In the Vayaveeya
Sanhita of the Shiva
Maha Purana, the appearance of
Shiva-Shakti as “Ardhanarishwara”
upon the Stuti (prayer) by Lord Brahma
has been narrated by Vaayu Deva, the Hindu god of wind. At the beginning of his
creation, Brahmaji was unable to find a way in which the various species could
procreate and expand the Srishti (creation). Inspired by his “Buddhi” or
wisdom, Lord Brahma meditated upon Shiva,
who revealed himself as “Ardhanarishwara” highlighting the balance of male and
female, Purusha and Prakriti, that is at the base of the process of creation.
enchanting white marble statue of Ardhanarishwara, Shiva and Parvati are
represented as the source of Brahma’s Srishti. Shiva with a crescent moon and a
stream of river-goddess Ganga adorning his matted locks, a serpent around his
neck, Baagha-charma (hide of the tiger) as his clothing, and his Trishul
(trident) in his hand is the pinnacle of the powers of Purusha (primordial
male). Goddess Parvati holding a Kamandalu (ascetic’s water pot) and a fresh
lotus-bud (a symbol of the beginning of the creationary process) is draped in a
lovely sari and queenly ornaments. She is the enabler of Lord Brahma,
“Para-Shakti” (the primordial feminine potency), as the point of origin of all
female life forms, with whom the vision of procreation is achieved.
The use of white
marble in this Ardhanarishwara icon has increased the divine aesthetic quality
of the statue four-fold. A blue-tinted halo marks the celestial aura of
Ardhanarishwara. Tiny jewels are used to decorate the marble Ardhanarishwara
statue. Shiva’s eye is half-closed, signifying his eternal yogic state, while
the fully opened eye of goddess Parvati signifies her active presence in the Srishti.
Together, Shiva-Shakti in this white marble Ardhanarishwara statue, are the
divine father and mother whose benedictions are what lies beneath every aspect
of the universe.
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