Categories: Hindu Mythology

Uchchaihshravas:The Divine Steed of Mythology

In the vast tapestry of Hindu mythology, numerous fascinating creatures and beings have captured the imagination of believers and scholars alike. Among these mythical entities, Uchchaihshravas stands out as an extraordinary creature—a celestial horse with divine origins. With a captivating history and its association with prominent deities, Uchchaihshravas has become an iconic symbol of power and majesty. This essay delves into the mythological stories surrounding Uchchaihshravas, exploring its birth, significance, and extraordinary feats.

The Divine Birth of Uchchaihshravas

Uchchaihshravas’ lineage traces back to the Churning of the Ocean (Samudra Manthan), a pivotal event in Hindu mythology. As the devas (gods) and asuras (demons) churned the primordial ocean using Mount Mandara as the churning rod and Vasuki, the serpent, as the rope, numerous divine treasures emerged. Among these treasures was Uchchaihshravas, born from the ocean’s foaming waves.

Appearance of Uchchaihshravas

Uchchaihshravas is a special flying horse in Hindu mythology. Its name means “one with long ears” or “one that neighs loudly.” Uchchaihshravas is known for its unique qualities. It is white like the moon and has seven heads. Uchchaihshravas is also considered the king of all horses.

Uchchaihshravas as Indra’s Steed

After the birth of Uchchaihshravas, it quickly caught the attention of Indra, the king of the gods, with its unparalleled beauty and strength. Impressed by the celestial horse, Indra claimed it as his own vehicle. Uchchaihshravas became the vehicle of Indra, carrying him through the skies and acting as a symbol of the king’s power and authority. As the divine steed, Uchchaihshravas was adorned with radiant jewels and possessed the ability to travel effortlessly between the realms of gods and humans.

Uchchaihshravas and the Chariot of the Sun

One of the most famous stories involving Uchchaihshravas is its connection with the Chariot of the Sun. According to the story of Mahabharata, Uchchaihshravas emerged from the cosmic ocean during the churning, along with another mythical creature, the celestial chariot called the Sun Chariot. Uchchaihshravas became the noble steed pulling this radiant chariot, driven by Aruna, the charioteer of Sun God Surya (one of the prominent Vedic gods and goddesses in Hinduism). This association further elevated the status of Uchchaihshravas as a symbol of divinity and cosmic order.

The Story of Uchchaihshravas Tail

Kashyapa got married to thirteen daughters of Prajapati Daksha. Vinata had two bird sons named Aruna and Garuda and Kadru had a thousand of sepent sons or Nagas named Kaliya, Takshaka, Shesha, Vasuki, Karkotaka etc. Once Vinata and Garuda were involved in a situation where the color of Uchchaihshravas’ tail became the cause of their enslavement by Kadru and her serpent sons. Vinata believed that the tail of Uchchaihshravas was white, while Kadru claimed it was black. To settle their disagreement, they agreed that the loser would become the winner’s slave.

Kadru’s serpent sons cunningly clung to Uchchaihshravas’ tail and made it appear black, even though it was actually white. As a result, Vinata and her son Garuda became the slaves of Kadru and her sons.

Uchchaihshravas and Goddess Lakshmi

There is a story of Goddess Lakshmi being captivated by the sight of Uchchaihshravas. She was so entranced by its beauty that she inadvertently neglected Lord Vishnu, her consort. As a consequence of her unintentional oversight, she was cursed to be reborn as a mare within the Haihaya dynasty.

Uchchaihshravas in the Bhagavad Gita

In the Bhagavad Gita (Chapter:10, Verse:27) Lord Krishna described himself as the Uchhaishrava, the divine horse with seven heads, and the Airavata, the celestial elephant.
uchchaihshravasam ashvanam viddhi mam amritodbhavam
airavatam gajendranam naranam cha naradhipam
[Meaning:Among horses, know Me to be Uchchaihshravas, the divine horse produced during the churning of the Milk Ocean. Among elephants, I am Airavata, the king of elephants. Among humans, I am the king.]

Conclusion

Uchchaihshravas, the divine steed of mythology, represents power, grace, and transcendence. From its origins in Hindu mythology to its presence in various cultures and legends, Uchchaihshravas symbolizes the divine connection between humans and the celestial realm, reminding us of the limitless possibilities that lie within our collective imagination.

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Krishna Das is an experienced article writer. He writes about Hinduism in his spare time.

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