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This question already has an answer here:

In context to this question about Lord Hayagriva, considered as the avatara of Lord Vishnu, I have some clarification to do.

  1. Hayagriva, I think is not a Lord Vishnu's Avatar, but a Vishnu Himself but in different form (as Lord Hayagriva is not mentioned in the Dashavatar List)
  2. The Incident mentioned Lord Hayagriva getting vedas, is similar to Lord Vishnu getting vedas back from Rakshasa Hayagriva in Matsya Avatar.
  3. Hayagriva, as mentioned in the referenced question's answer, means Horse Neck, then why the Rakshasa got that name?
  4. Or there is no Rakshasa named as Hayagriva.

This is the link which is the main source of creating confusion, please clarify. What I think is we are not interpreting the scriptures rightfully.

marked as duplicate by The Destroyer, SwiftPushkar, Sarvabhouma, Pandya, sv. Feb 20 '17 at 17:38

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  • The Dashavatarams are not the only avatarams of Vishnu. They're just the ten most popular ones; see here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/935/36 – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 8 '14 at 2:02
  • @KeshavSrinivasan, pertty much contented with the link, but what I know about avatar is, a form of god which takes birth, there are countless accociate form of lord vishnu, but most of them actually took a form ( Prakat ), then took birth, I can also be wrong with the meaning. – Mr. K Oct 8 '14 at 4:06
  • Hayagriva did not take birth on Earth, but still had to physically incarnate in order to retrieve the Vedas for Brahma, so I would still consider Him an avatar of Vishnu. You're right that it's similar to Matsya Avatar. In fact the Rakshasa Hayagriva was the one from whom Matsya recovered the Vedas. Hayagriva the Rakshasa also had the head of a horse, hence they have the same name. I'll try to condense this into an answer if I can find the time. – Akshay Oct 8 '14 at 13:12
  • @Akshay, thanks, your answer will actually put more light, secondly, I havn't heard anywhere about the demon being horse neck, this looks interesting. – Mr. K Oct 8 '14 at 14:15
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There was a horse-faced Rakshasa who had a boon to be slain only by someone who was also horse-faced. Maha Vishnu had to assume the form of Hayagriva to slay the Rakshasa. This story is from Devi Bhagavatam.

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