Shiva


     Shiva means 'auspicious'. He is the last Deith of the Hindu Trinity. He is responsible for dissolution / destruction fo the universe. The whole world is believed to sleep in Shiva after destruction until the next cycle of creation begins. Shiva is worshipped in the Linga form in the temples. His pictures and images in the human form are found everywhere. He is snow-white in color or white as camphor. He has three eyes - the third eye being on the forehead between the eyebrows. The three eyes represent the sun, the moon, and fire, the three sources of energy - light, life and heart. The third eye represents knowledge and wisdom. He wears tiger skin and elephant skin: the former symbolizing the complete mastery over desire, while the later animal power.

He is shown as having four hands - one holding trident (Trisula), the other drum (Damaru), while the other two hands are in the position of protecting (Abhaya) and boon-giving (Varada) Trisula, the weapons of offense and defence, stands for the Gunas as well as three processes of creation, preservation and destruction. Drum, producer of sounds, symbolizes the alphabets, grammar or language itself. He is depicted as having a crown of long matted hair from which the river Ganga flows. He also wears the crscent moon symbolizing the time in days or months. Serpents are found all over his body forming necklace, the girdle, the Yagnopavita (sacred thread) and arm-bracelets. Due to the curse imposed by Bhrigu, Shiva is worshiped only in Linga form. He is described as Aghora, 'horrible' Chanrasekhar, 'moon-crested', Gangadhara, 'bearer of Ganga', Girish, 'mountain lord', Mahesha, 'great lord', Mrityunjaya, 'vanquisher of death', Pashupati, 'lord of animals', Sankara, Sarva, Sadaasiva, or Sambhu, 'auspicious', Tryambaka, 'three-eyed', Viswanath, 'lord of all'.