I am bit curious to understand why is the third eye in Shiva/Shakti depicted vertically not horizontally like the other two eyes, is there any specific reason/logic behind that or is it just accidental, somebody did it and everyone is merely following the norm?

Do we have any explanations for this in any of our scriptures?

  • In mammals like us, a third eye (parietal eye) evolved to only have its internal part remaining. The pineal gland, which used to be connected to it is cone-shaped, so would be drawn as a vertical line if you were to simplify its shape into a line. Oct 27, 2021 at 17:15
  • See here for more information en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pineal_gland Oct 27, 2021 at 17:21

2 Answers 2


I heard this story from people: When Parvati playfully closed Shivji’s eyes from behind him, the whole world became dark, so a huge flame jumped out from his forehead to light up the world. It represents the flame of highest perception & vertical ascent of Kundalini to the Ajna Chakra.

Reference :



It is difficult to give a definitive answer to the question.

The Ajna Chakra is called the third eye. An image of it is given below.

enter image description here

The Ajna Cakra has two petals and is white. The letters HA and Ksa, which are white, are on the two petals.

The Serpent Power by Sir John Woodroffe

It is a lotus with two petals and located at the end of the Sushumna Nadi. It does at all not look like an eye. The vertical eye drawn by the artists must be only schematic in nature. If they don't draw like that then they will have to show it as a lotus and will also have to show the Sushumna nadi. Drawing a vertical eye simplifies the job of the artist.

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