Description: This article provides information about Lord Shiva, a superior Deity in Hindu Dharma.
Supreme God was in an unmanifest and dormant state. According to the science of Spirituality, Supreme God is formless, unmanifest and has no attributes. He then made a resolve, ‘I am one, let Me manifest in several forms,’ and Creation began. The Deities (or God principles) Prajapati, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Meenakshi represent Creation, Bliss, Sustenance, Dissolution and Multiplication respectively. Lord Shiva is the Deity for dissolution.
In this article, we will explain about Lord Shiva.
Who is Lord Shiva?
In Hinduism, there are two Sects – Vaishnavites; those who worship Lord Vishnu, and Shaivites; those who worship Lord Shiva. According to each of these Sects, by worshipping their respective Deity, they merge with that Deity; that is, Vaishnavites merge with Lord Vishnu and Shaivites merge with Lord Shiva. However, all Hindus revere Lord Shiva, who is one of the superior Deities of Hinduism.
Attributes of Lord Shiva
Lord Shiva worships Shri Vishnu and Shri Vishnu worships Lord Shiva. He has adorned the Deity Ganga on His head, who was under the feet of Shri Vishnu.
Lord Shiva chants the Name of Shri Vishnu continuously; due to which there is an increase in temperature. In order to reduce this temperature, He lives on the icy Kailash Mountain and uses the Ganga, serpents, etc. to cool down the temperature.
It is said that Lord Shiva is short tempered. This is said because if someone disturbs Him while He is chanting (for example, as done by Madan, the Deity of love) a tremendous amount of radiance is suddenly expelled from Him and the person disturbing Him gets destroyed. This radiance cannot be tolerated by anyone and is generated due to His continuous chanting.
Lord Shiva is a true renunciant because He does not get perturbed by anything; including sexual desires. In a way, He is a true Jitendriya (conqueror of senses).
He takes the worst possible things upon Himself just for the sake of others. During the battle between the Deities and Demons for Amrut (the nectar of immortality), a poison came out of the celestial ocean while they were churning it (samudra-manthan). This poison threatened all creation. Neither the Deities nor the Demons were willing to consume this poison. Lord Shiva came to their aid and contained the poison in his throat – he did not swallow it, but kept it in His throat. Due to this His throat turned bluish in colour, hence, Lord Shiva is also known as Nilkanth (the One Who has a blue coloured throat).
Goddess Mahakali was slaying demons; however she went on a rampage. The Deities prayed to Lord Shiva to protect creation and calm down Goddess Mahakali. Lord Shiva went to the battlefield and lay down on the ground alongside other corpses. The Goddess did not realize that Lord Shiva was lying on the ground; however when She stepped on His chest, She immediately realized it. This calmed Her down.
Lord Shiva is also known as Ashutosh, the One who is easily appeased; hence Deities as well as Demons worship Him. Demons do rigorous sadhana to obtain boons from Lord Shiva (of course, they use them to create problems for everyone). Often He Himself and other Deities have landed in trouble because of these boons. Each time Lord Vishnu finds some solution to these situations.
Lord Shiva’s mission
Creation of the universe: Lord Shiva can create the universe merely by His resolve (sankalpa).
The Master of the universe (Jagadguru): It is said that one must seek knowledge from Lord Shiva and Liberation from Shri Vishnu.
Taking one beyond the three components (to the trigunatit state): Lord Shiva completely destroys (spiritual) ignorance (that is, ignorance about one’s true nature).
When we understand the spiritual science pertaining to a Deity, it strengthens our faith in the Deity. Faith increases bhav (spiritual emotion) and with bhav worship becomes more fruitful. Similarly, we will be able to develop bhav towards Lord Shiva when we truly comprehend the spiritual science pertaining to Him. This is possible if we try to understand everything from the point of view of the science of Spirituality and not the usual limited wordly point of view. Let us pray to Lord Shiva to help us understand this spiritual science so as to increase our faith, devotion and gratitude unto Him.