There are images of Shiva in which his right side is a male with the Shaiva attributes and the left side female; this expresses the union of the two halves on the principle that male and female have united but have not merged. This Ardhanarishvara image is seated on a tiger skin. The right side that belongs to Shiva has two arms, holding the trishula in one hand and the other a damaru (rattle drum). A snake is coiled around the neck. From his knotted hair flows the Ganga. The left side that belongs to Shiva's Shakti, Parvati, shows her with a ring-like lasso and sharp sword in her hands. The third eye in the middle of the forehead is the common feature to the male and female.
Shiva in his androgynous form, subsumes within himself, his divine consort Parvati and thus becomes purusha and prakriti conjoined in one, indicating the complementary nature of the sexes.
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