Hindu Pantheon-Horus

Analysis and Conclusions: Expansion of the Hindu pantheon-Horus

V. Krishnakumar, N. M. Krishnakumar

We discussed the role of Egyptian gods in the origins of the Hindu pantheon. The next stage in our discussion is how other gods in Hindu pantheon evolved. People separated by time and space would have had their own gods until they mixed with others. Mixing and migration of people might have enriched their pantheon because of the mutual acceptance of gods. At times the number of gods might have reduced because of merging of multiple gods into one or discontinuing the worship of some. We study the evolution of the Indian pantheon under the following headings:

  1. The multiple forms of Horus
  2. Classification of Shiva
  3. Bahubali and origin of Jainism
  4. The incarnations of Lord Vishnu
  5. Arjuna’s penance of Mahabalipuram
  6. Varadaraja Perumal

We discuss the multiple forms of Horus in this article, other items appear in later articles.

The multiple forms of Horus 

The iconography of Horus falls into the following three types:

a)    Horus holding a staff or spear

b)   The combined form Min-Hor: of Min and Horus.

c)    Horus with snakes in his hands and standing on crocodiles

We suspect that many gods of Hindu mythology might have originated from the different forms of Horus. We shall discuss each of them in greater detail:

a) Horus holding a staff or spear maps to Lord Murugan. There are several temples almost always on hills with this image of Murugan.

b) The combined form Min-Hor of Min and Horus (picture on p.115 in [5]), is ithyphallic with right hand raised to bless and the left hand near the phallus. There seems to be a flail placed on his right hand that goes behind his shoulder, but we suspect it as a support for his raised hand in order to prevent breakage of the overhanging arm, commonly seen in stone sculpture. Min is the god of sexuality, we have mapped him to Manmatha already. The beautiful young Horus combined with Min would define a beautiful young god, source of all knowledge, great in valor and sexual ardor; a perfect god one can think of. We see more than one god in India mapping to such an enchanting Min-Hor.

i.         One is the Lord Murugan himself, as seen in some of the places where the god of above description will have, in addition, a spear resting over the blessing right hand and the left hand looks moved a bit outward.

ii.         There are other Lord Murugan statues where the left hand looks the same or moved a bit outward, while the right hand holds a spear or club.

iii.         There is another god by name Lord Venkateshwara whose description is again similar to Min-Hor with the left hand moved a bit outward, while the right hand is in a blessing posture but lowered to the level of chest. We have an additional point that supports mapping Lord Venkateshwara to Min-Hor. Lord Venkatshwara’s eyes are covered partially with ‘Thiruman’, the sacred white clay. This may be to anoint his eyes. Recall that Seth injured the eye of Horus. Interestingly, Lord Venkatshwara was also injured on his chin and forehead according to a myth. There are some more similarities between Lord Venkateshwara and Lord Murugan.

  1. Lord Venkateshwara is also viewed as a child, he is called “Balaji”, meaning child.
  2. He stands on the hill called Sheshadri, which represents the great snake Adishesha. Lord Murugan is associated with snake.
  3. He is decorated with snakes on his forearms.
  4. Lord Venkateshwara is also called Lord Srinivasa, meaning the “house of goddess Lakshmi”, Laksmi has eight representations called Ashta Lakshmi. Interestingly, we have an Egyptian counterpart for this. Hathors, the seven mother goddesses, who are often associated with Tawaret, the eighth goddess, are together called “House of Horus” [87]. We have already compared Horus to Lord Murugan, and at present are comparing him to Venkateshwara. The next two points also bring this similarity to Horus.
  5. He was looked after by the foster mother Bakuladevi, which may map to Horus looked after by Buto and Hathor.
  6. Goddess Lakshmi takes the form of cowherd; a cow also feeds Lord Venkateshwara who was found in an anthill. Note that the mother of Horus was Isis, who is represented by a cow; also her popular image is she nursing the baby Horus.
  7. Further his stay in an anthill suggests he was in the form of a snake, because Hindus worship anthill as the abode of cobra, thus relating him to Murugan.

c) Horus holding snake in his hands  (as in the picture on p.132 in [5]) has several mappings:

i.         Lord Krishna killing the serpent Kalinga, somewhat resembles this. Ashby has compared Krishna to Horus in this context [4]. Recall that we have mapped Horus to Lord Krishna in the story of killing Narakasura.

ii.         The image of Lord Shiva holding the serpents Rahu and Ketu in Mahakaleshwar temple of Kanchipuram, India also resembles Horus holding snakes.

iii.         Horus as Bahubali: The picture of Horus on p.132 in [5] is naked and standing upright. He is depicted as a child holding snakes in his hands. We will show in a separate section the possible origin of the god Bahubali but for the present we suspect that Bahubali’s image might be a modification of this image of Horus with creepers replacing snakes.


[1] J.G. Frazer, The Golden Bough, A study in Magic and Religion, 3rd Edition, Macmillan and Co. London, 1914

[4] Muata Ashby, The African origins of Civilization, Religion, Yoga Mysticism, and Ethics Philosophy, 2nd Edition, ISBN 1-884564-50-X, 2005

[5] Richard H Wilkinson, The Complete gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt, Thames and Hudson, London, 2003

[87] http://henadology.wordpress.com/theology/netjeru/


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One Response to Hindu Pantheon-Horus

  1. Narasimha says:

    I like this

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