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Story of Guhasura and Harihar

Demon Guhasura ruled over the region known as Guharanya. He performed intense penance and propitiated Lord Brahma. He attained the boon from Brahma that he should be invincible to humans, Devas, Shiva and Vishnu. He began to harass all the living beings after getting the boon.

Humans and Devas soon approached Vishnu and Shiva to find a solution.

Vishnu and Shiva agreed to annihilate the demon.

To overcome the power of boon, Shiva and Vishnu took the combined form of Harihar or Harihara.

In this combined form, Shiva and Vishnu annihilated the demon.

Harihar Worship

Hari and Hara in combined form is worshipped in India, Nepal and Combodia.

In the beginning the combined form of Vishnu and Shiva was worshiped by people who had accepted both the Vaishnava and Shaiva teachings. Today all Hindus worship Harihar.

The most famous legend associated with Harihar is in South India. Lord Ayyappa of Sabarimala is also known as Hariharasuthan - son of Hari and Hara. The belief is that Vishnu, in the form Mohini, and Shiva came together to give birth to Ayyappa.

Legend has it that Mahishi, sister of Mahishasura, wanted to avenge the death of her brother. Mahishasura was killed by Goddess Durga. To become powerful Mahishi did intense penance and made Brahma appear before her.

As a boon, Mahishi demanded that she should only be killed by a son born to Shiva and Vishnu. She also demanded such a son should also live among the human beings for 12 years.

To defeat the demon, Vishnu then appeared before Shiva as Mohini and from the union was born Ayyappa – HariHara Putra.

Harihar Temples

Temples dedicated to Harihar is unique as we get to see Shiva and Vishnu together in one murti. Temples dedicated to Harihara are located in many parts of India. One such famous temple is at at Badrana in Udaipur in RajasthanIndia.

A very old Harihar Temple is located at Mehsana in Gujarat.

Harihara Procession at Ujjain Mahakal Temple observed on Vaikunta Chaturdashi in Kartik month (October - November) is famous for the milan or meeting of Hari (Vishnu) and Hara (Shiva).

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