A statue in Dharmapuri district depicting Veerabhadra
|Affiliation||Aspect of Shiva|
According to Hindu religious beliefs, Virabhadra or Veerabhadra (Kannada : ವೀರಭದ್ರ ಸ್ವಾಮಿ) (TeluguTelugu language : వీరభద్రుడు)(Tamil : வீரபத்ரன்) is a super being created by the wrath of Rudra (Shiva), when he stepped in to destroy the Yagna (fire sacrifice) of Daksha, after his daughter Dakshayani (Sati) - consort of Shiva, self-immolated in yagna fire. Along with him was created, his consort Bhadrakali, from the wrath of Devi.
Vīrabhadra is described as a warrior who eventually blinded Bhaga and broke, among many other countless gods, Pushan's teeth. Other gods fled the battlefield unable to sustain his power. A temple dedicated to him, is situated in the town of Veerbhadra, near Rishikesh in Uttarakhand and in Pasumbalur, near Perambalur district, Tamil Nadu He belongs to Rajaka caste.
The Origin of Veerbhadra
The origin of Virabhadra is related to the mythological story of Dakshayaga. Lord Shiva created him by thrashing his matted lock in his deep anger and sorrow due to the self-immolation of Sati Devi. The history of Daksha yaga and Sati Devi's self-immolation had immense significance in shaping the Sanskrit literature. It led to the development of the concept of Shakti Peethas and there by strengthening Shaktism. Enormous mythological stories in puranas took the Daksha yaga as the reason for its origin. It is an important incident in Shaivism resulting in the emergence of Shree Parvati in the place of Sati Devi and making Shiva a grihastashrami (family person). Kottiyoor Vysakha Mahotsavam (Hindi: कोट्टीयुर वैशाख महोत्सव)(Tamil: கொட்டியூர் வைசாங மஹோவதுஎஸ்.ஏ.வன்), a 27 day yagnja ceremony, conducted in the serene hilly jungle location in North Kerala (Kottiyoor Vysakha Mahotsavam) is a huge religious pilgrimage attracting thousands of pilgrims. It is a festival commemorating the Daksha yaga and self-immolation of Sati devi. The Daksha yaga is said to have located in this place, Sati Devi is said to have committed suicide here. The rites and rituals of the temple were classified by Shri Sankaracharya.
Sati was the youngest daughter of Daksha, the king of all men. When Sati grew up she set her heart on Shiva, worshipping him. In the Swayamvara of Sati, Daksha invited all gods and princes except Shiva. Sati cast her garland into air, calling upon Shiva to receive the garland; and behold he stood in midst of the court with the garland about his neck. Daksha had no choice but to get Sati married with Shiva.
One day Daksha made arrangements for a great horse sacrifice, and invited all the gods omitting only Shiva. Sati's urge to go to her home due to the affection towards her parents overpowered the social etiquette for not going to an uninvited ceremony. Daksha insulted her infront of others. Unable to bear further trauma she ran into the sacrificial fire.
Then Shiva came to know about this and with deep sorrow and anger, plucked a lock of hair and thrashed on the ground. Lord Veerabhadra, and Rudrakali was born. Virabhadra's believed to be the destroyer of Ajnana, his tall body reached the high heavens, he was dark as the clouds, three burning eyes, and fiery hair; he wore a garland of skulls and carried terrible weapons. To provide him the power, arrived Bhadrakali, a wrathful incarnation on Devi.
Destroyer of Daksha
Maheshwara replied, 'Spoil the sacrifice of Daksha'. Then the mighty Virabhadra, having heard the pleasure of his lord, bowed down his head to the feet of Shiva; and starting like a lion loosed from bonds, despoiled the sacrifice of Daksha, knowing that this had been created by the displeasure of Devi. She too in her wrath, as the fearful goddess Rudrakali, accompanied him, with all her train, to witness his deeds.
Shiva directed Virabhadra: "Lead my army against Daksha and destroy his sacrifice; fear not the Brahmanas, for thou art a portion of my very self". On this direction of Shiva, Virabhadra appeared with Shiva's ganas in the midst of Daksha's assembly like a storm and broke the sacrificial vessels, polluted the offerings, insulted the priests and finally cut off Daksha's head, trampled on Indra, broke the staff of Yama, scattered the gods on every side; then he returned to Kailash.
Compromise with Shiva
After the destruction of Daksha's sacrifice, the defeated gods sought Brahma and asked his counsel. Brahma advised the gods to make their peace with Shiva. Brahma himself went with them to Mount Kailash. Brahma prayed to lord Shiva to pardon Daksha and to mend the broken limbs of gods and rishis. The compassionate lord (Shiva) took pity on Daksha and restored the burnt head of Daksha with that of a goat's head, and the broken limbs were made whole. Then the devas including Brahma asked the forgiveness of lord Shiva and invited him to the yagna. There Daksha looked on him with reverence, the rite was duly performed, and then all the gods and rishis saluted Shiva and departed to their places. After that, Daksha became a great devotee of Lord Shiva.
Vīrabhadra is prominently worshiped today in South India. Most temples of Lord Shiva will have a statue of Vīrabhadra. He is one of the primary deity of Veerashaiva Lingayat, Pancha-acharyas mainly from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu
- Sri Veerabhadra Swamy Temple, Chamarajanagar, Karnataka
- Shri Bhadrakali Sameta Veerabhadra Swamy Temple - Allur Aakula, near Ongole, Andhra Pradesh
- Sri Veerabadra - Lingamma swamy temple (Kurumans saira kulam) Guddur, Tirupattur vellore Dt
- Sri Mailapram Veerabhadraswamy Temple, Thannada, Kannur-Dist, Kerala, 670621
- Shri Veerabhadreshwar Swami Devastana, At/Post:Kodliwad, Taluk:Kundagol, Dist:Dharwad-581117
- Shri Banadeshwara, Kalebelagundi, Yadgir District, Karnataka.
- Agora Veerabhadra Swamy Temple, Hanumanthapuram Village, Near Chengalpet, (kancheepuram district) Tamil Nadu
- Shree Bhadra Kaali sameta Shree Uddhanda VeeraBhadra Swami vaari Devasthanam, Kommuru, Pedanandipadu, Guntur District, A.P, India.
- Shri Swetharanyeswarar Temple (Also a Budhan Sthalam - One of Navagraha Temple) - Thiruvenkadu has Agora Moorthy. Agora moorthy is none other than Agora Veerabadrar. There is a 13 ft statue made of stone in prahara. Also the temple has the metallic statue of Agora Veerabadra swami.
- Shri Veerabhadra Temple - Singataloor, Mundargi (Tq), Gadag (Karnataka)
- Shri Veerabhadra Temple - Balehonnur (Veerashaiva Rambhapuri peetha), N.R.Pura (Tq), Chikkamagaluru (Karnataka)
- Shri Veerabhadreshwara temple - Shanthigrama, Hassan District, Karnataka
- Pralaya Kala Veerabhadra Temple - Bengaluru-Guttalli Gvipura, Bengaluru City (Karnataka)
- Shri Veerabhadreshwar Temple - Anumanthapuram, Singaperumal kovil, Chengulpet (near Chennai)
- Shri Veerabhadreshwar Devasthan, Yadur, Dist Belgaum, Karnataka
- Shri Veerabhadreshwar Devasthan, Hattaragi, Dist Belgaum, Karnataka
- Shri Veerabhadreshwar Temple - Changaleri, Bidar - Karnataka
- Sri Anniveerbhadreshwar Temple, Korwar -Tq:Chittapur-Gulbarga, Karnataka
- Shri Veerabhadreshwar Temple - Humnabad - Bidar Karntaka
- Shri Veerabhadreshwara Temple - Ammanaghatta - Gubbi, Karnataka
- Shri Veerabhadreshwara Temple - Bettadahalli - Gubbi, Karnataka
- Sri Veerabhadra swamy temple, Perur, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu India
- Sri Kumara Veerabhadra Swamy temple, Hossur, Gowribidanur, Chikkaballapur District, Karnataka
- Sri Bhadrakali Sametha Veerabhadra Swamy Temple, Bonthapally, Jinnaram mandal, Medak District, Andhra Pradesh
- Veerabadrasamy temple, Pasumbalur, Perambalur district, Tamil Nadu
- Lepakshi temple (Veerabhadra temple (Lepakshi)) in Andhra Pradesh
- Racharaya temple (Veerabhadra temple (Rayachoty)) in Andhra Pradesh
- Uddana Veerabhadra Temple in Hampi
- Sri Veerabhadra Swamy Temple, Pattiseema
- Sri Veerabhadra Periyadka Adi Temple, Hiriyadka, Udupi
- Sri Abhagadhaaraga Veerabhadra Saaparivaara and Sri Shaneshwara Temple, Kaadabettu, Udupi
- Sri Veerabhadra Swamy Temple, Ugniya, Kollegal, near Mysore
- Veerabhadra Temple, Alladupalle, Proddatur
- Ashtamudi Veera Bhadra Temple, Thrikaruva, Kollam
- Veerabhadra Temple, Santhekatte, Kallianpur
- Veerabhadra temple, Mulki, India
- Veerabhadra temple, Hangal
- Sri Undabanda Veerabhadra Swamy Temple near Palthuru in Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh
- Sri Veerabhadra swamy temple, (mahammadapoor, Mahaboobnagar dist, Andhra Pradesh)
- Sri Veerabhadraswamy temple at Kuravi (Village & Mandal) near Mahabubabad in Warangal District, Andhra Pradesh.
- Sri Veerabhadraswamy temple at Kothakonda(v) Bheemadevarapally mandal, Karimnagar district Andhra Pradesh
- Bonthapally Bonthapally Medak Dist near Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
- Rachakonda Rachakonda (erstwile rachkonda kingdom) in Nalgonda dist, Andhra Pradesh
- Tandur Tandur (Assembly constituency) and Manchirevula in Rangareddy near Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
- Inavolu and Kuravi in Warangal dist. Andhra Pradesh
- Ayyasagaram on Srisailam highway in Mahaboobnagar Dist, Andhra Pradesh
- Balijagudem near Hayathnagar Hayathnagar in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
- Veerannagutta, Kachiguda in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
- Sri Veerabhadraswamy temple at Birur in Chickmagalur, Karnataka
- Shree Veerabhadreshwara Swamy temple at Anagondanahalli Village in Tiptur taluk, Karnataka
- Sri Pralayakala Veerabhadraswamy Temple at Kempegowda Nagar (near Hanumanthanagar) Bangalore South
- Sri Rachoba Veerbhadraswamy Temple at Jangamwadi 10 km from Amd Nagar towards paithan road TQ/DT:Ahmeadnagar (Maharastra state)
- Sri Rattihalli Veerabhadreshwar temple at Rattihalli villagae, Ranebennur, karnataka.
- Sri Veerabhadreswhara Temple, Godachi, Ramdurg, Belgaum, Karnataka
- Sri Pyati Veerabhadreshwar temple at Kamankatti, Dharawad, karnataka-580001.
- Sri Karadagi Veerabhadreshwar temple, Savanur, Haveri, Karnataka-580001.
- Sri Veerabhadraswamy temple at Aaladahalli Village in Shimoga District, Karnataka (12 km form Shimoga)
- Shree Veerabhadreshwara Devastana, Muchakhandi, Bagalkot, Karnataka.
- Shree Veerabhadreshwara Devastana, Esuru, Gama, Shikaripura, Shivamogga District, Karnataka
- Shree Veerabhadreshwara Devastana, Kesturu, Tumkur Taluk, Tumkur District, Karnataka
- Shree Uddana Veerabhadreshwara Devasthana, Hale Nijahal, Nelamangala Taluk, Tumkur Road
- Shree Veerabhadreshwara Devastana, Hiremarali, Pandavapura Taluk, Mandya District, Karnataka
- Shree Veerabadreshwara Temple in Muchakhandi, Bagalkot-Karnataka.
- Sri Veerabhadra swamy Temple in bommawara near devanahalli, Bangalore Karnataka.
- Shree Rayachoteshwara (Veerabhadra) Temple in Kerur, Bagalkot-Karnataka.
- Sri Virapattiraṉ Kōvil, Kopay, Valikamam East Divisional Secretariat, Jaffna District, Northern Province, Sri Lanka
- Sri Veerabhadraswamy temple, Avaragolla Davanagere, Karnataka
- Sri Vuddanda Veerabhadra Swamy Devasthanam, Yadava Bazaar, Old town, Macherla, Guntur District, andhra Pradesh.
- Sri Aghora Veerapathra Temple, Jalan Batu Gantung, Penang, Malaysia.
- Sri Veerabhadreshwara Temple, Honnali, Davanagere, Karnataka-577217.
- Sri Veerabhadreshwara Temple, Harnahalli, Shimoga Taluk, Shimoga, Karnataka-577416.
- Sri Veerabhadreshwara Temple, Bettakaduru, Near Chikkajajur, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
- Sri Bettada Veeranaa Temple, Near Basavanahalli, Pavagada Road, Madhugiri Tq.
- Sri Veerabhadraswamy Temple, Talikere, Rayadurgam Taluq, Ananthpur Dist, Andhra Pradesh.
- Sri Veerabhadraswamy Temple, (ARTHANARIESWAR)KARUNKULAM, MUNNEERPALLAM POST, TIRUNELVELI-627356 TAMILNADU
- Sri Udbhava Veerabhadraswamy Temple, Dayasanuru, Srinivasapura Taluk, Kolar VEERABHADRA FORT & TEMPLE, Bikkanahalli, palacode, Tamil Nadu.
- Bhadrakali Devi Sameta Sri Veerabhadra Swamy Temple, Jade Mayasandra, Tumkur Dist, Karnataka
- Bhadrakali Devi Sameta Sri Veerabhadra Swamy Temple, Valluru, Kakumanu mandal, Guntur Dist, Andhra Pradesh
- Bhadrakali Devi Sameta Sri Veerabhadra Swamy Devasthana, Pura village, Hirisave Hobli, CR Patna Tq, Hassan Dt, Karnataka 573141
- Sri Dakshinamukha Veerabhadraswami temple, Yanamadala village, Prathipadu mandal, Guntur district, Andhrapradesh, 522019.
- Sri Akora Veerabhadraswami Temple, Bagathur Village, sirumugai, Coimbatore district, Tamil Nadu.
- Veerabhadra Mahamaya temple, Maanampaady, Mulki
- Veerbadreshwar Temple, Halakatti, Near Wadi, Karnataka, India
- Veerabhadradurga Temole,
- Shree Veerabhadreshwar Temple, Garasangi Dist: BIJAPUR (KARNATAKA)
- Shree Veerbhadreshwar Devastan, Basaveshwar Nagar, Hudco colony, Akkol road, Nipani. Belgaum district, Karnataka 591237
- Shree Veerabhadreshwar Temple, Hulsoor Dist: BIDAR (KARNATAKA)
- Shree Veerabhadreshwara Devastana, Khaltagiri (Khaltagiri Water Falls), Chikmaglore Dist. Karnataka
- Sri Veerabhadreshwara Temple, Asandi, Ajjampur Hosadurga road, Kadur Tq. Chickmagalur
- Theruvinthalakkal Sri Veerabhadra temple, Kakkur, Kozhikode, Kerala
- the Horse-sacrifice of the Prajapati Daksha The Mahabharata translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli (1883–1896), Book 12: Santi Parva: Mokshadharma Parva: Section CCLXXXIV. p. 315 Mahadeva created from his mouth a terrible Being whose very sight could make one's hair stand on its end. The blazing flames that emanated from his body rendered him exceedingly awful to behold. His arms were many in number and in each was a weapon that struck the beholder with fear. p. 317. “I am known by the name of Virabhadra’’ and I have sprung from the wrath of Rudra. This lady (who is my companion), and who is called Bhadrakali, hath sprung from the wrath of the goddess.”
- Vishnu Purana SACRIFICE OF DAKSHA (From the Vayu Purana.) The Vishnu Purana, translated by Horace Hayman Wilson, 1840. p. 62, "In former times, Daksha commenced a holy sacrifice on the side of Himaván, at the sacred spot Gangadwara, frequented by the Rishis. The gods, desirous of assisting at this solemn rite, came, with Indra at their head, to Mahadeva, and intimated their purpose; and having received his permission, departed in their splendid chariots to Gangadwára, as tradition reports.” 62:2 The Linga Purana is more precise, calling it Kanakhala, which is the village still called Kankhal, near Haridwar.p. 66 Rudrakali. p. 68 Vírabhadra said, 'I am not a god, nor an Aditya; nor am I come hither for enjoyment, nor curious to behold the chiefs of the divinities: know that I am come to destroy the sacrifice of Daksha, and that I am called Vírabhadra, the issue of the wrath of Rudra. Bhadrakali also, who has sprung from the anger of Devi, is sent here by the god of gods to destroy this rite. Take refuge, king of kings, with him who is the lord of Uma; for better is the anger of Rudra than the blessings of other gods.'
- Sister Nivedita & Ananda K.Coomaraswamy: Myths and Legends of the Hindus and Buddhists, Kolkata, 2001 ISBN 81-7505-197-3
- Uddana Veerabhadra Temple