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Facts about Lord Shiva

Feb 23, 2024

Devotees all around the world are getting ready to celebrate Mahashivratri - a festival celebrating Lord Shiva. The name literally translates to "The Great Night of Lord Shiva".

Let's take a look at some facts on a very powerful and beloved Deity - Lord Shiva

  • Lord Shiva is not a tamasic God, but a purifier

Lord Shiva is not a God of Tamas (darkness) but of purity. He is the presiding Deity of Tamas, which means that He has the transformative power over it. As the God of Death, He can remove Tamas from His worshipers and purify them so that they can attain liberation.

In other words, Lord Shiva is a purifier.

  • Lord Shiva is both an ascetic and a householder

Of all the Gods and Goddesses, Lord Shiva is the only one who has a full fledged family. His family consists of His beloved wife, Parvati, His two sons - Ganesh and Kumara, His vehicle Nandi and a host of Shiva Ganas, Yogis and devotees.

  • Lord Shiva personifies the diversity and dualities of creation

Lord Shiva is worshiped not only in temples but also in cremation grounds amidst funeral pyres. The God, who is known to be a pure and auspicious being (Shivam), also wanders in unclean and impure places to denote His incorruptibility and omnipresence

  • Half opened eyes

The half open nature of His eyes conveys that the cycle of the universe is still in process. When Lord Shiva opens His eyes completely, then a new cycle of creation begins. When He closes His eyes, then the universe is destroyed until the next phase of creation.

The half eyes show that creation is an eternal cyclic process that has no end of beginning

  • Lord Shiva takes the form of Nataraja to suppress Apasmara - the symbol of ignorance

"Apasmara" a dwarf demon, who represented ignorance, challenged Lord Shiva. So Lord Shiva took the form of Nataraja and performed the famous Tandava or the dance of destruction, eventually crushing Apasmara under His right foot.

Since Apasmara (ignorance) should not die to preserve the balance between knowledge and ignorance, it is believed that Lord Shiva forever remains in His Nataraja form suppressing Apasmara for eternity

  • Shivalingam - the eternal symbol

The word Shivalingam is derived from Sankrit roots - Shiva (Lord) and Lingam (mark/ symbol).

Shivalingam is the mark of the Lord within its creation. What does that mean?

Everything in the world arises our of a dome/ ball/ a Pindi. A tree comes from a seed which is round, a child comes from a cell which is round and the earth is round too. Since Lord Shiva's powers cannot be fully comprehended by the common man, devotees worship His symbol and the whole universe in a Shivalingam

The universe begins and ends with Lord Shiva



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