[Advaita-l] Animal faced gods in Hinduism

Satish Arigela satisharigela at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 8 22:36:57 CST 2011

> On the one hand we have Advaita based on logic with examples of "Hare with
> horns" on the other hand our
> puranas filled with animal headed gods etc.
>  Is this to state that God is in every being?

There seems to be a hint in the last statement stating that these forms of 
deities were created by people. Maybe so on "one level". But no one created the 
forms. They "saw" those deities that way.  Please see last

> Or to highlight this character with the attributes of the animal?

Not sure what you meant here

> Or to discourage animal cruelty and hunting?

No. The kings worhsipped the various devata-s but still hunted

> May be something completely different.

Please refer to Sriram's posting on this. The one which speaks about bhairava.

But insights/explanantions are good till one level. It is the experience of the 
deity that counts.

As an example, when one worships a certain deity, without the person having to 
imagine, the deity sometimes appears(could be in dreams or during awake) in that 
form. What I am trying to say is, for example if a mantra of A~njaneya is being 
practiced, there is a big chance(depending on the individual if he is 
meant[various traditions have different ways to determine this] to practice that 
particular deity's particular mantra) that the deity will appear in that form 
without you having to imagine A~njaneya with a kapi mukha. In short, the animal 
faced deities are not willful imaginations of Humans but that is how the deities 
revealed themselves.

Hopefully I did not add to any confusion.. but I find this one hard to put in 

In other words I am only saying what Jaldhar said in a long winded fashion with 
the modification that instead of saying "His" wish I would say it is the 
devata's wish.

"Jaldhar: Why not just because it is His wish?  Isn't it mankinds vanity that we 

expect Bhagavan to conform to our expectations?"


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list