Pashupati - The Horned One and The Devil

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

The Horned One and The Devil

An ancient depiction of a horned god has been found on a seal from Mohenjo-Daro in the Indus Valley, dated c.3000 BCE. Pashupati, Lord of the Beasts is portrayed sitting cross-legged in a yogic posture. He wears a high horned headdress. He is surrounded by animals including horned beasts like a bull, rhinoceros, and deer. The figure bears tremendous resemblance to that of Cernunnos on the Gundestrup Cauldron. Devotion to Pashupati was never suppressed; he remains actively venerated and is recognized as a manifestation of Shiva. Once upon a time, Shiva became bored and frustrated with life and decided to go live with the animals in Slesmantak Forest in the Katmandu Valley, now modern Nepal. He lived there anonymously for a while but eventually the other gods (and his wife) came looking for him and his true identity was revealed. Shiva returned to his home and god-like responsibilities but still assumes the role of Pashupati when the desire hits him.

The region associated with Pashupati remains the holiest Hindu pilgrimage site in Nepal. A temple dedicated to Shiva existed at this site by 879 CE although the present temple was erected in 1697. The temple is filled with images of Shiva, especially numerous lingam, representing Shiva in his aspect of the divine phallus.

See also Shiva; DIVINE WITCH: Shiva.