Shiva –The Protector and Destroyer

The Sanskrit word "Shiva" is an adjective that means "pure." It also refers to Rudra, whose name means "The Auspicious One." The term "The Pure One" or "The One who might never be affected by the three Gunas of Nature" (Rajas, Sattva, and Tamas) or "The One who purifies living beings by the uttering of His name" are only a few of the many names that Vishnu gives to Almighty Shiva. 

The definition of Lord Shiva, according to Swami Chinmayananda, is the One who is eternally pure or the One who cannot ever be tainted by the flaws of Rajas and Tamas. Hinduism's Absolute God, Shiva, is regarded as existing without birth or death because he lacks both Aadi and Anta. The term "Devon Ke Dev Mahadev" (Great God or Great Lord) is used to refer to Lord Shiva.

A seal that depicts a seated person surrounded by animals, presumably Shiva, the Pashupati, was found in the Mohenjodaro. Shiva means "prosperity, welfare" in the original language. He is the god of destruction and the third god in the Hindu Triad. He is said to be the "angry god" and stands for the darkness.

When referring to Shiva's cosmic responsibilities, the word "destruction" can be misleading. Quite frequently, Lord Shiva vanquishes evil, ignorance, and death. Lord Shiva's destruction also makes room for constructive recreation. For instance, an artist might melt down (i.e., destroy) old metal parts while he creates a stunning work of art.

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Because of this, Shiva plays a complementary role to Brahma, the creator god. Before souls are prepared for regeneration at the hands of Brahma, Shiva guards them. One of the most revered and feared gods in Hinduism is Lord Shiva because of his association with destruction.

But in Hinduism, destruction is followed by creation. Shiva is hence also viewed as a generative force that repairs what has been destroyed. He is symbolized by the linga or phallus, a sign of renewal, as one who restores.

Shiva is both within and outside of the world at once-

Nothing existed at the beginning, neither the heavens, the earth, or any space in between. Non-being then transformed into the spirit and cried out, "Let me become!" after deciding to exist. He warmed himself, and as a result, the fire was created. He continued to warm up, and the light was the result.

He is the eternal creator of everything and is aware of everything. He is the time's creator, pure consciousness, all-knowing, and all-powerful. He is the Lord of the soul, of nature, and of nature's three states. The transition between slavery in time and freedom in eternity both originate from Him.

Shiva the Beneficent is one of his nicknames. He is referred to be the Destroyer by some. He is viewed by some as the traveling ascetic Shiva. Some still view him as the Big Lord, who rules over the entire cosmos.

But all of his facets come together in one horrifyingly significant shape as the Lord of the Dance. There is no other clearer representation of what a deity is and does in the human world.

He goes by 1,008 names, including Ishwar, Mahesh, Rudra, Neelkantha (the blue-throated one), and Mahadeva (the mighty god) (the supreme god). The great ascetic, also known as Mahayogi, represents the purest form of austere penance and meditative abstraction that leads to redemption.

Shiva has countless number of names and faces. Shiva is the Vedic essence and the origin of the Word. He is intertwined with all that the eye can see.

He is the first of the gods who created the world so that other gods may create the things that are found in it. His name is Energy, and he constantly goes through everything.

All creation, every generation of life, and all the incredible species that live on our planet come from his dancing loins. He is a gender-neutral person. He is not a human being or an animal. He has no hands, despite having four. Shiva's nature encompasses all the polarities of the living universe and transcends them.

Shiva is thought to take on a variety of forms. His most typical representation is that of a blue-throated ascetic with a dark complexion. Shiva is frequently found sitting cross-legged on a tiger skin with matted, coiled hair that is embellished with a serpent and a crescent moon.

Shiva has three eyes and four arms. His forehead's third eye, which is constantly closed and only opens to obliterate an evildoer, is situated in the center of him. On his neck hangs a serpent, rudraksha beads, or a garland made of skulls. Shiva also sports bracelets and armlets made of snakes.

Shiva's sacred person included a position of honor for the snake race, which is hated and dreaded by all other species, just because he was affected by their predicament.

Shiva holds the Pinaka, his Trishul, in one hand. Typically, a damaru or waisted drum is fastened to the Trishul. He wields a conch shell in one hand, a club or a bow in the other, and a rudraksha rosary in the third.

His upper body is typically covered in ashes, as befits an ascetic, and he wears a tiger or leopard hide around his waist. When Parvati (Parvati, the goddess of power, is Shiva's cosmic consort), in a playful mood, covered his eyes with her hands, it is thought that Shiva's third eye appeared.

The universe immediately descended into chaos and darkness. Shiva created a second eye on his forehead to bring about order, and from that eye, the fire appeared to bring forth illumination.

This eye's light is thought to be extremely potent and so destructive. Only in times of rage does Shiva open his third eye, and the perpetrator is reduced to cinders.

The Shiva Purana claims that Shiva has five faces, each of which represents one of his five panchakriyas: creation, establishment, destruction, forgetfulness, and grace. His five faces are related to the invention of the holy sound Om.

In the Himalayan summit known as Mount Kailash, Shiva is reputed to reside. He travels on Nandi the bull, and the Trishul is his weapon. Parvati, who is considered to be a portion of Shiva, is Shiva's spouse. Ardhanarishvara is one of Shiva's most well-known forms.

The Puranas contain a legend that claims Brahma failed in his attempt to create. Shiva took on this form and tore Parvati from his body, which he praised. There are numerous forms of Parvati, including Kali, Durga, and Uma. Ganesha and Kartikeya are their sons.

It is thought that Shiva has a lot of ganas or attendants. They are mythical creatures with human bodies and animal heads. Ganesha, the son of Shiva, is in charge of the ganas.

Shiva is honored in countless temples and shrines throughout the Hindu nation. He is typically worshipped as a shivalinga. Offerings of flowers, milk, and sandalwood paste are made in his honor.

The Puranas provide numerous accounts concerning Shiva's beginnings. The Vishnu Purana claims that Brahma prayed to the gods for a child at the start of this Kalpa.

A youngster suddenly appeared on his lap and began sobbing. The young boy explained to Brahma that he was crying because he didn't have a name. Then Brahma gave him the name Rudra, which means "howler."

The kid sobbed seven more times, nevertheless, and received seven additional names. Hence, according to the Shiva Purana, Shiva has eight forms: Rudra, Sharva, Bhava, Ugra, Bhima, Pashupati, Ishana, and Mahadeva, which stand in for the elements of earth, water, fire, wind, sky, a yogi by the name of Kshetragya, the sun, and the moon, respectively.

Shiva is claimed to have ingested the poison during the samudra manthan when it was churned out of the ocean to prevent the end of the world. Parvati tightened her grip on his throat as he drank the poison, ensuring that it stayed there and stained his neck. He is referred to as Neelkantha, the blue-necked one, as a result.

Shiva is credited with creating dance as well as the first 16 rhythmic sounds that gave rise to the Sanskrit language. His dance of joy is known as the Ananda Tandava, and his dance of rage is known as the Rudra Tandava.

When he performed the Nadanta Tandava, a renowned violent dance, in front of all the gods and sages there, they begged him to perform it once more.

Shiva promised to do so in the hearts of his devotees and in a sacred grove in Tamil Nadu, where the great temple of Chidambaram was built, the only one in all India dedicated to Shiva as Nataraja, the lord of the dance.

It is believed that on the 13th day of each bright lunar fortnight (see Hindu Calendar), after 6 o’clock in the evening, falls a sacred hour called Pradosha.

Worshipping Shiva at this time is akin to worshipping all the powers of Shiva, for this is the time when all the gods are believed to have assembled on Kailash to lose them in the ecstasy of Nataraja’s dance.

He performs the creation dance, the destruction dance, the solace dance, and the freedom dance. Ignorance is crushed beneath his left foot, and life-giving rivers spring from his head.

The moon, the drum, the flames, and the lotus are all his. The tiger has donated its skin to gird his loins, and his mount is the white bull. Serpents snake around his limbs, and the promise of relief is coming from his right hand.

This dance is not merely a metaphor. Every one of us experiences it on an atomic level at all times. The five acts of this dance are the creation of the world, its upkeep, destruction, concealment of the soul, and its disclosure. All that was created will be undone, and all that was destroyed will be brought back to life.

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