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

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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