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The Faces Of Shiva


Shiva is having Five Faces the faces are as Follows.


-         Isana:    This faces South East and represent the eshwara  aspect known as Sada Shiva.


-          Tatpurusha: This faces east, which represent the ego  aspect OF    Shiva

-             Aghora: This faces south, which represents the destructive and regeneration aspect of Shiva.


-            Vamadeva: This faces north, which represents the preserving  and healing nature of Shiva. He is a doctor, that’s why we call him Vaidyanatheshwara


-           Sadyojata:  This Faces west, which represent the creativity of Shiva.


A simple prayer to Lord Shiva is  “ Om Namah Shivaya ”.


Some prayers on the mighty Lord have been given here.


“ Om Jai Shiva Omkaaraa, Prabhu Jai Shiva Omkaaraa

   Bramha Vishnu Sada Shiva ARDDHAANGII DHAARAA



Glory to you, O Shiva! Glory to you, O Omkaaraa! May Brahma, Vishnu and the assembly of other gods, including the great Lord Shiva, relieve me of my ignorance.


 Om namastestu Bhagavan Visvesvarya Mahadevaya Triyambakaya  Trikagni Kalaya Kalagni Rudra Ya   Nilakanthaya Mrityunjayaya  Sarveshwaraya Sada Shiva              Sriman Mahadevaya namah





Om, I bow down to lord Shiva, who is the creator and protector of the universe , who is greatest among gods, who has three eyes, lord of all the three worlds, one who throat is blue , who is conqueror of death, who is the lord of all, and possessing the marks of greatness among. To such Great Mahadeva my salutations. 



Vandhe Sambumumapathimh suragurum

Vandhe Jagathkaaranam

Vandhe PanagaBhooshanam mrugadharam

Vandhe Pasoonaam pathim

Vandhe Soorya Shasaankavahninayanam

Vandhe Mukundhapriyam

Vandhe Baktha Janasrayamsvratham

Vandhe Shivam Sankaram

There are five
                           faces of Shiva.
                                      Earth came
                           from sadyojata face of lord. From this Earth there came a Grey colured cow called nanda. Vibhuthi came from the dung of that
    Vamadeva           Water came from this
                           face of lord. From this there came a Black colur cow called Bhadra. From this Bhasita came.
                           Fire came from this face of lord.  From this there came copper coloured
                           cow called surabhi which gives Bhasma.
                           Air came from this face of lord. From this there come white coloured cow called Sushela came which gives Shanti and
                           Ksheram ( milk).
                           Space Comes from this face. From this there comes multi colured cow called Sumana which gives Raksha.
Earth, water, air, Space are known as Pancha Bhuthas. These Pancha Bhuthas are associated  with the five faces of lord shiva.In association with Each face
                           lord shiva is Called as Pancha Bhutha Linga which are situated at the following places.
Prthvi lingam  is situated at  Kanchi puram, Ekambreeshwarar Temple.Sri Ekambareswara is worshipped in the form of Prithvi linga (Earth). Hence Kanchipuram is considered as one of the
                           Pancha Butha Sthalas. According to a legend, Parvati, once in Kailas, playfully closed the eyes of Lord Shiva, plunging the
                           entire world in darkness. An angry Shiva cursed the Devi to turn dark like Kali. The Goddess descended on this place and did
                           penance under a mango tree, making a Lingam out of earth. Hence, much significance is attached to this shrine and the mango
                           tree, situated within the temple. Kanchipuram is situated 71 kms from Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
Jala Lingam is situated at Thiruvanaikkaval, Trichy 
This is one of
                           the most revered temples to Shiva; it is one of the Panchabhoota Stalams signifying the 5 elements of wind (Kalahasti), water
                           (Tiruvanaikka), fire (Tiruvannamalai), earth (Kanchipuram) and space (Chidambaram). The primordial element water, is represented
                           by an undying natural spring in the sanctum. 
There is said to have been a forest of Jambu trees near the Chandrateertha tank (filled with the water of the Kaveri) here and Shiva is said to have appeared under one of the trees as a Shiva Lingam. Legend has it that two devotees of Shiva were born under the influence of a curse as a white elephant and a spider. The elephant worshipped Shiva with flowers and water brought in its trunk (hence the name Tiru Aanaikka). 

The spider worshipped the Lingam by spinning a web on top, to protect it from falling leaves. The elephants worship would destroy the spiders web, and the spiders web amounted to desecration in the eyes of the elephant leading to animosity between the two, of such proportion that a fight between them resulted in the death of both. The spider was born again in the royal Chola family (in Uraiyur - during the Sangam period). An interesting tale is associated with his birth. His parents Subhadeva and Kamalavati prayed to Nataraja of Chidambaram for a male successor. The royal astrologer is said to have predicted an auspicious time for the birth of a successor who would be a ruler of great fame. The hour of birth approached sooner though and the royal queen bade her attendants to tie her legs and hang her upside down, with the aim of delaying the birth of the child. She achieved her objective although the royal offspring was born with reddened eyes, earning for himself the name 'Chenkannan' - the red eyed one. In his life time Ko Chenkannan is said to have been built several elevated temples - out of reach of elephants, keeping with the legend of his animosity with an elephant in his previous birth.

The stala vriksham is said to have grown out of a munivar, who offered his worship to Shiva.Akhilandeswari (Parvati) is said to have meditated upon Shiva here, and her shrine here, is considered to be of great significance. 

It is believed that Akhilandeswari was originally an Ugra Devata of great fury, and Adi Sankaracharyar is said to have converted the fiery energy of the deity into a manifestation of peace. Shrines to Vinayaka and Subramanya face Akhilandeswari. 

This temple has records of patronage from the Chola Pandya, Hoysala and the Madurai Naik kings. The temple is said to have been built by the Chola King Ko Chenkannan and it was of special significance to the Chola kings. Ko Chenkannan is praised by tamil literature for having built more than seventy temples - and he is historically placed in the Sangam period (the very early years of the Christian era). 

Inscriptions from the tenth century AD testify to later Chola patronage. The Hoysalas who had a base near Samayapuram (near Tiruchi) built four temples in Northern Tiruvanaikkaval (Vallaleeswaram, Padmaleswaram, Narasimheswaram and Somaleswaram). The Pandyas and the Hoysalas contributed to the Eastern tower. 

Adi Sankara is said to have visited the Akhilandeswari shrine. He is said to have adorned her with ear-rings bearing the symbol of the chakram. There is a shrine to Adi Sankara in this temple. 

This is a vast temple (18 acres) with lofty gopurams, 5 prakarams and ornate mandapams. The second and third prakarams date back to the 13th century. The dwajasthampa mandapam has grand sculptural work. There is an image of Ekapada Trimurthy representing the unity of Bhrama Vishnu and Shiva in this temple. 

The Akhilandeswari shrine is located in the fourth prakaram. The Eastern tower with seven levels has fine sculptural specimen of musical scenes, while the Western tower has nine levels. The first prakaram has been renovated in this century.

Festivals: Annual festivals here include the Pankuni Bhrammotsavam, Vasanta Utsavam, the float festival in Thai (Capricorn) , Aadi Pooram (Cancer) and the Pancha Prakara festival. For more information please see the Templenet Special Feature on Tiruvanaikka

Agni ligam  is situated at Tiruvannamalai , Kartigai day in December or January, a huge fire is lift up, visible for kilometers around.  Sri Ramana Maharishi, a great saint of our times, spent the days of his ministry in the town. Two legends
                           are associated with this historic temple, those of Lingodbhava and Ardhanarisvara.  In
                           the first Lord Siva appeared as a cosmic flame of light before Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma, who each considered Himself supreme
                           and said that the matter could be tested if the two could search for His (Lord Siva’s) top and bottom.  Lord Vishnu took the form of a boar and delved deep into the earth, Lord Brahma that of a swan and flew
                           into the empyrean; Lord Vishnu failed in His objective and returned.  But Lord
                           Brahma, chancing upon a piece of “thazhambu”, a floral fibre, learnt from it that it had been floating down for
                           forty thousand years from Lord Siva’s head.  He seized upon this and claimed
                           to Lord Siva that he had seen the other’s top.  Lord Siva realized the falsehood
                           and pronounced that there would never be a temple for Lord Brahma in this world.  He
                           also interdicted the use of the floral fibre in His worship.  When Lord Vishnu
                           and Lord Brahma repented, Lord Siva took the form the Linga.  Sculptures of the
                           Lingodbhava, as this is called, with a swan on top and a diving boar at the bottom, are found in every Saiva temple, often
                           in niches on the walls of the sancta.  
In the second legend, Goddess Uma once playfully covered Lord Siva’s
                           eyes with Her hands.  All creation became dark, and the people suffered.  To expiate the sin Goddess Uma went to Kanchipuram. Lord Siva then told Her that She
                           should go to Tiruvannamalai and perform penance and that She would then take Her place in His own left side.  Accordingly, She came to Tiruvannamalai and setting up a hermitage on the top of a hill there, performed
                           severe penance.  She killed a king of demons, Mahishasura.  She then organized a big festival on Kartigai day.  She saw
                           the Cosmic Flame on the summit and then took Her place in the Lord’s left side. 
                           Some celebrated bronzes embody the concept of Ardhanarisvara,
Vayu Ligam is situated at sriKalaHasthi.
Chithambara Lingam   this is situated at  Chidambaram.

Chitambaram also called ponnambalam (Golden hall), is the famous temple for Shiva devotees in Tamil Nadu. Before and at the end of recitation of hymns its name is referred as "thiruchchiRRambalam" even today.

Once the great serpent Adhi sEsha felt that mahA vishNu was heavy that time. He asked mahA vishNu the reason. He told him that he remembered the dance, that Lord did once in the presence of all dhEvAs. Due to the pleasure of reminiscence mahA vishNu was heavy. Inspired by this Adhi sEsha wanted to see the dance of the Lord.

He came to chitambaram and worshipped the Lord as pathanychali. vyAghra pAdar, a sage, was also worshipping the Lord to see His dance. vyAghra pAdar got as a boon the legs and eyes of the tiger to claim the trees and see in the dark, so that he can get flowers, fresh, untouched by even bees, before the dawn for the worship. They worshipped the Lord for a long time. To fulfill their desire the Lord appeared on the thiruvAdhirai and danced in the golden hall. kALi competed against the Lord , but lost. king chimmavarman put golden roof over the ambalam (naTarAjar Sanctum) in fifth century ACE(AD).

This place represents the thakarAkAsham - the sky inside us. In this temple Lord Shiva is worshipped in all the three forms, namely, arUpa - which is called chitambara rahasyam, arUparUpa - shiva li.ngam and rUpa - naTarAja. There is a Sanctum Sactorum for vishNu next to naTarAja, in the lying posture, and called gOvindha raja swamy.




The sages asked Sutji as to how was lord Brahma able to have a divine glimpse of Sadyojaat. Sutji replied-During the Kalpa named Shwetalohit, once lord Brahma witnessed the manifestation of a divine child who was of mixed (red & white) complexion. The child had a Shikha (topknot) on his head. Considering him to be an embodiment of almighty God, Lord Brahma eulogized that child. Suddenly four children appeared and formed a protective ring around Sadyojaat. The names of these children were-Sunand, Nandan, Vishwanand, and Upanand. All of them were of fair complexion and very handsome.Anybody who is desirous of attaining to Rudraloka must take refuge in Sadyojaat.


Once, during thirtieth kalpa named Rakta, Lord Brahma was meditating on Parameshthi Shiva. Suddenly a divine child appeared before him who was of red complexion and who had put on red apparels. He was none other than Lord Vaamdev. Lord Brahma immediately realized the divinity of that child and was convinced that he was the embodiment of Almighty God.

Lord Brahma eulogized Vaamdev who was pleased by his devotions. Four divine entities-Virija, Vivahu, Vishoka and Vishwabhavana manifested from the body of Vaamdev. All of them had great resemblance to Lord Vaamdev. Vaamdev preached them on the finer points of religiousness so that mankind could be benefited by this knowledge.


The thirty-first kalpa was known as Peet Kalpa. The term 'Peet' means yellow and this Kalpa was named Peet because Lord Brahma had put on yellow apparels during this Kalpa. Once, while he was meditating on the form of Lord Shiva, a divine child manifested before him. The child had a halo of light all around him and had put on yellow coloured clothes. Even his turban, sacred-thread and garland were yellow in colour. His arms were abnormally long.

Lord Brahma immediately realized that the child was none other than Lord Maheshwar himself. Suddenly a divine cow appeared from the mouth of Maheshwar, who had four faces and possessed all the thirty-two qualities. The divine cow was none other than Goddess Gayatri herself.Lord Brahma eulogized her and Maheshwar was very pleased by his deep devotion. Maheshwar also blessed him with divine knowledge and unrevealed the secret of yoga to him. Right then, many divine children appeared from the body of lord Maheshwar. Each of them had put on yellow apparels and had great resemblance to lord Maheshwar. They were extremely virtuous and served the mankind by giving sermons. After having completed their mission of spreading the message of virtuosity to the mankind, all of them got united with Lord Maheshwar ultimately.

A person, who is desirous of getting liberated from all his sin, must seek the blessings of Lord Maheshwar who is also known as Tatpurush.


Peet kalpa was followed by Pradhritta kalpa. Black was the predominant colour of this kalpa. Initially, the whole earth was submerged in the water and Lord Brahma desirous of commencing his creations wished for a son. As a result, a divine child manifested whose complexion was dark. Not only that he had put on black apparels and a black crown on his head. A black sacred thread was hanging across his shoulder.

Lord Brahma immediately recognized Aghoresh and eulogized him. Lord Aghoresh became pleased by his devotion and blessed him. Just like the preceding Kalpas, four divine children manifested from lord Aghoresh's body. All of them had great resemblance with Aghoresh in every respect. In course of time, they did tremendous tapas and preached the virtue of religiousness to the mankind. A person who worships Lord Aghoresh and has deep devotion in him becomes liberated from gravest of sins like Brahmhatya (sin acquired due to killing a Brahmin) etc.


In the beginning of Vishwaroopa kalpa, lord Brahma, desirous of commencing creation was engrossed in deep meditation. This resulted into the manifestation of a divine cow, which puzzled lord Brahma very much. Actually, this divine cow was none other then Vishwaroopa Saraswati, but lord Brahma failed to recognize her. Lord Brahma decided to take the help of Lord Ishaan and started meditating on him.

When Lord Ishaan appeared before him, he was requested by Lord Brahma to shed light on the identity of that divine cow. Lord Ishaan replied by saying-"The present kalpa is called Vishwaroopa kalpa. It has originated from the left side of my body and is the thirty-third kalpa. This divine cow has also originated from me. She is goddess Gauri-the source of all creation. After saying like this, Lord Ishaan created four divine entities from the body of the cow-Jati, Mundi, Shikhandi and Ardhamund. All of them were very luminous and virtuous. After preaching the world for thousands of divine year. They got reunited with lord Rudra.