Lord Shiva, The Supreme God of Hinduism
The prime god of Hinduism Lord Shiva is worshiped as one of Three Lords. He is believed to be the destroyer of evil things. Eswar, Rudran, Nataraj, Neelakandan and Parameshwar are some other names of Lord Shiva. 'Om Namasivaya' is the moola mantra of this god.
With the blue colored body and up-tied hair called jada mudi he gets an unique appearance. He has also worn tiger skin on his hip and a snake (Nagarajan) on the neck. Thrisoolam is on his right hand and his devotees believe that he will protect them from evil things by this powerful Thrisoolam. One of the consorts of Shiva Mother Ganges lies on the top head. Lord Siva always has a crescent on his head. Another specialty of this Lord is his three eyes and the third one is lying on his forehead. It is said that he will open his third eye to destroy evil things
Lord Shiva is worshiped in different forms. Linga form represents that he exists in the form of light and sometimes we can also see this god in meditating position and sitting on the skin of tiger. Nataraj is the dancing form of the God 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 Kailash Mount 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 benefits of the fruit. To solve this problem Lord Eswar wanted to test his children. He asked both to go around this earth and said that winner could get the fruit. Lord Muruga immediately started to go around the earth with his peacock. Lord Ganesh does not have any suitable vehicle and immersed himself 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 around 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 worshiped 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.