We went to the St. Louis art museum while visiting Emily’s family for Thanksgiving and I came across this sculpture of Ardhanarishvara. 

Even though I have an interest in Hinduism, I’d never come across this particular diety before. Ardhanarishvara is a Hindu god that is both male and female. Half male body and half female body, vertically down the middle. This god is actually a composite of two Hindu gods, Shiva and Shakti. Still, the god is depicted literally as half female and half male and has been since the first century.

The name Ardhanarishvara means “the Lord who is half woman.” But Ardhanarishvara is also known by many other names; such as Ardhanaranari (“the half man-woman”), Ardhanarinateshvara (“the Lord of Dance who is half-woman”), Parangada, Naranari (“man-woman”), Ammiappan (a Tamil name meaning “Mother-Father”).  Hey, that’s me! No? Well, sort of.

At any rate, I stared at the statue for quite some time. Aware that my mother in law was somewhere nearby. I wondered what others thought of this diety. I wondered what others saw while looking at me looking at the Ardhanarishvara likeness through the glass case just beyond my own trans reflection. Honestly, there was a moment when we seemed to be secretly smiling at one another, knowing, understanding, connecting, trancestors. While anyone can look Ardhanarishvara up on wiki, the general idea is that there is a totality beyond duality. The unity of and the inseparability of the energy that is deeper than a binary system of gender. Wow.

About halitentwo

i am. god is. we are. as soon as i write something about me i change, am different, evolving. i am trans. i am a parent. i am a partner. i am a human. i am attempting to live a well-lived life in the spaces in between, beyond definition, fluid, dynamic, omnifarious and always changing. hopefully growing.
This entry was posted in in the spiritual realm, no man's land. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to ardhanarishvara

  1. jeff says:

    as with Them I Am, this Spirit is most Here at this time with me; She/He still exists, is There; We are One – this most wonderous entity is with me right now, it’s a temporary manifestation as I’m bipolar, She is at this time pre-dominant, while He is post that which is and is not. I can exist in comfort now with Her, as She is my compliment to the contrary; God sent Her to help, She does and goes everywhere with me at this time. Indeed a rare being to know, wonderful.

  2. Pingback: Vedas On Women Social Status | Ramani's blog

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