Ardhanarisvarar – whose body is half male and half female of Shiva and Parvati. The Ardhanarisvarar is a symbolic value of hermaphrodite, homosexual and transvestite. Ardhanarisvarar represents the male and female principle and how it constantly adapts with each other as a source of creation.


Ardhanarisvarar meaning – totality that lies beyond duality which means that there is existence of bisexuality and referring to the non-duality.  Through different cultures, Ardhanarisvarar has been associated traditionally with the hermaphrodite. The story of the Ardhanarisvarar shows Shiva’s embrace with power of nature.
The story of a woman’s love, possessiveness, jealousy for her man. Gauri who fears of the insecurities that she might lose her man to the love of another.


Gauri was an ardent devotee of Shiva. She spent years yearning for his blessings. When Shiva appeared in front of her, Gauri asked for a long-lasting love of a man, a husband whom she won’t have to share with anyone else. Surprised with Gauri’s love, Shiva agreed to her desire and accepted to be her husband and promised that he will not even have a thought of another woman in his heart.
One day, as Shiva was sitting on a rock in Kailasa; Gauri felt a shudder in her body. Gauri – the mother of universe was moved with fear, disbelief and a weakness. She witnessed the vision of another woman in Shiva’s heart. Gauri was shaken to have seen the love of Shiva that betrayed her so heartlessly. She understood that the eternal love of Shiva now was of the other woman.


Gauri left Shiva and his heart was filled with agony. He could not breathe without Gauri. In the books, Shiva’s love for Gauri was portrayed as to how a fish wouldn’t survive without water. Shiva found Gauri on a mountain peak sitting in darkness.  Shiva held on to her in his arms and thought what might have happened to Gauri that has tormented her this much?
Gauri was filled with the fear of losing her love. She immediately remembered about the woman on Shiva’s heart who wanted to destroy their relationship. She pushed him away and found there was no woman there in his heart. When Shiva enquired what had put her to sorrow, Gauri said that she saw a woman in his heart and she was not able to see her anymore. Shiva busted out laughing and asked ‘Oh! That woman?’. He took Gauri to the place where she saw the woman in his heart.
Shiva asked Gauri to look into his heart again. A smile appeared on Gauri’s face. And the woman on Shiva’s heart smiled back at Gauri. And Gauri then knew how beautiful she was. Shiva looked into her eyes and said that she shall not suffer anymore. From then Shiva and Gauri became one heart and one united body.


A single being with one body, one heart, one soul. Half female and Half male – The Arthanaresvarar.


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