Jan 13, 2010 by lakshmi
Śiva is known for destruction, often shown as the cosmic dancer who dances on the demon called as Apasmāra Purusha that represents as our ego, depicted him as the Nataraja. In one hand he is shown catching the deer which represents the unsteady mind of the beings that goes here and there. In other hands he holds the drum (creative activity), fire in one hand (destruction), abhaya mudra (symbol) that says about the protection even if he destroys. The circle of fire round his head depicts the continuous movement of creation, preservation, destruction. Ganga (river Ganges) on his head is a symbol of purity and eternity, moon on the other side of the head shows the movement of time. Siva is always decorated with snakes (energy), garlands of skulls (death is inevitable for beings), third eyes represents that he is all seeing.( opens the third eye for destruction). He is Ardha Nariswara (half man and half woman) part him and the other part his consort Parvati that symbolizes the union of man and woman. He smears ashes on his body which tells the seeker that physical body one day will turn into ashes. Tiger skin that he wears around his waist is Ahamkara (pride) that springs on us silently like a Tiger and it has to be suppressed.
Soon after the creation of the universe he appeared as the lingam (symbol) with no beginning and end that depicts cosmic power and light. His vehicle is Nandiswara (Bull) which is often seen sitting in front of him symbolizes the soul of the Jiva (beings) ready to join the Eswara (Paramatma).
Another form of Śiva is Lord Dakshināmurti who is the ultimate source of knowledge. He sits under a Banyan tree with a smiling, peaceful face, and with a hand symbol (chin mudra) that shows joining of second finger to thumb where the thumb represents Paramatma while second finger represents the jivatma and the joining the fingers tells us union of both which is the ultimate truth.
Śiva is easily pleased by the sincere worship by the seekers. There are countless anecdotes in the Siva Purana that tells us about his love and affection towards the seeker that even by lighting a small lamp in the his temple on the special days like in the month of November, Sivaratri will please him immensely, and he is ready to grant wishes.
All over India people worship Śiva with lot of devotion, daily chanting some of the following Mantras can take the seeker to fulfill their wishes, and give them good health, long life, clarity in the thought process, and a lift in their spiritual pursuit.