Divinité locale Aiyanar, avec son cheval.

Aiyanar (orthographié également Ayyanar, Ayanar ou Iyenar) (tamoul : ஐயனார்) est un dieu local, un « dieu de village » de l'Inde du Sud, vénéré principalement dans l'État du Tamil Nadu. Il est adoré en tant que divinité gardienne, qui protège les villages ruraux. Ses prêtres ne sont en général pas des Brahmanes, et appartiennent principalement à la caste des potiers, mais des membres d'autres castes peuvent aussi officier dans ses temples. Les temples de Aiyanar sont généralement flanqués de statues gigantesques et colorées qui le représentent, lui et ses compagnons, chevauchant des chevaux ou des éléphants.

Il existe plusieurs théories sur les origines de cette divinité, ainsi que sur l'étymologie de son nom. Il est associé au dieu Aiyanayake par les populations cingalaises du Sri Lanka.





(en) Julia Leslie, Roles and rituals for Hindu women, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1992 (ISBN 978-81-208-1036-5), « Fecundity Rites » 

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