Ardhanarishwara Shiva Charitra

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Mar 6 11:31:11 CST 2000

I hope everyone had a good time celebrating Mahashivaratri on Saturday.
I was so exhausted I had to rest all of Sunday but of all the running
around I do, this I don't mind at all.  I had an opportunity to listen to
Shiva Purana katha and one of the topics was related to some recent
discussions here so I looked it up. It is from adhyaya 3 of the Uttarardha
of the Rudra Samhita of the Shiva Mahapurana and the context is a
conversation between Nandi and Sanatkumara.

Nandi said:

My child!  Listen carefully and I shall describe to you the
Ardhanarishwara form of Shiva, that the lord of Yogis took to fullfill the
wish of Brahma.  At the beginning of every cycle Brahma is enjoined to
create the worlds but his mind-born creation had failed and he fell into
great sorrow.  At that time he heard a voice form the heavens that said,
"Create through the union of Man and Woman."  But he did not have the
power to create Woman.  Thinking that only through the grace of Shiva
would he succeed, he resolved to gain the favor of Mahadeva through
strenuous tapa.

Favoring His earnest bhakta, Shiva quickly appeared before him in the form
of Ardhanarishwara, Sensing the presense of the Purnachaitanyaswarupa
Shankar with Paramashakti as his left side, Brahma fell prostrate and
began to sing Him stutis.  Pleased, in a voice like the thundering monsoon
clouds, the Devadhideva Mahadeva said,

Shiva said:

"My child, oh my fortunate, dear son Pitamaha, I have instantly understood
your hearts desire. For the increase of progeny you have until now
performed tapa and thereby pleased me.  I will grant your wish."

Nandi said:

Speaking thus, Shiva manifested the godess Shivaa[1] from His left side.
His soul gladdened to its core, Brahma bowed before the divine form and
sang this stuti:

Brahma said:

Oh Shivaa, Your husband the God of Gods has protected me.  Through His
blessings I was brought forth to create.  Time and time again I have
created the Gods and sages from the power of my mind.  But they do not
follow my wishes[2] and thus my creation has not flourished.  Now I wish
to create a Maithuni creation that will grow and flourish.  But that
creation will need the presence of Woman and for that my shakti is
insufficient. All shaktis have you alone as their source so Sarveshwari I
beseech You, give me the power to create Woman.  Oh Jagannmata!  I bow to
you again and again.  And I have one more wish, oh Ambika who dwells
within all.  Through Ishwara alone does the world moving and still grow
and prosper so become the daughter of my son Daksha.[3]

Nandi said:

Hearing this prayer of the noble Brahma, Parameshwari Devi said "so be
it" and gave Brahma the power to create Woman.  Seeing Jagannamayi Shivaa
Devi bring forth that shakti from between Her eyebrows, the best of
gods, Shiva ocean of mercy laughed and said

Shiva said:

Oh Devi, Parameshthi Brahma has pleased you with his tapa. quickly and
lovingly fulfill his request and be born as the daughter of Daksha.

Nandi said:

Heeding the wishes of her husband, Parameshwari took birth as the daughter
of Daksha.  Oh sage!  That daughter later won the lord of yogis as her
husband.  Brahma created the worlds through mithuna and that creation
flourished.  My child! I have narrated to you this most awe-inspiring
story of the Lord who is half man and half woman, hearing which the hearts
of the bhaktas are gladdened.  That person who recites or listens to this
story with selfless devotion enjoys prosperity and progeny and ultimately
reaches the highest goal.

[1] i.e. Parvati.

[2] Brahma created sages such as Narada and the Sanatakumaras but they
turned to sannyasa instead of continuing the creation.

[3] Because the creation would not be complete until Shiva and Shakti
themselves had a child.  The cycle of events revolving around the birth of
Sati the daughter of Daksha and the following events culminated in the
birth of Kartik bhagwan.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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