Lord Shiva & The Five Acts of the Cosmic Source

Lord Shiva & The Five Acts of the Cosmic Source

Written By Swami Ayyappa Giri

Known well by the ancient sages, siddhas and rishis, and usually hidden from ordinary humans, there are five acts of the cosmic source flowing through to the material realm for the experience of individual souls.

These five acts are accessible as also to souls in human form, although the soul itself is covered by Maya’s veil and it falsely identifies itself as the doer.  It is that very identification that accrues karmic impact from most actions within the realm of mundane existence.

A potter who is forming a pot from clay, may be subject to a karmic impacts by the act of their creation. God, however, acting through Shakti is the efficient cause of this world. God performs the five acts, but is unaffected by the actions.

 As the individual experiences spiritual maturing and self-development in connection with the different experiences and awareness born of the six main chakras, soul lessons become available to be fully incorporated into the fullness of consciousness. Then, according to divine will, the seventh center holding transcendental Sat (truth), Chit knowledge ), and Ananda (bliss) is revealed by the grace of Shiva. 

 The five acts of Lord Shiva have been represented since ancient time, by five faces gazing out from the central Shivalingam, or Mukhilinga – an oval representation of Shiva’s embodiment. Four forms look into one of the four cardinal directions, with the fifth, looking upwards towards the nishkala (formless space), and each has his own name, qualities and power. The forms are; Sadyojata, Vamadeva, Aghora, Tatpurusha and Ishana.

Worshipping and working with the energy of the five faced Shivalingam allows the devoted to move into communion with Shiva and begin to understand the depth of his contribution to the nature of our existence.  

 In his dancing form as Lord Nataraja, Shiva also displays his five actions within the mystery of his dance and in the implements and symbolism of his very form.

 When we come to understand Shiva’s five acts and the pervasive influence of each, we have the opportunity to understand both the workings of nature, and how to work in partnership with it as a pure expression and enactment of Dharma. 


Join us, at Yogini Ashram and Online on the most sacred and powerful evening of Maha Shivaratri – The Great Night of Shiva to learn more about the mystery, power and grandeur of the Lord in his five sacred forms. Shivaratri opens a sacred and potent space for all sincere aspirants to know more of the mystery, to move into closer connection with divine consciousness and grow ever closer to the truth of existence itself.


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