Shri Ardhanarishwara Stotram was composed by Sri Adi Shankara bhagavatpada.
This stotram shows that the Creator and Creation are One ~ Ardhanarishwara, composite of Shiva and Shakti together in one body. This form reminds us that Shiva is beyond gender, yet encompasses both genders. Shiva represents the unmanifest and Shakti the manifest; Shiva the formless and Shakti the formed; Shiva consciousness and Shakti energy, not only in the cosmos as a whole but in each and every individual. Ardhanarishwara form also illustrates how the female principle of God, Shakti, is inseparable from the male principle of God, Shiva.
The Shiva Purana describes that Brahma created all male beings, the Prajapatis, and told them to regenerate, which they were unable to do. Confronted with the resulting decline in the pace of creation, Brahma was perplexed and contemplated on Shiva for help. To enlighten Brahma of his folly, Shiva appeared before him as Ardhanarishvara. Brahma prayed to the female half of Shiva to give him a female to continue creation. The goddess agreed and created various female powers from her body, thereby allowing creation to progress.
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