Who is ardhanariswara?

In Sanskrit, “Ardha” means half, “Nari” means female and “Iswara” means God. So when we combine these three words, we get the word, “Ardhanarishwara” which means the God with half man and half woman body.

In Hinduism, Shiva and Parvati more commonly known as Shiva-Shakti are one of the major Gods of the Hindu religion. They are considered to be the eternal couple who are incomplete without each other.

In today’s article, I will tell you about who is Ardhanarishwara, and what do Lord Shiva symbolizes in this form. To know more about Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati, read our blog: Sanatan Dharmi.

Ardhanarishwara is a very unique avatar of Lord Shiva in which the body is half man and half woman. In Hinduism, women are considered no less than men. They are always given an equal status. That’s the beauty of Hinduism.

Ardhanariswara form of Lord Shiva symbolizes the unity of masculine and feminine powers and it conveys the message that men and women together can make this world prosperous.

Lord Shiva believes in equality and sees no difference between males and females, that’s why he took the form of Ardhanarishwara so that he can make people understand that man and woman both are equal.

Lord Ardhanarishwara is also known as Gaurishwara or the Lord of Gauri ( a name of Mata Parvati). Shiva and Shakti are often depicted in this form having a single body in which one half is of Shiva and the other one is of Parvati.

Also the mount of Shiva, Nandi (A Bull) and the mount of Parvati, Bagh (A Lion) are also shown on either sides of Shiva and Parvati.

In Hinduism, the supreme God is often called by the name of Purusha or the supreme lord and the Universe is said to be the energy of Purusha. This Universe is known as Prakriti.

The Purusha represents Male and Prakriti represents female. Lord Shiva in this form represents Purusha and Parvati shows the form of Prakriti. This shows that the Supreme God (Purusha) and his energy (Prakriti) are inseparable.

Today’s society and even the women themselves think that being a girl is a sign of weakness. Even the women who want to become strong say that they want to be like men.

But this is not the truth. Feminine power is not weak. To teach this lesson only, Lord Shiva took this form and showed Parvati as equal to them.

In terms of spirituality and metaphysics, Shiva represents the supreme cosmic being known as Purusha which is present everywhere whom we say the supreme god. 

While Parvati is the universe in which we are the living. Parvati represents the biosphere, atmosphere, lithosphere hydrosphere. 

For more such posts, read our latest blog: Sanatan Dharmi.

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