With epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the Hindu mythology is a rich and tempting plethora of stories and tales that fill all those who study it with a mystical awe for the ancient legends mentioned therein. What make these mythologies even more tantalising are its characters who blend virtue and wisdom with totally cool and sometimes bad-ass traits of their own.
Here are the 5 coolest (and at times bad-ass) characters in the Hindu mythology:
1. Lord Shiva
The God of Gods. The Mahadev. The destroyer of evil. Words fall short of defining the most powerful of all the Gods in the Hindu pantheon. He’s the yogi Lord, who takes on forms that fill theists and atheists alike with awe for this charismatic God. At times a yogi, at other a fierce destroyer; at yet another instance a passionate lover and at times a consummate dancer, the “Ardhanareshwara” has many surreal avatars.
He lifted a mountain because he could not identify the life- restoring herb which could have healed a severely wounded Lakshaman. When Rama and Lakshaman were held captive in Patal, the netherworld by Ahiravan, the mighty monkey- god was the one who, after defeating the king of Patal, carried the brothers back to earth. He was the one who set ablaze Ravan’s golden Lanka, starting the fire with a flame on his tail. Regarded as one of Shiva’s avatars, Hanuman is indeed a god who’s totally awesome!
Regarded as the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, this warrior sage destroyed the race of Kshatriyas 21 times, thus avenging the blood of his father. A warrior of unmatched skills, he is also said to have wounded the mighty Lord Shiva on the forehead with his axe when the latter challenged him for a duel to test his skills. Pretty bad-ass, eh?
Born of Lord Shiva’s wrath and sorrow at Goddess Sati’s death, Lord Veerbahdra was commanded by the Neelkanth to destroy King Daksha’s yagna, the event where Sati had burnt herself in the sacrificial fire. Tall and muscular; his countenance as dark as the clouds; three eyes burning with rage, Lord Veerbhadra, who wore a garland of skulls and carried weapons that invoked terror, wreaked havoc at the yagna: the gods fled in all directions under his fury, while he beheaded Daksha, trampled on Lord Indra, the king of gods, and broke Lord Yama’s staff before returning to Kailash.
What could be more fearful than an angered god who takes the form of a being with a lion’s head and claws and a man’s body to protect his faithful devotees? Lord Vishnu’s fourth avatar, the Narsimha is someone you won’t be pleased to anger. This fearful incarnation of Lord Vishnu put to death the demon- lord Hiranyakashipu with his claws to protect his most faithful devotee Bhakt Prahlad.