Vahans (Vehicles) In Mythology

The negative tendency of a man has been symbolized with the animal nature in mythology. Gods in Indian mythology have been symbolized as living a positive behavior. Every God has been given a vehicle or Vahan. And, both teach us how to live a positive life and control the animal tendencies.
Following are a few examples: 

  1. Lord Ganesha rides a Mouse. Mouse in mythology is symbolized with greed and Ganesha as the one who removes obstacles. The spiritual meaning behind both is – one should learn to control greed to tackle obstacles in life.
  2. Lord Shiva rides Nandi, the Bull. A bull symbolizes uncontrolled sexual desires. The duo signifies that for learning meditation, one needs to control sexual desires first.
  3. Saraswati is the goddesses of knowledge. She sits on a Swan. This symbolizes that to attain knowledge, one must learn to control the power of discrimination or Vivek. Swan can drink milk and leave water from a mixture of milk and water.
  4. Indra rides the elephant Airavat. This symbolizes that for the development of intellect (Indra), Masti and madness (elephant) need to be controlled.
  5. Durga or the perfect woman, rides a lion. This symbolizes that to become a perfect woman, one must learn to control her agitation or aggression (lion).
  6. Lakshmi (wealth) rides an owl, symbolizing that to earn righteously, one must learn to control Owl like properties.
  7. Lord Vishnu (the doer) rides eagle or Garuda. Eagles eat almost anything that they can find. This duo symbolizes controlling your desires to eat unbalanced meals.
  8. Krishna rides five horses. This symbolizes that one needs to control the five senses.
  9. Kartikeya rides a Peacock, symbolizing that one should learn to control one’s pride or ego.
  10. Goddess Kali rides a black goat. Agni rides Mesha – a ram. Kubera, the God of wealth, also rides a ram. Goat also signifies uncontrolled sexual desires.
  11. Yamraj rides a buffalo, known for its destruction. Yamraja is referred to as the God of death, lord of justice, Dharma Raja. One can do justice only if one has a control over anger and aggressive behavior.

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