The vahana concept -By-Kamlesh Bahukhand
A friend once asked me a brainstorming question. He said: ‘Do you know what is the modern-day icon of Lord Ganesh?’ And before I completed browsing my brain, he blurted: ‘It is the computer.’
I was amused: ‘How can that be?’ The friend smiled: ‘See, computer is the depository of infinite knowledge like the Lord. Besides, it has a little mouse at its base!’ I was clean bowled by his logic. Surely, the brain behind such unassuming simile is sharper than mine. A pertinent thought, however, struck my mind. Why is a little mouse associated with the Ganpati? At least I do not find any special quality in the creature to match the Lord of wisdom. The more I delved, the more I was surprised to find that in our theology; almost all the Gods and Goddesses have some animal as their Vahana (means of transportation). When the Gods are worshipped, the animals also get a legitimate share of devotion from the worshippers. Think of Lord Shiva. He always moves with Nandi. The sacred bull is revered in every part of the country. Lord Kartik flies on a peacock. By coincidence, the bird is as charming as the heroic God. Ma Durga is found riding either on a lion or a tiger.In the Sundarvan area of West Bengal, a God named Dakshinrai is often worshipped who is believed to be the Lord of tigers. The locals believe that Dakshinrai will drive away the marauding big cats. In many parts of the country, snakes are treated with respect. In fact, Naagpanchami is the occasion to worship the serpents. It is believed that Mansa, the daughter of Lord Shiva, is the Goddess of snakes. Lakshmiji is worshipped along with an owl. Ma Saraswati, the Goddess of learning, is found with swans. Dharmaraj is always accompanied by a dog.
If you read about the last journey of the Pandavas only the dog went to heaven with Yudhishthir. Yamraj has a buffalo as his Vahana. Idols of Ma Kali are made with a jackal drinking blood dripping from a severed human head. Omnipresent Narada moves anywhere riding on the Garuda, the king of birds. Many people serve food to monkeys as representatives of Bhagwan Bajrangbali. Similarly, an elephant is the Vahana of Lord Viswakarma.
The question is, was the Vahana concept just an imagination of our ancient gurus? Or could it be that the animals were associated consciously with the Lords to spread an important message? There is every reason to believe that in ancient times humans were in constant fight with other animals. They might be killing the animals indiscriminately. The vahana concept might have been evolved to save the animals from human aggression. Whenever someone will be tempted to kill an animal, the thought of the concerned Lord will flash in his mind and he might abstain. Moreover, the biosphere around us is a total entity of which we are the dominating part. In our quest for supremacy, had we spoilt the ecological balance in the past, our existence would have been at stake today. In this land of devotion, any message is accepted fast if it is passed through religious means. Perhaps that was the reason Lords had to take one animal each as Vahana to give theosophical protection to the eco-system and thereby – the man!
Lets this Diwali (festival of light) make a decree to spread the light of love and spare a thought to save animals and plants .. “Wish you all a very Happy Diwali”
Share: Shalmali Gokhale, Anupama Pathak and 3 others like this..
Anupama Pathak wonderful note....
let this logic inspire we humans to save our environment of which plants and animals are also an integral part!!!
..Surekha Ja धन्यवाद दीपावली अभिष्टचिंतन !!
Shalmali Gokhale भगवान के वाहन और उनका संदर्भ बहुत योग्य बताया है कमलेश.....दिवाली की हार्दिक शुभेच्छाये....:))
.Mini Saxena ♫ ♥ ♪ ¸¸ .•*´HAPPY DIWALI`*•.¸¸ ♪ ♥ ♫
Bishwa Nath Singh:
Thanks Kamlesh JI for such a lovely & meaningful descriptive note on of animal kingdom, some of them are used as means of transport for our Hindu Gods & Goddesses It is true that just to save animal kingdom from indiscriminate kill...ings, they were named in our pre-Vedic era as means of transport of our Gods & Goddesses so that they could be protected and saved. From their extinction. If we look to our old scriptures, we will find that the Almighty God had never made any differentiation in between human -beings and animal kingdom whom He equally loved them the most and often thought of His such noble creation. Thanks Kamlesh Ji for sharing your beautiful thoughts with us. Let us wish you & other members of your family a very happy Diwali!