The Faces Of Shiva
Shiva is having Five Faces the faces are as Follows.
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
OM HARA HARA MAHAADEVAA...”
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 PanagaBhooshanam mrugadharam
Vandhe Pasoonaam pathim
Vandhe Soorya Shasaankavahninayanam
Vandhe Baktha Janasrayamsvratham
There are five
faces of Shiva.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.