What were the forms of vedas when Madhu and Kaitabha stole them? Hayagriva

2 points | Post submitted by jay 49 days ago | 3 comments | viewed 224 times

The story of Madhu and Kaithabha stealing vedas and Lord Vishnu in the avatar of Hayagriva retrieving them have been mentioned in our scriptures. 

However my question is what was the form of vedas? 

Mahabharata just states each of the vedas were endued in the most delightful form. 

Is there a description given elsewhere? 

I am assuming it is not in form of texts as usually seen in picture representation of Hayagriva.

  • jay 49 days ago | +0 points

    Knowledge is the form of vedas when Madhu and Kaitabha stole them. 

    But am not sure how it is represented in our scriptures and where ?


  • ichat 49 days ago | +1 points

    The story happens in each different Kalpa in a different way. Bhagavata, telling us the lore from the Saraswata Kalpa, tells us that Madhu & Kaitabha stole the Vedas, and Hayagreeva avatar had to retrieve them. However, Markandeya, telling us the lores from a Kalpa older than Rathantara Kalpa (perhaps older, perhaps newer, who knows!) does not refer to theft of the Vedas - but only that Madhu & Kaitabha tormented Brahma no to end, and Vishnu fought them in His own form - not in Hayagreeva avatar form.

    Interesting is to observe the contrast between the 2 parts of the Bhagavata purana - Shreemad Bhagavatam and Devi Bhagavatam. While the storyline mentioned above is in Shreemad Bhagavatam, the Devi Bhagavatam counterpart narrates it as - Hayagreeva avatar was taken by Vishnu to destroy Hayagreeva asura, because of a special boon received by the asura. And this is the asura who had stolen the Vedas from Brahma. I had narrated this lore here earlier: https://twitter.com/_ichat/status/1310677045223895041?s=20

    Stealing of Vedas, and retrieval by Vishnu is also repeated in the story of Matsya avatar, where it was Hiranyaksha who stole the Vedas. And sometimes, the same lore is attributed to asura Hayagreeva - but this time, defeated by Matsya avatar.

    There are more variations. As I said, each Kalpa has a variation. Hence puranas offer the same variation back to us.

    Coming back to the “forms” of the Vedas, well, it’s an interesting question. The pictures often show that there are 4 child like forms taken up by the Vedas, which are rescued by Vishnu. However, if you link this back to the way the Vedas were stolen (they escaped through the yawns of Brahma), you may be able to establish only 3 Vedas (Rik, Saam, Yajur) - and not 4. Atharva-veda was realised later, approved by Shiva, contested heavily for authenticity by Sanatkumaras, and finally incorporated into the corpus as the 4th Veda. But then again, we also have lores talking about 4 faces of Brahma linked with 4 Vedas. Complex context. Who knows the real truth?

    When this question was asked - it made me think. And I focused on the meta-information on the 4 Vedas. What uniquely identifies, isolates, and yet connects them all?

    Rik - the rhythm - chhanda

    Saam - the tune - sur

    Yajur - the meaning - jnan

    Atharva - the power - mantra

    Altogether, they are complete. Altogether, they are the seal of absolute authority.

    Can, then, they be imagined in humanoid forms? Well, at the edge of my vision, maybe I just can see the shapes. But words fail me. Probably, that’s how it is supposed to be! :)

    • ichat 45 days ago | +0 points

      Since my twitter account is suspended, here is the story that was written in the referenced thread:


      A war between the Devas and the Asuras was fought for 16,000 divine years! At the end, under the leadership of Vishnu Himself, the Devas were victorious. To celebrate, a huge yajna was arranged. And the greatest of the warriors from the Devas were called forth for sacrifice...

      Vishnu came, with Sharanga in His hands, & an akhshaya tuneer containing 3 arrows on his back. He was made to wait, & wait He did. But the fatigue of the prolonged war was on Him, and standing where He was supposed to, He rested His head on the tip of the bow, and fell asleep...

      YogaNidraa held His eyes, and deeper and deeper He went into the sleep. The time of yajna was afoot. Gods were getting worried - thinking if He is going to wake up on time or not! They looked at each other, not knowing what to do...

      As usual, they looked at Prajapati Brahma for counsel. And for the briefest of trice, MahaMaya played Her part when Brahma's tongue uttered, "Indra, among all your creatures, get one of the tiniest ones - the ants - to cut through Sharanga's bowstring..."

      "Once the bowstring is cut from the bottom, the bow will snap straight, and that commotion will wake Him up. Even though waking up someone in deep sleep is a great sin, but desperate times call for desperate measures!" Indra obliged. The ants did their part...

      The bowstring snapped! With a thunderous clap, the bow became taut. The sound was like nothing anyone had heard before - it shook the cosmos in all directions. The sun set ahead of time... all creatures of the world lost their bearings... it was like an ill omen had befallen!

      Devas looked at Vishnu.. & saw something unimaginable. The snap of the Sharanga was so powerful that it had beheaded Vishnu! His head had flown away to the sky, and replaced the Sun that had set in an untimely fashion, and His body stood there lifeless, still clutching the bow!

      They were dumbstruck! If the Paalanhaar of the world is no longer there, how would the cosmos function? No answer was coming from the direction where Prajapati was sat. In desperation, they all started to pray to Maata Aadi ParaShakti.

      The primordial force behind All of Existence and Inexistence, the Moola of Consciousness, the One that Empowers the All, was prayed at in earnest. Devi was pleased and manifested. The voice divine said, "Everything that happens, happens for a reason."

      "And for this chain of events, the reason is the Asura Hayagreeva. The boon he had received allows only a creature similar to him the ability to destroy him. Thus it was time for Vishnu take the necessary form. Replace His head with head of a horse. Brahma should do the needful."

      Thus came into being Vishnu-avatar Hayagreeva. The Like destroyed the like. The job was done. But apart from just destroying the mighty asura, Vishnu took one more thing from him that was rightfully His. The asura had it in his possession for far too long!

      The battle took place in the Chakravan mountain, which was under siege by the asura, and it was the place where the object was made by Vishwakarma eons ago. As the asura fell, Vishnu stood up, holding it in his right hand, atop a finger.

      The AayudhaPurusha was realised, and he looked beautiful. Brighter like the shining sun, with a thousand points of energy in constant circling motion, Sudharsana found his Prabhu. AadiShakti was pleased, and restored the shape of Hari.

      With the fall of the asura, Prajapati regained the lost control on Vaak. Shabda Brahma was enabled once again, allowing the propagation of creation. Thus was a day recorded in the Akashic Records, partially told in Shatapatha Brahmana and in Devi Bhagavatam. Kalyanamastu!



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