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The Story of Shiva's Grihapati Avatar

May 18, 2023 | Total Views : 551
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Shiva is part of the Hindu trinity of major gods. They are Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. While Brahma creates, Vishnu preserves, and Shiva destroys (so that the universe can be created anew). Vishnu takes many forms to restore Dharma and protect the universe from destruction. Most people are familiar with his 10 main avatars or Dashavatar. But though Shiva, too, has many avatars, not many are aware of them.

It is said that Shiva had 19 avatars. They are:

  • Piplaad
  • Nandi
  • Veerabhadra
  • Bhairava
  • Ashwathama
  • Sharabha
  • Grihapati
  • Durvasa
  • Rishabha
  • Yatinath
  • Hanuman
  • Krishna Darshan
  • Bhikshuvarya
  • Sureshwar
  • Kirat
  • Sunatnartak
  • Brahmachari
  • Yaksheshwar
  • Avadhut

Piplaad was the son of Sage Dadhichi and his wife, Swarcha. Piplaad cursed Shani Dev (Saturn) for troubling his father during his lifetime. Hence, Shani fell from the galaxy. However, later, Piplaad forgave Shani and said that none below 16 years would be affected by Shani's adverse effects. Thus, those who have Shani Dosha worship Lord Shiva.

Nandi was born to Sage Shilada. Nandi is the gatekeeper of Mount Kailas (Shiva's abode) and the mount of Shiva.

Veerabhadra is one of Shiva’s fiercest forms. Veerabhadra appeared on earth after Goddess Sati sacrificed herself at her father Daksha’s Yagna when he insulted her and Shiva. A furious Shiva took a strand of hair from his head and threw it on the ground. Veerbhadra and Rudrakali were born from this strand. Veerabhadra beheaded Daksha.

Bhairava also is one of the fiercest avatars of Lord Shiva. Bhairava punishes those who are greedy, lustful, and arrogant. Bhairava chopped off Brahma’s fifth head and incurred the sin of Brahmahatya.

Ashwathama was the son of Guru Dronacharya. He was an able warrior who played a pivotal role in the Mahabharata. He was Bhardwaja's grandson and was raised as a Brahmin, but he was more attracted to the Kshatriya way of life.

Sharabha appeared to calm Narasimha, an avatar of Vishnu, after the latter killed the demon Hiranyakashipu. As Sharabha, he was part lion and part bird.

Grihapati was the son of Sage Vishwanar and his wife..

Durvasa was the son of Sage Atri and his wife, Anasuya. He was known for his short temper and a proclivity to curse people who annoyed him.

Rishabha was an avatar of Shiva in the form of a bull. He took this form to kill the corrupt sons that Vishnu had with Maya, the women of Patal Lok. The sons were causing great destruction, so at Brahma's behest, Shiva took Rishabha avatar to save creation.

Hanuman is one of the most powerful avatars of Shiva. He was the son of Anjani and Kesari and played a major role in the Ramayana.

Yatinath visited a tribal man, Aahuk, and his wife, who were great devotees of Shiva. Aahuk was killed by a wild animal in his sleep, and his wife chose to end her life. Yatinath honored her by bringing them back as Nala and Damyanti in their next life.

Krishna Darshan avatar of Shiva explains the significance of yagna and customs in one’s life. He taught Prince Nabhag the importance of salvation.

Bhikshuvarya keeps people safe from all the dangers of the world.

Sureshwar gave darshan to the son of Sage Vyaghrapaad, Upamanyu. Impressed by his faith and devotion, Shiva assured Upamanyu that he could remain close to his abode until the end of time.

Kirateshwar was a hunter. Arjuna challenged Kirat to a duel. Impressed by Arjuna's courage, Shiva gave him his Pashupati Astra.

Sunatnartak asked Himavan for his daughter’s (Parvati) hand in marriage.

Brahmachari tested the willpower of Parvati to marry him.

Yaksheshwar tried to destroy the false pride of the gods by asking them to cut some grass. They failed to cut the grass, and their pride vanished.

Avadhut was born to teach the egotistical nature of Indra a lesson.

In this article, we will learn about Shiva’s Grihapati avatar in more detail.

The Story of Grihapati

Once, there was a Brahmin named Visvanara. He and his wife, Shuchismati, dwelt on the banks of the Narmada river. Though they had been married for many years, they did not have any children. So they went to Kashi and prayed to Lord Shiva for progeny blessings. Shiva gave darshan to Visvanara, blessed him, and made a promise that he would be born as their son.

After some months, Shuchismati became pregnant and eventually delivered a beautiful son. Brahma gave the name Grihapati to the child. When he became a little older, he began to learn the Vedas in the traditional way. In just one year, he attained proficiency in all the Vedas and sacred texts of Hinduism.

When Grihapati turned nine years old, Narada came to his parents’ house. He announced that Grihapati would be afraid of fire. His parents became very worried on hearing this. But Grihapati consoled them and left for Kashi to do penance so that he could avoid death. In Kashi, he was able to find an auspicious place. There, he installed a Shiva linga. Then he began his penance in right earnest beside the linga.

When he heard about Grihapati’s act, Indra arrived there and gave him his blessings. He also told him to demand any boon. But Grihapati did not demand anything. This made Indra angry. He tried to attack him with his Vajrayudha (weapon Vajra). Grihapati became alarmed. He prayed to Shiva, seeking protection from Indra.

At once, Siva appeared before him. Indra beat a hasty retreat on seeing Shiva. Shiva then blessed Grihapati and said – “Don’t be afraid of Indra’s Vajra. No Vajra can kill you.” Grihapati was filled with happiness. The Shiva linga that he had installed and worshipped in Kashi became known as Agnishwar Linga. Shiva also made Grihapati the lord of all directions.


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