Maheshwara murtams

Maheshwara murtas are forms of Shiva revered in the Shivagamas of southern Shaiva Siddhanta sect of Saivism. It is usually counted to twenty five.[1] Sritattvanidhi calls these as Panchavimsatilīlāmūrti (twenty five sportive forms).[2] These forms are based on Puranas and Ithihasa (history) in which Shiva's divine play is explained with different stories. Most of these forms are present in South Indian temples as main deities of sanctum or sculptures and reliefs in the outer walls of Shiva temples.

According to Shaivagamas,Hindu god Shiva never incarnates or takes avatars. He just manifests with different forms.


Hindu iconography on Shiva is well developed in middle age all over India with his various divine plays described in Purana- ithihasas. Shivagamas tells devotees to worship these forms for distinct purposes. There are so many numbers of these forms available. Most prevalent is twenty five maheshwara murtams or Panchavimsati murtams mentioned in Shivagamas and sixty four shiva murtams (Ashdashta Murtas).

Maheshwara Murtas 25Edit

The common list believed as twenty five Maeshwara murtas is given below.[1][3]

Murta Depiction Description[4][5]
  The shiva form in which he mocked the arrogance of Rishis from Darukavana. He is depicted naked mendicant with encharming Mohini avatar of Vishnu.
(The shiva burnt Kamadeva, god of lust)
  Devas planned to make Shiva fall in love with Parvati, for the birth of Shiva's son, . They send god of lust for this task and he was burnt alive by the third eye of Shiva. Later, as his wife Rati requested, he was resurrected with the condition, he will be only visible to her.
(Shiva killed Kaladeva Yama, god of death.)
  Markandeya was an ardent devotee of Shiva who was blessed with the age of only 16 years. When in ended, Yama comes to take off the soul of Markandeya when he is in continuous Shiva worship. Yama was killed while he try to abduct the soul of Markandeya.But later gave life to yamaleela due to request from gods
Thirukkadavur temple is associated with this Veerasthana, one of 8 heroic playground
  The depiction of marriage of Shiva with Shakti, in any forms of Sati, Parvati or Meenakshi
(Rider of Vrishabha, the Holy bull)
  This is the usual form Shiva appears in front of his devotees with Parvati on his mount white bull, Vrishaba.
(Wearer of Chandra)
  Daksha, Shiva's father-in-law, cursed Chandra who married Daksha's twenty seven daughters and not taking care about most of them but only Rohini. Chandra sought the attention of Shiva in which Shiva gave abhaya to him and wore the wanning moon because of curse, on his matted hair.
(Maheshwara with goddess Uma)
  The appearance of divine couple Shiva and Parvati after their marriage.
(King of the dancers)
  It is told that Shiva is always dancing for the unstopped motion of the Universe.
(Burner of Three forts)
  The Shiva burnt three forts of three evil demons. It is said that he did this just by smiling at them.
(Killer of demon Jalandhara)
Shiva killed Jalandhara, an invincible demon who was the consort of Vrinda, an ardent devotee of Vishnu, who later praised as Tulsi
  Killer of Gajasura, a demon took the form of elephant
  Destroyer of Daksha yajna
  Combined form of half Shiva and half Vishnu
  Combined form of half Shiva and half Parvati
  Mount hunter who bestowed Arjuna with Pashupatastra
  Divine player with bones of devas after Pralaya
  Bestower to Chandeshvara Nayanar
  Giver of Sudarshana chakra, holy disc to Vishnu
  householder With Uma and Skanda
  Lord Shiva with one foot. This form is the merging point of Brahma and Vishnu during mahapralaya.
Shiva with Parvati and Vignesha
  South faced god, the first teacher
  One with blue throated. drinker of halahala poison during the churning of milk sea
  Lord comes out from jyotir linga pillar amidst Brahma and Vishnu
  Shiva sitting in ease position

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Durai Raja Singam, S. (1977). Ananda Coomaraswamy, the Bridge Builder: A Study of a Scholar-colossus. Khee Meng Press. p. 8.
  2. ^ Narasimha Murthy, A. V. (2001). Hemakuta: Recent Researches in Archaeology and Museology : Shri C.T.M. Kotraiah Felicitation Volume 1. Bharatiya Kala Prakashan. p. 177. ISBN 9788186050668.
  3. ^ Subas Rai, Bhanu Agrawal (1995). Third eye: myth or a scientific reality?. Pandey Publications House. p. 3.
  4. ^ Gopinatha Rao, T. A. (1993). Elements of Hindu iconography. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. ISBN 9788120808782.
  5. ^ Senrayan, B; Palanichamy, S (2014). Siva temples of sembiyan mahadevi in chola region a historical study. Madurai Kamraj University. pp. 198–231.

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