In Hinduism, Lord Hayagriva is considered an avatar of Lord Vishnu. He is worshiped and adored as the God of wisdom and knowledge, with a human body and a horse’s head, brilliant white in color, and seated on a white lotus. He is also considered the male equivalent of Goddess Mata Saraswati.
He is celebrated in the Puranas for rescuing the sacred Vedas from the demons Kaitabha and Madhu and teaching them again to Lord Brahma.
In Tibetan Buddhism, He is a wrathful manifestation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion – Chenrezig. Devotion to and practice based upon His teachings is a fast method to overcome negative forces and hindrances. In Tibet, He was promoted especially by renowned Buddhist teacher Atisa.
Symbolically, the story of Lord Hayagriva represents the victory of pure knowledge, guided by the hand of God, over the demonic forces of darkness and passion.
He is a central deity in Vaishnava tradition (one of the major traditions within Hinduism). His blessings are sought when starting the study of both secular and sacred subject. He can also grant spiritual powers (siddhis) on you when you connect with His divine healing energies, with sincere devotion.
Special worship is conducted on the day of the full moon in August (Sravana-Paurnami, which is believed to be the day when He appeared on Earth) and on Mahanavami, the 9th day of the Navratri festival (the word Navratri translates as ”nine nights” in Sanskrit).
Also, Lord Hayagriva is amongst the deities present at the Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam.
He is usually depicted seated, with his right hand either blessing the supplicant or in the pose of teaching. The right hand also frequently holds a rosary, representing His identification with meditative wisdom and knowledge.
His left-hand holds a book, representing His role as a spiritual teacher. His face is always peaceful and serene, if not smiling. His beauty, like fresh cut crystal, is a fortunate brilliance that never decays.
In Buddhism, He is illustrated with one face, 2 arms, and 2 legs. Everything about Him is wrathful – a roaring mouth with protruding fangs, a scowling face with 3 glaring eyes, a broad belly bulging with inner energy, His left hand raised in a threatening mudra, and a sword raised threateningly in his right hand.
This terrifying aspect expresses compassion’s fierce determination to help us overcome outer obstructions and inner egotism.
Hayagriva mantra lyrics:
”Gnanananda Mayam Devam Nirmala Spatika krutim
Aadharam Sarva Vidyanaam Hayagreevam Upasmahe.”
”We worship or meditate upon, Lord Hayagreeva, who is the embodiment of wisdom or divine knowledge (Gyaana) and blissaanandam (aanandam), who is the base of all vidyas, whose body is radiant emanating brilliant white light like that of a blemish less Spatikam.”
Hayagriva Gayatri mantra lyrics:
”Aum Vanishwaraaya Vidmahe.
Haya Grivaaya Dhimahee.
Thanno Hayagriva Prachodayath.”
Meaning – ”Om, Let me meditate on the god of learning. Oh, God who has a horse face, give me higher intellect. And let God Hayagreeva illuminate my mind.”
Prayers to Him are particularly beneficial in these degenerate times when illnesses and sufferings are rampant due to the potent delusions of sentient beings.
Daily practice of this mantra is a highly beneficial technique for students to improve their studies. Recite the mantra during the day while doing your daily work. There are no special restrictions or any rules for this Sanskrit mantra.