Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna

Ardhanārīśvara

  • Alberto Pelissero
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_619-1

Definition

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).

Dattātreya

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...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. 1.
    Doniger W (1981) Sexual metaphors and animal symbols in Indian mythology. Motilal Banarsidass, DelhiGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Doniger W (1999) Splitting the difference. Gender and myth in ancient Greece and India. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Yadav N (2001) Ardhanarisvara in art and literature. Motilal Banarsidass, DelhiGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Banerjea JN (1973) The development of Hindu iconography. Munshiram Manoharlal, New Delhi, pp 552–554Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Rao TAG (1985) Elements of Hindu iconography, vol II part I. Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi (I ed Madras 1914), pp 321–337Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bunce FW (2000) An encyclopaedia of Hindu deities, semi-gods, godlings, demons and heroes, with special focus on iconographic attributes, vol I. DK Printworld, New Delhi, pp 49–51Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Geaves R (2003) Ardhanārīśvara. In: Cush D, Robinson C, York M (2010) Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Routledge, London/New York, p 40Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rao SKR (2003) Encyclopaedia of Indian iconography, Hinduism – Buddhism – Jainism, vol 1. Sri Satguru Publications, Delhi, pp 75–82Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Studi umanistici StudiUmUniversità degli studi di TorinoTorinoItaly