The story of Lord Shiva

The story of Lord Shiva

ॐ नमः शिवाय

Shiv - the Only truth

Lord Shiva the Enigmatic

In Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva is the Destroyer and the most important one in the Holy Trinity, the other two being Brahma the Creator and Vishnu the Protector. Lord Shiva has always fascinated his followers by his unique appearance: he has three eyes, has ash smeared all over his body, has snakes coiled up around himself, wears tiger and elephant skin, leads a wild life in cremation grounds far removed from social pretences, and is known for his proverbial anger…

So, how was he born?

There is a very interesting story behind the birth of Lord Shiva. One day, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu were both arguing about their powers – both of them wanted to prove that one is mightier than the other. Right then, amidst the heated discussion, an inexplicable blazing pillar appeared in front of them, whose roots and tip were not visible.

The mysterious pillar

The roots seemed to penetrate deep into the earth with the tip piercing into the skies beyond eternity. Amazed by the view of this pillar, both the Lords wondered about this third entity that stood there, challenging both of their supremacy. Now their argument had subdued and they started discussing how to find out more about this new entity.

The third power

Both Brahma and Vishnu set out to locate the start and end of that pillar. Brahma turned into a goose and flew up to find the top of the pillar, while Vishnu transformed into a boar and dug into the earth to look for its roots. The search went on for ages but the outcome proved futile as neither of them succeeded in their respective missions.

Power play

After their unsuccessful attempts, both Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu felt humbled and came back to their original place only to find Lord Shiva manifesting in front of them. They understood that Shiva’s power and cosmic existence is much beyond their imagination and in fact, it was Lord Shiva who was more powerful than both of them.

Lord Shiva’s lifestyle

Lord Shiva is no ordinary god. He is very mysterious and his ways can never be interpreted by the earthly norms and definitions. He performs multiple roles and wields a mighty power over the universe. He takes delight in occupying crematory grounds and his favorite dress code is animal skin with skull garlands.

Lord Shiva’s Gana

He is always accompanied by a large battalion of fierce-looking demons which are also bloodthirsty and can devastate anything with a sweeping operation. The entire troop of Lord Shiva and his army are considered strange and believed to constantly engage in carrying out the multifaceted mission of the Lord in all the known worlds and beyond.

Lord Shiva’s meditative powers

Though Lord Shiva is known better to most people as a ferocious god, he has another mysterious side too – he is known to spend long periods of time in deep meditation in the lofty Himalayas. This absolute silence and stillness on one hand and the vibrant and ferocious exploits on the other hand, makes it very hard to understand His original nature is.

Lord Shiva’s cosmic dance

When Shiva is found engaged in his cosmic dance – The Tandava, it is symbolic of the triumph of Truth over ignorance and impermanence. This eternal dance is so elevating and energizing that the entire universe sends every created particle into a strong vibration, thus adding life into matter. Lord Shiva’s dance dispels the clouds of ignorance and instills a faith, hope and wisdom. It banishes the sufferings of his followers and makes them find the light inside their beings.

Lord Shiva and five elements

When Lord Shiva is found engaged in his divine cosmic dance, he projects all the five elements with him including the earth, water, fire, air and the sky depicted respectively in the form of the seat of his dance, the flowing Ganges, the fire from his palm, the deer symbolizing the air and the cosmic space in which he executes his ecstatic dance.

Destroyer Turns Protector

Once, Lord Shiva saved the gods, demons and the world from destruction by swallowing the poison called Halahal that emanated from the oceans while they churned it together in pursuit of the ambrosia that would bestow immortality. When the fumes of the deadly poison started scorching all that was around, Lord Shiva effortlessly deputed one of his manifestations to collect the poison and immediately swallowed it thereby saving the worlds.

Destroyer Turns Protector (Lord Shiva)

Thus, Lord Shiva is shown as the most compassionate one who is always bent upon ensuring the safety and security of the created universe.

Lord Shiva’s Blue Throat

Lord Shiva is also known by the name of “Nilakaṇtha”, which literally means the blue-throated. When Lord Shiva swallowed the most deadly poison to save the worlds, Goddess Parvati was taken aback and feared the safety of her Master. Therefore she rushed in to hold his neck before the poison could descend down further downwards. This incident made the Lord’s neck turn blue and this is duly depicted in art and the representations of Lord Shiva’s form in different mediums.

The Ganga river

One of Shiva’s greatest services to the world was to tame the mighty Ganga river. Once upon a time, the Ganga used to traverse through the heavens only, leaving the earth parched and dry. When a wise man changed the course of the river, it threatened to become a raging torrent which would certainly flood the earth. However, Shiva stood in the way of the heavens and the earth and captured Ganga in his thick locks, thereby stemming its flow.

Lord Shiva as a Lingam

Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of the linga – some of which are jyotirlingas – at numerous places across India. The Linga, a sign of masculinity, symbolises Shiva’s role in the creation, sustenance and withdrawal of the Universe.

The Avatars of Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva, similar to Lord Vishnu, had many avatars. It was Virabhadra, an avatar of Lord Shiva, who disrupted Daksha’s yajna and cut off his head. His Bhairava avatar, also known as Kaal Bhairava, was created to protect the Sati Pind. His Durvasa avatar was famous for his short temper. Khandoba was another avatar of Shiva known in Maharashtrian and Kannada cultures. Finally, Hanuman avatar is known as the eleventh Rudraavtaar of Lord Shiva in the era of Lord Rama!

Lord Shiva The Multi-Faceted

Lord Shiva is a god of ambiguity and paradox. He is depicted with an ambivalent nature when worshipped by the Hindus as their supreme God. He is mentioned in the Yajurveda as possessing both malignant and auspicious attributes. He is depicted in the Mahabharata as a figure of honour, delight, and brilliance.

Shiva The Multi-Faceted

The Rudra form of Lord Shiva denotes “the wild one” or the fierce god. Yet, Shiva is also known as Sambhu, or the one who causes happiness.

How to set up Shivlinga at home

Worshiping Shiva in the form of Shivlinga is considered a sacred act of devotion. Many devotees often bring home Shivlinga for worshipping purposes with following the proper vidhi.

Lord Shiva

As mentioned in Shiva Purana, a Shivlinga is symbolism of Lord Shiva and must be honored in high regards. Therefore, before placing Shivlinga inside ‘puja room or ghar’, one must keep in mind the following rules.

Worshiping Ganapati Deva

The area, where Shivlinga is intended to be placed must be cleansed cow dung and gangajal, following by Bhoomi Pujan. Then, Lord Ganesha must be worshiped, followed by placement of Shivlinga.

Purification of shivlinga

Before placing Shivlinga, it must be purified with Panchamrit and its ‘abhishek’ must be done, before immersing it in milk and water. After placing it in the desired place, Lord shiva mantras must be chanted.

Important pilgrimages of lord Shiva

Once Karthikeya, the eldest son of Shiva and Parvati asked his father about the path to salvation. He was informed that in every yuga, the path to moksha is different. For Kaliyuga, the emphasis would be on Karma & Dharma.

Holy shrines in Hinduism

Lord Shiva says that in order to attain salvation in Kaliyuga, one must go on pilgrimage to holy shrines and rivers. God Shiva explains that these places are capable of fulfilling any wish or desire of a man, but warns that at these places, one must not think of or desire of doing things that are against nature or humanity.

Prominent rivers

Lord Shiva says that apart from Ganga, rivers Godavari, Narmada, Tapti, Yamuna, Kshipra, Gautami, Kaushiki, Kaveri, Tamraparni, Chandrabhaga, Sindhu, Gandaki, and Sarswati, are also sacred and capable of washing off sins of a man.

Prominent places

Apart from Kashi, places like Ayodhya, Dwarka, Mathura, Avanti, Kurukshetra, Ramteerth, Kanchi, Purushottam kshetra, Pushkar kshetra, Varaha kshetra and Badrikashram are capable of liberating a man from the sorrows of this world.

ॐ नमः शिवाय

Shiv - the Only truth