In the below picture, Shiva appears Ardhanarishvara-like form with five faces.

enter image description here

I want to know about this form of Lord Shiva. Is this form of Shiva and any stories/hymns of this form mentioned in scriptures?

  • 4
    Ardhanārīśvara as described in texts & attested in ancient sculptures is one-faced. This one appears to be a product of artistic liberty.
    – অনু
    Oct 27, 2023 at 12:42

1 Answer 1



Section 5.:

In the throat is the Lotus called Viśuddha, which is pure and of a smoky purple hue. All the (sixteen) shining vowels on its (sixteen) petals, of a crimson hue, are distinctly visible to him whose mind (Buddhi) is illumined. In the pericarp of this lotus there is the Ethereal Region, circular in shape, and white like the full Moon. On an elephant white as snow is seated the Bīja of Aṃbara, who is white of colour. 28.

Of His four arms, two hold the noose and goad, and the other two make the gestures of granting boons and dispelling fear. These add to His beauty. In His lap there ever dwells the great snow-white Deva, three-eyed and five-faced, with ten beautiful arms, and clothed in a tiger’s skin. His body is united with that of Girijā, and He is known by what His name, Sadā-Śiva, signifies. 29.

Purer than the Ocean of Nectar is the Śakti Sākinī who dwells in this Lotus. Her raiment is yellow, and in Her four lotus-hands She carries the bow, the arrow, the noose, and the goad. The whole region of the Moon without the mark of the hare is in the pericarp of this Lotus. This (region) is the gateway of great Liberation for him who desires the wealth of Yoga and whose senses are pure and controlled. 30.

The Nirvāṇa Tantra, Paṭala VIII, in dealing with the Viśuddha-Cakra, says.:

“Within the Yantra is the Bull, half of whose body is that of a lion. On this lion-seat (Simhāsana) is the eternal Gauri, and on Her right is Sadā-Śiva. He has five faces, and three eyes to each face. His body is smeared with ashes, and He is like a mountain of silver. The Deva is wearing the skin of a tiger, and garlands of snakes are His ornaments.

"The Eternal Gaurī (Sadā Gaurī) is there as half of Śiva’s body. She is in the same place spoken of as “the Gauri, the Mother of the Universe, who is the other half of the body of Śiva”.

enter image description here

And bdw, the Beej Mantra for this form is "Hang" or "हंँ". Where "Ha/ह" is the deity Lord Akasha (Sureshwara) on Elephant. The Chandra Bindu "ँ" above are Shiva-Shakti as Nada and Bindu. Nada half moon (Chandra) "ॅ" above is Bhagawan Sada-Shiva and the Bindu "ं" is Mata Sada-Gauri/Shakini Shakti.

This 5 faced Ardhanarishwara form is also mentioned in this chapter of Sri Shiva Purana as Shabda Brahmana form. The story is the Lingodhbhava of the current Sveta Varaha Kalpa. Hymns, Mantras, etc can also be found in chapters before-after, etc it.

Sri Shiva Purana 2.1:1:8.:

  1. Then realising the lord of the Gods we eulogised, as far as we could, Lord Śiva, the cause of great achievement.

  2. Viṣṇu, the protector of the universe, in the meantime, saw another wonderfully beautiful form, along with me (Brahmā).

29-30. On seeing that wonderful form, Viṣṇu and I became satisfied. The form had five faces, ten arms, and a complexion white as camphor, O sage. It had diverse brilliant features. It was decorated in different ornaments. It was highly liberal and endowed with great prowess. It had all the characteristics of a great man.

  1. Thereafter, the lord Śiva was pleased. Revealing his form embedded in letters He laughingly stood before us.


एवं शब्दमयं रूपमगुणस्य गुणात्मनः । दृष्ट्वा तमुमया सार्द्धं कृतार्थोऽभून्मया हरिः ॥ ४० ॥

  1. Viṣṇu and I became contented on seeing this letter-embedded form of the Saguṇa manifestation of Nirguṇa lord in the company of Umā as his one half.

Note.: सार्द्धं - one half. So, तमुमया सार्द्धं - With Uma as his one half.

I hope this clarifies your queries. Prd..

  • Is Shat Chakra Nirupana a Tantra?
    – Boovanaes
    Oct 29, 2023 at 0:39
  • Not an actual tantra per say but its based on various tantras. It's written in 16th century by Sri Purnananda and a highly regarded book in Kundalini Yoga with commentary from Sri Kali Charana. Ok let me give reference from tantra then. Oct 29, 2023 at 4:36
  • @Boovanaes u can check the Puranic one also. Oct 29, 2023 at 10:35
  • Some also say about 6 faces 5 Shiva + 1 Shakti. Oct 29, 2023 at 12:48
  • You're right! One more face is hidden behind.
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Oct 31, 2023 at 7:58

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