Intended to post this for Monday – Lord Shiva’s Day !
Fine modern art of Bhairava – ‘Terror’ – The God-Emperor’s [Ishvara’s] Executioner(-form). Again by Andrey Yarashevich.
The severed head He bears in one hand is likely that of Lord Brahma Himself; and we also find the frequently encountered iconographic elements of the Trishula [‘Trident’ – although more literally, ‘Three-Point’, ‘Three-Spear’], Garland of Skulls [‘KapalaMalika Dhara’], Club, Damaru [the ‘Drum’ – usually it is affixed to the Trishula when held by Lord Shiva], and the Serpentine Jewelry [SheeshaPaasha Shobita].
A fine Sword is also upon His Belt; a Crescent Moon is adorning His Head, with Tripundra upon His Brow; and there is a Canid (whether a Dog or a Jackal), His Vahana, leaping up pleased to see Him.
Now, as we have previously extolled, the mythic occurrence of Bhairava is very much ‘carrying forward’ an archaic Vedic (and, afore that, Proto-Indo-European) saliency. One which is also expressed at multiple points in the Greek legendariums, and found amidst the lore of both Vedic and Hellenic peoples concerning the Stars.
There, it is a tale of the Sky Father – incarnating in a Hunter form, perhaps as a Wolf or as an Archer – and incandescent with His Rage, seeking to intervene and to protect His Wife from sexual interference by an interloper.
In addition to the prominent Vedic and later Puranic tellings of this myth – we also find the situation of Actaeon being ripped to shreds by Hunting Dogs at the behest of Zeus, due to Actaeon’s attempted interference with Semele, to be a prominent Greek expression of the typology.
Along with, of course, the similar mythology of the Hunting Dogs dismembering Actaeon due to his potential impropriety in the direction of the Goddess Artemis. Or, of course, Apollo’s action to defend Artemis against the rapacious Orion. Apollo, of course, being both an Archer and rather prominently Wolf associated.
In astrological terms, the linkage is for Ardra (the Hindu constellation) / Sirius acting as the Hunter – ‘Orion’s Belt’ in Hindu terms being the Arrow fired by same; and Mrgashira [‘The Deer’s Head’] marking the place where the would-be interloper is, having been pierced by the Hunter’s Might Three-Pointed [TriKanda] Arrow.
Now, intriguingly, in the most archaic direct textual expression of the situation which we have, in the Xth Mandala of the RigVeda, Rudra is manifested from the combined anger of the rest of the Pantheon – and is hailed as वास्तोष्पतिं : Vastopati.
This term – Vastopati, Vastos Patim – is the Lord / Protector [‘Pati’] of the House or Dwelling [‘Vaastu’]; however it is perhaps interesting to consider the related ‘Vastu’ – which sets out an ambit for definitional interpretation corresponding more closely to ‘Reality’, ‘Divine Plan’ (perhaps we may suggest रचना – ‘Rachana’ – the Divine Plan in Her Active Immanentization), or for that matter, given the nature of the Roudran appearance there in RV X 61 7, with वास्तु (‘Vaastu’), referring to the Light and Direction of the Universe (c.f. the Eight Vasus; and an intriguing saliency given that it is ‘Diva’ – the ‘Light of Heaven’ – implicitly under such threat in the first place).
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ||
Kaashikaa Pura Adhi-Naatha KaalaBhairavam Bhaje ||
[City of Light / Divine City of Kashi] First Lord Kaal Bhairava, We Hail !
ॐ नमः शिवाय !