Murtibheda, Mūrtibheda, Murti-bheda: 4 definitions

Introduction:

Murtibheda 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.

In Hinduism

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Murtibheda in Shaktism glossary
Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Mūrtibheda (मूर्तिभेद) refers to the “division of (Kubjikā’s) iconic form”, according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, “(Kubjikā’s) iconic form is threefold [i.e., mūrtibheda] (according to whether it is) in (the transmission) of the Child, Middle One or the Aged. O Śaṃkara, you are (my) devotee, I will tell you. The one syllabled (Vidyā) is called Parā. It is the plane of knowledge of the Siddhas. It is the Yoga Vidyā, the great Vidyā which is in the heart of the Rudras. It is the Rudra part which is that of the Rudras and it is in consonance with the knowledge of Parā. It said to be the main Vidyā in Kāmākhyā, while the goddess of the sacred seat is in Pūrṇaka. The one called Yoga is in (the sacred seat called) Oṃkāra in the maṇḍala of the three seals”.

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Prabhupada Books: Sri Caitanya Caritamrta

Mūrtibheda (मूर्तिभेद) refers to the “many forms” of Ananta Śeṣa, according to the Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta 2.24.291ff.—Accordingly:—“[...] That Ananta Śeṣa is the devotee incarnation of Godhead. He knows nothing but service to Lord Kṛṣṇa. With His thousands of mouths [...] He serves Lord Kṛṣṇa, assuming all the following forms: umbrella, slippers, bedding, pillow, garments, resting chair, residence, sacred thread and throne. He is thus called Lord Śeṣa, for He has attained the ultimate end of servitude to Kṛṣṇa. He takes many forms [i.e., mūrtibheda] for the service of Kṛṣṇa, and thus He serves the Lord. [...]”.

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Murtibheda in Purana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Skanda-purana

Mūrtibheda (मूर्तिभेद) refers to the “different forms” (of Śrī Viṣṇu) (for the welfare of his devotees), according to the Skandapurāṇa 5.1.53b (“The Greatness of Vaiṣṇava Tīrthas”).—Accordingly: “[...] On hearing this, Agnibindu became delighted with hairs standing on ends. The intelligent sage asked further: ‘O Lord, mention the different forms [i.e., mūrtibheda] for the welfare of your devotees and to quell my doubts. O infinite one, how many are your Mūrtis? How are they to be known? Tell this’. On hearing the words of Agnibindu, the storehouse of austerities, Lord Viṣṇu mentioned the different Mūrtis in due order. On hearing these, a man can avoid being a victim of Yama. Prajāpati (i.e. Viṣṇu) mentioned twenty-four different Mùrtis beginning with Keśava. [...]”.

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Mūrtibheda (मूर्तिभेद) refers to the “different Mūrtis” (of Rudra) (devoted to Śiva), according to the Śivapurāṇa 7.2.31.—Accordingly, as Upamanyu narrated to Kṛṣṇa the hymn of lord Śiva: “[...] Rudra is stationed within and without the cosmos. He is the lord of the worlds. He is fond of Śiva to whom he is fondly attached. He is engaged in the worship of Śiva. May he grant my desire at the behest of Śiva. His six ancillaries Brahman etc. and the eight deities ending with Vidyeśa, the four different Mūrtis [i.e., mūrtibheda] devoted to Śiva, with Śiva as their cause, Śiva, Bhava, Hara and Mṛḍa—may these grant my desire at the behest of Śiva”.

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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