[Advaita-l] Dog Headed God

Anand Hudli ahudli at gmail.com
Thu Feb 17 21:20:25 CST 2011

ध्यायेन्मल्लारिदेवं कनकगिरिनिभं म्हालसाभूषितांगम् ।
श्वेताश्वं खड्गहस्तं विबुधमुनिगणैः सेव्यमानं कृतार्थम् ॥

One should contemplate on the God MallAri whose brilliance is like that of
the golden mountain, whose body is adorned by His consort MhAlasA
(MahAlasA) devI, who rides a white horse, who holds a sword in His hand, who
is served by the host of gods and Rishis, and who has achieved His objective
(of killing the demons MaNi and Malla).

KhaNDoba or Mallari is not worshipped as a dog headed God, rather He is
depicted in human form, riding a horse with His spouse MhAlasa devI. He is
also accompanied by a dog.  Or, He is worshipped simply in the form of
a Shiva linga. A large number of households in Maharashtra and north and
central Karnataka worship Him as their Kula devatA even to this day. The
main source text that describes the glory of KhaNDoba is the MallAri
MahAtmya or the MallAri saptashatI that extols Him just as the the durgA
saptashatI extols the devI. For example, we find the deva stuti addressed to
MallAri beginning with :

यो देवः सर्वभूतेषु बुद्धिरूपेण वर्तते ।

नमस्तस्मै नमस्तस्मै नमस्तस्मै नमो नमः ॥

(We repeatedly) bow to that God who abides as intelligence in all beings.
The text narrates how Shiva came down to the earth to destroy the demons
MaNi and Malla. Therefore, MallAri is none other than Shiva Himself, as He
declares in the MallAri sahasranAma stotra.

मार्ताण्डभैरवो देवो मल्लारिरहमेव च ।

तस्य नामसहस्रं ते वदामि शृणु भक्तितः ॥

(Ishvara said to PArvatI:) I Myself am the God MArtaNDa Bhairava, MallAri. I
will tell You His thousand names. Listen with devotion.

Apart from the information available on the Web, books (in Kannada) are also
available at the Mailaralingeshvara Trust, Bangalore. This organization also
conducts an annual MallAri Homa, where mantras from the MallAri saptashatI
are used, and sahasranAma BhaNDAra archana.


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