//The horse in Hindu culture
Samundra Manthan

The horse in Hindu culture

The horse in Hindu culture

The horse has a special meaning in each of the different cultures. What is clear, is that many cultures agree in considering the horse a symbol of power and freedom.

However, depending on the culture to which we refer, this symbology acquires different nuances. In a world as complex as today, the nuances become abysmal differences. An immense world that looks at the horse according to its own history and relationship with equines.

One of the richest cultures in symbology and myths is the Hindu culture. That is why we have chosen the Hindu culture to study its relationship with the horse, the symbolism it represents and its place in society. Today we will analyze the role of the horse in Hindu culture

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History of the horse in Hindu culture

  • The Hindu tradition gives the horse a very important religious meaning. The horse in the Hindu culture is the symbol of loyalty, respect and power.
  • In Hindu mythology, the origin of the horse comes from the “Smoothie of the Ocean of Milk” or “Samundra Manthan” in Sanskrit. This is one of the fundamental myths of Hinduism. According to this myth the first horse called Uchaisravas, a seven-headed flying horse that is the ancestor of all the current horses. Uchaisravas is one of the nine sacred treasures that the gods made emerge from the milk of milk through their milkshake.
Samundra Manthan
Samundra Manthan
  • Later the myth of the horse in the Hindu culture continues with the fight between Brahma and Surya. The god Brahma, creator of the Universe and Surya, the god of the sun, competed for the ownership and possession of the seven horses in charge of pulling the solar disk. In this way the horses are responsible for the passage of the sun throughout the day.
Seven horses of Surya - Horse in Hindu culture
Seven horses of Surya – Horse in Hindu culture

Horse Marwari history and tradition

Considering its origin according to ancient Sanskrit writings, the horse was identified as a gift from God. This fact gave the horse a “divine” status in the Hindu religion and symbolizes light and power (the sun), and historically was only property of royalty.

Marwari Horse - Horse in Hindu culture
Marwari Horse – Horse in Hindu culture

On the other hand, the horse materialized in Indian culture at the dawn of the Vedic era, around 2000 BC. Soon the Indian rulers became linked to the horses, improving the power and prestige of their warrior clans.

Considered divine creatures, blessed by the gods and exalted by kings, the Marwari horses found their place as the most prized of war horses. This made the possession of a Marwari horse a reflection of the lifestyle of a great lord.

Combat horse in Hindu culture

The origins of the Marwari horse are lost in the mists and myths of time. It has found evidence of its breeding in a strict manner and with criteria of purity since the twelfth century. This breeding was carried out by the Rajput clan of the Rathore, rulers of Marwar.

Seven Horses of Suria - Horse in Hindu culture
Seven Horses of Suria – Horse in Hindu culture

Marwari comes from the literary meaning of “inhabitant of Marwar”. And this word, “Marwar”, is the word used in India to designate “The land of death.” In effect, the desert and the wastelands of the north of the subcontinent, an extreme geographical environment.

There are many paintings in India that represent the rulers not only with their finery, but also where they are observed astride their favorite horse. These horses had familiar and acclaimed names among their subjects.

The horse also became a sign of respect and a hero over the legends and traditions of the medieval epic of India, and especially of Rajasthan. Rajasthan is one of the states in India where legends about heroic horses have proliferated more strongly. But, it will be the subject of another article.

As we could learn, the horse in the Hindu culture has a privileged place in all its aspects. From its religion, history, values and legends, the horse permeates all aspects of its society and culture. Let us give the horse the privileged place in our heart that history has given in its annals

Seven Horses of Suria - Horse in Hindu culture
Seven Horses of Suria – Horse in Hindu culture











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