Panchamukha Shiva, Panchanana Shiva: Five Aspects of Lord Shiva

Panchamukha Shiva, also known as Panchanana Shiva, is an image or idol of Lord Shiva with five faces. As five is the sacred number for Lord Shiva, five mantras and syllables represent him. These five mantras also signify the five heads of Shiva. Each head has a particular name and specific Shakti (power) is associated with it.

Puranas describe these five aspects of Shiva as the five elements, the five senses, the five organs of perception, and the five organs of action. From below given table we can know detailed information on names of Panchamukhi Shiva and the Shakti or power associated with them:

  1. Ishana: Also known as Sadashiva, Ishana Shiva is associated with Anugraha Shakti (power of blessing)
  2. Tatpurusha: Also known as Maheshwara, Tatpurusha Shiva is associated with Thoridhana Shakti (power of concealment)
  3. Aghora: Also referred to as Rudra, Aghora Shiva associates with Samhara Shakti (power of dissolution)
  4. Vamadeva: Also termed as Vishnu, Vamadeva Shiva is associated with Stithi Shakti (power of sustenance)
  5. Sadyojata: Also named as Brahma, Sadyojata Shiva is associated with Srishti shakti (power of creation)

Panchamukha Shiva or Panchanana Shiva – Five-headed Shiva

There is a popular idol of Panchamukha Shiva at Elephanta Caves near Mumbai Metropolis which displays only three faces of Panchamukha Shiva. The concept of Panchamukha Shiva explains us Lord Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma are not three different Gods but a single God’s three significant aspects.

Here you can read about Panchamukha Hanuman.

 

58 Comments

  1. Dear Sir,

    I request the readers to read ‘Bhuvaneshwra’ for ‘Maheshwara’ in my above mentioned comments.

    I.J.Gupta

  2. Dear Sir,
    I would like to inform that I could only read in Srimad Devi Bhagwatam (Book=12 and Chapter-12) that Adi Prashakti Maa Bhuvaneshwari (Mool Prakriti) before creation divided herself into two of which the right half with five faces/heads (each with three eyes) was named Maheshwara Mahadeva and the left haif remained was Bhuvaneshwari; the latter sitting in the lap of Mahadeva’s left side.
    I.J.Gupta

  3. I have heard that Shivaling is found in various forms in different regions. Can you please provide more information on those shiva temples in India. One I know is in Chidambaram where it is called Vayu linga and there is no linga over there. They say shiva exists in aerial form. Can you elaborate on these aspects. We do puja on Shivaratri and want to know about this.

  4. Hari Om,

    Dear Mr Kalyan,

    Thank you very much for your appreciation. If you want to help Hindupad with your writeups, then please go ahead. You can write on Hindu temples or any other related issue of Hinduism. You can send me at this mail id.. The articles which you write will be posted in Hindupad with your name & bio…

  5. Namaskaram
    Thank you very much for your efferts in this regards. I wish to join with you and do some small helps to you in Bakthi Margam. you give me any assinment in this regrds.

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