Sunday, 8 January 2012



The concept of Ardhanäriswara is unique in Hindu religion. It represents the Lord as the  abhinna-nimitta-upädäna-kärana of this manifest jagat. The left side represented by Sakti/Pärvati/Devi is the Prakrti, the upädäna-kärana – the material cause of the jagat. The right side represented by Siva is the nimitta-kärana – intelligent cause of the jagat.

Ardhanäriswara, Stone
Khajuraho, Chandella, 11th century

Ardhanäriswara, Stone
Däraäuram, Tamil Nadu
(Photo - Author)

In Advaita Vedänta, mäyä is not an independent or parallel entity. She is ‘brahmäsrayä mäyä. Hence, the female form is shown integrated into the male form.


Ardhanäriswara, Chola Bronze,
11th century, Govt. Museum, Chennai
Ardhanäriswara, Bronze,
Vijayanagara, 16th century,
National Museum, New Delhi

Calendar Art

There are Puränic stories/explanation of this form. However, my understanding is as above.


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