Shiva means “The Auspicious”.
The Hindu religion has 3 main Gods viz The Brahma, The Vishnu and The Shiva.
He is also called as Mahadev and Ardhnareshwar. (Shiva has about 108 names.)
I am really fascinated the most by Shiva because of how he is described in Hindu Puranas (Holy books). He has an alluring charm. He is mysterious and mystery invokes interest in me.
Read ahead about some info –
- He resides on the Mount Kailash away from the worldly matters amid nature, always in meditation.
- He is a yogi yet he lives a household life.
- He is the destructor of life yet he plays a great role in the creation of life.
- He gets angry easily yet he is the softest of Gods.
- One doesn’t need ornaments, money to please him. Just remembering him with pure heart can please him.
- He is worshipped in Hinduism in the form of a “Linga”. It is regarded as formless and limitless. It has neither beginning nor end.
- He has the ultimate knowledge of everything even though he resides in mountains.
- He has a third eye on forehead which when opened burns everything in its path. The third eye represents wisdom. It is because of this third eye, he is also called “Trikaldarshi”.
- He holds crescent moon on his head. The crescent moon represents the cyclical nature of world. It also represents that he is the master of time.
- He always wears ashes on his body. The ashes are said to represent the end of all material existence. For him, nothing is purer than ashes.
- His main weapon is Trident (Trishul) which represents three fundamental powers viz will, action and knowledge.
- He sits upon the tiger skin and is usually depicted wearing tiger skin.Tiger represnts lust. Sitting on tiger skin represents he has conquered lust.
- He bears the holy Ganga within his matted hair cause no one else in the universe could resist it’s power when it came from heaven. Ganga represnts the nectar of immortality.
- He has a blue throat because he swallowed a poison to save the universe from getting destroyed.
- He has a garland of snake around his neck that depict that he has mastered his ego. It also stands for kundalini energy.
- He holds a drum(damru) which produces two sounds from the two sides yet merges them to produce one. Drum represnts the universe which is continuously expanding and collapsing.
Just like the Chinese have Yin and yang, Hinduism has Shiva and Shakti.
Shiva represents the masculine energy while Shakti represents the feminine energy. Both are incomplete without each other.
The path of Shiva worship is inward bound meaning one has to find himself through the different layers of this karmic world.
P.S – There can be various representations of all these things because India is a vast country and there are numerous stories.
Image credits – Google