The age old Hindu religion is particularly known for its Gods and Goddesses. In fact, most of us are curious about Hindu Gods and Goddesses and want to know about them in detail. So, today we share with you the untold stories of Lord Shiva.
There are millions of devotees of Lord Shiva all across the globe, and each one of them is ever curious to know more about their beloved deity – Lord Shiva. Another very interesting aspect of Lord Shiva is that He is extremely popular with the young as well as with the old.
The stories of Lord Shiva have managed to captivate every generation of people. That which is otherwise considered a taboo in religion has found apt manifestation in Lord Shiva.
It would not be an exaggeration to describe Bhole Shankar as a crazy mix of opposites.
He can destroy the world and on the other hand, goes on to protect and nurture his devotees. He can be ruthless to demons while at other times his cosmic dance can fill the heart of devotees with joy. He can be calm while his anger can bring down the world to ashes.
He is the master of all arts, meditation, and yoga. He is the giver of all wealth but has chosen an ascetic life for himself. He is portrayed along with snakes but remains unperturbed by any disturbance.
He can sit in silence and Samadhi but can take part in wars, as well. He consumes poison but gives love to his devotees. The list of contrary attributes of Lord Shiva can just go on and on.
All this goes on to prove that Lord Shiva is beyond dualities and is an embodiment of “Pure Consciousness.”
Who is Lord Shiva?
Lord Shiva is one of the foremost deities of Hindus. He is known as Shambu, Shankar, Mahadeva, Bhole Nath, Bhairava, Natraj, Neel Kantha, Mahakaal, Rudra, Adiyogi, AdiGuru, and scores of other names.
Lord Shiva represents the Supreme Being and is considered as one of the three elements in Hindu Trinity, the other two being Lord Brahma – the creator and Lord Vishnu – the protector. Lord Shiva is the destructive form of the Almighty. His main responsibility is to maintain the life cycle which involves destruction and recreation.
Hindus believe that as Mahakaal, Lord Shiva destroys and dissolves everything into nothingness, but as Shankar, he also reproduces that which has been dissolved and destroyed. The symbol of Shiva Lingam represents his reproductive powers.
Lord Shiva is known to be the God of all, the Mahadeva. Lord Shiva is the supreme power of all the cosmos. He is a great ascetic and is seen in meditation in his celestial abode, Mount Kailash in the Himalayas.
He is easy to please and is often regarded as the God of mercy and kindness. He has the power to alter the laws of destiny. He protects his devotees from all kinds of evil and blesses them with knowledge, peace, and grace.
Lord Shiva is often depicted as “Ardhanareeshwara” – half man and half woman. The Ardhanareeshwara form of Lord Shiva symbolizes that both male and females energies are involved in the creation of the cosmos. It is the totality of all created existence.
So, Shiva and Shakti are the essential prerequisites of all created existence in the cosmos.
Appearance of Lord Shiva
The three eyed God – Lord Shiva has his body covered with cemetery ashes. It points to the fact that Lord Shiva is beyond life and death. The holy Ganga can be seen flowing from his matted hair.
He has three eyes – the sun is his right eye, the moon is the left eye, and the third eye on the forehead represents the ultimate wisdom that which can look beyond the obvious.
Lord Shiva is depicted with half-open eyes which point that the universe cycle is in the process. Lord Shiva has the crescent of the Panchami (fifth day) moon on his head. It depicts his control over time.
He wears the cobra necklace around his neck. There are three lines of ashes drawn on his forehead that signify the immortality of the soul.
Lord Shiva’s throat is blue in color as it holds all the poison that can destroy the whole universe. So, Lord Shiva is the savior of living beings on Earth.
Lord Shiva is shown to be sitting on tiger skin which suggests that he is control of all forces in the universe. He wears elephant and deer skins which point that he has conquered pride and he has absolute control over the mind.
Lord Shiva wears Rudraksha Necklace which shows that he maintains law and order in the universe. Lord Shiva can be seen with Damuru which sounds the cosmic “Aum” and holds “Trishul” (Trident) which represents the instrument for punishment to the evil doer on all the three planes – the physical, subtle, and spiritual.
Nandi (bull) is the vehicle of Lord Shiva which symbolizes that the Lord removes ignorance and imparts knowledge and wisdom to his devotees.
Lord Shiva’s Birth
Lord Shiva is known to be “Swayambhu” – the one who is not born from any woman. He is beyond any beginning and end. He is the Ultimate Supreme Power. He is regarded as the “Adi Dev” meaning the oldest God in Hindu mythology. He was there when there was nothing, and he will remain after the destruction.
However, the Puranas describe an interesting story about the birth of Lord Shiva. The story goes on to show the eternity of Lord Shankar.
Once Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu got into a tussle arguing which among them is the most powerful. Amidst this commotion, suddenly there appeared a blazing pillar. It was so huge that its top and the root were unseen. A divine voice asked them to compete so as to find out the start and end of the pillar.
To prove their superiority, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu decided to compete against each other. Lord Brahma took the form of a goose and moved upwards to locate the top of the pillar. Lord Vishnu took the form of a boar to dig the earth for finding the end of the pillar.
Both tried very hard but were not able to find the top and the end of the blazing pillar. After being unsuccessful, both came back and saw Lord Shiva emerge from an opening in the blazing pillar. They then admitted Lord Shiva’s power and came to realize that there is the third power that rules the universe.
Who is the father of Lord Shiva?
You might be curious to know who the father of Lord Shiva is.
However, we must reiterate that Hindus regard Lord Shiva beyond birth and death. So, the common understanding puts Lord Shiva as one without any parents.
Lord Shiva is considered “Anaadi” meaning one who is beyond any beginning or starting point. So, when Lord Shiva is Anaadi, he can’t have a birth. Thus, Lord Shiva has no parents.
Once Lord Shiva was asked by a saint, “Who is your father, Lord?”
Lord Shankar said that Brahma is his father.
Then the saint asked him, “Who is your grandfather, Lord?”
Lord Shiva replied, “Vishnu is my grandfather.”
The saint further questioned him, “Who is your great-grandfather?”
Lord Shiva stunned him by replying that, “I am my great-grandfather.”
This story goes on to stress the fact that Lord Shiva is “Anaadi” – one who is beyond any beginning.” So, Lord Shiva is beyond the concept of birth and death.
Who is the mother of Lord Shiva?
Lord Shiva is “Swayambhu,” “Adi Dev” and “Anaadi.” He is without any birth and beyond death. He is the creator of himself. So, Lord Shiva does not have any parents and is without any date of birth.
He neither has any childhood nor mother. However, there is an instance in Purana where Shakti became Lord Shiva’s Mother and breast feed her to calm his pain when Lord Shiva consumed “Halahal Vish” (poison) during Samudra Manthan.
Who was Adiyogi?
Lord Shiva is considered to be the Adiyogi or the first yogi – the originator of yoga. According to yogic lore, it is believed that when Lord Shiva attained full enlightened (which is about fifteen thousand years ago), he abandoned himself upon the Himalayas where he danced ecstatically, meditated or remained absolutely still.
He experienced something that nobody had known so far.
Soon, people came wanting to know what this was. However, Lord Shiva remained oblivious to their presence. Soon everyone left except seven men. These seven men were determined to learn from Lord Shiva.
Seeing their insistence and determination, Lord Shankar told them that this needs a lot of preparation. Years passed by but Shiva chooses to ignore them.
However, finally, after many years of preparation, Adiyogi looked at these seven men and realized that they had become shining receptacles of knowing.
When the next full moon rose, Adiyogi transformed himself into the “Adi Guru.” It is now celebrated as Guru Poornima. He began to transmit the yogic science to these seven people.
All this happened on the banks of Kanti Sarovar, a lake few kilometers above Kedarnath in the Himalayas. When the transmission was complete, it produced seven fully enlightened beings that came to be known as Saptarishis.
Each of these Saptarishis possessed one unique and basic form of yogic science. Saptarishis then traveled in different directions of the world to spread the Yogic knowledge.
So, all these aspects of bhole Shankar, make him one of the most revered and celebrated deities in the Hindu Religion. We hope that the post has been successful in giving valuable information and insights about Lord Shiva.
!! Our Salutations to the Almighty Lord Shiva !!