Mantra & Tantra
Bhairava (Mahakala Bhairava) (Sanskrit: भैरव, lit. frightful) is a Hindu Tantrik deity worshiped by Hindus. In Shaivism, he is a fierce manifestation of Shiva associated with annihilation. In Trika system Bhairava represents Supreme Reality, synonymous to Para Brahman. In Hinduism Bhairava is also called Dandapani (as he holds a rod or Danda to punish sinners) and Swaswa meaning “whose horse is a dog”. In Vajrayana Buddhism, he is considered a fierce emanation of boddhisatva Mañjuśrī and also called Heruka, Vajrabhairava and Yamantaka.The historical origins of Bhairava are obscure; according to Ronald M. Davidson, he was probably a “local ferocious divinity” associated by tribal peoples with cremation grounds (smasana), ghouls and ghosts (vetala, pisaca). He is worshiped throughout India, Sri Lankaand Nepal as well as in Tibetan Buddhism.
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