Out of the stories of the holy trinity of Hinduism, Brahma is renowned for his wisdom, Vishnu for his desire to seek balance in this world. However, stories of the third and most terrifying member of the Hindu holy trinity, Shiva are frequently filled with instances of his anger and wrath, thus earning him the name of the God of Destruction.
According to mythology, Shiva is responsible for change both in the form of death and destruction, but spiritually, the worship of Shiva is also said to be positive in the sense of destroying the go and the negative characteristics within us, thus allowing us to let go of the negativity and then go ahead and make a change in our lives.
Shiva is best known for his anger – he is said to have hacked off the head of his son Ganesha when the youngster denied him entry to the chamber where his mother was bathing. Shiva is also said to have reduced Kama Deva, the god of love, into ash by opening his third eye and turning it on him. Now, while his anger is one of the more recognizeable characteristics of this God, he is also known for his benevolence and kindness to his devotees, rewarding those who worhip him with devotion and unwavering focus. The demon king of Lanka, Ravana was said to have received countless boons at the hands of Lord Shiva who was impressed by the intense tapasya Ravana went through in order to be blessed with a vision of him.
The actual image of Shiva is also uniquely different from other deities: his hair is piled high on the top of his head, with a crescent tucked into it and the river Ganges tumbling from his hair. Around his neck is a coiled serpent representing Kundalini, the spiritual energy within life. He holds a trident in his left hand, in which is bound the 'damroo' (small leather drum). He sits on a tiger skin and on his right is a water pot. He wears the 'Rudraksha' beads, and his whole body is smeared with ash. Shiva is also often portrayed as the supreme ascetic with a passive and composed disposition. Sometimes he is depicted riding a bull called Nandi, decked in garlands. Iconically, he is worshipped in the form of a Shiva Linga, a round stone which can be found in Shiva temples everywhere and is thought to be a representation of the raw sexual power of Shiva.
On artisanscrest.com, we have an extensive range of products related to different depictions of Lord Shiva: as the destroyer, as the God who unleashes the cosmic dance which signals the end of the world and also the softer, family man who rests on Mount Kailash with his wife Parvati and his children, Ganesha and Karthikeya.
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