Lord Bhairav is a fierce incarnation (Avatar) of Lord Shiva. The term Bhairav stands for “Terrific”. Lord Bhairav is often portray with frowning, angry eyes and sharp, tiger’s teeth and fiery hair, desolate nude without garlands of skulls and a coiled snake around their neck. They have four hands which carry a noose, trident, drum, and skull. Lord Bhairav has a dog as his divine vehicle. The person who worships Lord Bhairav gets victory over enemies, materialistic comforts, and success. The legends behind Lord Bhairav can be traced as Shiva and Sati. In ancient time, people worship Lord Bhairav to get powerful blessings from them. The worshiper of Lord Bhairav get protects from evils, removes all obstacles, cleans the soul with his sheer intensity and makes favorable things. Due to guard the Lord Shiva temple, Lord Bhairav is called “Kotwal“. The mantra for the Lord Bhairav is “OM BATUK BHAIRVAYE NAMHA”.
Lord Bhairav is widely worshipped by tantriks and yogis to gain various siddhis. Bhairon is regarded as the protector and the kotwal. In astrology Lord Bhairav is the Lord of star (graha) Rahu so to attain the maximum benefits of rahu, people worships Lord Bhairav. Bhairav is a fierce form of Shiva. It is believed that Bhairon is connected to the Mahavidya goddess named Bhairavi who gives Lagna shuddhi (purification of the follower). This purifies and protects the body, chracter, personality and other qualities associated with the follower. Worship of Lord Bhairon is very useful to win over your enemies, success and all materialistic comforts. It is very easy to please lord Bhairav by doing normal worship daily. Coconut, Flowers, Sindoor, Mustard oil, black til etc are offered to the God to get God’s Blessings. Bhairava himself has eight manifestations, Kala Bhairava, Asitanga Bhairava, Samhara Bhairava, Ruru Bhairava, Krodha Bhairava, Kapala Bhairava, Rudra Bhirava and Unmatta Bhairava.
Once Brahma insulted Lord Shiva and his fifth head teasingly laughed at Lord Shiva. From Lord Shiva came out the Kalabhairava (Black Bhairava) who tore off the fifth head of Lord Brahma. On the entreaties of Lord Vishnu, Shiva pardoned Lord Brahma. But the sin (in the form of a lady) of beheading Lord Brahma followed Kalabhairava everywhere. Also the head of Brahma stuck to him. To keep away the sin and punishment which were chasing him, Kalabhairava entered the city of Benaras ( now Varanasi ). The sin could not enter the city. Kalabhairava was made as the Kotwal (Inspector) of the city of Varanasi. Bhairava rides on a dog. A pilgrimage to Kasi (Benares) is not supposed to be complete without visiting the temple of Kalabhairava.
Another story identifies Kalabhairava with Veerabhadra who cut off the head of Daksha the father of Sathi Devi, when he insulted lord Shiva. Sathi’s body was cut into pieces and strewn all over India giving rise to Shakthi Peetas. Outside every Shakthi Peeta is the temple for Bhairava.