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Bhairava, 7 Definition(s)

Introduction

Bhairava means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. Check out some of the following descriptions and leave a comment if you want to add your own contribution to this article.

In Hinduism

Vāstuśāstra (architecture)

Bhairava (भैरव).—Bhairava, according to tradition is considered as the kṣetrapāla. Therefore his sculptures are found generally in almost in all the temples. In the forms of Bhairava of the region different varieties are discemable. They are four-handed, eight-handed, and sixteen-handed Bhairavas. These Bhairava sculptures except three are in sthānaka posture, while three are in āsīna posture. Iconographically, they may be identified as vāṭuka, kṣetrapāla and aghora Bhairavas.

Source: Shodhganga: Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD

about this context:

Vāstuśāstra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vastu-shastra) refers to the knowledge of architecture. It is a branch of ancient Indian science dealing with topics such architecture, construction, sculpture and their relation with the cosmic universe.

Śaivism (Śaiva philosophy)

Bhairava (भैरव) is a Sanskrit word referring to one of the sixty-eight places hosting a svāyambhuvaliṅga, one of the most sacred of liṅgas according to the Śaivāgamas. The presiding deity residing over the liṅga in this place (Bhairava) is similarly-named Bhairava. The list of sixty-eight svāyambhuvaliṅgas is found in the commentary of the Jirṇoddhāra-daśaka by Nigamajñānadeva. The word liṅga refers to a symbol used in the worship of Śiva and is used thoughout Śaiva literature, such as the sacred Āgamas.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

Bhairava (भैरव).—Kṣemarāja in his Udyota commentary gives a description of the esoteric meaning of Bhairava. The sum and substance of it is that Bhairava is an acrostic word consisting of the letters, bha, ra and va;

  • bha indicates bharaṇa or maintenance of the universe;
  • ra indicates ravaṇa or withdrawal of the universe;
  • va indicates vamana or projection i.e., manifestation of the universe.

Thus Bhairava indicates all the three aspects of the Divine.

Source: archive.org: Vijnana Bhairava or Divine Consciousness

about this context:

Śaiva (शैव, shaiva) or Śaivism (shaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Śiva as the supreme being. Closeley related to Śāktism, Śaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

Śilpaśāstra (iconography)

Bhairava (भैरव) is a manifestion of Śiva. According to the Rudrayāmala, there are eight main forms of Bhairava who control the eight directions of this universe. The term is used throughout Śilpaśāstra literature.

The eight forms of Bhairava are:

  1. Asitāṅga,
  2. Ruru,
  3. Caṇḍa,
  4. Krodha,
  5. Unmatta,
  6. Kāpāla,
  7. Bhīṣaṇa,
  8. Saṃhāra.

Each of these forms has eight emanations thus totalling to sixty-four Bhairavas.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śilpa-śāstra

Bhairava (भैरव).—(According to the Śilparatna), in the aspect of Bhairava, Śiva has eighteen arms; the additional hands hold the ḍamaru and the śaṅkha. In the instance [of sixteen arms], the following six objects should be carried in addition to those mentioned in connection with the image of Siva with ten arms; namely, the bāṇa, the cakra and the gadā in the right hands and the bow, a bell and the śaṅkha in the left hands. When Śiva has ten arms, the right hands should carry an akṣamālā, a sword, the śaktyayudha, the daṇḍa and the śūla; whereas the left hands should carry the khaṭvāṅga, a snake, a skull, the kheṭaka and the deer.

Source: Google Books: Elements of Hindu iconography

about this context:

Śilpaśāstra (शिल्पशास्त्र, shilpa-shastra) represents the ancient Indian science of creative arts such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vāstuśāstra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

Purāṇa

1a) Bhairava (भैरव).—A Śiva gaṇa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 41. 27; IV. 14. 7; 17. 4; 19. 78-9; 33. 17.

1b) An epithet of Rudra; the form assumed by Śiva when Gaurī returned from penance; She became Bhairavī;1 Image of, to be placed in each temple but not in mūlāyantana.2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 158. 24; 179. 1.
  • 2) Ib. 252. 10; 259. 14.

1c) A tīrtha on the banks of Carmanvatī sacred to the Pitṛs.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 22. 31.

1d) tapas performed by Brahmā.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 26. 10.

1e) An Apsarasa clan from Mṛtyu.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 57.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

about this context:

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Bhairava (Sanskrit: भैरव ("Terrible" or "Frightful") sometimes known as Kala Bhairava, is the fierce manifestation of Shiva associated with annihilation. He is one of the most important deities in Nepal, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand, who originated in Hindu mythology and is sacred to Hindus, Buddhists and Jains alike.

Bhairava himself has eight manifestations i.e. Ashta Bhairava:

  • Asithaanga Bhairava
  • Ruru Bhairava
  • Chanda Bhairava
  • Krodha Bhairava
  • Unmattha Bhairava
  • Kapaala Bhairava
  • Bheeshana Bhairava
  • Samhaara Bhairava

Kala Bhairava is conceptualized as the Guru of the planetary deity Shani (Saturn). Bhairava is known as Bhairavar or Vairavar in Tamil where he is often presented as a Grama devata or village guardian who safeguards the devotee on all eight directions (ettu tikku).

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

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