In Hinduism, Hayagrīva is also considered an Avatar of Lord Vishnu. He is worshiped as the God of knowledge and wisdom, with a human body and a horse’s head, brilliant white in colour, with white garments and seated on a white lotus. Symbolically, the story represents the triumph of pure knowledge, guided by the hand of God, over the demonic forces of passion and darkness.
Hayagrīva is a very important deity in the vaishnava tradition. His blessings are sought when beginning study of both sacred and secular subjects. Special worship is conducted on the day of the full moon in August (Śravaṇa-Paurṇamī) (his avatāra-dina) and on Mahanavami, the ninth day of the festival. He is also hailed as “Hayashirasa”. Hayaśirṣa means haya=Horse, śhiraṣa=Head.

jñānānanda mayaṃ devaṃ nirmala sphaṭikākṛtiṃ
ādhāraṃ sarvavidyānaṃ hayagrīvaṃ upāsmahe

In Devanāgarī
ज्ञानानन्द मयं देवं निर्मल स्फटिकाकृतिं
आधारं सर्वविद्यानं हयग्रीवं उपास्महे

This verse is originally from the Pañcarātra Agamas but is now popularly prefixed to the Hayagrīva Stotram of the 13th century poet-philosopher Vedanta desika. It is very popular among devotees of Hayagrīva.


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