Aghora Shiva

Aghora Shiva is the fiercest form of Shiva and is the middle form in the Pancha Mukha Shiva concept. Aghora Shiva faces the south and represents the destructive and regenerative aspect of Shiva, which first absorbs all life and then renovates the universe by creating things afresh. The term Aghora has two meanings – one who is not fierce – meaning the handsome. Another meaning is the fiercest. It is for a devotee to decide how he/she wants to approach Aghora Shiva.

For his devotees who follow dharma – Aghora Shiva is the handsome. For those who tread the path of Adharma he is the fiercest.

The term Aghora first appears in the portion dedicated to Shiva in the Adharva Veda.

The mantra associated with this form of Shiva is the Aghora Mantra composed by Aghora Maharishi. The mantra has 51 letters.
aum hrong aghore ghore hungm,
ghortare hungm;
aum hreengm kleengm, sarvatah sarvaange,
namaste rudra roope hungm

A popular belief is that one who chants the Aghora mantra and wears bhasma will not face any difficulties.
Aghori Sadhus are followers to Aghora Shiva – they live in graveyards and perform intense austerities. They roam around naked and drink water in a bowl made from human skull. They eat the meat of all living beings accept that of horse.