Ashtamurti, Aṣṭamūrti, Ashta-murti, Ashtan-murti: 9 definitions


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)

[«previous next»] — Ashtamurti in Purana glossary
Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

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. [...]”.

According to chapter 1.21:—“[...] the true devotee after performing worship in the prescribed manner shall worship the eight (aṣṭamūrti) cosmic bodies (of Śiva) consisting of the three worlds. The Earth (kṣiti), the waters (apas/ap), the fire (anala), the wind (vāyu), the Ether (ākāśa), the sun (sūrya), the moon (soma) and the sacrificer (yajamāna)—these are the eight cosmic bodies. Śarva, Bhava, Rudra, Ugra, Bhīma, Īśvara, Mahādeva and Paśupati are the manifestations of Śiva who shall be worshipped with these cosmic bodies respectively”.

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: Puranic Encyclopedia

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

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study

Aṣṭamūrti (अष्टमूर्ति) represents the “eight forms of Śiva”, according to the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—Puranic Śaivaism is, to begin with, characterised by the doctrine of Gods five manifestations pañcabrahman or the so called faces pañcavaktra and that of his eight forms or embodiments aṣṭamūrti.—The conception of the eight forms (aṣṭamūrti) of Śiva is one of the well-known views of the Purāṇas, especially of the Śaiva Purāṇas like Liṅga, Skanda, Śiva, and Saura. The conception of Śiva’s aṣṭamūrti seems to be based on an interesting passage in the Kauṣitakī-brāhmaṇa (6.1ff).

The Saurapurāṇa describes the well-known concept of aṣṭamūrti—the five elements, the sun, the moon and the sacrificer (yajamāna) to each of which corresponds one of his traditional names Śarva, Bhava, Paśupati, Īśāna, Bhīma, Rudra, Mahādeva and Ugra. A separate hymn is addressed to these eight forms of Śiva in the Saurapurāṇa  (2.43-50).

Note: A precise account with necessary details of these eight forms [viz., aṣṭamūrti] of Śiva is found in the Viṣṇupurāṇa 1.8 and the Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa (P 52). Poets have also referred to this form and sometimes have described them attractively. A few stotras also refer to this form.

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 dictionary

[«previous next»] — Ashtamurti in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Aṣṭamūrti (अष्टमूर्ति).—[-n], m. a name of Śiva, [Śiśupālavadha] 14, 18.

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

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Aṣṭamūrti (अष्टमूर्ति):—[=aṣṭa-mūrti] [from aṣṭa > aṣṭan] m. ‘eight-formed’, a Name of Śiva (as identified with the five elements, mind, egotism, and Prakṛti [matter]; or, according to the opening of the Śakuntalā, with the five elements, the sun and moon and the sacrificing priest), [Mahābhārata iii, 1939; Raghuvaṃśa etc.]

[Sanskrit to German]

Ashtamurti in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Ashtamurti in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Aṣṭamūrti (ಅಷ್ಟಮೂರ್ತಿ):—[noun] Śiva, who has eight forms.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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