Ardhanarishvara symbolizes that the male and female principles are inseparable.The composite form conveys the unity of opposites in the universe. The male half of Ardhanarishvara stands for Purusha and female half is Prakriti. Purusha is the male principle and passive force of the universe, while Prakriti is the female active force; both are “constantly drawn to embrace and fuse with each other, though separated by the intervening axis”. The union of Purusha (Shiva) and Prikriti (Shiva’s energy, Shakti) generates the universe, an idea also manifested in the union of the Linga of Shiva and Yoni of Devi creating the cosmos.
Photo: Zuzana Zwiebel – Elephanta Caves – Ardhanarishvara
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