Bhairava inside a mini shrine at the main entrance
As you can see from the image, a beautiful statue of Bhairava is standing inside the mini-shrine located on the right side of the main entrance of the Chennakeshava Temple in Belur, Karnataka, India.
In Hindu mythology, Bhairava is a fierce form of Shiva created by himself to destroy both the internal and external enemies. His sculptural depictions indicate the fierceness of his physical presence.
As you can see from the image, he is standing on top of a slain demon with a dancing pose. Although he is a digambara (i.e., wearing no clothes), he is wearing a variety of jewelry, including necklaces, anklets, armbands and udiyana (waistband). He is also wearing the yajnopavita, a looped thread sacred to Hindus worn across the chest from the left shoulder to the waist.
With one of his left hands, Bhairava is carrying a severed-head belonging to Brahma. According to a legend, Brahma used to have five heads, four of which facing the cardinal directions and the fifth head gazing upwards. Shiva cut off the fifth head when he realized Brahma became infatuated with a female goddess he created.
Bhairava’s other hands are holding a variety of objects that include a trishula (trident), Shula (a pointed weapon), damaru (drum-like instrument), and pasha (noose).
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