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Tiger In Hindu Religion – Bagha – Vyaghra

Tiger in Hindu religion is named Bhaga because of the immense power in the front (agra bhaga) of the body. In Hinduism, it symbolizes the force of divine energy and spiritual power.

It is evident from the representation of the tiger on seals and stone figurines that its worship was popular in prehistoric times.


Even today, the worship of tiger prevails widely among several tribes. The tribes of Mirzapur for instance, worship Bhagheswara, the tiger deity.

In the figurines found in Mohenjo Daro, the tiger and other animals surround Lord Shiva, who was worshipped as Pashupati. In this form Shiva was the lord of all animals.

As per Puranas and Mahabharata, the night-roving animals like tiger attended upon Shiva.
Shiva is depicted as wearing and sitting on tiger skin. Legend has it that a group of saints let loose a tiger to annihilate Shiva who appeared as a nude wandering ascetic. The wives of the saints were enamored by the wandering ascetic. Shiva easily killed the tiger and stripped it of its skin, which he then wore.



Tiger is also the mount of Goddess Durga and she is known as Sherawali. Depending of the region, Goddess Durga also uses a lion as her mount. She fights and kills the demons while sitting upon her invincible tiger.

Tiger symbolically represents the destructive power of Mother Goddess.

In South India, Lord Ayyappa rides on a tiger. He brings a tigress and her cubs to Pandalam palace to cure the illness of queen. She could only be cured after drinking the milk of tigress.