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10-8 Forms of Shiv

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10-8 Forms of Shiv
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There are 8 forms of Shiv. This list varies from book to book. The Chidaambar Mahaatmya and Kunchitaanghri Stavam of Arul Nandee Shivam, mention this.

(1) Shiv Ling - Shiv Ling is A-Roop-Roop, a combination of form and formlessness. There is a form, a cylindrical structure, above the circular base, extended to the right as we look. This cylindrical structure is a phallic symbol and the bottom, called Avadai, the female symbol.

(2) Bhikshaatan - This is the form of a beggar, with Brahmaa's skull, as begging bowl, and the garland of skulls. This is from the story of Daaruk forest. He wears the skin of elephant as an upper robe and skin of tiger as waist robe. In this form he is taking the alms from Annapoornaa.

(3) Nataraaj - The dancing god of India. He is primarily in Thillai or Chidaambaram, but his metal images are available in all Shiv temples, including Mother's Temple in the Aashram. He wears again a tiger's skin, fire and hand drum on his two hands, the third hand showing the left leg and the fourth hand as Abhaya Mudraa, the protection sign. Under his right leg is Muyalakan, the demon symbolizing delusion (Apasmaar).

(4) Kalyaan Sundar - A very pleasant pose with Shivkaamee as his consort

(5) Kaal Bhairav - The fierce form of Shiv dissolving the worlds.

(6) Lingodbhav - The primordial Ling, which shows its face, at the time of creation. This is usually seen on the back-wall of any Shiv Ling shrine.

(7) Som Skand - S + Uma + Skand. Shiv with Umaa and Skand in between. A family image.

(8) Dakshinaamoorti - It is a formless Space only - as per Ramana Maharishi - the ever present teacher in the hills of Arunaachal.

Ashta Moorti Shiv
Another way to describe Shiv's eight forms ---
The eight well-known forms of Mahadeva are Water, Fire, Hotri, Sun, Moon, Space, Earth and Wind.

In his form of water he is called Bhav;
in that of fire, he is called Rudra;
in that of Hotri he is called Pashupati;
in that of the Sun, he is called Eeshaan,
in that of the Moon, he is called Mahaadev;
in that of Space, he is called Bheem;
in that of Earth, he is called Sarv; and
in that of wind, he is called Ugra.
Compare the benediction in Kaali Daas' Abhigyaan Shaakuntalam.

According to Appar, there are three aspects of Shiv.
(1) The lower Shiv who dissolves the world and who liberates Jeev from their bondage.
(2) The higher form is called Paraparaa. In this form, Shiv appears as Shiv and Shakti (Ardh-Nnareeshwar). It has the name Param-Jyoti.
(3) Beyond these two forms is the Param, or the ultimate being from whom Brahmaa, Vishnu, Rudra originate. It is purely the Shiv's form. It is formless. It is the Shivam of the Shaiv Siddhaant. It is Par Brahm of the Upanishad and Vedaantee.



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Created and Maintained by Sushma Gupta
Created on March 15, 2003 and Updated on November 26, 2013