Lord Shiva is nature, simplicity, generosity, immortality, but rules on mortals and pure hearted. He is innocent but omniscient. The lord introduced us to the science 0f yoga and meditation.
Due to such notable characteristics, he has numerous names & each name signifies his qualities, and sometimes appearance. There is a reason why do unmarried girls worship lord Shiva to get good husbands and that is that lord Shiva always gives respect & rights to his wife Parvati & loves her, he even makes her sit beside him & is loyal towards her.
Trinetra-one of his names signifies the third eye present on the lord’s forehead & its opening indicates fierce & rage of Shiva. When lord Shiva becomes extremely angry he performs an energetic dance, Tandav and is known as Nataraja in this form.
This universe is created & balanced by three supreme powers- lord Brahma [the creator], lord Vishnu [the preserver] & Lord Shiva [the destroyer], united as the trinity of Hinduism. On the occasion of Mahashivratri, hemp is distributed among all devotees as a sacrament.
Lord Shiva’s form is unpredictable, cannot be described in a single word. But as stated, the whole body of Shiva is coated with ash, Shiva has three eyes- two normal eyes signify physical aspects of the globe & third eye present on forehead signifies spiritual aspects. Besides eye, three matted locks present on forehead represent the integration of three life activities- mental, physical & spiritual. Lord Shiva wears the skin of tiger with Rudraksha beads & snake as an ornament. Three times rounding up of snake around neck represents the past, the present & the future. It also represents lordship of Shiva over energy & time. Ganga River is retained by Shiva’s hair. The trident of Shiva explains determination, knowledge & action potentials. The curve shaped moon on his head symbolizes the periodic nature of time.
During the Samudra-Manthan, Shiva consumed poison but did not let it pass his throat, which made it appear blue, giving him the recognition by the name Neelkanth.
In India, multiple shrines are linked to lord Shiva. Although it is very hard to reach certain shrines, devotees are still not afraid & complete their visit in lord Shiva’s name.
SHIV-KHORI- is a blessed cave with auspicious feelings, dedicated to lord Shiva, located in Reasi district of Jammu & Kashmir. In the cave, there is a Shiva lingam which baths persistently with drops of milky fluid oozing from the upper interior surface of the wall.
MAHAKALESHWAR- is a jyotirlingam temple [presiding deity is Swayambhu lingam which is known as Dakshinamurti], situated in Ujjain [Madhya Pradesh] & well known for its sacred ash worship rituals. The aggressive face of lord Shiva is the Mahakal signifying demolishment of culprits.
VADAKKUNNATHAN- this temple situated in Kerala [thrissur city] & built by lord Parshurama, devoted to Vadakkunnathan [lord Shiva] who is worshipped by providing ghee for ablution of the lingam.
BHIMASHANKAR- is a graceful temple, with Nagar style architecture. This Jyotirlinga temple is near origins of the Bhima River & situated in Maharashtra. This temple was formed after the war in which demon Tripurasura was killed by lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva is a temple of beauty, of nature, universal truth, the endless power that converts impurity into purity. The vehicle of lord Shiva is Nandi [a bull]. To get rid of trouble, the terror of death, one should enchant Shiva’s mantras.
Featured Image Source: maadurgawallpaper.com