Ardhanārīśvara is a syncretic androgynous form of the God Śiva and His consort Pārvatī, representing the synthesis of masculine and feminine energies of the universe (puruṣa and prakṛti).
Ardhanārīśvara is a syncretic androgynous form of the God Śiva and His consort Pārvatī (alias Devī, Śakti, Umā), depicted as half male and half female, split down the middle along its longitudinal axis. The right half is usually male, the left female, but in some rare śākta icons it is the opposite. The icon represents the synthesis of masculine and feminine energies of the universe (puruṣa and prakṛti) and illustrates how the female principle of God is inseparable from her male counterpart. The name means “the Lord who is half woman.” Alternative names of this character are Ardhanaranārī (“the woman who is half man”), Ardhanārīśa (“the Lord who is half woman”), Ardhanārīnaṭeśvara (“the Lord of dance who is half-woman”), Naranārī (“man-woman”), Ammiappan (a tamilname meaning...
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