Known by many names--mahadeva, mahayogi, pashupati, nataraja, bhairava, vishwanath, bhava, bhole nath --lord shiva is perhaps the most complex of hindu deities, and one of the most powerful. shiva is 'shakti' or power, shiva is the destroyer--the most powerful god of the hindu pantheon and one of the godheads in the hindu trinity, along with brahma and vishnu. as recognition of this fact, hindus isolate his shrine separate from those of other deities in the temple.
the actual image of shiva is also uniquely different from other deities: his hair is piled high on the top of his head, with a crescent tucked into it and the river ganges tumbling from his hair. around his neck is a coiled serpent representing kundalini, the spiritual energy within life. he holds a trident in his left hand, in which is bound the 'damroo' (small leather drum). he sits on a tiger skin and on his right is a water pot. he wears the 'rudraksha' beads, and his whole body is smeared with ash. shiva is also often portrayed as the supreme ascetic with a passive and composed disposition. sometimes he is depicted riding a bull called nandi, decked in garlands. a very complicated deity, shiva is one of the most fascinating of hindu gods.
the destructive force
shiva is believed to be at the core of the centrifugal force of the universe, due to his responsibility for death and destruction. unlike the godhead brahma the creator, or vishnu the preserver, shiva is the dissolving force in life. but shiva dissolves in order to create since death is necessary for rebirth into a new life. so the opposites of life and death, creation and destruction, both reside in his character. 🙏👁📿✨🕉 source: thoughtco.com 🌀art by @juniour_rau ✨manipulation of @android_jones 🛣