[Advaita-l] Dog Headed God

Saikrishna Budamgunta saikrishnabvs at gmail.com
Tue Feb 15 10:50:15 CST 2011


I don't have much knowledge about anything you are discussing. But, I would
like to put forward a thesis for the members consideration. If the members
find anything to be wrong or inaccurate or substandard, please accept my
apologies and I am open to correction.

Veerabhadra who is supposedly the member of Shiva's Prathama Ganas could
have been the God mentioned in your discussion. He is often linked with Dogs
and is considered to be ferocious and could have been worshipped. It also
could have been that the very god shiva (Pasupati) worshipped with dog head
could have been later demoted to Veerabhadra after the intervention of ones
such as Sri Sankara.

He is often invoked in dances such as perini sivatandavam which was made
popular by Kakatiyas ruling in Andhrapradesh Region. It was performed before
the warriors in the times of war. Many artifacts unearthed in these areas
refer to worship of veerabhadra and Kali in the region. They can be seen in
the Birla Museum in Hyderabad. Curiously, I do not remember to have seen any
artifact with Dog head though. May be these artifacts are of later dates.

Thanks and Regards,
Saikrishna Budamgunta

On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 9:08 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> > Reference Book - Shankara and Indian Philosophy page 88
> Is this the book by Natalia Isayeva?
> >
> > 'According to the living Hindu tradition, it was Sankara, for
> > instance, who brought to an end the practice of worship of the
> > dog-headed Siva in one of the most popular centers of pilgrimage, the
> > city of Ujjayini. '
> Not sure about Ujjain, but there is a strong association of dogs with
> Mallari/Malhari/Mailari/Mallanna and Khandoba, forms of Siva-Rudra
> very popular in central India, Maharashtra, northern parts of Karnataka
> and Andhra. TThere is a Wikipedia entry on Khandoba.
> Dattatreya is also often depicted in the company of dogs. In any case,
> the quoted statement is one of those legendary activities attributed to
> Sankaracharya, which are not historically accurate.
> Throughout India, over the centuries, we see evidence of conversion of
> the ways of worship of folk deities and change from "left-handed" ways
> to acceptable methods of worship. A lot of these changes get attributed
> to Sankaracharya, quite unnecessarily and quite inaccurately.
> > Which temple in Ujjaini has dog headed Siva ? Why Adi Sankara stopped
> > worship of this God? How can Dog be God?
> >
> In the namaka praSna, we have namaS SvabhyaS SvapatibhyaS ca vo
> namaH! Of course, we also have aSvebhyaH, mRgayubhyaH etc, and it
> does not mean that there were temples where Siva was worshipped in
> the form of a horse, jackal, dog etc. On the other hand, we could also
> ask, how can elephant or lion or monkey be God, and question the
> worship of Ganesa, Narasimha and Hanuman too ...
> Vidyasankar
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