#7-Lord Shiva and the number 5

Five Faces:
Shiva is 5 faced. His faces are Satyojatham, thathpurusham, eesaanam, vaamadevam and aghoram. It was from this five faces the five variable swaras ri, ga, ma, dha and ni of carnatic music evolved. Lord Muruga, the son of Lord Shiva has 6 faces. 5 of his faces are created from shiva’s five faces.

Five Syllable Mantra:
Na ma shi vaa ya – popularly called as panchAkshara mantram. This is shiva’s mantra. This has five syllables as shown above.

Five Bhutas:
Shiva is said to be the embodiment of the five elements or pancha bhuta. Sky(Akash), Wind(Vayu), Fire(Agni), Water(Jhalam), Land(Prithvi) are five in numbers. They are the five indriyas of Shiva. Sky is his ears, Wind is his body or skin, Fire is his eyes, Water is his tongue, Land is his nose. If we closely analyse these elements are associated with the 5 senses.

Akash – Sabda(Hear), Wind – Sparsha(Feel), Fire – Roopa(See), Water – Rasa(Taste) and Land – Gandha(Smell).

The sky is space where only sound is present.
Wind can be felt.
Fire can be seen.
Water can be tasted.
Land can be smelt.

To co-memorate this we have the pancha bhuta sthala.

1. Akash – Chidambaram
2. Wind – Kaalahasti
3. Fire – Tiruvannamalai
4. Water – Tiruvaanaikka
5. Land – Kanchipuram

Five Sabhas:
Sabha is a place where the ruler or the judge is seated and hears to the prayers or petitions. Lord Shiva sits on 5 different sabhas at 5 different places.

1. Kanaka sabhai – golden throne – Chidambaram
2. Velli sabhai – silver throne – Madurai
3. Ratna sabhai – gem throne – Tiruvalangadu
4. Taamira sabhai – copper throne – Tirunelveli
5. Chitra sabhai – Artistic throne – Tirukkuttralam