Skip to main content

11 Sacred Animals In Hinduism, Regarded as Vahan (Vehicles) Of Hindu Gods And Goddesses

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

Arai enjoys finding ways to help bring people together, bridging language gaps by sharing religious, cultural and tourism details.

The Vahanas (Vehicles) Of Hindu Gods And Goddesses

The Vahanas (Vehicles) Of Hindu Gods And Goddesses

Animals have special importance in Hinduism, some animals are also worshiped in Hinduism like cow, snake, elephant, etc.. Their description is found in Hindu Vedas and ancient stories. Hindu gods and goddesses used these animals as vehicles, which in Sanskrit is called "Vahan". These animals were mainly used in times of war, and they are highly respected in Hinduism for their devotion and excellence.

Although almost all Hindu deities have their own vahan (Animal Vehicle), but some of them are also worshiped, know about eleven such animals. about eleven such animals.

Tiger or Lion "Vehicle of Goddess Durga"

Tiger or Lion "Vehicle of Goddess Durga"

1. Lion Or Tiger : The Vehicle of Goddess Durga

Goddess Mother Durga is considered in the Hindu religion to be revered like a mother and the destroyer of the wicked. She is also known as Devi, Adi Shakti, Parvati, Mata Rani and Jagdamba.

How did a lion become the vehicle of Maa Durga

According to a legend, when Maa Durga was doing penance for years to get Lord Shiva, her complexion turned dark. And once Lord Shiva jokingly talked about her dark complexion, then she decided in her mind that she would do penance again till she became fair. And when Mother Parvati (Another form of goddess Durga) was absorbed in penance, then a lion came to eat her, but he sat down seeing her absorbed in penance. The lion was also sitting hungry and thirsty with her during her penance, Therefore, he should also get the reward of penance, that is why Goddess Durga made the lion her ride.

11-sacred-animals-of-india-known-as-vehicles-of-hindu-gods

2. Swan : The Vehicle of Goddess Saraswati

Mother Goddess Saraswati is considered to be the goddess of learning and wisdom, whose ride is a swan. In Hinduism, the swan is considered the most honest bird. There are also other names of Goddess Saraswati, are Sarasvati, Bharati, Sharda and Hansvahini. Her name "Hanswahini" means one whose vehicle (Vahan) is a swan (Hans).

How did a swan become the vehicle of Goddess Sarasvati

You may have this curiosity in your mind that why did Mother Saraswati make the swan her vehicle? Because the swan is so intelligent that when milk and water are mixed, it can separate milk from water. It is a symbol of distinguishing between good and bad and accepting the good and giving up the bad. And for this reason Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom, accepted the swan as her vehicle.

Goddess Lakshmi Riding Her Vehicle Owl

Goddess Lakshmi Riding Her Vehicle Owl

3. Owl : The Vehicle of Goddess Lakshmi

Goddess Lakshmi is the wife of Lord Vishnu, one of the three Supreme Gods of Hinduism, who is considered the goddess of wealth, prosperity, and good fortune in Hinduism. Goddess Lakshmi is known by 108 names, the chanting of her 108 names removes poverty.

How did a Owl become the vehicle of Goddess Lakshmi

When Goddess Lakshmi came to the earth on the new moon night of Kartik month, she was first seen by the owl, because the owl can see even at night. Pleased with this unique ability of owl, Goddess Lakshmi had made it her vehicle.

11-sacred-animals-of-india-known-as-vehicles-of-hindu-gods

4. Nandi (Bull) : The Vehicle of Supreme Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva is one of the three main Gods of Hinduism, who is also called the God of the Gods, who is considered the god of destruction. Lord Shiva is the epitome of anger and fierceness, but he is honored to be the most generous of all the gods, whose vehicle is Nandi (bull).

How did Nandi (Bull) become the vehicle of Lord Shiva

According to the Puranas of Hindu religion, Nandi was the son of Shilad Rishi. To whom Lord Shiva, pleased with the penance of Shilad Rishi, had given him as a boon. But when Shilad Rishi and Nandi came to know that Nandi was short-lived, Nandi started the penance of Lord Shiva. And pleased Lord Shiva and asked for this boon - that Lord Shiva should always keep Nandi in his company. Then Lord Shiva gave Nandi the face of a bull and boon of a long life, and made him his most favorite disciple. And since then Nandi have gotten the privilege of becoming the vahan (vehicle) of Lord Shankar.

The mighty Eagle Garud as a vehicle of lord Vishnu

The mighty Eagle Garud as a vehicle of lord Vishnu

5. Garuda (Eagle) : The Vehicle of Lord Vishnu

In Hinduism, Lord Vishnu is considered as the Sustainer of the world. The one who resides in Ksheer Sagar (Sea) and his sleep is Shesh Nag (Snake), and his Vahan (Vehicle) is Garuda (An Eagle). Lord Vishnu use their powers for the destruction of the wicked and for the protection of human life, for the awakening of religion among the people.

How did Garuda (Eagle) become the vehicle of Lord Vishnu

Both Arun and Garuda were the sons of King Daksha's daughter Vinita and sage Kashyapa, Arun became the vehicle of the Sun god and Garuda became the vehicle of Lord Vishnu.

Lord Brahma And His Vehicle Seven Swan

Lord Brahma And His Vehicle Seven Swan

Scroll to Continue

6. Swan : The Vehicle of Lord Brahma

Lord Brahma is one of the three main gods of Hinduism, who is the creator of the universe. But Hindus do not worship Lord Brahma, and his only temple is in Pushkar, India. According to the legend, Lord Brahma was cursed by his wife Savitri, due to which he is not worshipped.

How did swan become the vehicle of Lord Brahma

When Lord Brahma was looking for a suitable place on earth to perform the Yagya, his vehicle was a swan, since then the swan has been his vehicle.

11-sacred-animals-of-india-known-as-vehicles-of-hindu-gods

7. Mouse : The Vehicle of Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati, who is considered to be the destroyer of troubles and is worshiped first among all the deities. It is believed that no auspicious work is possible without worshiping Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesha is known for his wonderful form and his vehicle, his vehicle is the mouse.

How did mouse become the vehicle of Lord Brahma

Once a demon named Gajmukhasura had troubled the gods a lot, then Lord Ganesha went to fight with him on behalf of the gods. But the evil demon Gajamukhasura attacked Lord Ganesha, breaking one of his teeth. Angered by this, Lord Ganesha attacked him with his broken tooth, and the demon started running away like a mouse in fear.

But Lord Ganesha caught him, and the demon started begging him for his life. After repeatedly praying to him, Lord Ganesha forgave him. Impressed by this kind nature of Lord Ganesha, he requested him to make him his vehicle, and since then the mouse has been the vehicle of Lord Ganesha.

11-sacred-animals-of-india-known-as-vehicles-of-hindu-gods

8. Dog : The Vehicle of Lord Kaal Bhairav

According to the beliefs of the Hindu religion Kaal Bhairav ​​is a part of Supreme Lord Shiva and is the leader of all his courtiers. Lord Shiva is considered the king of Kashi and Lord Shiva had given the responsibility of protecting Kashi to Kaal Bhairav, so Kaal Bhairav ​​is considered the gatekeeper of Kashi.

How did Dog become the vehicle of Lord Kaal Bhairav

The incomparable abilities of dogs, such as their alertness, and ability to smell, and loyalty to their master attracted Kaal Bhairav to make a dog his Vahan (Vehicle). And Kaal Bhairav ​​made a black dog his vehicle, because it was difficult to see it even at night while working as a watchdog.

11-sacred-animals-of-india-known-as-vehicles-of-hindu-gods

9. Peacock : The Vehicle of Lord Murugan (Kartikey)

Lord Kartikeya is the eldest son of Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati, also known as Murugan and Nirguna in South India. Lord Murugan is also called the commander of the gods, he was given weapon education by Lord Shiva himself, and his vehicle is the peacock. Lord Kartikeya was cursed by his mother Parvati that he will always remain in childhood, that is why he is shown only as a child.

How did peacock become the vehicle of Lord Kartikeya (Murugan)

Lord Kartikeya had succeeded in cultivating his fickle mind, due to which Lord Vishnu gifted him a vehicle More. Because the peacock is a very fickle bird, which is difficult to cultivate, therefore, the sign of Lord Vishnu gifting more there signifies the victory of arrogance and decency over arrogance and fickleness.

11-sacred-animals-of-india-known-as-vehicles-of-hindu-gods

10. Airawat (An Elephant) : The Vehicle of Lord Indra

Lord Indra is considered the king of the gods, who is the god of rain and a good harvest on the earth. Along with this, he is also considered the god of heaven. And beautiful Apsaras (women) dance in their court.

How did An Elephant become the vehicle of Lord Indra

According to Hindu mythology, once all the gods and demons together churned the ocean, out of which 14 gems came out. A very powerful white elephant also emerged among these gems, which had four teeth, and Indra took it for his vehicle. By the way, in Hinduism, elephants are considered sacred, not because of being the vehicle of Indra, but because of the elephant-like face of Lord Ganesha.

Yamraj at his Vahan (Buffalo)

Yamraj at his Vahan (Buffalo)

11. Buffalo : The Vehicle of Lord Yama (or Yamraj)

According to the Hindu Vedas, Yamraj is considered the god of death. According to the beliefs of the Hindu religion after death the good people go to heaven and the bad ones go to hell. Yamraj decides who to go to hell and who to heaven, after seeing his work done, when they were living on earth. The vahana (vehicle) of Yamraj (or Yama) is a huge black buffalo.

Why did Yamraj make buffalo his vehicle

Similarly, Yama Dev also goes to someone only when there is a call for someone's death. And this is the reason why Yama Dev made the buffalo his vehicle.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Arai

Related Articles