ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Shiva-The God of Gods

Updated on January 20, 2018
The Shiva Thandava (Dancing).  It is also called Nataraja style.
The Shiva Thandava (Dancing). It is also called Nataraja style. | Source


Satyam Shivam Sundaram.

Shiva embodies the principle of 'Sathyam Shivam Sundaram'. It means truth, transcendence and beauty.


Shiva is the Lord of the Universe. He is the Destroyer and Protector. He is Ardhanarishwara; half man and half woman. He is Neelakanta, who drank poison to save the three worlds. He is the omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient Lord. He is the God of Gods.


The followers of Hinduism have deep faith in Lord Shiva. In the old scriptures, Lord Shiva had been described as 'Adi' (The Beginning) and 'Anta' (The End). He is also called 'Bhole Bhandari', 'Bhole Baba', 'Bhole Nath' and so on. In fact, you maybe surprised when knowing that Shiva has 1008 names, which describe his attributes. Let's examine some of the notable features of Lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva (Location: Muruteshwar, Karnataka)
Lord Shiva (Location: Muruteshwar, Karnataka) | Source

Shiva wears the crescent moon on his forehead, from which flows the celestial river Ganga (for Hindus, the river is Goddess). His body is smeared with ash and a tiger skin in girt around his loins. He has four arms which carry a trident (Thrisul), an ax and the other two are set in classical mudras granting boons and removing fear. The Lord has three eyes through which he can view the past, the present and the future. The three-eyed aspect of Shiva is deferentially referred as 'Virupaksha', 'Triaksha', 'Trinayana' and 'Tirnetra'. The third eye is of higher perception, looks inwards. When its vision is directed outwards, the searing intensity of its gaze emblazons and destroys all it looks at. Yes, opening of the third eye means a signal of danger!

Lord Shiva with his family (Parvathy, his wife and two kids Ganesha & Karthikeya)
Lord Shiva with his family (Parvathy, his wife and two kids Ganesha & Karthikeya)

The trident of Shiva, his 'Trishul' represents the triad of the creator, the preserver and the destroyer. His spear, the 'Phashupatra', is the weapon, with which he destroys the universe at the dissolution of the 'yugas', the ordained time cycles. His ax is called the 'Parashu', which he gifted to Parasuram. He also carries a club called the 'Khatvangi', which has a skull at its head. A garland of skulls is around his neck, which earns him the epithet of 'Kapalin'. The drum in his hand, the 'damaru', heralds the dance of creation.

Shiva is the God of Life and Death, of Destruction and Rebirth. Shiva is Mahadev or The God of Gods. He is also a good dancer. Shiva 'Thandava' means his ferocious dance. This is the death-dance of Shiva.

Shiva Temples


The sanctum sanctorum of every Shiva temples contain a stone 'linga'. (Linga or Lingam means Penis). The linga is worshiped as a 'swayambhu', a self-born stone. It is the object of the greatest sanctity. It is always vertical, pointing upward.


When we talk of Shiva temples, the earliest surviving temple is in the Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia, dated at approximated 880 AD has a central Shiva court dedicated to the sacred Shivalinga. In India, the land where the largest number of Hindus live, the most famous and revered temple complex associated with Shiva is the Chidambaram temple in Tamil Nadu. The temple is dedicated to Shiva as Nataraja, the cosmic dancer.


Shiva is everywhere in India. In art, film songs, paintings, living prayers and rituals, everywhere you can see Lord Shiva appearing. The great god lives in the hearts and minds of Indians and more precisely that of the Hindus.


Shiva is 'Adi' and 'Anta', means the End and the Beginning. Like Shiva, his stories too never end.


Some famous Shiva Temples in the World

Shiva Temple in Suidoost, Amsterdam
Shiva Temple in Suidoost, Amsterdam | Source
Temple in Zurich, Switzerland
Temple in Zurich, Switzerland
Shiva Vishnu Temple in Livermore, California
Shiva Vishnu Temple in Livermore, California
Shiva Vishnu Temple in Melbourne, Australia
Shiva Vishnu Temple in Melbourne, Australia
Pasupati Temple, Nepal
Pasupati Temple, Nepal
Mahadeva Temple, Khajuraho, India
Mahadeva Temple, Khajuraho, India
Prambanan Temple in Java, Indonesia
Prambanan Temple in Java, Indonesia | Source
Shivalingam
Shivalingam

+++++++++++++++++++++ For the preparation of this hub, I have referred the following books: "The Book of Shiva" by Namita Gokhale and "Storeis of Lord Shiva" by D.S. Sam. Due credit is hereby given to both the authors. And thanks for Amish for instilling a love and passion for Shiva in me through his best seller 'The Immortals of Meluha' ++++++++++++++++

Have you ever been to a Shiva Temple?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Shiva-The God of Gods brilliantly researched and the photos are awesome since my move to Croatia I miss my Indian culture.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      5 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Your visit is acknowledged thankfully.

    • Rajesh Menon 1972 profile image

      RAJESH MENON 

      5 years ago from Thrissur, Kerala, INDIA

      OM PARABRAHMA SHIVAYAA NAMAHAA

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      5 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Avabar,

      Thanks for the visit and comments.

    • AVABAR profile image

      Jonathan Barrow 

      5 years ago from Currently in Cleveland

      Thank you for this

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)