The most ferocious and exuberant Shiva is the only deity that has never left any stone unturned when it was about rescuing the universe form detrimental energies that could have left this entire universe in ruins. The Vedas glorify him as a healer, protector and the source of healing substances. He is also a god of storms, death and destruction. There are numerous significant facts about Shiva. Let’s put light on here.
He is also Brahman, the lord of the universe (Isvara) that creates, sustains and nurtures the worlds, keeping them under control of his elusive powers.
Shiva’s devotees fear him and revere him and his legion manifestation. Shiva is described as the god of both benevolence and malevolence in the Hindu scriptures. He is also depicted in Buddhist and Jain scriptures as a divine deity named Bodhisattva. The Buddhist communities in the Himalayas worship him as an avatar of Buddha. It is also speculated that in the gothic era, Shiva was worshipped by some Muslim friar and heretic cults in Kashmir and its closely encircled areas.
The above-mentioned facts about Shiva are unknown to many as the knowledge about him is confined to just one religion or community. Shiva is beyond anyone’s knowledge. The more you explore about him, the more you know about his presence across things you would have never imagined.
Apart from all these concise but significant facts, there are 8 most significant facts about Shiva that would enlighten you more about his divinity. Let’s know about them-
Shiva has multiple avatars
Hindu people believe that Shiva has taken birth on earth multiple times by being embodied as a godly person, known as an avatar. There have been so many avatars of Shiva and one of them is Hanuman, the monkey-like god who is also Rama’s disciple. But, not all of his devotees have adopted the idea of him having incarnations or avatars.
Shiva’s dance ruins and resurrects the universe
The Tandav is believed to be a cosmic dance that may destroy the universe. Shiva performs this dance at the end of every age he takes birth in. According to scriptures, Rudra performed a Tandav that was violent but Shiva’s Tandav is depicted as the rigorous and full of joy. When Shiva dances, Parvati responds with a dance known as the Laysa. When the present universe is destroyed, Shiva restores it. The Tandav also states continuous nature of birth, death and rebirth.
The Ganga River flows through Shiva’s hair
The Mahabharata and Ramayana tell a story of a wise man whose deep meditation was interrupted by the sons of King Sagara. In a rage, he reduced all of his 60,000 sons to ash with his fuming gaze. One of the successors of the sons was afraid to bring them back, so he pleaded goddess Ganga to come to earth and restore each one of them. To save the planet from shattering while she was falling from her origin to milky way, she broke her fall in the snarled knots of Shiva’s knotted hair.
Shiva is also in Shinto Belief
One of the major religions after Buddhism in Japan is Shintoism. In fact, many Japanese follow both Buddist and Shinto religions either at different parts of their lives or at the same time. One of the Shinto deities is named Okuninushi who rules the world of magic and spirits. Buddhists merged Shiva with Okininushi to create Daikokuten, the god of household and wealth.
Shiva’s sacred number is five
Hindus believe that Shiva’s body is composed of five unique mantras, the most essential of which has five syllables. These mantras form each one of Shiva’s five faces and are associated with the five sense organs and the five action organs.
Shiva has both male and female features
It is believed that Shiva shows himself to have an epicene, if not masculine or feminine appearance. But he is a male god. He is pictured as being dissevered down the middle. One half is male god Shiva and the other half is his wife Parvati. Some beliefs about him as a disorderly he-man, his devotees now see him neither as male nor female. Amazingly, many Hindu gods have both male and female characteristics if we go by the scriptures.
He has two sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya
As we all know that elephant-headed God Ganesha is the most coveted god among Hindus. He is believed to be the god of success and destroyer of evils. He is worshipped during the beginnings of anything good and is revered at ceremonies that commence something new. He is widely worshipped just like his father.
Similarly, Ganesha’s brother Kartikeya is also a destroyer of evil. He is believed to be the god of war and victory. His rides are peacock and rooster and carries a hatful of weapons that he uses to conquer his enemies and evils.
Worship of Shiva is known as Shaivism
In Hinduism, people worship Brahma as the supreme god, Vishnu as the second god and Shiva as the third in the triumvir. But. some ardent devotees of Shiva, named as Shaivists see him as the supreme god. Apart from Shaivism being the diversity within Hinduism, there are numerous different faiths and sects within Shaivism.