Lord Shiva, The Supreme God of Hinduism
Lord Shiva is one of the prime gods of Hinduism. He is one among Three Lords of Hinduism and believed as the destroyer of evil things. Eswar, Rudran, Nataraj, Neelakandan and Parameshwar are the other names of Lord Shiva. 'Om Namasivaya' is the mantra of this god.
He has an unique appearance with the blue colored body and up-tied hair called jada mudi. He has worn tiger skin on his hip and a snake (Nagarajan) on the neck. He will always hold a Thrisoolam in his right hand. Ganges lying on his head is the other consort of Shiva. The lord Siva has a crescent on his head. He has three eyes and the third one is lying on his forehead. It is said that he will open his third eye when he gets angry. .
Lord Shiva is worshipped in different forms. Linga form represents that he is in the form of light and sometimes we can see this god in meditating position and lying on the skin of tiger. Nataraj is the dancing form since he is the leader of classical dance. He will also appear as a family leader with his consort Lordess Shakthi and two sons, Lord Vinayaka and Lord Muruga. Arthanareeshwarar is the other form in which he offers his whole left part of body to his consort Lordess Shakthi.
An Interesting Legend of Lord Shiva
There are many interesting legends about Lord Shiva. Here you can read one of them. Once Narada Muni came to the home of Lord Shiva to give him a Mango fruit called Gnan fruit. Lord Shiva asked Narada Muni to give it to his consort Lordess Shakthi. But, Lordess Shakthi decided to give it to their children, Lord Vinayaka and Lord Muruga. Narada Muni humbly told that it should not be shared to get whole benefit. To solve this problem Lord Eswar wanted to test his children. He asked both to go round this earth and said that winner could get the fruit. Lord Muruga immediately started to go round the earth with his peacock. Since Lord Ganesh does not have any suitable vehicle he immersed into the deep thought. He asked Narada Muni whether this great world can be equal to his parents. Narada Muni and others accepted the words of Ganesh. Lord Ganesh easily became the winner by simply going round his parents. Lord Muruga became furious when he returned back and decided to leave the home. Lord Shakthi told Lord Muruga that that was one of the plays of his father, Lord Shiva. But, he refused to stay with them and stood as Lord Palani Andavar on Palani hills of Tamil Nadu. Then Lord Muruga cooled down after realizing that that was the play of his father.
Important Temples of Lord Shiva in India
The temples of Lord Shiva are situated in almost all parts of India. 12 Jyothirlingam temples are very important and they are situated in different parts of the country where Lord Shiva is worshipped in the linga form.
In Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh 6 major Shiva temples are located and each temple represents five different basic elements of the world.
Prahatheeshwarar temple in Tanjore, Kumbeshwarar temple in Kumbakonam, Sundareswarar temple in Madurai, Nellaiappar temple in Trunelveli are the important temples of Lord Shiva in Tamil Nadu, India.
.Amarnath cave temple is the most important shrine of Lord Siva and it is located in Jammu and Kashmir, India at an elevation of 3888 m above sea level. The specialty of this temple is that naturally made lingam. Every year thousands of devotees of Lord Shiva come here to get darshan of this naturally made sivalingam. On their way to Amarnath cave temple they will be also able to see Mount Kailash.