Text & Images Of Lord Shiva


Shiva is one of the gods of the Trinity. He is said to be the god of destruction. The other two gods are Brahma, the god of creation and Vishnu, the god of maintenance. The three gods represent the three fundamental powers of nature which are manifest in the world viz. creation, destruction and maintenance. These powers exist perpetually. Creation is going on all the time. So is destruction and maintenance. All three powers are manifest at all times. They are inseparable. Creation and destruction are like two sides of a coin. And maintenance is an integral part of the processes of creation and destruction. For example, morning dies to give birth to noon. Noon dies when night is born. In this chain of birth and death the day is maintained. To indicate that these three processes are one and the same the three gods are combined in one form of Lord Dattatreya. Lord Dattatreya has the faces of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Shiva is married to the Goddess Uma. Uma represents frakriti which means perishable matter. Shiva's marriage with Uma signifies that the power of destruction has no meaning without its association with perishable matter. Destruction manifests itself only when there is perishable matter. Lord Shiva sits in a meditative pose against the white background of the snow-capped Himalayas in Mount Kailas.
His posture symbolises perfect inner harmony and poise, experienced by a man of Realisation. He is rooted in God- consciousness. He revels in the bliss of the transcendental Reality. Nothing disturbs him. The vicissitudes of nature, the challenges of life, the trials and tribulations of the terrestrial world do not affect him at all. He maintains perfect serenity, equanimity and tranquility in all environments and circumstances.
The snow-white background symbolises the absolute purity of mind. When the mind is disturbed, agitated, you do not see the divinity in you. Recognising your divine self is like seeing a reflection in a pool of water. When the water is dirty or disturbed you cannot see your own reflection. Only when the water is clear and steady do you recognize your reflection. Similarly, the divinity in you is lost in a pool of thoughts. If the thoughts are dirty (tamasic) or agitated (rajasic) you miss your divine Self. By spiritual practices you ought to raise your personality from its
tamasic and rajasic states to the state, of sattwa. In the sattviic state when the mind is absolutely pure and steady you recognise your supreme Self. That is the state of Shiva in Kaila

 
On the auspicious occasion of MahaShivaratri, Shiva performs the ecstatic dance of realisation. In the dance pose Shiva is known as Nataraja. The dance symbolises the thrill of god-realisation. Beyond the realms of the waking, dream and deep-sleep states of consciousness. Beyond the ' experiences of the body and its perceptions, the mind and its feelings, the intellect and its thoughts lies the bliss of Godhood. Shiva reaches this state of Godhood and dances with the intoxication of supreme bliss

Shiva is said to have a third eye known as gyana chakshu.Gyana chakshu literally means eye of wisdom. The eye whose vision reaches beyond that of the two mortal eyes. The idea of the third eye is not to be taken literally to mean that a third fleshy organ exists in Shiva. It only means that Shiva has a divine vision of Reality. Your vision is confined merely to perceptions, emotions and thoughts but when you transcend the limitations of your body, mind and intellect you gain realisation of your inner Self. That is indicated by the opening of the gyana chakshu


 
Shiva us also known as “Gangadhar”, Gangadhar literally means the carrier of Ganga (River Ganges). Shiva is said to carry the Ganges in his locks.

Shiva is sometimes shown with his trident (“trishool”) in his hand. The “trishool” is a three pronged weapon which symbolizes the destruction of the ego with its three-fold desires of the body, mind and intellect. Shiva with his weapon indicated his victory over his ego and attainment of the state of perfection. 




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