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Hayagriva, in Hinduism, is considered a minor incarnation of Vishnu; a god mentioned in epic and Puranic literature. He probably originated as a horse god, and later became an avatar associated with wisdom and knowledge. At the request of Brahma, Hayagriva rescued the Vedas stolen by two demons from the bottom of the primeval ocean. Depicted in human form, he has a head of a horse and eight hands. His attributes are the book (Veda), horse's mane, and rosary plus the attributes of Vishnu.

Also, Hayagriva is a Buddhist-Lamaist (Tibet) god in a group of dharmapala possessing a terrible appearance and dressed in royal attire. He is thought to be an emanation of Aksobhya or Amitabha. His Shakti is Marici. His color is red, and attributes are horse heads, staff and trident, but also include the arrow, ax, banner, bow, club, flames, flower, image of Aksobhya or Amitabha on the crown, lotus, noose, prayer wheel, skin, snakes, sword and trident; and he is three-eyed. A.G.H.


Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 98

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