31 March 2008

Five Faced Shiva

After recently reading about Five Faced Shiva I tried to find a photograph or picture of this aspect of the Divine. It must be very rare because wasn't able to get a good representation of the different colours of the Five Faces of the Deity. However did find this really brilliant copy of a painting of about 1830 from Calcutta.

Shiva is Yogi Raja, the Lord of Yoga, the perfect ascetic. The five aspects of Shiva represent: 

Ishana - Skyward Face: 
The word Ishvara is form the root “Aisha – Aishwarye”. Total wealth means the total control and ownership of all the fourteen worlds. Such form of Shiva, who is the total owner of the fourteen worlds, is called as Ishana. This face is skywards. Which means it is on top of the other four faces which face the four directions. This fifth face of Shiva represents the creation; balance, annihilation energies and control and chaos energies. It is represented by pure crystal and signifies the top. 

Tatpurasha - East Face: 
The word “Tat” represents Paramatma. Tatpurusha means Saguna filled Para Brahma form. This represents the form of Shiva that is in meditation and Blessing the world. Hence this eastern face is considered as the first face. The word “Tatpurusha” means “his person”. One who is always behind a person to protect is Tatpurusha. It is represented by yellow and signifies the face. 

Vama Deva – North Face: 
The term Vama means Left or innocent. If we stand facing east, the north is to our left. Hence the north facing Shiva is worshipped as “Vaama Deva”. The left of a person is representative of the Shakti aspect. It represents “Maya and the feminine strength and beauty”, Hence in Ardha Nareeshwara aspect, we find the goddess on the left side. Represented by red and signifies the navel. 

Sadyojata - West Face: 
West is called as “Paschima or Pratyak”. The soul is called as “Pratyagaatma”. “Sadyaha” which means just now and “Jataha” means now born. Shiva makes his presence felt through the countless souls being born. Hence the apt name “Sadyosata”. This shows the creative aspect of Parameshvara. Since the very existence of any being starts from its birth, the Sadyosata aspect of Lord Shiva is prayed first. Represented by white and signifies the foot. 

Aghora - South Face: 
If we stand facing east, south is our right. Hence right side is called as “Bala”. As important as right hand is for humans, the South face is important to Lord Shiva. This is also famously known as “Dakshina Murthy”. Those who worshipped the Aghora form of Shiva were called as “Aghoris”. Aghoris generally live in graveyards and are naked, use things which the world has branded as “inauspicious”, and perform harsh penance; because their main belief is that there is no such thing called “inauspicious” in the world because all that exists if Shiva himself. Represented by black and signifies the heart. 


kaliavijay said...

You should not be surprised to note that a five faced Shiva image exist as PANCHVATRA in Himachal Pradesh,District Mandi in Mandi town itself.This temple was built by Pandavas in Exile.
mail: kaliavijay2003@yahoo.co.in

God Mantras said...

Thank you for sharing the informative blog. It is indeed wonderful to read and useful. Read hanuman chalisa.