Volume II Number I
Since the starting of the creation, the worlds have been under the domain of the Holi-Trinity, i.e. Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh. While Brahma initiates the process of creation, Vishnu continues to preserve it by guiding mankind via saving it from atrocities of evil through incarnations; and ultimately when the time comes, Shiv being the destroyer, brings an end to the creation. But destruction is not the only aspect of Shiv, he has also directed the creation with his inspiriting roles; one among many roles is, The Bhairavs.
The Primal Guardians: Bhairav comes from the root word bhiru, which means fearful; hence Bhairav means the one who is beyond fear. According to Shiv MahaPuraan, Bhairavs are the fiercest manifestation of Bhagwan Shiv; who, in the early days of creation, originated from him to guard the 8 cardinal directions. This means that there are 8 Bhairavs who not only guard the directions, but remove fear from the minds of devotees and protect them from black powers. These 8 Bhairavs are further subdivided into groups of 8 Bhairavs, resulting into a total of 64 Bhairavs. Every group of 8 Bhairavs has a chief Bhairav, let’s know them:
1. Shri Asithaanga Bhairav: bestower of creative ability. His consort is Bhrami Bhairavi, and his vahana is a swan. He rules/guards the east direction.
2. Shri Unmatha Bhairav: his worship helps in overcoming arrogance. His consort is Varahi Bhairavi, and his vahana is a horse. He rules/guards the west direction.
3. Shri Bheeshana Bhairav: Eliminates evil spirits and negativity. His consort is Chamundi Bhairavi, and his vahana is a lion. He rules/guards the north direction.
4. Shri Chanda Bhairav: bestower of positive energy. His consort is Koumaari Bhairavi, and his vahana is a peacock. He rules/guards the south direction.
5. Shri Ruru Bhairav: bestower of divine knowledge. His consort is Maaheshwari Bhairavi, and his vahana is a Ox. He rules/guards the south-east direction.
6. Shri Krodha Bhairav: bestower of courage and conviction. His consort is Vaishnavi Bhairavi, and his vahana is a eagle. He rules/guards the south-west direction.
7. Shri Samhaara Bhairav: dissolute negative karma. His consort is Chandi Bhairavi, and his vahana is a dog. He rules/guards the north-east direction.
8. Shri Kapaala Bhairav: his worship helps in overcoming failure and guides towards success. His consort is Indrani Bhairavi, and his vahana is an elephant. He rules/guards the north-west direction.
The appearance of Bhairavs, as described according to the scriptures is depicted without clothes & with only a garland of red flowers adorned, he is four armed holding a drum, trident, noose and a skull; he is accompanied by a dog. Such appearance of Bhairavs indicates ultimate form of pure consciousness.
Do You Know: The Bhairavs are also said to be the protector of the Shaktipeethas, a reason why you will find a Bhairav temple near a Shaktipeeth. After Daksha yagya-demolition, when Shiv carried the dead corpse of Sati, the deities were worried. Then Bhagwan Vishnu cut her deceased body in 52 pieces with his sudarshan-chakra; these 52 pieces fell on different places and became the holy shrines, worshipped as Shaktipeethas. To protect the shrines from the dark forces and dark art practitioners, Shiv took the form of Bhairav and splitted into 52 forms, and is protecting the shrines since. In spite of being a heartrending legend, it tells us about the Love that Shiv & Sati shared. May the Bhairavs keep guarding the directions and keep us safe from the dark energies; Om Namah Shivay!
Festivals to follow:
Shani Jayanti: Birth anniversary of the Lord of Justice, Shani dev. He is the son of solar deity, Surya and his consort, Chaya; and brother of Yama & Yamuna. Lord Shani was an ardent devotee of Bhagwan Vishnu and was mentored by Bhagwan Shiv himself. It was Shiv who gave him the role of Nyaykarta, the one who judges karma without bias. The amusing fact about Shani’s birth is that he was born on an Amavasya, the darkest Moon phase, the day before New Moon (Pratipada tithi). When this day falls on a Monday it is also called Somvati Amavasya. All kinds of prayers and rituals are traditionally performed for Shani Jayanti and Somvati Amavasya according to various Vedic traditions. Lord Shiva, being Shani’s mentor, is propitiated on this day so that the Saturn’s lord has mercy on the worshippers. Another belief being that the next day, Sun’s reflection in the light of the Moon will start to return to the world again, but for today we will benefit from letting go and going deep inside to merge and reconnect with the true light within. May his blessing be upon us. Om Pram Preem Proum Sah Somvati Amavasya Shanaischaraya Namah.
2018 Date: 15/05/2018
Tithi: Amavasya; Hindu Month: Vaishakh (Luni-solar Amanta Calendar followed in Maharashtra, Andhra pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Gujarat)