According to Shaiva Sidhdhaantha the God is formless (arUpa) .
But for the salvation of lives He took the form of liN^gam
- meaning symbol (arUpa rUpa). liN^gam< can be considered
both as form as well as formless symbol. This mUrti is called sadA
shiva mUrti. From the SadhA Shiva mUrti, for the benefit of lives
God took a lot of forms which are called mAhEshwara mUrtis. There
are twenty five MAhEshwara mUrtis (Some say there are more). Some
of these mUrtis are bhOga mUrtis, usually with Shakthi like
R^ishabArUdar, or yOga mUrtis, sitting in one of
the yOga postures without Shakthi in the side like dakshiNAmUrti,
or vEga mUrtis, in the state of destruction like kAlAri.
Usually in the temples, SadhA Shiva mUrthi (Shiva liN^gam )
will be in the Sanctum Sanctorum. The mAhEshwara mUrhtis will be in
the Praahaaram. (Outside the Sanctum Sanctorum). There are some nice
Sanskrit dhyAna shlokas that praise these mUrtis.
The English translation of them (with the help of
Sree Hari) and some
information is given for that corresponding mUrti name here.
- kalyANa su.ndarar
- cha.ndra shEkharar
- umA mahEshvarar
- gajasa.mhAra mUrti (mAtaN^gAri)
- karALar (vIrabhadrar)
- sha.nkara nArAyaNar
- ardha nArIshvarar
- chakra pradar
- saha umA ska.ndar (sOmAska.ndhar)
- Eka pAdar
- gajamukhAnugrahar (vighnEshAnugrahar)
- dakshiNA mUrti
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