[Advaita-l] Dog Headed God

raghavender ganti rganti9 at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 18 05:43:40 CST 2011

Sri Gurubhyon Namaha
                              Namaste Sri Ram Garu, are you the same one from 
HYD, if yes please accept my pranams

Sri Kamakshi
Raghavender R Ganti

From: Venkata sriram P <venkatasriramp at yahoo.in>
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Sent: Fri, February 18, 2011 5:06:47 PM
Subject: [Advaita-l] Dog Headed God

Namaste Dear Venkatesh Murthy,
In tantra, the vAhanA of deities have special significance for appeasing the 
deities.  The sunaka is the vAhana of Bhairava and if properly appeased, the 
Bhairava is pleased.   That is the reason, at the time of kAsi samAradhana, the 
Dog is worshipped at homes by chanting Kalabhairava Ashtaka and naivedya of 
vadai is offered.  

In Kali Upasana, the appeasing of Dog is taken to be an aspect of omen (good / 
bad).  For instance, for testing whether Goddess Kali is pleased with mantra 
anushtana, Siva Bali is offered at the cross-roads in the midnight or at 
graveyard.  If the Dog comes howling and accepts the Siva Bali, it implies that 
Kali is pleased; if the Dog doesn't take the Bali, there are certain 
prayaschitta karmas for that.  Even the colour of the Dog  is also the deciding 

The Bhairava Upasana is generally done with vAmAchAra mode with madhya 
offerings.  But Sri Abhinava Vidya Tirtha Mahaswamigal of Sringeri adviced some 
of his devotees that Bhairava can be appeased with sattvika mode of worship 
without any inhibitions and that is what is being carried out in Sringeri.  

Now, as you pointed the place called Ujjain, there is a wonderful temple for 
Bhairava and even today the worship is done with vamachara rituals and naivedya 
of madya is offered there and some portion of the same is offered to devotees as 
tirtha.  But we are free to say a diplomatic no to that.  

Sri Kalidasa in his work "Chidgagana Chandrika" explains the esoteric essence of 
the Bhairava Tattva and the sunaka aspect and obviously the esoteric science is 
Tantra.  Afterall, it is tanyate vistAryate jnAnam iti tantraH ie., that which 
widens the horizons of knowledge is tantra.  The punaH srushti or the Creation 
is accompanied with a Formidable Howl by Bhairava which is depicted with the 
Howling of Dog [bhai ...bhai ...rava] or [bhayankara 
rava].   Mahamaheshwara Abhinava Gupta Pada also mentions some of the esoteric 
aspect in the sutra "udyamO bhairavaH".
namaH svabhyaH svapatibhyascha namaH...

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