Shri Anna Ganapati Navgraha Siddhapeetham Nashik Maharashtra India

ll श्री अन्ना गणपति नवग्रह सिद्धपीठम् नाशिक ll


Lord Bhairav or Bhairon is an incarnation (avatar) of Lord Shiva. Lord Bhairav is widely worshipped by tantriks and yogis to gain various siddhis. Bhairon is regarded as the protector and the kotwal. In astrology Lord Bhairav is the Lord of star (graha) Rahu so to attain the maximum benefits of rahu, people worships Lord Bhairav. Bhairav is a fierce form of Shiva. It is believed that Bhairon is connected to the Mahavidya goddess named Bhairavi who gives Lagna shuddhi (purification of the follower). This purifies and protects the body, chracter, personality and other qualities associated with the follower. Worship of Lord Bhairon is very useful to win over your enemies, success and all materialistic comforts. It is very easy to please lord Bhairav by doing normal worship daily. Coconut, Flowers, Sindoor, Mustard oil, black til etc are offered to the God to get God's Blessings. Bhairava himself has eight manifestations, Kala Bhairava, Asitanga Bhairava, Samhara Bhairava, Ruru Bhairava, Krodha Bhairava, Kapala Bhairava, Rudra Bhirava and Unmatta Bhairava.

Origin Of Lord Bhairav

    The origin of Bhairava or Bhairon can be drawn from the conversation between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu described in 'Shiv Maha–Puran' where Lord Vishnu asks Lord Brahma who is the supreme creator of the Universe... Lord Brahma proclaimed himself to be that superior person. On hearing this, Lord Vishnu chided Lord Brahma for his hasty and overconfident words. After the debate they decided to seek the answer from the four Vedas. Rig Veda designated Lord Rudra (Shiva) as supreme as He is the omnipotent deity who controls all living beings. Yajur Veda replied that He, whom we worship through various Yagnas (Yagam) and other such rigorous rituals, is none other than Shiva, who is supreme. Sam Veda stated that the respected figure who is worshipped by various Yogis and that Person who controls the entire world is none other than Triambakam (Shiva). Finally, Atharva Veda said, all human beings can see the Lord through Bhakti Marg and such a deity who can remove all the worries of human beings is indeed Shankar (Shiva). But both Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu started laughing in disbelief.

    Then Lord Shiva appeared as a powerful divine light. Lord Brahma stared at Him furiously with his fifth head. Lord Shiva immediately created one living being and stated that he will be King of Kaal and will be known as Kaal (Death) Bhairav. Meanwhile, Lord Brahma’s fifth head was still burning with fury and Kaal Bhairav pulled that head from Brahma. Lord Shiva directed Bhairav to go around various holy places (teerths) to get rid of Brahma Hatya. Kaal Bhairav, with Brahma’s head in his hand, started took bath in various holy places (Teerths), worshipped various Lords, nevertheless saw that Brahma Hatya Dosh was following him all along. He could not get rid of that affliction. Finally, Kaal Bhairav reached the Moksha Puri, Kashi. The moment Kaal Bhairav entered Kashi, Brahma Hatya Dosha disappeared into the netherworld. The head of Brahma, (Kapal) fell at a place which was called Kapal Mochan and there was a Teerth which was later called Kapal Mochan Teerth. Then onwards Kaal Bhairav stationed himself permanently in Kashi, giving shelter to all his devotees. Those living in or visiting Kashi must worship Kaal Bhairav and he grants protection to all his devotees.

    Ashtami day (eighth day after Poornima) in the month of Margashirsha is an important day for worshipping Kaal Bhairav. Besides, Sundays, Tuesdays, Ashtami and Chaturdasi days are very important for worshipping Kaal Bhairav. A person who circumabulates Lord Kaal Bhairav eight times will be absolved of all the sins committed by him. A devotee who worships Kaal Bhairav for six months will attain all types of Siddhi. (Kashi Khand, Chapter 31.

    Another story of the origin of Bhairava is the tale of Shiva and Shakti. Shakti, the daughter of the king of gods, Daksha chosen Shiva for marriage. Her father disapproved the marriage because he alleged that Shiva resides in jungles with animals and ghosts and hence has no equality whith him. But Shakti decides otherwise and marry Shiva. After some time King Daksha held a Yagana and invited all the gods, but not Shiva. Shakti came to the yagna alone, where Daksha publicly spoke in a belittling manner about Shiva. Shakti could not bear to hear her husband insult and jumpted in the holy fire of Yagna and sacrificed her.

    On hearing this Lord destroyed the yagna and killed Daksha by beheading him. Then Shiva carried Shakti's corpse on his shoulders and ran uncontrollably all around the world for days. Since this would eventually destroy all creation, Vishnu used his Sudarshan Chakra to cut Shakti's body into pieces, which then fell all around. These spots where Shakti's body parts fell are now known as Shakti Peethas. In the form of the frightful Bhairava, Shiva is said to be guarding each of these Shaktipeeths. Each Shaktipeeth temple is accompanied by a temple dedicated to Bhairava (Bhairon).

Story of Kala Bhairav

    Kala bhairava was a mendicant (beggar) with a begging bowl in hand. The begging bowl was not just any vessel. It was the skull of brahma's fifth head. Lord shiva cut it off to humble brahma and vishnu.

    So here goes the story :

    Brahmâ and Vishnu were disputing with each other for the status of supreme God and appealed to the testimony of the four Vedas, which unanimously proclaimed Rudra–Shiva as the Ultimate Truth of the Universe. But the disputants were unable to accept that Rudra, endowed with so many revolting symbols of impurity and degradation, could be identical with the Absolute Reality of Brahman. Brahmâ laughed scornfully: 'How could the Brahman, free of all attachment, lustily sport with his wife in the company of his troop of deformed churn–goblins (pramatha)?' However, Rudra's supremacy was finally reconfirmed by the esoteric sound–syllable, Omkâra, quintessence of the Veda and most condensed symbol of Brahman, who pointed out that Shiva's wife is not adventitious to her husband but on the contrary embodies his own blissful essence. Just then an immense pillar of flame manifested itself in their midst, within which was recognized the towering figure of the three–eyed Rudra bearing his trident, serpents and crescent moon. But the fifth head of Brahmâ taunted him: 'I know who you are, Rudra, whom I created from my forehead. Take refuge with me and I will protect you, my son!'

    Overflowing with anger, Shiva created a blazing Bhairava in human form, addressing this Kâlabhairava as 'Lord of Time–Death' (kâla) for he shone like the god of Death: 'You are called Bhairava because you are of terrifying features and are capable of supporting the universe. You are called Kâla–Bhairava, for even Time–Death is terrified of you.' He ordered him to chastise Brahmâ, promising him in return eternal suzerainty over his city of Kâshî (Vârânasî), the cremation–ground of the Hindu universe, where final emancipation is assured. In a trice, Bhairava ripped off Brahmâ's guilty head with the nail of his left thumb. Seeing this, the terrified Vishnu eulogized Shiva and devotedly recited his sacred hymns, followed in this by the repentant Brahmâ. Thereby they gained his protection by realizing and acknowledging the supreme reality of Shiva. The severed head immediately stuck to Bhairava's hand, where it remained in the form of the skull, destined to serve as his insatiable begging–bowl.Enjoining him to honor Vishnu and Brahmâ, Shiva then directed Bhairava to roam the world in this beggarly condition to atone for the sin of Brahmanicide. 'Show to the world the rite of expiation for removing the sin of Brahmanicide. Beg for alms by resorting to the penitential rite of the skull (kapâlavrata).' Creating a maiden renowned as 'Brahmanicide' (brahmahatyâ), Shiva instructed her to relentlessly follow Bhairava everywhere until he reached the holy city of Kâshî to which she would have no access.

    Observing the Kâpâlika rite with skull in hand and pursued by the terrible Brahmahatyâ, Bhairava sported freely, laughing, singing and dancing with his goblin horde (pramathas). Stealing more than the hearts of all women, even the chaste wives of the Seven Vedic Sages (sapta–rshi) as he passed through the Daru forest, the erotic ascetic arrived at Vishnu's door to seek redemption only to find his entry barred by the guard, Vishvaksena. Spearing the latter and heaving the corpse of this Brahman on his shoulder, he pressed before Vishnu with outstretched begging–bowl. Vishnu split his own forehead–vein (see pic 2) but the out–flowing blood, the only suitable offering, could not fill the skull though it flowed for eons. When Vishnu then tried to dissuade Brahmahatyâ from tormenting Bhairava, the criminal observed that 'beggars are not intoxicated by the alms they receive as (are others) by drinking the wine of worldly honor.' Vishnu venerated him as the Supreme Being, untainted by sins like Brahmanicide, and acknowledged that his dependence and degradation were a mere fancy. Before leaving joyously to beg elsewhere, Bhairava reciprocated by recognizing Vishnu as his foremost disciple and acknowledged the latter's status as 'grantor of boons to all the gods.' On arriving at Kâshî, Brahmahatyâ sank into the nether–world, and the holy ground on which the skull fell, freeing Bhairava from his Brahmanicide, came to be known as Kapâlamocana. It was on the eighth day (ashtamî) in the dark (waning moon) half of the month of Mârgashîrsha that Lord Shiva manifested himself as Bhairava. Ever since, by performing ablution at Kapâlamocana one is rid of even the worst sin of brahmanicide (brahmahatyâ); and whosoever fasts on this day (Bhairavâshtamî) in front of Kâlabhairava (temple at Kâshî) and stays awake at night is freed from great sins.

    The original Kâla Bhairava temple was located on the banks of the Kapâlamocana Tîrtha itself, in the Omkâreshvara area north of Maidâgin in Vâranasî, where Bhairava remained as the 'Sin–Eater' (Pâpa–Bhakshana) par excellence to devour the accumulated sins of devotees and pilgrims. If the pilgrims to Kâshî do not fear death there, this would be because their pilgrimage to the Mahâshmashâna is conceived on the ritual model of Bhairava's own arrival at Kâshî for absolution from his terrible sin and his subsequent establishment there. The paradox of Bhairava's scapegoat function even after his 'purification' can be explained as a 'lawful irregularity' resulting from the two opposing valorizations, diachronically disjoined in the myth, of his transgressive essence; it matches the complementary paradox of the pure Kâshî–Vishvanâtha himself being identified esoterically with the impure criminal Bhairava.

Bhairava Ashtami

    Brahma worships Bhairava with his dog also called Bhairava Jayanti.

    Bhairava Ashtami, also known as Bhairavashtami, Bhairava Jayanti, Kala–Bhairava Ashtami and Kala–Bhairava Jayanti are a Hindu holy day commemorating the birthday of Bhairava (lit. 'Terrible'), a fearsome and wrathful manifestation of the god Shiva. It falls on the eighth lunar day (ashtami) in the fortnight of the waning moon (Krishna paksha) in the Hindu month of Kartik (per the South Indian Amavasyant calendar, every month ends with a new moon) or Margashirsha (per the North Indian Purnimant calendar, every month ends with a full moon). By both schemes, Bhairava Ashtami falls on the same day in November–December. The name Kalashtami is sometimes used to refer to this day, but might also refer to any ashtami in Krishna paksha, all of which are sacred days of Bhairava, who is also called also Dandapani (as holds a rod or Danda to punish sinners) and he rides a dog he is also known as Swaswa meaning 'whose horse is a dog'.

    Legend Bhairava is a manifestation of Shiva's wrath. According to the legend narrated on the occasion, the Trimurti gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva were talking in a serious mood as to who was superior of them all. In the heated debate, Shiva felt slighted by remarks made by Brahma and instructed his ganor Bhairava to cut of one of Brahma’s five heads. Bhairava followed Shiva’s orders and one head of Brahma was cut off and thus he became four headed. Instilled with fear, all others prayed to Shiva and Bhairava.

    Another slightly modified version is that when Brahma insulted Shiva, Bhairava (Kala–Bhairava) appeared from the angry Shiva's forehead and severed Brahma's head, leaving him with only four heads. The head of Brahma stuck to Bhairava's left palm due to the sin of killing Brahma, the most learned Brahmin – Brahmahatya or Brahminicide. To expiate the sin of brahmahatya, Bhairava had to perform the vow of a Kapali: wandering the world as a naked beggar with the skull of the slain as his begging bowl. Bhairava's sin is finally expiated when he reaches the holy city of Varanasi, where a temple dedicated to him still exists.

    An all–night vigil is observed on Bhairava Ashtami with prayers, worship and tales of Bhairava, Shiva and Parvati being told. In the midnight, an arati of Bhairava should be performed with conches, bells and drums. After taking a bath in the morning, devotees, especially Shiva–worshipping Shaivas offer libations and oblations to their dead ancestors. Then, Bhairava, Shiva, Shiva's consort Parvati and Bhairava's vahana (animal vehicle), the dog, is worshipped with flowers and sweets. Dogs are also offered milk, sweets, curds and other food as offerings.

    The day is considered holier if Bhairava Ashtami falls on a Sunday or a Tuesday, sacred weekdays dedicated to Bhairava. Bhairava is specifically worshipped for success, wealth and health and obstacle removal. A devotee is said to be freed of sin and the fear of death by observing Bhairava Ashtami.

    Bhairava Ashtami is observed in Bhairav Prasad Temple in Vaishno Devi hills in Kashmir. On this day, an image of Kala–Bhairava is made in gold or silver and immersed in a brass metal pot filled with water and worshipped with all scriptural prayers, as is done to Shiva. Then, the priests who do the puja are offered gifts.

    In Varanasi, an eight–day pilgrimage of the eight temples dedicated to Ashta Bhairava, eight subsidiary aspects of Bhairava, is undertaken on the first eight days of the fortnight, culminating with Bhairava Ashtami. On Bhairava Ashtami, Kala Bhairava, the city's guardian deity, is worshipped in his temple. For the rest of a year, a cloth covers the central icon, except his face, however on this day, the cloth is removed to reveal the whole image. The image is adorned with a garland of silver skulls on this day. Several devotees flood the temple to capture the unique opportunity to view the whole image.

    Kalashtami, which is also known as Kala Ashtami, is observed every month during Ashtami Tithi of Krishna Paksha. Devotees of Lord Bhairav keep fast and worship Him on all Kalashtami days in the year. The most significant Kalashtami, which is known as Kalabhairav Jayanti, falls in the month of Margashirsha according to North Indian, Purnima to Purnima, lunar month calendar while Kalabhairav Jayanti falls in the month of Kartik in South Indian, Amavasya to Amavasya, lunar month calendar. However both calendars observe Kalabhairav Jayanti on the same day. It is believed that Lord Shiva was appeared in form of Bhairav on the same day.

    Kalabhairav Jayanti is also known as Bhairav Ashtami.

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