Vahanas (The Mounts of the Hindu Deities)

The Gods and their mounts

1. Lord Brahma (Creator of the world): Hamsa, the swan. Symbolizes intelligence and discrimination.



2. Lord Vishnu (God of Protection and Sustenance): Garuda, Lord of birds. Remover of obstacles and a fanatic enemy of serpents. He once stole and hid the moon, prompting all of the gods to attack him. He overcame them all except Vishnu, and thenceforth served as his mount.



3. Lord Shiva (God of Destruction and Transformation) : Nandi, the bull. Symbolizes inner strength.



4. Lord Indra (King of the Gods, war and weather): Airavata, lord of elephants. He was formed out of primordial ocean when churned by the gods, and his name means produced by water. He is sometimes depicted with eight trunks and four tusks.



5. Lord Ganesh (Remover of obstacles & the patron of arts and sciences) : Mushika, the mouse.



6. Saraswati (Goddess of knowledge, music, arts, nature and wisdom) : the Swan.



7. Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth & fortune) : the Owl.



8. Parvati (Goddess of power and creation): the Lion. Parvati is the consort of Lord Shiva, who rides a bull. It is highly interesting that Parvati rides a lion, the animal that hunts a bull.



9. Durga (Goddess of Victory): the Tiger. It is the fearlessness of the tiger that qualifies it to be the vahana of Durga, the goddess who exists to destroy evil.



10. Lord Varuna (God of the seas and water): the Makara. It is a sea creature that is half terrestrial animal in the frontal part (stag, deer, crocodile, or elephant) and half aquatic animal in the hind part (usually a fish or seal tail, though sometimes a peacock or even a floral tail is depicted).



11. Lord Agni (God of fire): the Ram.



12. Lord Vayu (Lord of the wind and air): the Antelope.



13. Lord Yama (God of Death): the Water Buffalo. Yama himself also sometimes takes the form of a black buffalo, or of a man with a buffalo’s head.

Yamaraj Bahan


14. Lord Surya (the Sun God): the Horse.

God Surya


15. Lord Kartikeya (Commander of the Gods & God of War and Victory): the Peacock.



16. Lord Bhairava (Avatar of Lord Shiva, the Guardian God) : the Dog.



17. Lord Kamadeva (God of Desire and Love): the Parrot.



18. Shitala (Goddess of sores, ghouls, pustules and diseases): the Donkey.



19. Lord Shani (Embodiment of planet Saturn & Lord of Saturday): the Crow. Throughout Hindu mythology, crows represent harmful and inauspicious characteristics, both of which Lord Shani possesses.



20. Lord Mangala (Embodiment of Mars the red planet, God of War & Lord of Tuesday): the Ram.



4 thoughts on “Vahanas (The Mounts of the Hindu Deities)

  1. Lord Varuna’s vahana is the Makara, which is an antelope or a goat at the upper half and a dolphin or fish at the lower end. Many people mistake it for a crocodile or even crocodile esp by people studying Egyptology. Makara is a very important in occultism as it the basis of the mystery surrounding No. 5, the five Kumaras who were sons of Brahma, the five Dhyani Chohans of Tibet, the 5th principle (Manas) and the Messeh of the Sumerians and Israelites for whom it is equated with the Messiah. Makara is latterly associated with the Dragon, the Mark of Cain, Kingship and the Messianic line. They all can be traced to its origin with Enki, the Sumerian lord, who sometimes shape shifts as Oanes with his lower half as a fish. What they all essentially point to is the wisdom or intelligence principle, that is, the Buddhi, the criterion for a great leader or king or Messiah. .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your insight. It seems there was a mistake in reference where the Makara was labelled as the crocodile instead of a Hybrid Sea Creature. It is true that there are many accounts that labelled this creature as a crocodile and many people made mistook it to be a sea dragon as well. Thank you for your information. I greatly appreciate it.


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