Forms Of Lord Shiva

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Updated: Tuesday, July 17, 2012, 13:59 [IST]
 
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Considered as the Supreme God, he is to bless all other lords of the Universe. Parvati is his wife and his children are Ganesha and Karthik. Lord Shiva has an eye on all the happenings in the world. According to popular Hindu beliefs there are many forms of Shiva. But here we will discuss only the most popular ones.

Mahadeva- The most popular form of Lord Shiva that comes to our mind at the very name of one of this most popular Hindu Gods is a form in which he is worshipping with the moon in his hair. He also has a trident and a drum in his hand. Lord Shiva is a yogi who meditates on Mount Kailash. This image of Shiva is seen as his canonical image or Mahadeva.

Forms Of Lord Shiva

Nataraja-
Shiva is also depicted as the Lord of dance in the popular form known as Nataraja. Here he dances on a demon dwarf named Apasmara who represents ignorance. Shiva is seen doing the eternal dance of creation and destruction here in this form. Apart from the Nataraja he is also seen in many more dance forms in various parts of India. The most famous of them being the Tandava and Lasya. The Tandava is the dance of destruction while the Lasya is the feminine form of it.

Ardhanarishvara- It is one of the forms of Lord Shiva where He is in composite form. It is a combination of Him and Shakti in one. This form is half male and half female, that merge into each other in the middle. It is a popular iconographic form found in many Shiva temples across India. It is depicted as half male and half female. This image of Shiva represents the synthesis of the masculine and feminine energies in one. This is considered to be the very principle behind creation.

Harihara- It is a composite form of Vishnu and Shiva. Worshipping Shiva in this form means worshipping both Vishnu and Shiva in one. This form depicts that God is one. All followers of Shiva should not look down upon Lord Shiva and vice versa. But the oneness of these two Hindu Gods is an object of debate among many philosophical schools.

Shankara- Lord Shiva has been manifested as both as an ascetic and and a householder in one. Though he is a yogi his Shankara form depicts him as a family man with his wife Parvati and his two sons Ganesh and Karthik. The most popular temple holding this form is in Kashi, Uttar Pradesh.

All these forms of Shiva are found to be worshipped across the globe. But no matter how many forms of Shiva you worship, all are the supreme power is manifested in one.

Story first published:  Tuesday, July 17, 2012, 13:07 [IST]
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