According to Śaiva Agama, Lord Shiva performs five actions - creation, preservation, dissolution, concealing grace, and revealing grace. Each of the five actions corresponds to a name and form of Shiva with varying attributes. These five names are:
Though bearing each a different name, form, and set of qualities, these are all aspects of a one Supreme Being - Śiva, and are not to be looked upon as different deities.
1. Sadyojāta: Represents Icchā Śaktī. This face of Śiva will give both happiness and sadness to all creatures. Direction is West. This face of Śiva can potentially evoke curse and anger from Śiva. Represents Jalandhara Pīṭha. One billion mantras are trying to describe this face of Śiva. White in color. Ahaṃkāra element representing perfected ego. The fearsome aspect. This aspect is attained by solitude and practices that transcend conventional structures.
2. Vāmadeva: Represents Citta rūpa and Citta rūpiṇi of Śiva. This is Turīya, attained by getting acquainted with primordial energy of the sun. This face of Śiva has special powers to heal both mentally and physically of any creature. Represents Parāliṅga. Two billion mantras are trying to describe this face of Śiva. Blood red in color it represents unmatched force that is capable of transforming all elements of the cosmos. Uplifts the element of Tejasa. Direction is North. Predominates the energy of vital life force. It represents indescribable amount of brightness of light. Only those established in yoga can contain it within their physical forms, otherwise the mortal frame sheds itself immediately resulting in union with Vamadeva. The adepts contain energy of creation of elements within themselves.
3. Aghora: Represents Jñāna Śaktī (Infinite Knowledge). It is function of Prakṛti (nature, consort of Shiva) and Parā Śaktī. This face of Śiva is Buddhi rūpa (Intellect). Represents Pūrṇagiri Pīṭha. Banaliṅgam. One billion mantras are trying to describe this face of Śiva. Direction is South. Smoke (Dhumra varṇa) in color. It represents our balanced aspect of Ahaṃkāra Tattva (our ego nature). Mixture of Prāmaṇa and Prameya. It represents the forces of Rudra.
4. Tatpuruṣa : Represents Ānānda Śaktī. East direction. Kāmagiri Pīṭham. Manorūpa. It represents structure of soul. The individual merges with infinite. Two billion mantras are trying to describe this face of Śiva. Yellow in color. Pṛthvī (Earth) Tattva. Svambhuva liṅga. If you have severe difficulty in focusing on any subject, you should meditate this face of Śiva. Śiva in this face meditates. Direction is East.
5. Īśāna: Represents the Citta Śaktī of Śiva. Sāmbā Pīṭham. Represents Space. Starts from your Mūlādhāra to Anahata to Ajna to Sahasrara leading to Brahma Randra in your body. One billion mantras are trying to describe this face of Śiva. Ākāśa (Ether) Tattva. The individual is from very less to not at all receptive to social structures. Possesses excellent qualities of controlling mortal and divine beings with ease. The individual has reduced his ego to ashes signifying absolute love for the universe and has been freed from cosmic law. Direction is Upward or Skyward.
Depending on your Rāśi, Lagna, Daśā, Antardaśā, Janma Nakṣatra, whichever is strong you should meditate that face of Śiva.
For example, Aghora represents South. If your resultant is south (i.e., rāśi, lagna occupies south direction of Sun in your horoscope), you can mediate Southern face of Śiva i.e., Aghora. Depending on the problematic area of life, Kendra, Koṇa, Duṣṭhāna, Trikoṇa, Āpoklima - you should meditate that face of Śiva to get some relief in that problematic area.
For example, with somebody having Taurus (Vṛṣabha) rāśi as lagna, having Venus is in 11th bhāva i.e., Pisces (Mīna). Running Daśā is Guru Daśā and let’s say his Antardaśā is Saturn.
Now, let’s say in this example, Venus is strong in Pisces, but he is running Guru Daśā, If Guru is present in Dhanus, then we consider him as weak because he is occupying 8th House. Since Guru is present in north east corner of the horoscope he should start with Northern face of Śiva mantra. After that Eastern face of Śiva, so on…Harihar Dham
Harihar Dham temple, commonly known as Harihar Dham located in Giridih, Jharkhand has the distinction of having the biggest Shivalinga in the world.Heramba
Heramba (Sanskrit: हेरम्ब, Heraṃba), also known as Heramba Ganapati (Heraṃba-gaṇapati), is a five-headed iconographical form of the Hindu god Ganesha (Ganapati). This form is particularly popular in Nepal. This form is important in Tantric worship of Ganesha. He is one of the most popular of the thirty-two forms of Ganesha.List of Shiva shrines in Kanyakumari district
The Sivalayams are 12 Saivite shrines in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, India. On the day of Sivarathri, the devotees go on a marathon from Thirumalai, the first Sivalayam, to the last, Thirunattalam.
The Sivalayam Temples are
In Hindu iconography, Mukhalinga or Mukhalingam (literally "linga with a face", mukhaliṅga) is a linga with one or more human faces. The linga is an aniconic representation of the Hindu god Shiva. Mukhalingas may be of stone or can be made of a metal sheath, which covers the normal linga.
The mukhalinga generally has one, four or five faces. Mukhalingas having four faces are also regarded to have an invisible fifth face at the top of the linga. The four- and five-faced mukhalingas represent the five aspects of Shiva, which also relate to the classical elements and the cardinal directions.
The omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God Siva for facilitating the individual souls to worship him has manifested himself into different forms.Among them the formless form of Sivalinga is classified as "Nishkala". And the Shivalingas with the head of Shiva on their face are called as Mukhalinga and are classified as "Sakala nishkala" form.Pancabrahma Upanishad
The Pancabrahma Upanishad (Sanskrit: पञ्च ब्रह्म उपनिषत्, IAST: Pañca-brahma Upaniṣad) is a medieval era Sanskrit text and is one of the minor Upanishads of Hinduism. The text is classified as one of 13 Shaiva Upanishads, and one of the 32 Upanishads of the Krishna Yajurveda.The Upanishad glorifies Shiva, with Vedanta nondualism terminology. The text is notable for its focus on Sadashiva, Shiva with five faces corresponding to five Brahmans (realities), and for its recommendation of meditation on "So'ham" or "I am he, He am I" to achieve moksha, the union with Brahman.Pashupata Shaivism
Pashupata Shaivism (Pāśupata, Sanskrit: पाशुपत) is the oldest of the major Shaivite Hindu schools. There is a debate about pioneership of this school and Goan school of Nakulish darshan believes that Nakulish was pioneer and Lakulish and Patanjalinath were his disciples while Gujrat school believes that Nakulish and Lakulish are one. Sarwdarshansangrah written by Madhavachary mentiones it as "Nakulish Darshan" not as "Lakulish Darshan". Both sub schools are still active in their own areas. The philosophy of the Pashupata sect was systematized by Lakulīśa also called Nakulīśa) in the 2nd century A.D. The main texts of the school are Pāśupatasūtra with Kauṇḍinya's Pañcārthabhāṣya, and Gaṇakārikā with Bhāsarvajña's Ratnaṭīkā. Both texts were discovered only in the twentieth century. Prior to that, the major source of information on this sect was a chapter devoted to it in Vidyāraṇya's Sarvadarśanasaṅgraha.Pashupati
Pashupati (Sanskrit Paśupati) is an incarnation of the Hindu god Shiva as "lord of the animals". He is revered throughout the Hindu world, but especially in Nepal, where he is commonly known as Pashupatinath and regarded by Hindus as the national deity.Pradosha
Pradosha or Pradosham (IAST: Pradoṣa) is a bimonthly occasion on the thirteenth day of every fortnight in Hindu calendar. It is closely connected with the worship of Hindu god Shiva. The auspicious 3 hour period, 1.5 hours before and after the sunset is one of the optimum time for worship of Lord Shiva. The fast or vow performed during the period is called "Pradosha vrata". A devotee should wear rudraksha, Vibhuti and worship Lord Shiva by Abisheka, Sandal paste, Vilva leaves, Fragrance, Deepa & Naivaedyaas (Food offerings)Pāśa
Pāśa (Sanskrit: पाश, romanized: pāśa, lit. "bondage", "fetter") is one of the three main components considered in Shaivism. It is defined as whole of the existence, manifest and unmanifest. According to Shaiva Siddhanta, Pati (the supreme being), Pashu (atmans) and Pasha are eternal, self-consistent, neither distinguishable nor indivisible triad in the nature.Rudrashtakam
Shri Rudrashtakam (Sanskrit: श्री रुद्राष्टकम्, Rudrāṣṭakam) is a Sanskrit composition in devotion of Rudra, composed by the Hindu Bhakti poet Tulsidas (Sanskrit: तुलसीदास). Tulsidas composed this eulogy in the late fifteenth century in Uttar Pradesh in India and created many other literary pieces including the magnum opus Ram Charit Manas.
The devotional hymn "Rudrashtakam" appears in the Uttara Kand of the celebrated Ram Charit Manas, where Lomash Rishi composed the hymn to propitiate Lord Shiva. His main purpose was to set his pupil free from the curse of Shiva. He succeeded and asked also a second boon (devotion for himself). His pupil would be the bird ' Kaga-Bhusundi' in a next life, a devotee of Shri Rama and an excellent teller of the life story of Shri Rama.
The Ashtakam is in reverence to Rudra, though the context pertains to the Shiva, the post-Vedic transformation of Rudra. It is arguable that the distinction between Rudra and Shiva was already lost by the time of Tulsidas.
The Rudrashtakam is lucid and simple in style and plays an instrumental role in the Shaiva traditions.Shiva Mahimna Stotra
Shiva Mahimna Stotra (Sanskrit: शिवमहिम्न:स्तोत्र, romanized: śiva-mahimnah stotra, lit. 'Hymn about the greatness of Shiva') is a Sanskrit composition (Stotra) in devotion of Shiva that is believed has been authored by a gandharva (heavenly being) named Pushpadanta.Shiva Tandava Stotra
Shiva Tandava Stotra (Sanskrit: शिवताण्डवस्तोत्र, romanized: śiva-tāṇḍava-stotra) is a stotra (Hindu hymn) that describes Shiva's power and beauty. It is traditionally attributed to Ravana, the asura King of Lanka and devotee of Shiva.Shivarahasya Purana
Shivarahasya Purana (Sanskrit: शिव रहस्य पुराण; IAST: śiva rahasya purāṇa) is one of the 'Shaiva Upapuranas' or ancillary Purana regarding Shiva and Shaivite worship and is also considered 'Indian epic poetry' (Sanskrit: Itihāsa).
The book is dedicated to detailed explanation of Shaivite thoughts, rituals and religious myths. The manuscripts are found in various ancient literature. However, to date there has been no critical study of these manuscripts. It is one of the first few works of the acclaimed Saint Ribhu, who was taught by Shiva himself.
The book consists of twelve parts and has about one hundred thousand verses.The Kannada translation of the book was published in 30 volumes in 1950.Siddha Siddhanta
Siddha Siddhanta is one of the six main Shaivite philosophical traditions. It is also known as Gorakshanatha Saivism after its founding Guru Gorakhnath.Thirty-three gods
The Thirty-three deities (Sanskrit: trayastriṃśat) is a pantheon of Vedic deities, some of Vedic origin and some developed later. All the Vedic deities are called tri-piṣṭapa, and there are three kinds of them — the Ādityas, the Vasus and the Rudras — beneath whom are the other demigods, like the Maruts and Sādhyas. Tridasha generally includes a set of 31 deities consisting of 12 Ādityas, 11 Rudras, and 8 Vasus with the identity of the other two deities that fill out the 33 varies.
The 33 are:
Eight Vasus (deities of material elements) – Dyauṣ "Sky", Pṛthivī "Earth", Vāyu "Wind", Agni "Fire", Nakṣatra "Stars", Antarikṣa "Atmosphere" or "Space", Sūrya "Sun", Chandra "Moon"
Twelve Ādityas (personified deities) – Vishnu, Aryaman, Indra (Śakra), Tvāṣṭṛ, Varuṇa, Bhaga, Savitṛ, Vivasvat, Aṃśa, Mitra, Pūṣan, Dakṣa. This list sometimes varies in particulars.
Eleven Rudras, consisting of:
Five abstractions – Ānanda "bliss", Vijñāna "knowledge", Manas "thought", Prāṇa "breath" or "life", Vāc "speech",
Five names of Śiva – Īśāna "revealing grace", Tatpuruṣa "concealing grace", Aghora "dissolution/rejuvenationBhairava", Vāmadeva "preserving aspect", Sadyojāta "born at once"
Ātmā "self"Other sources include the two Aśvins (or Nāsatyas), twin solar deities.Tirupperunturai
Tirupperunthurai (also called the Athmanathaswamy temple) is located in Avudaiyarkoil. It is a Shaiva temple situated near Aranthangi in the Pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu. One of the sacred books of Tamil Saiva Siddhanta, Manikkavasagar's Tiruvacakam, originated from this shrine. Manikkavasagar is said to have converted the king to the religion of Shiva and built the temple with money that had been intended for war-horses.Trimurti
The Trimūrti (; Sanskrit: त्रिमूर्ति trimūrti, "three forms") is the Triple deity of supreme divinity in Hinduism in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified as a triad of deities, typically Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer, though individual denominations may vary from that particular line-up. When all three deities of the Trimurti incarnate into a single avatar, the avatar is known as Dattatreya.Vamadeva
In Hinduism, Vamadeva (Sanskrit: वामदेव) is the preserving aspect of the God Shiva, one of six aspects of the universe he embodies, as well as the name of an ancient rishi. On a five-faced Shivalingam, Vamadeva appears on the right hand side. This face/aspect of Śiva is considered the peaceful, graceful and poetic one — the lord of the female aspect of it is associated with water.
The Brahman splits into male (Parashiva) and female (Parasakti) and manifests as the universe. The parashiva has 5 faces:
Sadyojata — west-aspect that propagates manifest Brahman; associated with Vishnu; represents water (Bhava).
Tatpurusha — east-aspect that reveals; associated with rudra, Rishi, Muni, Jnani, yogi; represents light (rudra) and moon (Mahadeva) .
Vamadeva — north-aspect that sustains manifest Brahman; associated with Ishwara; represents air or vital life force (Ugra).
Isana - Upper- aspect that conceals; associated with Sadashiva; represents Sky(Bheema) and sun (Ishana).
Aghora — south-aspect that rejuvenates manifest Brahman; associated with brahma; represents earth (Sharva).
Adhomukha — lower-aspect that enjoy manifest Brahman; associated with shanmukha; represents fire (Pashupati).Vibhuti
Vibhuti (Sanskrit: विभूति; vibhūti), also called Bhasma (ash), Vibhooti, is a word that has several meanings in Hinduism. Generally, it is used to denote the sacred ash which is made of burnt dried wood in Āgamic rituals. Hindu devotees apply vibhuti traditionally as three horizontal lines across the forehead and other parts of the body to honor Shiva. Vibhuti smeared across the forehead to the end of both eyebrows is called Tripundra. According to the MahaShiva Purana the particles of ash which cling to the skin when tripundra is applied are to be considered as individual Lingams. The scriptures further state that bhasma purifies the soul, elevates the devotee of Shiva and works done without wearing Bhasma are infructuous. There are various methods for the application of the ashes according to the purana and various mantras to be recited during application.
Another meaning of vibhuti is a 'glorious form', in contrast with Avatar, a reincarnation of Brahman. Bhagavata Theology describes a vibhuti as 'incarnation of power', which is only a temporary occasional manifestation such as when holy men are infused with divine virtues and qualities are infused. Aurobindo mentions a vibhuti as 'the hero of a race's struggle towards divine achievement, the hero in the Carlylean sense of heroism, a power of God in man.'
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