Sharabha Rudra Avatar

The word ‘Sharabha’ (Sanskrit: शरभ) is a Sanskrit word which refers to one of the species of deer. ‘Sharabh’ is also referred to an animal group called ‘Jaṅghāla’ (large-kneed). ‘Sharabh’ is a specific breed of deer whose legs are very long and extremely strong.

But here ‘Sarabha Rudra Avatar’ is one of the Divine incarnations of Bhagwan Swachchanda Bhairava Shiva.

The origin of ‘Sharabha Avatar’ is related to the ‘Shyama Sharabha’. ‘Shyama’ means black or dark in colour. According to Himalayan Siddhas, ‘Shyama Sharabh’ is a bird that was much stronger than the ‘Garuda’ (a bird from the family of falcons. But way stronger than any falcon or eagle.)


The Siddhas tell us that Garuda can kill even an elephant. While ‘Shyama Sharabha’ is way stronger than the Garuda. It can easily clutch two elephants and can fly with energy and speed.

According to Sanskrit Language:

1.  ‘Sharabh’ is a species of deer.

  1. ‘Shyama Sharabh’ is a Divine bird with the largest wings that one can imagine in a bird. Its wings are dark or black colour and extremely powerful as mentioned above.

Hence, Bhagwan Sharabha Avatar of Bhagwan Rudra has the strongest grip in this Universe. He held Bhagwan Shri Vishnu in His strong grip. Bhagwan Sharabha Rudra is known for his excellency and speed. There is immense power, tremendous force and speed in flight of Bhagwan Sharabha. Therefore Bhagwan Shri Brahma addressed Him as the Sharabha Avatar of Mahadeva Swachchanda Bhairava.

In the tradition of Himalayan Siddhas, it is said that when this Divine Avatar manifested and was doing the ‘Leela’ in ‘Akash’ (sky), He folded two of His Divine hands in ‘Pranam’ mudra.


Bhagwan Sharabha has ‘Ashta Paada’ (eight legs). He has two ‘Urdhava paad’ (upper two legs). The upper two legs symbolise that Bhagwan Sharabha Rudra is both, the creator and the holder of the Universe. He has such a long tail that it forms several rings. His tail is referred to as the ‘Vajra Paash’. ‘Vajra Paash’ means having the grip of ‘Vajra’. That is, if someone comes into the grip of His tail, it can’t free itself from the clutches of His tail until Bhagwan Sharabh loosens the grip Himself.

He has two ‘Agra Paad’ (legs in front) in which He is holding Bhagwan Shri Vishnu in His Bhagwan Narasimha’s Avatar.  The rest four legs are similar to what most four legged animals look like. These four legs represent the four ‘Purushartha’- Dharma, Artha, Kaam and Moksha. All the eight legs resemble ‘Vyaghra Paad’ (legs of tiger) or at some places are referred to as the ‘Singha Paada’ (legs of lion).

The ‘Agra Paad’ in which He is holding Bhagwan Narsimha, who Himself is the ‘Visphotak Shakti’ (an immensely explosive Shakti) in Brahmand, symbolises  the wisdom hands. It means that Bhagwan Sharabh is holder of both- ‘Ugrata’ (ferocity) and ‘Ishvaratva’ (Divinity).

He has two huge wings. The wings symbolise the two worlds, ‘Para’ and ‘Apara’. ‘Apara’ is the physical realm and ‘Para’ are the worlds beyond the physical. That is Bhagwan Sharabha holds His supreme rights in both the worlds. That His speed and energy extends to both the worlds. It is because of Him that this universe is going forward. His wings are taking the Universe forward in time.

Half of His body is human like. The human part of His body represents that humans can manifest ‘Viraat Shakti’ (colossal power) of the Universe in them. The Yogis invoke Shakti of Bhagwan Sharabha in their ‘Swadhisthan’ (Sacral Chakra), ‘Manipoora’ Chakra (naval Chakra), ‘Anahata’ Chakra (Heart Chakra) nd ‘Vishuddha’ Chakra (throat Chakra).

Bhagwan Sharabha has the ‘Chaturbhuja Roop’ (with four hands) where the four hands represent the Divine hands of the Devatas. In his upper left hand, He is holding the ‘Sharabha deer’. In His right hand, He is holding a few ‘Shastras’ like ‘Gada’ and at some places He is depicted carrying the conch shell. In the lower two hands, Bhagwan Sharabha is holding an ‘Agni Khappar’ and a ‘Naaga’ (snake) in the other. His Divine head is bejewelled with ‘Chandrama’ on one side and ‘Naaga’ (snake) on the other.  This is the iconography of His ‘moola’ roop (basic form).

Mahasiddha Ishaputra tells that in the tradition Himalayan Siddhas, in Kaulantak Peeth, Bhagwan Sharabha is worshipped in the form, where He is holding ‘Pranam Mudra’, while holding Bhagwan Narasimha in His inescapable clutches. Bhagwan Narasimha calms down only after Bhagwan Sharabha holds Him in His strong grip. Looking at the ‘Ugra Leela’ (ferocious play) of Bhagwan Sharabh, Siddhas got worried that Bhagwan Sharabh’s ferocity might bring ‘Pralay’ (end of creation) in the Universe before the time is ripe. Then the Siddhas prayed to Bhagwan Sharabh with tears in their eyes. Looking at the Siddhas, Bhagwan Sharabh turned to Siddhas with folded hands. The folded hands represented that although Bhagwan Sharabha Rudra is also the destroyer of the Universe, but He wouldn’t do it before the right time had arrived.


According to Himalayan Siddhas, once the Devatas and the Siddhas went to Kailasha. There, they prayed to Bhagwan Shiva that the asuras and Daityas, take boons from the Tai-Devatas and then create immense destruction and chaos. Then Bhawan Shiva said that in the future, He would manifest in an ‘ati-vismaykaari’, ferocious, aggressive form. Any Sadhak who would do Sadhna of this swaroop, this manifestation of Bhagwan Shiva, Dharma would be strengthened and adharma would weaken. That Sadhak’s courage would increase manifold. His heart will fill with immense courage. That Sadhak would be able to protect himself, his family and his Dharma. The Sadhana of that form of Bhagwan Shiva would destroy all the mental and physical diseases and it can even stop the situation like ‘Pralay’ (destruction) and Maha-Pralay (greater destruction of the Universe).  By worshipping this swaroop humans can face the adharmis and can weaken adharma. Therefore to end the sinners and the sins, Bhagwan Shiva will incarnate as an Avatar in future, said Bhagwan Shiva to the Siddhas and the Devatas.

Mahasiddhas then asked Bhagwan Shiva, what will that manifestation of Bhagwan Shiva look like? How will the Siddhas and Devatas recognise that form? Then Bhagwan Shiva replied that this particular incarnation will have colossal wings and eight legs. He further said that the destroyer of fear, this manifestation of Bhagwan Shiva would appear in ‘Akaash’ (sky) and would play His ‘Leela’. From then on, the Siddhas referred to Bhagwan Sharabh (before He manifested and before the name Sharabha Avatar came into existence) as ‘Akaash Bhairava’.

One must note that there are many forms of ‘Akaash Bhairav’ (all of them are forms of Bhagwan Shiva in Bhairava form). Bhagwan Sharabha Rudra is one of the ‘Akaash Bhairava’ out of nineteen forms of ‘Akaash Bhairavas’ as known in Kaulantak Peeth.


In the ‘Maha Himalaya’, the Himalayan Siddhas have written a Granth called the ‘Sharabha MundaMala Tantra’ in which twelve forms of Bhagwan Sharabh Avatar have been given in detail. Mahasiddha Unmatachooda Nath ji is the author of ‘Sharabha Mundamala Tantra’. Given below are the names of the respective twelve forms of Bhagwan Sharabha.

SL No. Sharabha Avatara Forms
1 Neel Sharabha
2 Chanda Sharabha
3 Kaal Sharabha
4 Hahaki Sharabha
5 Achala Sharabha
6 Atibhuja Sharabha
7 DandaPash Sharabha
8 Agnimukha Sharabha
9 Vajrachoorna Sharbha
10 Lokamangala Sharabha
11 Vidyut Shool Sharabha
12 Brahmavilasa Sharabha

In this granth, the forms of worship of the twelve different forms of Bhagwan Sharabha, the Beeja mantra and their Yantra Mandala (sacred Geometry) are given. The ‘Sharabha MundaMala Tantra’ is the foremost granth that Siddhas refer to.

The second source for Bhagwan Sharabha is the Granth called Akash Kalpa and the third source is the Sharbhopanishad.

There have been six great master Mahasiddhas in the tradition of Siddha Dharma, who were the Kaulantak Nath (head of Kaulantak Peeth) in their respective time period. They taught Akash Bhairav and ‘Sharabha Mundamala Tantra’ to their Disciples. The list of the six great Mahasiddhas are:

SL No. Name of Mahasiddhas
1 Mahasiddha Myurakesh Nath
2 Mahasiddha Nivaran Nath
3 Mahasiddhaa Hvyaangi Nath
4 Mahasiddhaa Shwetkeshi Nath
5 Mahasiddha Kaalmoorchchhan Nath
6 Mahasiddha Chandradhar Nath


1) According to Shiva Purana- The Shiva Purana describes Bhagwan Sharabha as lion-faced, with matted hair, wings and eight feet, and a thousand arms. In the Mundamala Tantra, there is the Sharabha Sahastrabhuja poojan.

2) The Sharbha Upanishad depicts Bhagwan Sharabha with two heads, two wings, eight legs of the lion with sharp claws and a long tail.

3) The Kalika Purana describes Bhagwana Sharabha as black in colour, with four feet downwards and four feet uplifted, with an enormous body. It also has a long face and nose, nails, eight legs, eight tusks, a cluster of manes, and a long tail. It jumps high repeatedly making a loud cry

4) In Kamikagama, Bhagwan Sharabha is described in the form of a bird with golden color, with two uplifted wings, two red eyes, four legs in the form of a lion touching the ground, four legs with claws upwards, and with an animal tail. The top part of the body is shown as human but with the face of a lion with an ornamented crown; side tusks are also depicted giving an overall frightening sight. It also shows Bhagwan Narasimha beneath Bhagwan Sharabha’s legs as a lion-faced human in Pranam Mudra.

Many scriptures mention that Bhagwan Narasimha got too angry.

But Himalayan Siddhas tell that the Asuras, Daityas and humans used to ask for boons from the ‘Tri-Devas’ and their consort Shakti time and again as a result of the great Tapa each one of them did. The Tri-Devatas and the Tri-Devis are bound in their responsibility to give boons according to the Tapa anyone did. But many of these Daityas would then cause massive destruction in some or the other parts of the Universe that would cause great loss in lives and ultimately disturbed the balance in the Universe.

Sometimes the Daityas who would get powerful boons, would aim to destroy one or the other ‘Tri-Devatas’. Like Bhasmasura wanted to kill the ‘Ajanma’ (the one Who was never born but just appeared) Bhagwan Shiva had to run away from Bhasmasura due to the power of the boon Bhagwan Shiva granted this Asura. Bhagwan Shri Brahma gave the boon to Hiranyakashyap and then he started creating immense destruction and he forced people to worship him as God. From time to time, Bhagwan Shri Vishnu has to incarnate in His different Avatars to kill these Asuras. When Bhagwan Vishnu incarnated in the Avatar of Bhagwan Narasimha, He thought that this time He would be ever present in this Universe to kill any sinner or Asura before they could commit immense sins of mass destruction.

But Bhagwan Shri Swachchanda Bhairava Shiva has a different viewpoint. According to Him, every being is free to act according to their own will and choice. It would be wrong to destroy a being who is destined to be a great sinner before that being runs its full course of action. But Bhagwan Narasimha was not ready to calm down. He became adamant in His decision. It was then that Bhagwan Shiva manifested and appeared in the form of Sharabha Rudra Avatar in the ‘Akaash’.

Purpose of Sadhana 

The Sadhana who does the Sadhana of Bhagwan Sharabha attains the following five Siddhis:

LokaMata Siddhi

There are many Lokas (dimensions) in this Universe. With the ‘Lokamata Siddhi’ one can take birth in any Loka as per their choice.

 Nirbhaya Siddhi

Every kind of fear is destroyed, especially the fear of death. All the Sadhana The Sadhak becomes fearless with the Sadhana of Bhagwan Sharabha.

Videha Siddhi

We are not just the body. Our experiences are not just limited to our bodies. We are beyond this body. The Sadhak attains to his/her true form beyond this body with this Siddhi that can be attained through this Sadhana.

Akaash Siddhi

‘Akaash’ here refers to the whole Universe. Siddhas do the Sadhana of Bhagwan Sharabha to know how big is the Universe, what is there in the Universe and the secrets of this Universe.

Kram Mukti Siddhi

‘Kram’ means the cycle of birth and death. The Sadhak frees himself from this vicious cycle of taking birth in different life forms by attaining the ‘Kram Mukti Siddhi’ through Bhagwan Sharabha’s Sadhana.

One important thing to remember is that Kaulantak Peeth is dominantly the Shaiva and Shakta Peeth, yet the Tri-Devatas are considered as ‘abheda’, as One and equal. Also Bhagwan Sharabha did not manifest to kill Bhagwan Narasimha. Bhagwan Sharabha appeared to calm down Bhagwan Narasimha. For that, immensely ferocious Bhagwan Sharabha held the ferocious Bhagwan Narasimha in His inescapable grip of His claws that had the desired impact on Bhagwan Narasimha.