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Thursday, 20 June 2019

Who is The Lord Shiva ?

Mahadev


Who is Shiva?

Shiva is the third god in the Hindu triumvirate. The triumvirate consists of three gods who are responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the world. The other two gods are Brahma and Vishnu.

Brahma is the creator of the universe while Vishnu is the preserver of it. Shiva's role is to destroy the universe in order to re-create it.

Hindus believe his powers of destruction and recreation are used even now to destroy the illusions and imperfections of this world, paving the way for beneficial change. According to Hindu belief, this destruction is not arbitrary, but constructive. Shiva is therefore seen as the source of both good and evil and is regarded as the one who combines many contradictory elements.

Shiva is known to have untamed passion, which leads him to extremes in behaviour. Sometimes he is an ascetic, abstaining from all wordly pleasures. At others he is a hedonist.

It is Shiva's relationship with his wife, Parvati which brings him balance. Their union allows him to be an ascetic and a lover, but within the bounds of marriage.

Hindus who worship Shiva as their primary god are members of the Shaivism sect.

Definition




Shiva (or Siva) is one of the most important gods in the Hindu pantheon and, along with Brahma and Vishnu, is considered a member of the holy trinity (trimurti) of Hinduism. A complex character, he may represent goodness, benevolence and serve as the Protector but he also has a darker side as the leader of evil spirits, ghosts and vampires and as the master of thieves, villains and beggars. He is also associated with Time, and particularly as the destroyer of all things. Nevertheless, Shiva is also associated with creation. In Hinduism, the universe is thought to regenerate in cycles (every 2,160,000,000 years).

Shiva destroys the universe at the end of each cycle which then allows for a new Creation. Shiva is also the great ascetic, abstaining from all forms of indulgence and pleasure, concentrating rather on meditation as a means to find perfect happiness. He is the most important Hindu god for the Shaivism sect, the patron of Yogis and Brahmins, and also the protector of the Vedas, the sacred texts.


What does Shiva look like?


In his representations as a man, Shiva always has a blue face and throat. Strictly speaking his body is white, but images often show him with a blue body too.


Shiva is represented with the following features:


A third eye


The extra eye represents the wisdom and insight that Shiva has. It is also believed to be the source of his untamed energy. On one occasion, when Shiva was distracted in the midst of worship by the love god, Kama, Shiva opened his third eye in anger. Kama was consumed by the fire that poured forth, and only returned to life when Parvati intervened.

A cobra necklace


This signifies Shiva's power over the most dangerous creatures in the world. Some traditions also say that the snake represents Shiva's power of destruction and recreation. The snake sheds its skin to make way for new, smooth skin.

The vibhuti


The vibhuti are three lines drawn horizontally across the forehead in white ash. They represent Shiva's all-pervading nature, his superhuman power and wealth. Also, they cover up his powerful third eye. Members of Shaivism often draw vibhuti lines across their forehead.

The trident


The three-pronged trident represents the three functions of the Hindu triumvirate.
While other gods are depicted in lavish surroundings, Shiva is dressed in simple animal skin and in austere settings, usually in a yogic position. Parvati, whenever she is present, is always at the side of Shiva. Their relationship is one of equality.

Even though Shiva is the destroyer, he is usually represented as smiling and tranquil.

Shiva in Mythology


As with any major god, Shiva was involved in many adventurous episodes which illustrate his virtuous character and offer instruction on how to live correctly. For example, self-sacrifice is emphasised when Vasuki, the king of Serpents, threatened to vomit snake venom across the seas. Shiva, assuming the form of a giant tortoise or turtle, collected the venom in his palm and drank it. The poison burned his throat and left a permanent blue scar, hence one of his many titles became Nilakantha or Blue Throat.

Another celebrated episode describes how Shiva became associated with the bull Nandi. One day, Surabhi, who was the original mother of all the world’s cows, began to give birth to an untold number of perfectly white cows. The milk from all these cows flooded the home of Shiva, somewhere in the Himalaya. Angry at this disturbance to his meditation, the god struck the cows with fire from his third eye. In consequence, patches of the cows’ hides were turned brown. Still angry, the other gods sought to calm Shiva down by offering him a magnificent bull - Nandi, the son of Surabhi and Kasyapa - which Shiva accepted and rode. Nandi also became the protector of all animals.

Lord of the dance




Dance is an important art form in India, and Shiva is believed to be the master of it. He is often called the Lord of Dance. The rhythm of dance is a metaphor for the balance in the universe which Shiva is believed to hold so masterfully.

His most important dance is the Tandav. This is the cosmic dance of death, which he performs at the end of an age, to destroy the universe.

According to one Hindu legend, Shiva almost signalled the end of this universe by performing this dangerous dance before its time. This is the story.

One day, the father of the goddess Sati decided to hold a prayer ceremony. At this prayer ceremony, all the gods would be invited and offerings would be made to them.

But Shiva had married Sati against the wishes of her father and he was not invited. Sati was deeply offended on behalf of her husband.

In anger, Sati prayed intensely and jumped into the sacred fire that was burning on the day of the ceremony.

During this time, Shiva had been in the midst of deep meditation. But when Sati jumped into the fire, he awoke in great anger, realising what his wife had done.

The story becomes less certain at this point, but it is believed that Shiva started the cosmic dance of death. The whole universe was about to be destroyed before it was time.

The gods who were present at the prayer ceremony were very concerned. In order to pacify him, they scattered the ashes of Sati over him. This did the trick. He calmed down and did not complete the dance. But he went into meditation for many years, deeply upset over the death of his wife, ignoring all his godly duties.

It was not until Sati was reborn as Parvati that Shiva finally came out of meditation. Through her love and patience, she taught him about family life and the importance of moderation.

Shiva and Parvati are held up as the perfect example of marital bliss by many Hindus, and one is rarely depicted without the other.

Following are the name of eleven Rudras:



Sharabha Avatar: 




This form of the Lord Shiva was the 6th avatar of him.


Grihapati Avatar: 



Grihpati avatar of the Lord Shiva was the 7th avatar of him.

ISHAN :




 In the Vishwaroop Kalpa, Ishan form of the Lord Shiva and Saraswati were manifested. Four divine entities like Mundi, Shikhandi, Caste and Ardhamundi were manifested from the Ishan Shiva. Lord Brahma was blessed by all of them for the creation facility.


Hanuman Avatar: 




hanuman avatar is considered as the supreme avatar of him. Lord Shiva has taken this avatar during the time Lord Rama to present a good example of the Lord and Bhakt in front of the people.


Vaishyanath Avatar: 


This is the main avatar of the Lord Shiva to his devotees.

Yatinath Avatar: 





Yatinath avatar of the God Shiva represents a peaceful form of him to his devotees.


Bhairav Avatar:





 Lord Shiva has taken Bhairav avatar to protect the Sati pindas. After the death of Sati into the yagya of Daksha, Lord Shiva was wandering all over the world by taking the Sati body. Lord Vishnu had cut the body of Sati into many pieces (52) by his wheel. Those pieces were fallen on the earth. So to protect those Sati pindas from the devils, Lord Shiva had taken the Bhairav avatar.

Sadyojat During the 19th Kalpa known as Shweta Lohit, there appeared an entity by the Lord Brahma while he was meditating, which was named by him as Sadhojat. It is considered that this form of the Lord Shiva was the first incarnation. Four disciples of the Sadhojat were appeared by his own body named Nandan, Vishwanandan, Sunand and Upanandan.

Neel Kanth Avatar:




 Neel Kanth avatar is also a main form of him. Once there was arisen a lot of Vish from the churning of the ocean. Lord Shiva had drunk all the Vish to prevent his beautiful world from the bad effects of Vish. Mata Parvati had stopped the Vish to fall below the neck by putting her palm on his neck. So, this form of him is known as the Neel kanth avatar.

Veerbhadra Avatar: 




This avatar was taken by the Lord Shiva after the sacrifice of the Sati into the Daksha’s yagya. This form of the Lord Shiva was very terrible, face was full of angry, hair opened, indicated his love and care towards his wife.


Ardhnarishwar Avatar:




 Ardhnaarishwar form of the Lord Shiva includes half body of Lord Shiva and other half of the Mata Parvati. This form is very calm and peaceful, provides blessings to the devotees.


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