Agamas describe the following 25 forms of Shiva that emanated from 5 faces of Sadashiva murthy. The details are as follows:
- Rishabha Roodar
- Kalyana Sundarar
- Kaama dhahanar
- Kaala Samharar
- Salandara Vadhar
- Ghaja Samharar
- Veera Bhathrar
- Thiru Neelakantar
- Chakra Dhaanar
- Chandesa Anugraha Moorthy
- Eka Paadhar
- Hariyartha Moorthy
- Uma Makeshar
It is quite possible that some of the forms that you could have noticed, does not have its place in the list mentioned above. But again, this list is from aagamas. You might also know that our sanatana dharma has 18 puranaas as well. Out of which 10 are written on Shiva. Puranas also cause the creation of more forms. It is generally believed that agamas are older than puranas. So one possibility is the addition in forms after puranas are written.
There are texts that talk about 64 forms of Shiva as well. We will try to cover the 25 forms of Shiva as we progress. I intend to do 4 things on each form.
- Grammar of the form (as given in the aagamas)
- Philosophy of the form, if possible
- Puranic significance or story
- And pictures of the froms from the temples i visited or gathered from other sources.
For your pleasure, i attach two forms with this post.
One is that of Sadhashiva murthy. I took this picture from the inner gopuram (temple tower) of Vaitheeswaran Temple, near Kumbakonam.
Another one is of Maha Sadhashiva murthy. Maha Sadashiva murthy is characterized as having countless number of faces and hands. Pretty rare form to spot. I was fortunate to see this form. I had been to Kanchipuram prev weekend and en route to Kailasanatha temple, i stopped in between to visit Jwarahara Moorthy temple. Very beautiful temple but small. The construction of the vimana that houses the garbagriha is a must see. I also got to see a very rare depiction of Sarabheshwara murthy. Atleast i havent seen such a form before for Sarabheshwara.