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Kapalin Shiva – Story of Shiva as Kapalin

Kapalin Shiva is the form Shiva with the skull of Brahma stuck to His hand. The story of Shiva as Kapalin begins with Shiva taking the form of Bhairava to cut off the fifth head of Brahma.


Shiva was unhappy with the suffering in the world and He was unhappy with the creation of Brahma. But Brahma was proud of his creation and looked all around with four heads. His pride no knew end and he popped up a fifth head to look around. Shiva cut off this head.

But Shiva repented when Brahma told him that he did not create suffering. Suffering is the result of the ignorance of living beings. Soon Shiva felt remorse and for redemption of the sin, Brahma asked Shiva to become a wandering ascetic and beg for food in a skull. Thus Shiva became Kapalin.

Many Shiva sects took inspiration from Kapalin form and choose it as a way to attain self realization. A Kapalin is one who has moved away from society. He attempts to brush away the dust of ignorance which is blocking his path to self realization.

Shiva ended his Kapalin form when he reached Kashi and bathed in the River Ganga.



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