Ashtamurti, aka: Aṣṭamūrti, Ashta-murti, Ashtan-murti; 3 Definition(s)


Ashtamurti means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Aṣṭamūrti can be transliterated into English as Astamurti or Ashtamurti, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Ashtamurti in Purana glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

Aṣṭamūrti (अष्टमूर्ति) refers to the eight cosmic bodies of Śiva, according to the Śivapurāṇa 1.19.—“among the eight cosmic bodies of Śiva (aṣṭamūrti), the Earthen body (pārthiva) is the best. Since it is not worshipped by any one else O Brāhmaṇas! it yields great benefit. Just as Śiva is the oldest and the most excellent of all deities, so also his earthly phallic image is the most excellent of all. [...]”.

Note: Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa ( gives the following version of the eight forms of Śiva (aṣṭamūrti): “when the life-principle became manifest it had no name, so it cried. Prajāpati asked the reason and being informed that the child wanted a name, first gave him the name Rudra, then Śarva, Paśupati, Ugra, Aśani, Bhava, Mahādeva and Īśāna. This was the conception from which the Purāṇa writers developed the Aṣṭamūrti conception of Śiva. The fact is that the eight forms of Śiva symbolise the five gross material elements (ether, air, fire, water, and earth), two opposite principles of Prāṇa and Apāna (heat and cold represented by the sun and the moon) and the principle of mind (manas) which is the eighth”.

Source: Siva Purana - English Translation

Aṣṭamūrti (अष्टमूर्ति).—Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Ether, Hotā, Sun and Moon.

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia
Purana book cover
context information

The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Ashtamurti in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

Aṣṭamūrti (अष्टमूर्ति).—the 'eight-formed', an epithet of Śiva; the 8 forms being, the 5 elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether), the Sun and the Moon and the sacrificing priest; cf. Ś.1.1 -या सृष्टिः स्रष्टुराद्या वहति विधिहुतं या हविर्या च होत्री । ये द्वे कालं विधत्तः श्रुतिविषयगुणा या स्थिता व्याप्य विश्वम् । यामाहुः सर्वभूत- प्रकृतिरिति यया प्राणिनः प्राणवन्तः । प्रत्यक्षाभिः प्रपन्नस्तनुभिरवतु वस्ताभिरष्टाभिरीशः (yā sṛṣṭiḥ sraṣṭurādyā vahati vidhihutaṃ yā haviryā ca hotrī | ye dve kālaṃ vidhattaḥ śrutiviṣayaguṇā yā sthitā vyāpya viśvam | yāmāhuḥ sarvabhūta- prakṛtiriti yayā prāṇinaḥ prāṇavantaḥ | pratyakṣābhiḥ prapannastanubhiravatu vastābhiraṣṭābhirīśaḥ) ||; or briefly expressed, the names in Sanskrit (in the above order) are:-जलं वह्निस्तथा यष्टा सूर्याचन्द्रमसौ तथा । आकाशं वायुरवनी मूर्तयोऽष्टौ पिनाकिनः (jalaṃ vahnistathā yaṣṭā sūryācandramasau tathā | ākāśaṃ vāyuravanī mūrtayo'ṣṭau pinākinaḥ) ||. °धरः (dharaḥ) 'having 8 forms', Śiva.

Derivable forms: aṣṭamūrtiḥ (अष्टमूर्तिः).

Aṣṭamūrti is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms aṣṭan and mūrti (मूर्ति).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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