Maheshwara murtas are forms of Shiva revered in the Shivagamas of southern Shaiva Siddhanta sect of Saivism. It is usually counted to twenty five. Sritattvanidhi calls these as Panchavimsatilīlāmūrti (twenty five sportive forms). 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.
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 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|
- Nataraja, form of Shiva
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