What is the Significance of Ardhanarishvara, Lord Shiva’s Half Man-Woman form? The importance of Ardhanarishvara Tathwa of Lord Shiva is mentioned here..
As the name Ardhanariswara means “Half Man-Woman”, it is the composite form of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is depicted as half male and half female, right side male Shiva and left side female Parvati.
The right half is shown with traditional Ornaments of lord Shiva. One can see half of his third eye on the forehead, River Goddess Ganga flowing through the hairs and his head adorned with crescent moon. The head part of left half is well combed hair with ornaments, half Tilaka on forehead, garments in silk and other female specific ornaments.
It is believed the logic behind the composite form of “Half Man-Woman” is that, the male and female principles are not different and are inseparable. The Unity of Male-Female is universal.
The Male half stands for ‘Purusha’, where as female half is for ‘Prakruti’. And hence the union of these two is the cause for the creation of the Universe. Ardhanarishwara harmonizes the two conflicting ways of life. One is the spiritual way and the other is materialistic way.
While Lord Shiva signifies the Spiritual way of living, Goddess Parvati signifies the materialistic way of living. Ardhanariswara also conveys that both Shiva and Shakti are not different, but they are one and the same.
Ardhanariswara is one of the most famous forms of Lord Shiva. It is also famous for the joint worship of both Parvati and Shiva. Though the temples of Ardhanariswara can be found all over the nation, the famous ones can be found in Southern part of India. One of such places is Tiruchengode in Tamil Nadu.