Definition - What does Gandabherunda mean?

According to Hindu mythology, the gandabherunda was a two-headed bird believed to possess immense strength and magical power. Images of gandabherunda can be found on Hindu temples, thought to be a means of warding off or fighting destructive forces.

The bird is often depicted with an elephant clutched in its talons or beak, demonstrating its impressive power. It is believed that gandabherunda is one of the physical forms of Narasimha, the man-lion incarnation of Vishnu.

Yogapedia explains Gandabherunda

The image of the gandhabherunda has been prominent throughout Indian history, symbolizing power and strength. It can be found on old coins from the Vijayanagar empire (around 1510CE), on the crest of the Indian navy ship INS Mysore (D60) and even on the club crest of the Bengaluru Football Club. The gandabherunda was also adopted by the Wodeyar dynasty of Mysore as the Royal emblem, and is still used today as the state symbol of the Karnataka government.

Perhaps in part due to its links with Mysore, there is a posture named after the gandabherunda in the 'Advanced-A' series of Ashtanga: Gandha Bherundasana. This posture is one of the challenging 35 asana that make-up the Third Series of Ashtanga Yoga, and certainly reflects the immense strength and power of the two-headed bird itself.

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