Gallery of

Vadavamukha, Vajimukha, and Hayagriva Statuary

In Cambodia

Hayagriva presenting the Vedas to Brahma



The god with the equine head played a significant role in the belief system of pre-Ankorean Cambodia. The most well know statuary of this deity was found at Sambor Prei Kuk by the ex-colonial French governor Adhemard Leclere around 1860. The statue was transported to Paris, France and is now housed at the Gumiet Museum shown far right bottom row. There is no mention of this deity in Cambodia or in any of the literature and is not even mentioned in Lawrence Palmer Brigg's definitive work"The Khmer Empire". However, there have been other statuary of Hayagriva found in Cambodia testifying to the prominence this deity once had for the devotees of Vishnu Narayana. Hellen Jessup and Therry Zephur in their book ""Sculpture of Angkor and Ancient Cambodia" show a 135cm high deity with a horses head, top row far left, which is now housed at the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh. The stance of this piece shows a very pronounced posture of kindness and one of overseeing his world.

Elsewhere an exceptional piece of Hayagriva is housed at the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada in their new Asia Galleries. A 106cm statute of Vajimukha was found at Prasat Neang Khmau, in Cambodia, and it is from the first quarter of the 10th century

Throughout India there are many shrines dedicated to Hayagriva. On Aushada Giri [Medicine Hill] is a shrine to Hayagriva, Lord Hayagriva the horse-faced form of Lord Vishnu is the God of knowledge.

Hayagriva at the Tiruvahindrapuram temple

Special worship is conducted on the day of the full moon in August (Sravana-Paurnami) which will be August 28th, 2007. The following verse is recited during this time and was found in the Pancaratra Agamas.

Hayagriva Sthothram

Jana-Ananda-mayam devam nirmala-sphaTikAkRtim
You are the immortal Lord one with a pure white form
AdhAram sarvavidyAnAm hayagrIvam upAsmahe!
You are the Lord and the presiding deity for all knowledge

There are many myths about the deity with the equine head which are very much a part of the creation myth and origins of life as we know it. The equine deity is a very rich and important aspect of the India pantheon of gods but has recived little attention even though the deity is an incarnation of vishnu as the avatara with the horses head. Van Gulick in his historical work on Hayagriva as well as FDK Bosch's work have contributed a much greater insight into the the role this god has played in the religions of India, China and Japan. The presence of Hayagriva in Cambodia during the pre-Angkorean era is one that is being explored by this author.

Author on his horse

Click on image for larger view.

Related links:
Lord Hayagriva - article by Sri V Madhavakkannan
Hayagreeva Stho:thram - by Jai Srimannarayana ( Based on HH Sri Jeeyar Swamiji's message in U.S.A )
Vedanta Desika's Hayagriva Stotra - by Sri N. Krishnamachari
Private collection of Hayagriva - by Sri M N Srinivasan
Sri Hayagriva Stothram - by Swamy Desikan

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