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Eight Forms of Shiva Related To Cosmic Order

Eight cosmic forms of Shiva which performs various cosmic functions are:
  1. Shiva
  2. Bhairava
  3. Srikantha
  4. Sadashiva
  5. Ishwara
  6. Rudra
  7. Vishnu
  8. Brahma.
This concept was first taught by Gorakhnath – he spoke of the eight forms as the Ashta Murti of Maha Shankara Pinda Shiva.


Through these eight divine manifestations Shiva perform cosmic functions like:
  • To regulate and harmonize the works of creation, preservation, destruction etc.
  • To maintain law and order in the ever changing diverse cosmic system.
  • The establish Dharma in the universe.
  • To distribute bliss, happiness and miseries.
  • To bless and give boons
  • To set before living beings high and noble ideas of truth.
  • To spread beauty, goodness, love and absolute transcendent unity.
  • To help a devote escape from the cycle of birth and death.
As per Gorakhnath, the same divine power operates in all forms. From Shiva appears everything and we humans give it different names to depending on qualities and functions.

Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are one. It is the ignorance of the humans that see them as three different deities.

Creation is the process of diversification and destruction is the process of unification. All these processes continuously take part in the cosmic form of Shiva.