Hayagriva Upanishad

Shiva Blessing Devotees

by P.R.Ramachander

Introduction

The Hayagriva Upanishad belongs to the Atharva Veda. Hayagriva is a Vedic deity with the head of a horse. Many myths are associated with him. According to Panchavimsa Brahmana when Yajna lost his head in a tussle with other gods, the twin gods, Asvins, took pity on him and put a horse head on his body. In the Puranic myths we find two Hayagrivas, one a demon and the other minor incarnation of Vishnu. According the one legend, Hayagriva a demon, obtained a boon from Brahma and became invincible. Vishnu fought with him to save the worlds. He managed to kill the demons, but in the process lost his head because of a curse. As a result it became necessary to replace his head with that of a horse.

According to another account, a demon named Hayagriva stole the Vedas from Brahma. Vishnu incarnated as a fish and rescued them from the ocean. Whatever may be the truth, Hayagriva is a Vaishnava deity and associated with the name of Vishnu either as his incarnation or an associate deity. The Hayagriva Upanishad speaks about the spiritual and material benefits of chanting some mantras named after him. Lord Hayagriva is a personification of the mind, the Vedas, and transcendental knowledge. He rescued the Vedas and brought them to the earth. Those who master the mantras revealed by Hayagriva, the king of knowledge, achieves the mastery of srutis, smritis and other scriptures, and all types of wealth. The second section of the Upanishad explains how the chanting specific Hayagriva mantras lead to worldly pleasures and salvation. The following is an original translation of the Hayagiriva Upanishad by P.R.Ramachnder. Hope you will find it useful for your study and understanding - Jayaram V .

Translation

Om ! O Devas, may we hear with our ears what is auspicious;
May we see with our eyes what is auspicious, O ye worthy of worship !
May we enjoy the term of life allotted by the Devas,
Praising them with our body and limbs steady !
May the glorious Indra bless us !
May the all-knowing Sun bless us !
May Garuda, the thunderbolt for evil, bless us !
May Brihaspati grant us well-being !
Om ! Let there be Peace in me !
Let there be Peace in my environment !
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

First Chapter

1.1 Hari Om. Narada approached Lord Brahma and requested him, “Oh, God please teach me that knowledge of Brahman by which all sins can be destroyed quickly and the wisdom of Brahman is realized and one is blessed with all the wealth.” Lord Brahma told as follows:

The one who masters the mantras for which Lord Hayagreeva is the master would know Sruthi (heard knowledge), Smrithi (memorized knowledge), Ithihasas (history) and Puranas (epics) and would be blessed with all types of wealth. Those Mantras are as follows:

1.2 Hey, Lord Hayagreeva, who is the form of the holy mind, who saves everybody and who is the King of Knowledge, Salutations to you, Swaha, Swaha.

1.3 Hey , Lord Hayagreeva, who has the form of Rig, Yajur and Sama Vedas, who brought these Vedas to earth, who has the shape of the singing of Pranava, and who has a horse head, Salutations to you, Swaha, Swaha.

1.4 Hey Lord Hayagreeva, who is being sung by the song of Pranava, who is the god for all those gods of words, who is the personification of all Vedas, and who is beyond thought, teach us everything . Salutations to you, Swaha, Swaha.

1.5 For the 29 lettered mantra of Hayagreeva, Brahma, Athri ,Surya and Bhargava are the sages, Gayathri, Trushtup and Anushtup are the meters, God is Hayagreeva himself, root is the sound “Lhowm (hsowm), Strength (Shakthi) is Hoham, Keelaga (the nail) is Lhoom (Shoom), Viniyoga is Bhoga, Moksha and the symbolic rite with hands is the letters Aa, Uu and Ma. The prayer is: I meditate on that Hayagreeva, Who has the glitter of the full moon, Who holds the conch, wheel, the great stamp and the book in his hands. The 29 lettered Hayagreeva mantra is: Om Sreem, lhowm (Hsowm), Om Namo Bhagawathe, Hayagreevaya, Vishnave, Mahyam, Medham, Pragnam, Prayascha Swaha!

1.6. The 28 lettered Hayagreeva mantra is: Om, Sreem, Im, Im, Im , Kleem, Kleem, Sow, Sow, Hreem, Om Namo Bhagawathe, Mahyam, Medham Pragnam, Prayascha Swaha!

Second Chapter

2.1 I will now tell you that ‘Hayagreeva knowledge’ of Brahman which is of one letter. That is the root letter Lhoum (hsoum). Among all the roots, this Hayagreeva single letter root is the king of mantras.

2.2 Chanting of the mantra “Lhoum (hsoum) Amrutham Kuru Swaha!”, gives one the mastery over words, wealth and the eight occult powers.

2.3 The mantra “Lhoum (hsoum) Sakala Samrajya Sidhim Kuru Kuru Swaha” tells us the secret of the great Vedic sayings like “Pragnanam Anandam Brahma (Brahmam is the realized happiness)”, “Tat Tvam Asi (You are it)”, “Ayam Atma Brahma (My soul is Brahma)” and “Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahmam)”. The same letter “Lhoum” and “hsoum” are the same vowels though different and give worldly pleasures and salvation respectively.

2.4-2.7 After the chanting of Hayagreeva Mantra, it is normal to chant the Vedic mantras starting with 1.Yad Vak Vadanthi…. 2. Gowrimimaya… 3 Oshtapidhana and 4. Sa Sarpareeramathim. One who reads this ‘Hayagreeva knowledge’ of Brahmam on the Ekadasi day, would become a great man because of the blessings of Hayagreeva. He would get salvation. Upanishad says, "the knowledge of Brahmam which is taught with the mantra ending with 'Om Namo Brahmane’ would never leave his heart."

Om ! O Devas, may we hear with our ears what is auspicious;
May we see with our eyes what is auspicious, O ye worthy of worship !
May we enjoy the term of life allotted by the Devas,
Praising them with our body and limbs steady !
May the glorious Indra bless us !
May the all-knowing Sun bless us !
May Garuda, the thunderbolt for evil, bless us !
May Brihaspati grant us well-being !
Om ! Let there be Peace in me !
Let there be Peace in my environment !
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

Here ends the Hayagrivopanishad, as contained in the Atharva-Veda.

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