Table of ContentsHe is often portrayed in his violent ways slaying demons. Often known as Adiyogi Shiva, Shiva is believed to be the patron deity of yoga, meditation, and arts. Shiva’s iconographic features are the snake around his neck, the ornamental crescent moon, the holy Ganga River flowing from his matted hair, the third eye on his forehead, the Trishula or trident as his shield, and the Damaru drum. Usually, he is worshipped in Lingam’s aniconic form. Shiva is a pan-Hindu god in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, generally worshipped by Hindus.
What’s does Shiva look like?Shiva always has a blue face and throat in his performances as a man. His body is white, strictly speaking, but pictures also show him with a blue body.
Who is he linked with?Devi, the mother-goddess, is the consort of Shiva. Devi took on many forms in the past, including Kali, the goddess of death, and Sati, the goddess of marital happiness. Parvati, the eternal wife of Shiva, is her best-known incarnation. Hindus claim that Shiva and Parvati are dwelling in the Himalayan Kailash Mountains.
Lord of the dance – Facts About Lord ShivaIn India, dance is an important art form, and it is believed that Shiva is its master. The Lord of Dance is often called him. The dance rhythm is a symbol of the world balance that Shiva is meant to keep so masterfully. He’s the Tandav’s most significant dance. This is the celestial dance of death to kill the world, which he conducts at the end of an epoch. According to one Hindu myth, by performing this risky dance before his time, Shiva nearly signaled the end of this world. That’s the reality. One day, the goddess Sati’s father decided to hold a ritual of prayer. All the gods would be invited to this ritual of worship and sacrifices would be made to them. But Shiva married Sati against her father’s wishes and was not asked to do so. On behalf of her parents, Sati was deeply offended. Sati prayed fiercely in rage and jumped into the sacred fire on the day of the burning ceremony. Shiva was in the middle of deep meditation during this period. Yet he woke up in great rage when Sati jumped into the bed, knowing what his wife had done. The tale becomes less clear at this point, but Shiva is believed to have started the celestial dance of death. Before it was time, the entire universe was about to be destroyed. The gods were very surprised at the offering ceremony. To pacify him, Sati’s ashes were spread over him. That’s the trick. He slowed down and didn’t finish the dance. But for many years he went into isolation, deeply disturbed by his wife’s death, avoiding all his godly duties. It wasn’t until Sati was reborn as Parvati that Shiva came out of sleep at last. He taught him about family life and the value of balance by her love and patience. Most Hindus find Shiva and Parvati to be the perfect example of marital bliss, and one is rarely represented without the other.
FestivalsThe festival of Maha Sivaratri is observed in the evening, usually in lighted temples or special Prabha. There is a Shivaratri on its 13th night/14th day in every lunar month, but once a year in late winter and before spring’s arrival marks Maha Shivaratri meaning “Shiva’s Great Night.” Maha Shivaratri is a major Hindu festival, but one that is solemn and theologically keeps a reminder of “overcoming chaos and ignorance” in life and the world, and contemplation on the polarities of nature, God, and human devotion. It is practised by reciting Shiva-related poetry, singing prayers, recalling Shiva, fasting, doing yoga, and meditating on ethics and virtues such as self-restraint, humility, not hurting others, compassion, introspection, self-repentance, and Shiva’s discovery. The devoted devotees remain awake throughout the night. Many visit one of the temples of Shiva or go on pilgrimage to the shrines of Jyotirlingam. Those visiting temples are offering lingam milk, vegetables, flowers, fresh leaves, and sweets. Many societies plan unique dance festivals, with individual and group performances to mark Shiva as the lord of the dance. According to Jones and Ryan, Maha Sivaratri is an ancient Hindu festival that probably originated around the 5th century. Kartik Purnima is another major festival involving Shiva worship, commemorating Shiva’s victory over the Tripurasura demons. Within India, numerous temples of Shiva are lit throughout the night. There are some places where Shiva icons are borne in procession. Shiva’s regional festivals include: The Chittirai festival in Madurai around April / May. One of South India’s biggest festivals.
- We are celebrating Minakshi (Parvati) and Shiva’s wedding.
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Interesting, Facts, Truths, Tales & stories about Lord ShivaAllowing almost everything else considered taboo in faith, here is a God who makes errors fearlessly and deals with them in a surprisingly calm manner. What’s it?! Of course, someone who is not a sucker for rules is relatively easy to please and breaks all the myths of being a deity. Sweet, chic (he wears a dreadlock), fun, unpredictable (unlike most gods), and extremely popular with young and old alike, Lord Shiva deals with the world, meditates most of the time, likes to think about his own business, has a mad mixture of rage and peace, and is someone whose stories have appealed to every generation.
- Hanuman, Anjana and Kesari’s son, is Lord Shiva’s avatar: Hanuman is believed to be Lord Shiva’s eleventh avatar. Some scriptures describe him as God Shiva’s incarnation. Known for his devotion to Lord Rama, Anjana and Kesari’s son, blessed by the Hindu wind god Vayu, Hanuman is revered for his devotion to Lord Rama.
- Ravana, the principal villain in the Hindu Ramayana epic, was one of Lord Shiva’s greatest devotees: it is said that when Ravana attempted to destroy Mount Kailash, Shiva imprisoned him under Kailash. To redeem himself, by singing hymns and playing instruments, Ravana tried to appease Shiva. Shiva eventually freed him from under the mountain over many years and blessed him.
- Even Kamadeva, the Hindu god of love and the counterpart of Cupid, was unable to lure Shiva with his tricks successfully. They needed Shiva’s help when Devas waged war against Tarakasur, but Shiva was busy meditating. So the Devas asked Kamadeva with his love arrows to pierce Shiva. But Shiva, who was in deep meditation, woke up in rage and burned Kamadeva to ashes with his third eye.
- The first wife of Lord Shiva, Sati, killed herself for being angry with her father who humiliated Shiva. According to legend, Sati, not Parvati (as most of us may not know), was Shiva’s first wife and loved him very much. A priest’s daughter, her dad, disapproved of Shiva’s ways. He welcomed everyone except for Shiva when Sati’s father decided to make a sacrifice. It annoyed her with this attempt to taunt Shiva, and she killed herself in the sacrifice. In a rage, a furious Shiva murdered her father.
- The snake around Shiva’s neck reflects a sense of quietness: the mountains, water, and snake around Lord Shiva’s neck are a sign of his sense of calm. Shiva is a sign of calm and peace, self-contained and contented.
- Shiva’s Trishul or Trident symbolizes the unification of three realms: Lord Shiva’s Trident or Trishul unites the three dimensions connected with a human being-his inner universe, the external world around him and the wider world. The trident shows peace among the three.
- Ganja / Cannabis is one of Shiva’s main worship offerings: On Shivaratri’s auspicious day, the Shaivites, a group of believers, consume Bhang (a cannabis-prepared drink) and smoke weed. Popular among the believers, this is a heck of a God’s offering!
- Shiva takes the form of Nataraja to kill Apasmara-the sign of ignorance: it is claimed that Lord Shiva was confronted by the dwarf demon’ Apasmara,’ reflecting ignorance. It was then that Lord Shiva took Nataraja’s form and performed the famous Tandava or destruction dance, eventually crushing under his right foot the arrogant Apasmara. Because Apasmara (ignorance) is not supposed to die to preserve the balance between wisdom and ignorance, Lord Shiva is believed to remain forever in his Nataraja form suppressing Apasmara for eternity. His Nataraja avatar is a reminder that intelligence, music, and dance can only conquer ignorance.
- Ardhanarishwar is the androgynous form of Shiva: frequently quoted as an example of the perfect marriage, Shiva is depicted in the Ardhanarishwar form along with his consort Parvati, which is a half male and half female symbol. This androgynous form is believed to display the universe’s masculine (Purusha) and feminine (Prakrithi) energies in a synthesis.
- That’s right. Shiva accepted Nandi as his doorkeeper and car, provided to him by other gods: as the story goes, Surabhi, the mother of all cows began to give birth to many cows, and the cows started to flood Kailash with their milk. Shiva became furious at this, using his third eye and killing many of them. To calm him down, the gods tried to offer Lord Shiva to Nandi, the majestic horse.
- That’s right. Lord Shiva is naked in stories and sports an erect phallus: Shiva is naked in Epified, according to Devdutt Pattanaik, and sports an erect phallus in nearly every novel. He dresses in an animal hide to save the public from pain. According to Pattanaik, Shiva is inspired not by external stimulation, but by eternal internal happiness, being happy and detached from the outside world.
- Shiva ash is smeared with images of permanence and destruction: Shiva is smeared with ash, as we all know. It is both a sign of destruction and permanence because it is produced by burning things, but it cannot be destroyed independently. It is a sign that signifies the eternal soul’s permanence, which is released when the matter is destroyed.
- That’s right. The three lines of ash on his front apply to the destruction of the three worlds: Shiva has three lines of ash smeared on his front from a horizontal perspective. The lines represent the dissolution of Hinduism’s three worlds. This implies stagnation and lack of movement and refers to the fusion of the three realms to become one with the self.
- During the churning of the milky ocean, Shiva has a blue throat because he drank Halahala poison: the Devas and Asuras started churning the milky ocean to get Amrit. We discovered a deadly poison in the process-the Halahala poison, which had to be sucked out of the ocean. Shiva drank all the poison without thinking about the consequences, and Parvati squeezed his throat to stop the poison from spreading to other parts of his body, which is the reason behind his blue throat.
- The tale of the eternal pillar of fire-when Brahma and Vishnu were arguing over who the real God was; Shiva made it clear who it was: Shiva emerged as an endless Linga fire-pillar in a dispute between Brahma and Vishnu over who the real God was. Determined to find the pillar’s ends, Vishnu as Varaha was trying to find the Linga’s bottom while Brahma tried to find its tip. Vishnu returned and acknowledged that there was no end to the pillar. Nevertheless, Brahma lied about the limits of the post, saying he was the true God. We see what you did there!
- That’s right. According to a Hindu myth, Shiva revealed Parvati the secret of life and immortality in the Amarnath Cave: it is assumed that this is the cave where Shiva explained to his divine consort, Parvati, the secret of life and eternity. Every year, Lord Shiva’s followers and devotees visit the famous cave of Amarnath. There is also an ice stalagmite Lingam in the cave.
- Shiva was drawn to the female form of Vishnu, Mohini, as a result of which Ayyappa was born: Shiva wanted to see the bewildering Mohini again in the Bhagavata Purana after Vishnu had tricked the demons in his female form. As Vishnu agreed and revealed Mohini’s form, Mohini tempted Shiva, while Parvati looked at the abandoned child. Kama (love and desire) surpasses Shiva. His’ unfailing’ seed fled and dropped to the ground. Ayyappa was born from these seeds of Shiva.
- Because of her arrogance, Shiva calmly caught Ganga in his beard. He let her out, but in small streams: As it happens, Bhagiratha begged Brahma to bring down the Ganges River to earth so that he could hold a ritual for his ancestors. Brahma asked Bhagiratha to propitiate Lord Shiva because Shiva could only break the landfall of Ganga. Ganga flew down to earth arrogantly, but Shiva gently captured her in her hair and let her out in small streams. It’s said that Shiva’s touch further sanctified Ganga.
- Lord Shiva punished one crore gods and goddesses for not waking up on time and transforming them into stone images: according to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva and one crore, gods and goddesses were on his way to Kashi. The next day, before taking a night’s rest in Unakoti, Tripura, he asked all of them to wake up before sunrise. But no one was awakened in the morning except for Shiva. It made him angry, and he set out on his own for Kashi, accusing the others of becoming representations of stone.