Categories: Hindu God and Goddess

Pancha Brahma:Five Aspects of Lord Shiva

In Hindu tradition, the concept of Pancha Brahma holds significant importance, as it describes five manifestations of the Supreme Truth, Brahman. These aspects of Lord Shiva are found in the Krishna Yajur Veda, particularly in the Pancha Brahma Upanishad. The primary Pancha Brahmas are Sadyojata, Vamadeva, Aghora, Tatpurusha, and Ishana, and they further manifest as Brahma (Lord Brahma), Vishnu (Lord Vishnu), Rudra, Maheshwara, and Sada Shiva respectively.

Pancha Brahma


Associated with the western direction, Sadyojata represents Iccha Shakti or willpower. This aspect is linked to the mind and is connected to the fire element, symbolizing the fire of the mind and body. Sadyojata’s function is that of the creative force and is associated with the Manipura chakra.


सद्योजातं प्रपद्यामि सद्योजाताय वै नमो नमः।
भवे भवे नाति भवे भवस्व मां भवोद्भवाय नमः॥

sadyojatam prapadyami sadyojataya vai namo namah;
bhave bhave nati bhave bhavasva mam bhavodbhavaya namah.

Meaning: I surrender myself to Sadyojata (the manifestation of Lord Shiva), I bow again and again to Sadyojata. O Lord, in every birth, may I not be born (again), please protect me from the cycle of birth and death. Salutations to the one who brings about existence.


Aligned with the northern direction, Vamadeva embodies the shakti or strength and beauty, as well as the goddess Maya. It is associated with Vijnanamaya Kosha, the sheath of universal consciousness limited to the individual mind. Mantras to Vamadeva are believed to have healing benefits. This aspect represents the preserving energy of Shiva and is connected to the air element and the Anahata Chakra.


वामदेवायनमो ज्येष्ठाय नमः श्रेष्ठाय
नमो रुद्राय नमः कालाय नमः।
कलविकरणाय नमो बलाय नमो
बलविकरणाय नमो बलप्रमथनाय नमः।
सर्वभूतदमनाय नमो मनोन्मनाय नमः॥

vamadevaya namo jyesthaya namah sresthaya
namo rudraya namah kalaya namah;
kalavikaranaya namo balaya namo
balavikaranaya namo balapramathanaya namah;
sarvabhutadamanaya namo manonmanaya namah.

Meaning: I bow down to Vamadeva, I pay homage to Jyestha, and I bow down to the most excellent. I salute Rudra, and I bow to Kala (time). I offer my reverence to Kala Vikarana, and I pay my respects to Bala (strength). I bow to Bala Vikarana, and I pay my respects to Balapramathana (the destroyer). I bow down to Sarvabhutadaman (the controller of all beings), and I pay homage to Manonman (the one who uplifts the mind).


Associated with the southern direction, Aghora represents jnana Shakti or the power of knowledge, and the Buddhi rupa, meaning the form of intellect. This aspect is linked to the Pranamaya Kosha and embodies the rejuvenating and dissolving qualities of Shiva. It is connected to the water element and the Svadishthana chakra.


अघोरेभ्योऽथ घोरेभ्यो अघोरघोरेतरेभ्यः।
सर्वतः शर्वः सर्वेभ्यो नमस्ते रुद्र रूपेभ्यः॥

aghorebhyo’tha ghorebhyo aghoraghoretarebhyah;
sarvatah sarvah sarvebhyo namaste rudra rupebhyah.

Meaning: Salutations to Rudra in all forms, who is beyond the terrible, the extremely terrible, and even beyond that which is beyond terrible. Salutations to Rudra, who is omnipresent and exists in everything and everyone, beyond all forms and appearances.


The eastern face of Shiva, Tatpurusha, represents the paratman or supreme soul behind the physical being. This aspect is associated with Ananda Shakti, the power of bliss, and the Annamaya kosha. Tatpurusha is connected to the earth element and the muladhara chakra, and it is considered beneficial for increasing focus.


तत्पुरुषाय विद्महे महादेवाय धीमहि।
तन्नो रुद्रः प्रचोदयात्॥

tatpurusaya vidmahe mahadevaya dhimahi;
tanno rudrah pracodayat.

Meaning: We know that Supreme Being (Tatpurusha), we meditate upon the Great God (Mahadeva). May that Rudra (another name for Lord Shiva) inspire and guide us.


Ishana is the upper or skyward face of Shiva, associated with the Citta Shakti or power of individual consciousness realizing the universal consciousness. This aspect represents Akasha or ether and is linked to the Vishuddha chakra. Ishana embodies the total energy of Shiva, encompassing all his attributes and is associated with the Anandamaya kosha.


ईशान सर्वविद्यानामीश्वरः सर्वभूतानां ब्रह्मादिपति ब्रह्मणोऽधिपतिर्।
ब्रह्मा शिवो मे अस्तु स एव सदाशिव ओम्॥

isana sarvavidyanamisvarah sarvabhutanam brahmadipati brahmano’dhipatir;
brahma sivo me astu sa eva sadasiva om.

Meaning: Lord Ishana is the omniscient, the ruler of all knowledge. He is the ultimate ruler of all beings, the Lord of Brahman (the ultimate reality). May that auspicious and eternal Shiva be with me; He is indeed the true eternal benevolent Shiva. Om.

Om Namah Shivaya


Krishna Das is an experienced article writer. He writes about Hinduism in his spare time.

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