake  up from the Yoganidra and help me Lord! Please give me back my eyes which have been blinded by my own pride (rajoguna)."

Lord Narayana incarnated as Hayagreeva, appeared as the white Horse-faced, faultless crystal hued form, Sattva form, with lustrous form, killed the demons and restored back the Vedas to Brahma.  (Brahmaanda Purana)

Yet another version of Madhu-Kaitabha story is as follows; when cataclysm (Pralaya) was about to end Lord Vishnu out of his body dirt from the ear drum made two small balls and dropped the same on the lotus leaf and Brahma activated the Praana vaayu which gave life to these two balls as Madhu and Kaitabha.  These demons grew up. Brahma started his creation. They snatched away Vedas. Lord Vishnu out of compassion asked these two as to what they wanted as boon for favor of returning the Vedas to Brahma without killing them. But they wanted to be killed with some impossible condition. They wanted Vishnu to kill them where there was no covering of the sky. The Lord immediately took the form of Hayagreeva, took out the cloth covering on the thighs, put them on his thighs and killed them. Lord’s legs house the earth as well as space/sky. Since the Lord removed the cloth from his thighs and crushed them in between he complied with their request and killed them with no effort (Mahabharata).

Devi Bhagavatam has to say the following: There was an asura (demon) by name Hayagreeva who did a severe penance to please Devi Parvati. Parvati was pleased and wanted to grant his wish. But the demon wanted immortality which she refused. Then he said he can be killed only by another horse-faced one as he felt he was unique thinking that this would never happen. Parvati consented.  He became tremendously proud of his achievements and started harassing divines and rishis. The Lord then appeared as Hayagreeva, killed the asura,    saved   the world from his tortures and restored Vedas.

At Kanchi sage Agastya was on severe penances propitiating Lord Narayana. Lord appeared as Hayagreeva immensely pleased with his penance and blessed the Muni with Devi Mahatmyam which Agastya in turn presented to the world.

During Tripura Samahara Vishnu appeared as the other religious saint Bauddha in the form of Hayagreeva to mislead the Asuras (demons) from the Vedic wisdom.  He made them lose their ability to grasp Veda and won over them. This avatar is substantiated in Buddhism.  In Buddhism it is said like Mahakala, Hayagreeva was one of the Eight Great Protectors of Buddhism, a guardian and destroyer of obstacles to enlightenment. He is a popular personal or tutelary deity among the Gelug order of Tibet Buddhism.

Yet another legend says Vishnu compiled Vedas in the Hayagreeva form. Yet another legend says Asura Hayagreeva who stole the   Vedas from Brahma was killed by Vishnu in his Matsyaavatara.  These mythological stories in Hindu Puranas are too many and too varied in their narration it is not possible here to enumerate all of them but a few popular ones have been narrated above.  

Summing up in all Hindu Mythologies, Hayagreeva is included in lists of Vishnu’s minor Avatars. Hayagreeva is sometimes treated as demon who stelas the Vedas from Brahma and must be vanquished by the Matsya Avatar. But in other version of the story, he replaces Matsya as the Hero, slaying a different Veda-stealing demon and returning the books to Brahma.  It is reasonable to believe that in puranic period Vedas were brought to book format on palm leaves learning from the story of Mahabharata which was brought to book form by etchings of the war Episode by Ganesha on palm leaf. Because he rescued the Vedas Hayagreeva is considered a God of Knowledge and Scholarship, and he enjoys relatively active following as glorified in Hayagreeva Stotra of Vedanta Desika, especially in South India as the Supreme Lord of Sarasvati, Goddesss of Learning, Dakshinamoorty and Vedavyasa. One account tells Hayagreeva was created when Vishnu’s head was severed by   the snapping bow-string Sarnga; the head of a horse was used to replace the god’s missing head when someone was needed to save Vedas. As a result Hayagreeva always looks like a man with horse head, rather than a horse in full like Gajaanana, man with elephant head. He is often found in the company of Lakshmi and occasionally with Bhoodevi also, the two consorts of Vishnu.
It is strange the first ever incarnation Hayagreeva with horse face is not known at all in North India for whom many temples exist in the South.  Hayagreeva should not be a sectarian deity like Andal of Tamils or Swami Narayan of Gujaratis but worshiped by all Hindus as the Vishnu Avatar, God of Foundation of Wisdom and Intelligence.   Pancharaatra Aagmas  have the following  Dhyanasloka to propitiate Lord Hayagreeva: “Jnaanaananda mayam devam nirmala sphtikaakritim | Aadhaaram sarvavidyaanaam hayagreevam upaasmahe  ||”  Ganesha has been wrongly clubbed together with  Lakshmi and Sarasvati  while the right clubbing should be based on Lakshmi and Sarasvati, while Lakshmi is Vishnu’s consort and Sarasvati, his ardent follower under whose authority she works. It is Sarasvati devoted to Vishnu who was responsible for the restoration of Vishnu with horse’s head when the head of disintegrated Vishnu ascended to Surya and was not visible amidst brilliant Sun’s rays. Having found a horse’s head Devas replaced it on Vishnu’s body as horse was an integral part of Surya and that thought occupied their mind at that time. It is necessary for us to follow Puranas properly and not bend it to our convenience if we attach importance to Puranas. We often change  Puranas in following temple worship.   Ganesha is nowhere mentioned as   Lord of Wisdom. He is no match even to his brother Guru Guha. He obstructed the path of Siva and so was titled Vighnaraja. Later in order to oblige Parvati Siva made his worship absolutely necessary to start any work to ward of obstructions. So he is Vighnaraja and Gajaanana. Hayagreeva is Jnaanaanadamaya, Sarvavidya Aadhaara and Hayavadana. He is the right deity to be propitiated as the Lord of Wisdom and Intellect.

It is not possible to stop the twisting of Puranic stories and blind beliefs of the Hindus while majority are illiterates or poorly educated in India or the poorly educated family drawn    priests who guide them. Certainly as Hindu Americans we can go deep into our Puranas while following Puranic stories for our religious worship and correct the false beliefs. We have introduced some changes already after careful consideration after going through Agamas and Puranas in American Hindu Temples but more focus is needed for correcting the wrong interpretations and practices. That way we will also be properly guiding educated enlightened followers in India too.

Hayagreeva was born on the Sravana Poornima day. Hayagriva is a prominent deity among  the Vaishavas and hence Hayagreeva Jayanthi is an important festival for them. The festival is also prominently observed by the student community and parents to start education (Vidyabhyasa or Aksharabhyasa) for their children. Popular belief is that praying to Lord Hayagriva, particularly on the Hayagriva Jayanthi day bestows all that is necessary for good education to the students. Other related benefits are believed to be   elevation on job front, improvement in public image and reputation etc., Legal disputes if any will be solved with much ease and natives would get their rightful fixed assets. Fortunately nothing much has to be done for this day except Hayagreeva has to be made the presiding deity and worshipped for knowledge with Kamokarsheet Homa prescribed in Vedas suitable to all and not confined to those who want to change their threads following Rig and Yajurveda as this day is also Upakarma Day for Andhra and Karnatka and Avani avittm Day for Tamils and Keralites  as well as Sravan Poornima day for others. This Day is called Jandhyala Pournima for Andhras. Hayagreeva Jayanti is celebrated on a grand scale in Sri Krishna Udupi Math on this day.

Pancharaatra aagamas contained the following Dhyana sloka to propitiate Lord Hayagreeva similar to “Sarasvatee Namastubhyam Varade kamaroopinee”. This sloka is now prefixed to Hayagreeva stotram of the 13th century poet-philosopher Vedanta Desika about whom we talked above.
Jnaanaananda mayam devam nirmala sphtikaakritim |
Aadhaaram sarvavidyaanaam hayagreevam upaasmahe || 
We meditate upon lord Hayagreeva who is the personification of knowledge and bliss, whose form is like flawless crystal and who is the support of all branches of learning both para vidya and apara vidya (secular and spiritual).

[This is the first composition of poet-saint Venkatanaatha  whose shrine is worshiped in all celebrated Vaishnava Temples of South India as Vedanta Desika. Tradition avers that he was administered to Hayagreeva-mantra by Garudaazhwar, the vehicle of Mahavishnu. Sri Desaika displays through this  stotra (prayer)  his  all-round proficiency in Sastras. Vedant Dsika’s dhyanasloka (meditative verse on Hayagreeva typifies this deity’s depiction in Hindu iconography (sloka 32). Bogged down with contradicting philosophical and literary views and debates   each spiritual or poet  scholar was trying to establish his superiority  in those days. Therefore Vedanta Desika concentrates on few slokas pleading to Lord Hayagreeva to grant the skill to defeat kings of poets and logicians in learned assemblies and to emerge as an invincible singlehanded warrior].
Jnaanaananda mayam devam nirmala sphtikaakritim |
Aadhaaram sarvavidyaanaam hayagreevam upaasmahe || 
We meditate upon lord Hayagreeva who is the personification of knowledge and bliss, whose form is like flawless crystal and who is the support of all branches of learning both paravidya and aparavidya (secular and spiritual)

Svatassiddham suddhasphatika-manibhoobhrit-pratibhatam |
Sudhaasadhreecheebhir-dyutibhir-avadaa-tribhuvanam ||
Anantais-traiyan-tair-anuvihita –heshaahalahalam  |
hataaseshaavadhyam hayavadanmeedeemahi mahah || 2 ||
Let us eulogize the lustrous Horse-necked Lord who is self-manifest, who throws into insignificance a flawless crystal mountain (in complexion),  who whitens  the three worlds with his nectar-like brilliance, whose tumultuous neighs convey the purport  of  the innumerable Upanishads, and who removes the difficulties of his devotees without leaving  any trace behind.
Samaahaaras-samnaampratipadmrichaam dhaama yajushaam |
Layah  prtyoohaanaam  laharivcitatirbodha-jaladheh ||
Kathaa-darpakshubhyat-kathakakula-kolaahala-bhavam  |
haratvan-antardhvaantam haya-vadana-heshaa-halahalah ||3 ||
The neighing sound of the Horse-necked Lord is indeed the collection of the Sama-chants the word-by –word meaning of the Riks, the storehouse of the Yajur mantras, the annihilator of obstacles and a row of waves of ocean-like wisdom.  May it dispel the inner darkness of ignorance   created by the vain glorious arguments of multitudes of arrogant debaters!
Praachee sandhyaa kaachi-dantar-nisaayaah |
Prajnyaa-drishter-anjana-sreerapoorvaa ||
Vaktree vedaan bhaatu me vaajivaktraa |
Vaageesaakhyaa  vaasudevsya moortih ||4 ||
The Horse-headed form of Lord Vasudeva named Vaageesa (the presiding deity of speech) is indeed, the rare Eastern Dawn for the inner darkness of ignorance and a wonder collyrium to the eye of wisdom. It is the form which recites the Vedas to help Brahmaa. May this form manifest itself into me!
Visuddha-vijnyaana-ghana-swaroopam vijnyaana-vissraanaana-baddha-deeksham ||
dayaanidhim dehamritaam saranyam | devam hayagreevam-aham prapadye || 5 ||
I take refuge Lord Haygreeva, the embodiment of spotless knowledge, who took a vow to bestow this knowledge on his devotees. He is the repository of compassion and the ultimate resort of all living beings.
Apaurusheyair-api vaak-prapanchaih   adyaapi te bhootim-adrishta-paaraam ||
Stuvann-aham mugdha iti tvayaiva  kaarunyato naatha kataakshaneeyah || 6 ||
Oh Lord! Even till date, the further limit of your unyielding glory could not be comprehended by the impersonal body of literature called the Vedas. As such I attempting to praise, you deserve to be looked upon by you just like that of a simple person, and graced by your side-glances.

Dakshinya-ramyaa  girisasya moortih  devee sarojaasana-dharmpatnee ||
Vyaasodayo-api vyapadesya-vaachah sphuranti sarve tava sakti-lesaih  || 7 ||
The handsome Dakshinaamoorti form of Siva, goddess Sarasvati, the spouse of Brahma  and authors like Vyasa—all of whom are highly honored, shine because of minute portions of yours.

Mando-abhavishyan-niyatam virincho vaachaam nidhe  vanchitabhagadheyah |
Daityaapaneetaan dayayaiva bhooyo-api adhyaapayishyo nigamaan na chet tvam || 8 ||
O storehouse of all worlds of Knowledge! Had you not taught again the Vedas stolen by demons, Brahma, bereft of his fortune would certainly have remained an ignorant person!
Vitarkadolaam vyavadhooya sattve  brihaspatim vartayase yatastvam |
Tenaiva devaam tridasesvaraanaam aspashtha dolaayitamaadhiraajyam || 9||
Lord! Only because you are keeping Brihaspati, the preceptor of Indras, in the quality of serenity (sattva) by removing all his vacillating doubts, the sovereignty of the succession of Indras is able to remain steady and unshakable.

Agnau samidddharchishi saptatantoh aatasthivaan mantramayam sareeram |
Akhandsaarair-havishaam pradaanaih aapyaayanam vyomasadaam vidhaste || 10 ||
O Hayagreeva!  You assure the form of sacred formula (Mantras) and abide in the well-kindled sacrificial fire of seven tongues. You are pleasing the denizens of heaven by giving away to them the oblations due to them of unbeatable taste.

Yanmoolam-eedrik pratbhaati tattvam  yaa moolama-amnaya-mahaa-drumaanaam |
Tattvena jaananti visuddha-sattvaah tvaam-aksharaam-akshara-maatrikaam  te  || 11 ||
Only people of pure serenity (sattva) really know you to be the inexhaustible source of all letters as Omkara.  Due to which the Ultimate Truth shines forth in this manner and which is the root of the mighty trees of Vedas.

Avyaakritaad vyaakritavaan-asi  tvam naamaani roopaani cha yaani poorvam |
Samsanti teshaam charamaam pratishthaam vaageesvara tvaam tvad-upajnya-vaachah
O  Lord of Speech! Long ago, from the un-manifest primordial matter you brought out the manifest Universe by evolving names and forms. The words promulgated by you for the first time (Vedas) declare that for those very entities you are the ultimate import and content.

Mughdendu –nishyanda-vilobhaneeyaam moortim tavaananda-sudhaa-prasootim |
Vipaschitas-chetasi bhavayante velaam-udaaraam-iva dughda-sindoh || 13 ||
The wise ones contemplate on your form in their minds, which is as attractive as the very essence of the beautiful young moon and which yields the nectar of bliss, like the vast boundary   of the milky ocean.

Manogatam pasyati yah sadaa tvam maneeshinaam maanasa-raaja-hmasam |
Svayam purobhaava-vivaada-bhaajah kim-kurvate tasya giro yathaarham || 14 ||
To him who always visualizes you in his mind, who are the royal swan   sporting in the Maanasa Lake (Mind) of the wise, words vie with one another and render service in a befitting manner.

Api kshanaardham kalayanti ye tvaam aaplaa-vayantam visadair-mayookhaih |
Vaachaam pravaahair-anivaaritais –te mandaakineem mandayitum kshamante || 15 ||
Whosoever think of you—be it for a fraction of a second—as inundating everything with brilliant rays, they will be capable of rendering even the Ganges flow, through their un-impended flow of words.

Swamin bhavad-dhyaana sudha-abhishekaat vahanti  dhanyaah pulaka-anubandham |
Alakshite kwaapi niroodha-moolam  angesh-vivaanandathum ang-kurantam || 16 ||
O Lord! Bathed in the nectar of contemplation on you, the lucky ones experience horripilation over all parts of the body, which resembles the sprouts of bliss rooted deep in some spot of the body

Swamin prateechaa hridayena dhanyaah tvad-dhyaana-chandrodaya-vardhamaanam |
Amaantam-aananda payodhimantah payobhi-raksahanaam parivaahayanti || 17 ||
O lord! The blessed ones have their minds directed inwards and let out through tears of joy dwelling up in their eyes, the immeasurable ocean of bliss surging within, due to the moonrise of your contemplation.

Svaia raaunu-bhaavaas-tva-deenabhaavaah samriddha-veeryaas-tavad-anugrahena |
Vipaschito naatha taranti maayaam vaihaarikeem mohana-pincchikaam te  || 18 ||
Oh master! Devotees of un-impended glory, with their minds subjugated to you and with powers greatly enhanced by your grace will be able to cross Maaya (the association with material nature) which is your sportive bunch of magic wands.

Praang-nirmitaanaam  tapasaam vipaakaah  pratyagra-nishsreyasa-sampado may |
Samodhisheerams-tava paada-padme sankalpa-chintaamanayah pranaamaah ||19 ||
Let my prostrations at your lotus feet ever increase! They are, verily, the desire-yielding celestial gems (Chintamani), the fruits of the good deeds done before and the bestowals of spiritual liberation.

Vilupta-moordhanya-lipikramaanaam surendra choodaapada-lalitaanaam |
Tvadanghri-raajeeva-rajah-kanaanaam bhooyaan prasaado mayi naatha bhooyaat |20|
O Lord! May the pollen of your lotus-feet which can wipe off the writing on my forehead (of fate) and which adorns the crown of Indra and other divines, dower upon me grace in abundance!

Parisphuran-noopura-chitrabhaanu-prakaasa-nirdhoota-tamo-anushangaam |
Padadvayeem te parichin-mahe-antah prabhodha-raajeeva-vibhaata-sandhyaam || 21 ||
We contemplate in our mind, the pair of your feet which by the sun-like luster of the anklets, dispels pals of gloom within and like the morning dawn   blooms the lotus of wisdom.

Twat-kinkaraalam-karanochitaanaam tvayaiva kalpa-antara-paalitaanaam |
Manju-pranaadam maninoopuram te manjooshikaam vedagiraam prateemah || 22 ||
We believe that your gem-studded anklets producing melodious sounds are treasure-chests of the Vedas, which, protected by you in each and every aeon, are fit to adorn your servants.

Sanchintayaami pratibhaa-dasaasthaan sandhukshayantam samaya-pradeepaan |
Vijnyaana-kalpadruma-pallavaanaam vyaakhyaana-mudra-madhuram karam te || 23 ||
I contemplate on your beautiful hand with the gesture of expounding knowledge which resembles a sprout of the desire-yielding tree of knowledge and which seems to kindle the lamp of philosophical system, on the wick of intelligence.
hitte karomi sphuritaksha-maalam savyetarm naatha karam tvadeeyam |
Jnyaanaamritod-anjana-lampataanaam leelaaghatee-yantramivaasritaanaam  ||24 ||
Oh lord!  I cherish in my mind your right hand with a lustrous rosary which looks like a sportive pulley to bring up the nectar of knowledge for your supplicants.

Prabhodha-sindhor-arunaih prakaasaih pravaala-sangaatamivod-vahantam |
Vibhaavaye deva sapustakam te vaamam karam dakshinam-aasritaanaam || 25 ||
Oh Lord! I contemplate on your left hand which is    right hand for the seekers for protecting those who seek refuge in you. Holding a book and shining with red hues, it appears to bring up a heap of corals from the ocean of knowledge.

Tamaamsi bhittvaa visadair-mayookhaih sampreenayantam vidushams-chakoraan |
Nisaamaye tvaam navapundareeke saradghane chandramiva sphurantam ||26 ||
I meditate upon you who are seated in a fresh white lotus, shining like the moon on an autumn cloud, cleaving darkness of ignorance with lustrous rays and delighting the Chakora birds in the form of learned persons.   

Disantu may deva sadaa tvadeeyaah dayaa-taranga-anucharaah kataakshaah |
Srotreshu pumsaam-amritam ksaranteem sarasvateem samsrita –kaamadhenum  || 27 ||
Oh Lord! May your side glances accompanied by waves of compassion, confer upon me. Power of speech sprinkling nectar into the ears of people, which will be like the divine cow  Kaamadhenu or those who resort to it!

Visesha- vitpaarishadeshu naatha  vidagdha-goshthee  samaraanganeshu |
Jigeeshahto may kavitaarkikendraan jihvaagra-simhaasanam-abhyupeyaah  || 28 ||
Oh Lord!  Kindly come and sit on the throne, namely, the tip of my tongue, for I am desirous of conquering the foremost among poets and logicians in the battlefields of erudite and proud debates, presided over by profoundly wise adjudicators.

Tvaam chintayams-tvanmayataam prapannah tvaam-udgrinaan sabdamayena       dhaamnaa | Swamin samaajeshu samedhisheeya svachchanda-vaadaahava-baddhasoorah || 29 ||
Oh Lord! Always contemplating on you, becoming like you as it were and  praising you aloud through brilliant words, let me thrive in scholarly  debate battles like a single-handed victorious hero.

Naanaavidhaa-naamagatih kalaanaam na chaapi teertheshu kritaavataarah |
Dhruvam tavaa-naatha-parigrahaayaah navam navam paatram-aham dayaayaah ||30||
I have not learnt any one of the variety of fine arts. I have not been made a beginning to study any science seeking a Guru. As such I certainly deserve to become an entirely fresh recipient of your grace which favors only the helpless.

Akampaneeyayaan-apaneetibhedaih alankrisheeran hridayam madeeyaan |

Sankaa-kalankaapagamojjvalaani  tattvaani  samyanchi tava prasaadaat || 31 ||
Due to your grace, let the noble truths of all systems of thought unshakable by illogical arguments and shining resplendently, with all murky doubts removed, adorn my heart.

Vyaakhyaamudraam karasarasijaih pustakam sankhachakre  
Bibhradbhinna-sphatikaruchirai pundareeke nishannah |
Amlaanasreer- amrita-visadair-amsubhih plaavayan maam
Aavir bhooyaad-anagha-mahimaa maanase vaagadheesah || 32 ||
May the supreme Lord of Speech Hayagreeva of flawless greatness and unfading splendor showing the gesture of explaining the scripture, a book, conch and discus with lotus-like hands, seated in a lotus which is beautiful like a hewn crystal, engulf me with lustrous nectarine rays and manifest my mind! (Dhyaanasloka) 

Vaagartha-siddhi-hetoh pathata hayagreeva-stutim bhaktyaa |
Kavitaarkikakesarinaa Venkanaathena virachitaametaam  ||33 ||
Oh devotees! Read this Hayagreeva stotra with loving devotion, composed by Venkatanatha the Lion among Poets and Logicians, to attain perfection in words and their meanings to reach proficiency.

1.      Ramachandra Rao, S.K., Vishnu Kosha, Kalpatharu Research Academy, Bengaluru, India.
2.      Swami Bhaskarananda, Hindu Gods and Goddesses, Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, India.
3.      Wikipedia and other Internet sources.
4.      Raghavan S.S & Dr. Lakshmi Kumari, Vedanta Desaika’s Stotras, Sripad Trust, Chennai, India.
5.      Devdutt Pattanaik, Vishnu, Vakils, Feffer and Simons Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, India.
6.      Arthur Cotterell &Rachel Storm, Mythology, Lorenz Books, London. U.K.
7.   Joan Cummins, Vishnu, First center of Visual Arts, Nashville,   TN, USA.


Hayagrieva Salagrama—Blue in color, two Chkras; five lines together making a mark like goad  (ankusaakaara pancha-rekhaa); many spots(bindus; Shape of a horse’s head.


Athochyate hayagrieva-mantrah sarvasamriddhidah | hasaavukaara samyuktau bindunaa parisobhitau | trishtup-chhando munirbrahmaa hayagrievo asya  devataa ||

The Rishi of the mantra is Brahma;   Trishtup is the meter; and the  deity  is  Hayagrieva.


Kamalam japamaalam cha abhayam pustakameva cha |  svetapadmasthitam gauram sveta vastraanulepitam  |  bhaktapriyam hayagrievam vande aham daanavaantakam ||

Udgirat-padam-aabhaashya pranava-udgeetha sabdatah | sarva-yogeesvarety-antam    pravadet easvarety-atha || 1 ||

Sarva-devamayaa-chintya-padaante sarvam-uchcharet | Bodhaya dviteeya-anto-ayam
mantrah taaraadireeritah || 2 ||

Rishir-brahma asya  sandishtas-chhando-anushtu-budaahritah | devataa syaat hayagrievo vaag-aiswarya-prado vibhuh  || 3 ||

The Mantra of   42 letters for Vaageesvara-Hayagrieva is as follows:

Hamsah so-aham  visvotteerna-svaroopaaya chinmayaananda-roopine  | tubhyam  namo hayagrievaaya vidyaa-raajaaya vishnave swaahaa || Hamsah so-aham ||

Brahma is the RISHI; Anushtup is the meter; and Hayagrieva is the deity.


Sarachhasaanka-prabham asva-vaktram mukta-mayaih aabharanaih upetam |  rathaanga-sankhaarpita-baahu-yugmam-jaanu-dvayanyasta-karam bhajaamah  ||


His Mantra of 11 letters is as follows:

Om hayagrieevaaya namah swaahaa om ||


Dhavala-nalina-nishtham ksheeragauram karograih japavalaya saroje pustkaabheeti- daanaih  | dadhatam-amala-vastraa-kalpa-jaalaabhi-raamam turaga-vadna-vishnum naumya-vidyaagra-sishnum ||


Vaageesvaraaya vidmahe | hayagrievaaya dheemahi | tannoe hamsah prachoedayaat ||


Om namo bhagavate hayasirase anna-adhipataye anndaayaa-krooraaya kroora-karmane bhagavan bhakshya-bhojya-annadaanam aavaha aavaha swaahaa ||

The rishi of this Mantra is Brahma; meter is Ati-chhanda; and the deity is Hayagrieva.


Savyena hastena sudhaakareera-manyena dadhyodananm-adadhaanah | Sassanka- madhye sitapadma-samstham paayaat-sitaabhas-turagaanano nah  ||


he  Beeja of this form of Hayagrieva  is Rah and the Moola- mantra is:
Hasoom || Hasa (with ardhabindu--halfmoon  sound) || hasoom hayasirase namah ||


Padmaaksha-maalaa-likhit-eshtadaani dadhaan-amambhoruha-samputastham |
Karpoora-bhangaadhika-gaura-kaanti hayaananam saumyamiha smaraami ||

Another Mantra:

Om hasoom hamsah visvot-teerna-svaroopaaya chimayaananda-roopine tubhyam namo
vidyaaraajaaya vishnave swaahaa so-aham hasoom Om ||



Vyaakhyaa mudram karasirsijaih pustakam sankhachakre |
Bibhrad-bhinna-sphatika-rachite pundareeke nishannah |
Amlaana-sreer-amrita-visadair-amsubhih  plaavayan-mam
Aavirbhooyat-amita- mahimaa maanase vaagadheesah  ||


1. Vande  poorita-chandra-mandala-gata-svetaara-vind-aasane |
Mandakiny-amritaabja-kunda-kumuda-ksheeerendu-bhaasam harim |
Mudra-pustaka-sankha-chakra-vilasat sreema-bhujaa-mandalam |
Niryan-nirmala-bhaaratee- parimalam visvesamasvaananam  ||

2. Tushaaradri –samcchhaayam tulasee-daama-bhooshitam |
turanga-vadanam vande tunga-saarasvata-pradam  ||

3.  Rig-yah juhu-saamaroopaaya veda-harana-karmane  |
pranava udgheeta-varhase mahaa-asvasirase namah ||

4. Usdgirat pranavodgeeta sarva-vageesvaraesvara |
Sarva-vedadamayaa-chintya   sarvam bodhaya bodhaya

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Sri Hayagriva Upanishad
Posted by The Editor | Feb 16, 2012 | 
om bhadram karnebhih srinuyama deva bhadram pasyemakshibhir yajatrah. sthirair angais tushtuvams tanubhir vyasema deva-hitam yadayuh. om svasti na indro vriddha-sravah svasti nah pusha visvadevah. svasti nas tarkshyo arishtanemih svasti no brihaspatir dadhatu. om santih santih santih.
Om. O Supreme Personality of Godhead, may we hear auspiciousness with our ears. May we see auspiciousness with our eyes. May we perform yajnas with steady limbs. May we offer prayers. May we spend our lives employing these bodies in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Om. May the glorious Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme monarch, grant auspiciousness to us. May the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the glorious Deity of all the worlds grant auspiciousness to us. May the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who holds the Sudarsana-chyakra and rides on Garuda, grant auspiciousness to us! May the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme master, grant auspiciousness to us.  Om. Peace. Peace. Peace.
Text 1
narado brahmanam upasametyovaca adhihi bhagavan brahma-vidyam varishtham yaya cirat sarva-papam vyapohya brahma-vidyam labdhvaisvaryavan bhavati.
Once Narada approached Brahma and said: O master, please teach me the best spiritual knowledge, knowledge that quickly removes all sins and brings spiritual glory and opulence.
Text 2
brahmovaca hayagriva-daivatyan mantran yo veda sa sruti-smrititihasa-puranani veda sa sarvaisvaryavan bhavati.
Brahma said: One who knows the mantras glorifying Lord Hayagriva already knows all the Srutis, Smritis, Itihasas, and Puranas. He becomes glorious with spiritual opulences.
Text 3
ta ete mantrah
tubhyam namo hayagriva

vidya-rajaya vishnave
svaha svaha namah
Here are these mantras: Obeisances to You, Lord Hayagriva, who are beyond the material world, and who are filled with spiritual bliss. Obeisances to Lord Vishnu, who is the monarch of all knowledge.
Text 4
mahasva-sirase namah svaha svaha namah
Obeisances, obeisances to Lord Hayagriva, who has a horse’s head. He is the Rig, Yajur, and Sama Vedas, the duties of the Vedas, and the sacred syllable Om.
Text 5
udgitha pranavodgitha
sarvam bodhaya bodhaya svaha svaha namah
O inconceivable Lord who are hymns of the Vedas, the sacred syllable Om, the master of all eloquence, and all the Vedas personified, please enlighten me. Please enlighten me. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
Text 6
brahmatri-ravi-savitri-bhargava rishayah. gayatri-trishtub-anushtup-chandamsi. sriman hayagriva paramatma devateti. hlaum iti bijam. so ‘ham iti saktih. hlum iti kilakam. bhoga-mokshayor viniyogah. akarokara-makarair anga-nyasah.
The sages are Brahma, Atri, Ravi, Savita, and Bhargava. The meters are gayatri, trishtup, and anushtup. The Deity is Lord Hayagriva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The bija is Hlaum. The sakti is So ‘ham. The kilaka is Hlum. The viniyoga is enjoyment and liberation. The anga-nyasa is the letters a, u, and m.
Text 6 (a)
pustakadhyam catur-bhujam
hayagrivam upasmahe
We worship Lord Hayagriva, who is splendid like the moon, and who holds a conchshell, disc, maha-mudra, and book in His four arms.
Text 7
om srim iti dve akshare hlaum ity ekaksharam. om namo bhagavat iti saptaksharani. hayagrivayeti pancaksharani. vishnava iti triny aksharani. mahyam medham prajnam iti shad aksharani. prayaccha svaheti pancaksharani. hayagrivasya turiyo bhavati.
Om and Srim are two syllables. Hlaum is one syllables. Om namo bhagavate is seven syllables. Hayagrivaya is five syllables. Vishnave is three syllables. Mahyam medham prajnam is six syllables. Prayaccha svaha is five syllables. This is the transcendental mantra of Lord Hayagriva.
Note: The mantra here is: Om srim hlaum om namo bhagavate hayagrivaya vishnave mahyam medham prajnam prayaccha svaha (Obeisances to Lord Hayagriva, who is Vishnu. O Lord Hayagriva, please give me intelligence and wisdom).
Text 8
om srim iti dve akshare. hlaum ity ekaksharam. aim aim aim iti triny aksharani. klim klim iti dve akshare. sauh saur iti dve akshare. hrim ity ekaksharam. om namo bhagavata iti saptaksharani. hayagrivayeti pancaksharani. mahyam medham prajnam iti shad aksharani. prayaccha svaheti pancaksharani. pancamo manur bhavati.
Om and Srim are two syllables. Hlaum is one syllables. Aim aim aim is three syllables. Klim klim is two syllables. Sauh sauh is two syllables. Hrim is one syllable. Om namo bhagavate is seven syllables. Hayagrivaya is five syllables. Mahyam medham prajnam is six syllables. Prayaccha svaha is five syllables. This is the fifth mantra of Lord Hayagriva.
Note: The mantra here is: Om srim hrim aim aim aim klim klim sauh sauh hrim om namo bhagavate hayagrivaya mahyam medham prajnam prayaccha svaha (Obeisances to Lord Hayagriva. O Lord Hayagriva, please give me intelligence and wisdom).
Text 9
hayagrivaikaksharena brahma-vidyam pravakshyami. brahma mahesvaraya mahesvarah sankarshanaya sankarshano naradaya narado vyasaya vyaso lokebhyah prayacchad iti hakarom lakarom ukarom trayam eka-svarupam bhavati. hlaum bijaksharam bhavati. bijaksharena hlau-rupena taj-japakanam sampat-sarasvatau bhavatah. tat-svarupa-jnanam vaidehi muktis ca bhavati. dik-palanam rajnam naganam kinnaranam adhipatir bhavati. hayagrivaikakshara-japa-silajnaya suryadayah svatah sva-sva-karmani pravartante. sarvesham bijanam hayagrivaikakshara-bijam anuttamam mantra-rajatmakam bhavati. hlaum hayagriva-svarupo bhavati.
Now I will explain the single-syllable Hayagriva mantra. Brahma taught this mantra to Siva. Siva taught it to Sankarshana, Sankarshana taught it to Narada. Narada taught it to Vyasa, and Vyasa taught it to the people. This single-syllable bija-mantra is the word Hlaum, which consists of the three letters h, l, and om. They who chant this Hlaum bija-mantra attain both wealth and learning. They attain knowledge of the transcendental form of Lord Hayagriva and they also attain liberation, becoming free from the entanglement of residing in a material body. They become the rulers of the dik-palas, kings, and nagas. Surya and others diligently chant this single-syllable Hayagriva mantra. Of all bija-mantras, the single-syllable Hayagriva bija-mantra is the best. It is the king of mantras. The syllable Hlaum is the transcendental form of Lord Hayagriva Himself.
Text 10
amritam kuru kuru svaha. taj-japakanam vak-siddhih sri-siddhir ashtanga-yoga-siddhis ca bhavati.
Another mantra is: Amritam kuru kuru svaha (Please make me immortal). They who chant this mantra attain eloquence, wealth, and the results of ashtanga-yoga.
Text 11
hlaum sakala-samrajyena siddhim kuru kuru svaha.
Another mantra is: Hlaum sakala-samrajyena siddhim kuru kuru svaha (Please make me king of all lands).
Text 12
tan etan mantran yo veda apavitrah pavitro bhavati. abrahmacari su-brahmacari bhavati. agamyagamanat puto bhavati. patita-sambhashanat puto bhavati. brahma-hatyadi-patakair mukto bhavati. griham griha-patir iva dehi dehante paramatmanam pravisati.
If he knows these mantras an impure person becomes pure, and a debauchee becomes a pure-hearted celibate. He is excused from his crimes. He is excused from killing a brahmana and committing a host of other sins. While he lives in this world he controls his body as the master of a house controls his house. At the time of death, when he leaves this body, he attains the company of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Text 13
prajnanam brahma. aham brahmasmi. tat tvam asi. ayam atma brahmeti maha-vakyaih pratipaditam artham ta ete mantrah pratipadayanti.
These mantras glorifying Lord Hayagriva teach the true meaning of the Vedic statements “prajnanam brahma”, “aham brahmasmi”, “tat tvam asi”, and “ayam atma brahma”.
Text 14
svara-vyanjana-bhedena dvidhayate.
This mantra is manifested in two ways: as vowels and constants.
Text 15
athanumantran japati
One may also chant the following supplementary mantras:
yad vag vadanty avicetanani
rashtrim devanam nishasada mandra
catasra urjam duduhe payamsi
kvasvid asyah paramam jagama
Text 16
gauri mimaya salilani takshaty
eka-padi dvi-padi sa catush-padi
ashtapadi nava-padi babhuvushi
sahasrakshara parame vyoman
gauri mimaya salilani takshaty
eka-padi dvi-padi sa catush-padi
ashtapadi nava-padi babhuvushi
sahasrakshara parame vyoman
Text 17
oshthapidhana nakuli
dantaih parivrita pavih
sarvasyai vaca isana
caru mam iha vadaye
oshthapidhana nakuli
dantaih parivrita pavih
sarvasyai vaca isana
caru mam iha vadaye
Text 18
sa sarvarir amritim badhamana
brihan mimaya jamadagni-datta
a suryasya duhita tatana
sravo deveshv amritam ajuryam
sa sarvarir amritim badhamana
brihan mimaya jamadagni-datta
a suryasya duhita tatana
sravo deveshv amritam ajuryam
Text 19
ya imam brahma-vidyam ekadasyam pathed dhayagriva-prabhavena maha-purusho bhavati. sa jivan-mukto bhavati.
A person who on ekadasi recites these spiritual mantras becomes, by Lord Hayagriva’s mercy, an exalted person. He becomes liberated even while living in this world.
Text 20
om namo brahmane dharanam me astv anirakaranam dharayita bhuyasam karnayoh srutam ma vyodhvam mamamushyam om ity upanishat.
Om. I offer my respectful obeisances to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. May I always remember Him. May nothing stop me from remembering Him. May I never forget what my ears have heard about Him. Om. Thus the Upanishad.

  Sri Pundarikaksha Ashtottara Shata Namavali

(Through courtesy Sri. K. Muralidharan )

The following is a very rare Ashottaram (108 Names) on Lord Pundarikaksha (Lord
Vishnu) of Thiruvellarai (a Kshetra known as Shvetagiri in the Puranas) near Tiruchirappall  in Tamil Nadu. Thiruvellarai is one of the 108 Divya Desams.

Om puruṣāya namaḥ | puṇḍarīkākṣāya | bhūtātmane |
purusattamāya | purātanāya | puṇyakīrtaye | puṇḍarīkavara-
pradāya | puṣpahāsāya | pūrayitre | puṇya-śravaṇakīrtanāya
| pūrṇāya | purandarāya | puṣṭāya | puṣkarākṣāya
| punarvasave | purujite | putradāya | puṇyāya | purotase |
puruṣottamāya namaḥ || 20 ||
om purāṇa-puruṣāya namaḥ | pūtāya | puṣṭidāya |
pūrṇa-maṅgalāya | purāri-bādhaka-harāya | pūrvajāya |
bhujageṣṭadāya | pūtanā-prāṇaghne | pūjyāya | puṇyatīrtha-
gaṇojjvalāya | pūrṇendu-vaktrāya | puṇyātmane |
puṣpavaddhṛta-cāmarāya | puṇya-śvetādri-nilayāya |
pūrva-puṇya-puraskṛtāya | paramātmane | parañjyotiṣe |
padmanābhāya | parigrahāya | parāya namaḥ || 40 ||
om pararddhaye namaḥ | pavanāya | padmagarbhāya
| parāyaṇāya | padmā-tapaḥ-phalāya | padmine |
parameṣṭhine | parātparāya | parjanyāya | pāvanāya |
prāṇāya | prabhave | prāṁsave | pratardhanāya | pṛthave |
prabhūtāya | prabhavāya | priyakṛte | pratyayāya | padāya
namaḥ || 60 ||
om pradyumnāya namaḥ | prāṇa-nilayāya |
prakāśātmane | pramodanāya | priyārhāya | prāṇadāya |
prārthyāya | prasannātmane | prajāpataye | prāṇabhṛte |
peśalāya | prājñāya | pratidāya | parameśvarāya |
Sri Pundarikaksha Ashtottara Shata Namavali
 prajābhavāya | prajādhyakṣāya | bhotrirūpāya |
pratāpanāya | pratiṣṭhitāya | pratiratāya namaḥ || 80 ||
om pragrahāya namaḥ | prāṇa-jīvanāya | prakāśanāya |
paraṁdhāmne | pramāṇāya | prīti-vardhanāya | pakṣīndravāhanāya
| pāśine | padmanābhāya | padatripāya |
prājyāyuṣka-mṛkaṇḍūtta-pūjitāya | pāpa-nāśanāya |
prāptātma-vaibhava-śrīśāya | praṇatoraga-nāyakāya |
praśasta-vasudhā-sevyāya | paramānanda-dāyakāya |
pītāṁbaradharāya | patyāya | pramodine | paritoṣakāya
namaḥ || 100 ||
om pataye namaḥ | prajāpati-stutyāya | pinākine |
prapitāmahāya | praśasta-śibi-pṛthvīśa-sākṣātkṛtacaturbhujāya
| pūrṇabodhāya | pūrṇakāmāya |
praṇatābhīṣṭa-dāyakāya | śvetādri-nāthāya | śrīpaṅkajā
nāyakī sameta śrīpuṇḍarīkākṣa-parabrahmaṇe namaḥ ||
110 ||

|| iti śrīpuṇḍarīkākṣāṣṭottara śata nāmāvaliḥ sampūrṇam ||


The following is a rare hymn on Lord Narayana by Akrura taken from Brahma Puranam and Chapter 192.
Akroora Uvacha:
Tanmaatra roopine achintya mahimne paramaatmane |
Vyaapine naikarupaika svaroopaaya namo namah || 1 ||
Sabda-roopaaya te achintya havirbhootaaya te namah |
Namo vijnaana roopaaya paraaya prakriteh prabho || 2 ||
Bhootaatma chendriyaatmaa cha prabhaanaatma tathaa bhavaan |
Aatmaa cha paramaatmaa cha tvamekah panchadhaa stithih || 3 ||
Praseeda sarve dharmaatmaa ksharaakshara mahesvara |
Brahma Vishnu sivaadyaabhih kalpanaabhirudheeratih || 4 ||
Anaakhyeya svaroopaatman anaakhyeya prayojana |
Anekhyabhidhaana tvaam naato-aatmaa paramesvaram || 5 ||
Na yatra naatha vidyante naama-jaatyaadi kalpanaah |
Tad brahma paramam nityam avikaari bhavaan ajah || 6 ||
Na kalpanaamrite athooya sarvsyaadhigamo yatih |
Tatah krishna-achyuta-anata Vishnu-sanjyaatabhir eedhyase || 7 ||
Sarvantmamsa tvam-aja vikalpanabhir |
Etair devaastvam jagadakhilam visvam ||8 ||
Visvatam vitata vikaara bheda heenah |
Sarvaasminna hi bhavatosti kinchidanyat || 9 ||
Tvam brahma-pasupatir aryamaa vidhaataa |
Tvam dhaataaa tridaspatih sameerano-agnih |
Toyeso dhanapatir antakastvameko|
Bhinnaatmaa jagadapi paasi saktibhedaibhih || 9 ||
Visvam bhavaan srijati hanta gabhasti roopo |
Visvam cha te gunamayo ayam–aja prapanchih |
Roopam param saditivaachakam aksharam |
Yajjnaanaatmane sadasate pranatosmi tasmai || 10 ||
Om namo Vaasudevaya namo Sankarshanaaya cha |
Prdyumnaaya namastubhyam Aniruddhaaya te  namah || 11 ||

II Iti Brahmapurane Bhagavat stuti Sampoornam ||

[This discourse material is a compilation from the reference above    as well as other sources for a prepared lecture for delivering at Vedanta Class of Sri Ganesha Temple which is gratefully acknowledged. I do not claim anything as original though I have included my explanations and comments elaborately suitably editing. Anybody is free to download partly or fully this discourse, modify and redistribute this as well as other  discourses from the blog Hindu Reflections <> for spreading the wisdom of Vedas and scriptures further.  These  lectures are  posted on the blog for the benefit of those who are not able to attend my lectures personally due to personal reasons or due to not living in Nashville or able to go through the various sources as I have done.]