Muneeswaran – The Wrath and Serenity of Shiva
Muneeswaran, also popularly known as Muneeswarar, is a Hindu deity and is regarded as an aspect of Shiva. The name MuneeswaranMuneeswaran
Muneeswaran, also popularly known as Muneeswarar, is a Hindu deity and is regarded as an aspect of Shiva. is a combination of two Sanskrit words – “muni” and “iswara”. The word “muni” means “saint” and “iswara” signifies “Shiva”. Hence, the name translates to “holy form of Shiva”. He is considered to be a deity worshipped in two forms - the angry one and the peaceful one. Muneeswaran is one of the most important deities of not only India but also Singapore and Malaysia and is revered and worshipped with great zeal and passion.
Muneeswaran is generally depicted as a man with thick moustache and bearing a brilliant radiance on his face. He is usually shown clad in very simple clothes; mostly a cotton dhoti, and is adorned with jewels, ornaments, flowers and garlands, and a golden crown. He is always shown carrying a trident in addition to a mace. Most of his depictions portray him mounted on a lion.
There are many Vedic texts and references which state that once upon a time there was a very proud and high handed king called Daksha. He had a daughter named SatiSati
The name Sati means true and justifying her name... who was an incarnation of the supreme goddess Adi Parashakti. When Sati grew up and achieved womanhood, DakshaDaksha
Brahma, the creator of the universe, created Daksha from his right thumb... thought of getting her married. He brought marriage proposals of great princes, gods and powerful persons for Sati. But Sati rejected all of them. She was a great devotee of ShivaShiva
Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ... and wanted to marry him. But Daksha did not like Shiva at all. Sati then went to a forest and performed intense penance for Shiva. After several years of her prayers, Shiva was pleased and agreed to make her his consort. Daksha, however, organized a Swayamvar in which a contest was held to win the hand of Sati for marriage. Sati was given a garland and the person around whose neck she put the garland would become her husband. Daksha knowingly did not allow Shiva to come there and did not invite him in the Swayamvar. Sati then prayed for a while and threw the garland in the air. Suddenly the garland was found around the neck of Shiva and as such, Daksha had no choice but to give Sati to Shiva for marriage. Nevertheless, Daksha became very angry as his daughter was going to marry someone he did not choose. He told her to go away and, in a way, cut off all the bonds with her.
One day Daksha decided to perform the great ritual ceremony of Ashwamedha yajna. He invited gods, goddesses, kings and many other beings to the ritual but did not invite Shiva and Sati. When Sati came to know about the yajna, she tried to sway Shiva to go there with her. But Shiva was not moved by her persuasions at all and refused to go. Moreover, he told Sati that she should not go to the yajna as well. But Sati was hell bent on going to there and kept on persuading Shiva for a long time. Eventually, Shiva told her that she could go but he would not come with her. Shiva’s troops then escorted Sati to the yajna. As soon as she reached there, Daksha became infuriated on seeing Sati at the yajna. He yelled at her aggressively and vehemently insulted her as well as her husband Shiva Sati, out of respect, kept on listening to her father and tried to calm him down. but all her efforts went in vain as Daksha would not listen to anything she said. Eventually, Sati became enraged and came in her powerful form of Adi Parashakti. the world was filled with lightening, thunder and chaos. The whole world was on the verge of utter destruction. Sati then cursed Daksha that he would be slain by Shiva. After that Sati immolated herself in the fire of the yajna and gave up her life. When Shiva got to know about what happened at the yajna, he was filled with rage, anger and grief. At that point of time a fierce form of power was engendered by Shiva. That wrathful form of Shiva was known as Virabhadra. Virabhadra was a ferocious looking being who wore a garland of thousand skulls and carried numerous powerful weapons. He was so tall that his head reached the heaven. Virabhadra then bowed down to Shiva and asked for his orders. Shiva then instructed him to decapitate Daksha and destroy the yajna as well as anyone who attended it. Virabhadra then left along with his army and followed the instructions of Shiva. He cut off the head of Daksha, trod down on Indra, destroyed the staff of YamaYama
Also known as Yamaraja, Yama is the controller of the hell (Naraka)... and demolished everything. However, in order to protect the souls, Shiva created Muneeswaran. It is believed that with time, anger of Shiva was appeased and the souls of those who faced his wrath were protected.
Worship, Beliefs and Significance
Muneeswaran is worshipped all over the world, especially, by the South Indian community. Muneeswaran is worshipped in two different forms – peaceful form and fierce form. Those who worship the deity in his peaceful form offer him flowers, incenses, fruits and some vegetarian food items. Those who worship the fierce form of the deity, usually perform animal sacrifices to please the deity. Nevertheless, he is regarded as a benign deity in both the forms. Muneeswaran symbolizes power, knowledge, wisdom, affection, honor, reverence and faith.