Shiva, the Eternal One

Shiva, the Eternal One

Aarti Sharma Natarajan

Who is Lord Shiva?

Shiva is known as the Destroyer among the Trinity of Gods with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu being the other two. He is regarded as the primal soul of the Universe or Shristi. Lord Shiva is often considered to be the most complex of gods because of his paradoxical nature. It is said that it is very easy to both anger and please him. 

Lord Shiva lived an ascetic life on Mount Kailash with his consort Parvati and two sons, Ganesh and Kartikeya or Kartik. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva’s role is to destroy the universe so that it can be re-created, thereby continuing with the cycle of creation and destruction. 

Lord Shiva’s name can be broken up in the following way

‘Sh’ stands for permanent bliss

‘I’ is the male energy

‘Va’ is the female energy

Shiva is therefore considered to be the synthesis of the male and female forms. 

Lord Shiva’s Names

There are 1008 names of Shiva. Among them the more famous ones are 

Adiguru – the first Guru

Bhairav – the destroyer of fear

Bholenath – the simple one 

Kailashnath – the master of Mount Kailash

Mahadev – the greatest God 

Malakal – the conqueror of Time 

Mahamrityunjaya – the victor over death 

Mahesh – the Supreme lord

Nataraja – the king of the art of dancing

Omkara – the creator of Om 

Pashupati – lord of all living beings 

Rudra – the Roarer or Angry One

Shambho – the auspicious one 

Shankar – the lord of all Gods

Someshwara – the one who has a pure body

Trilochana – the three eyed one

Tripurari – destroyer of the three planets created by the Asuras

Vishwanath – the master of the Universe.

Forms of Lord Shiva 

Shiva is also known to have 64 forms or avatars known as Maheswara Murtham. These are outlined in the Skandha Purana

Jyotirlingas

There are 64 jyotirlingas in India. The name means ‘a beam of luminous light.’ The story goes that once Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu got into a heated discussion about who was supreme. Lord Shiva appeared to mediate between them. He made a pillar of light which pierced three worlds. Lord Shiva said that whoever among Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu found the light first would be declared as the Supreme God. 

They both went in opposite directions and neither found the light. Lord Vishnu admitted defeat while Lord Brahma lied and said he had found the light. When Lord Shiva got to know he was furious and he cursed Lord Brahma that no one would ever worship him despite him being the creator of the universe. 

During this fit of anger, Lord Shiva’s pillar of light appeared on earth in 64 places in the form of Lingodbhava. Out of these 12 are majorly worshipped. Lord Shiva is said to reside in some form in each of these jyotirlingas.

   1.Somnath – Gir Somnath in Gujarat
   2.Nageshwar – Daarukavanam in Gujarat
   3.Bhimashankar – Pune in Maharashtra
   4.Trimbakeshwar – Nashik in Maharashtra
   5.Grishneshwar – Aurangabad in Maharashtra
   6.Vaidyanath – Deoghar in Jharkhand
   7.Mahakaleshwar – Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh
   8.Omkareshwar – Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh
   9.Kashi Vishwanath – Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh
  10.Kedarnath – Kedarnath in Uttarakhand
  11.Rameshwaram – Rameshwaram Island in Tamil Nadu
  12.Mallikarjuna – Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh

How is Lord Shiva Depicted?

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva’s appearance can be explained in an interesting manner. When Lord Shiva appeared, the three gunas of Satwa, Rajas, and Tamas appeared with him which transformed into the trident in his hands.

The damru in his hand symbolises balance or equilibrium. Damru is also the symbol of Brahma. Lord Shiva is said to have danced and played his damru when Goddess Saraswati played the veena.

During the Sagar Manthan, the Lord of the Snakes, Naagraj, who was a loyal devotee of Lord Shiva, helped the Gods, the lord adorned him around his neck. 

The sage Bhagirathi did intense tapasya (penance) to free his ancestors from the cycle of births and deaths which entailed the river Ganga to come down to earth to purify the lost souls. Ganga agreed to assist but said the earth would not be able to sustain her weight. Bhagirathi prayed to Shiva who decided to capture her in his tangled locks in order to lessen the force of her current as she flowed down to earth. 

Among the many stories surrounding Lord Shiva, it is said that King Daksh married his 27 daughters to the Moon. The Moon’s favourite was Rohini and the other daughters complained to Daksh, who cursed the Moon. The Moon then prayed to Lord Shiva who gave him a place on his head in a crescent shape. The waxing and waning of the Moon is said to be the result of the curse of King Daksh.

Gift Items Related to Lord Shiva

There are a number of gift items which make for wonderful gifts to devotees of Lord Shiva. One of the most comprehensive and premium gifts is the Shree Shiv Nitya Aaradhana box. Made with premium quality paper and a luxurious design, the box comes in a vibrant blue colour with silver metal foiling. The box also has a silk matte finish. This is a great addition to any household’s pooja collection. The Shree Shiv Nitya Aradhana box is not only perfect as a personalised gift, it is also amazing as a corporate gift. You can choose from a host of personalisation options in the form of a name, a special message, and even a photograph; adding that extra special dimension to it. This is available in both Hindi and English. 

Apart from this you can also choose to gift the Shiv Chalisa which comes in a beautifully curated box with large font and personalisation options. This prayer book is available in two sizes- large and pocket sized and is available in both Hindi and English.