Origins, forms and names synonymous with Lord Shiva – Lesser known facts
Lord of lords- Mahadev properly known as , It is almost impossible to explain the auspicious Hindu deity Lord Shiva and apprise you with different aspects, forms , limitless , unchanging without a beginning or an end , He is omnipresent the Creator, Operator and Destroyer .
Shiva is also known by following forms of Gods and is worshiped in the universe for: – 1. Natraja– Form of Lord Shiva, God of dance 2. Rudra –Terrific form of Shiva 3. Vishwanath –Lord of the Universe
3 States of Shiva1. Formless – Space also known as Nirgun 2. Saguna– Present in every particle, every creation every life form, all life forms arise out of Shiva and ends at Shiva 3. Present- Not Present- Formless – Nirgun aka Saguna In this state Shiva is believed to be lord within its creation. Everything in this Universe runs at the command of Shiva. Every mark where it is a circle it is associated with Shiva –A symbol of life creation from cell to complex life forms and huge planets –All governed by the laws and principles of Shiva.
Yajur Vedas –Holy book of Hindus describe Shiva in 3 forms as:- 1. He-“Siva the male “ 2. She– “Shiva the female” 3. IT– “Shiva the neutral”
Lesser known facts about Shiva
1. Blue body/color of Shiva Neelkanth- Neel meaning “blue” and “Kantham” meaning Neck in Sanskrit or “one who has blue neck”, Shiva came to rescue of all Gods during the churning of ocean where poison and amrit needs to be separated and on completion of ocean (ksheerasagara) churning There were 2 products –Amruth and halahalam-poison , it was then suggested by Lord Naradh to take this poison to lord Shiva who is the only one who could help destroy this deadly poison and then it was given to lord Shiva, Shiva said I will have the deadly poison and poured it in his mouth , Parvathi came running and stopped lord Shiva from having poison and she held the neck so tightly that the poison never went down the throat and remain in the neck of lord Shiva , thus the neck became “bluish” and lors started to praise and worshipped Shiva as “Neelkanth”
2. Bhasma Smearing of Bhasma is seen sacred by all Shiva devotees called “Shaivites”, Bhasma reminds of the following truth –Everything is this universe attached to material body, its Maya (wealth) or kaya (form) and its swaroop (beauty) will in reality is going to perish and become “Bhasma” in the end. In life Bhasma is a reminder that no matter how hard you try body and the world will become one part one day and it will be nothing but the “Bhasma”
3. Trishool Trishool or the sacred tool and the most powerful of armoury every existed is made up of 3 key parts, 3 shools or 3 tridents of the weapon represent –Past, Present and future. Existence of past, present and future is controlled and governed by the powers of “Mahakaal” and he alone is the base on which time stands and he is only one who is slayer-destroyer of time.
4. Tripunda 3 stripes on forehead which indicates 1-Sattva Guna – is harmonious, pure , welfare and construction base , kindness , goodness , creative and balanced 2.-Rajas Guna –is confusion, overactive or eager , passionate , self-centred and egoist 3-Tamas Guna-is lazy, heavy, destructive, impure and destructive.
5. Damroo Sound of damru represents the cosmic sound of universe. The sound of Damru is called Pranavamand and represents the “shabad Brahma” or OM. It is origin of sound and grammar Sound created when Damru vibrates by resonance and creates unanimous sound “AUM” the most sacred sound waves in the entire universe and it the foundation stone of all meditation in this world.
6. Shiva’s 3rd eye Lord Shiva is often depicted with 3rd eye and called Triyabhkam, Trinetra, 3rd eye is symbol for devotees to open the gateways of knowledge and foresightedness, as 2 eyes are often not sufficient to capture and judge things and realities, awakening of 3rd Eye only happens via deep meditation and wisdom .3rd Eye awakening opens the pathways to deep inner consciousness while still present in a physical state.
7. Rudraksha Rudraksha has been derived from Sanskrit roots Rudra(Shiva) Aksha(Tear drop) , hence Rudraksha means teardrop of lord Shiva , Rudraksha is also referred to 3rd eye –Eye of knowledge As Shiva is also Trinetra.
Rudraksha is believed to strike balance Chakras and help reducing the following:- -> Anxiety -> Blood pressure -> Depression -> Lack of focus -> Generates positive mind signals -> Confidence
8. The Moon Crescent-Ardha –Chandrama The moon depicted on Shiva’s forehead symbolizes the control on time versus terms of nature and order, depicts that Shiva is the controller of time and plays with Moon on his forehead and is super powerful and eternal beyond the measurement hence known as “Chandrashekra” one who controls Chandra and movements of time and tide on Earth.
9. Snake-Vasuki Shiva is also known as “Vasuki “ , one who never discriminates among his devotees , even the most venomous /harmful humans/objects are welcomed by Shiva as an Ornament Philosophically all Good and bad arises from Shiva and finds Mukti in him , Hence all Rishis, Sadhus merged back to Shiva.
10. Bhaghambar Chaal -Yogic state In pictures of Shiva you may find Shiva sitting on a Baghambar Chaal in yogic posture, This suggests to a devotee that with regular practice of Yoga and meditation one can know himself and conquer all deeds –Good and bad , One who will discover himself/herself will emerge Victorious.
11. Ganga Ganga is the most sacred of all rivers and is considered as river who thrives life –A symbol of purity, continued flow of energy which is the source of “Paramananda” Anecdote says once ruler “Bhageertha“ performed tapasyaa to Mahadev to bring Ganga to Earth from heaven so that he could help his 60,000 ancestors to be liberated, Those were the same ancestors who were ruined to ashes by an angry Saint (Kapil). Lord Shiva granted him the boon and to break the flow of gigantic Ganga and controlled the flow by embracing Ganga into his matted locks, hence the origin of Ganga from head of Shiva who gave birth to the most holy river –Ganga as we know is the Centre stage for all religious activities in Hindus.