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Lord Shiva is one of the three major deities of Hinduism, the two others being Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. Together they form the Trimurti or Holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Shiva lives in Kailash with his wife Goddess Parvati and their two sons – Ganapati and Karthikeya. Shiva’s vehicle is Nandi the divine bull. Shiva is the lord of destruction and is also called ‘the Destroyer’. He is responsible for maintaining the life cycle. He destroys as well as recreates. He is a great yogi and known for his mercy, kindness and fair justice. Features of Shiva include the snake ‘Vasuki’ around his neck, the third eye on his forehead, an adjourning crescent moon on his head and Ganga flowing from his hair. He carries a ‘trishula’ and a ‘damru’ in his hands which act as a weapon and musical instrument respectively. He is known by many names like Mahadeva, Mahayogi, Pashupati, Nataraja, Bhairava, Vishwanath, Bhava and Bhole Nath.
Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Lingam. The linga represents both Shiva and Shakti. The linga has two parts i.e. the lingam which is the male reproductive part (represents Shiva) and yoni which is the female reproductive part (represents Shakti or Parvathi). The linga combines both of them and represents the power of unity and completeness. The linga symbolize Lord Shiva because he is responsible for destroying and recreating.
Lord Shiva has a huge amount of followers and is worshipped by many. The worshipping of Shiva is called Shaivism which is one of the four major sects of worship in Hinduism. The people that follow Shaivism are called ‘Shaivas’. They consider him to be the most supreme and divine ruler of this universe who acts as a creator, protector as well as a destroyer. Shiva is worth the amount of worshippers he has. Here are the reasons why you should worship Lord Shiva-
Shiva is wise and has supreme knowledge
Shiva has great knowledge and wisdom. He is the supreme teacher of this universe. He is the father of all forms of art, crafts and science. He carries a Damru in his hands which is a musical instrument and plays it very well. He is a great dancer. The dance of Shiva is called Tandava. This dance is the source of creation and destruction. Rudra Tandava is his form of dancing when he is in rage and Ananda Tandava is his form of dancing when he is enjoying it. Nataraja, a form of Shiva is considered the supreme lord of dancing. Worshipping him and considering him your guru will prove to be a blessing on your path to success.
Shiva represents our body
Shiva can be split as Sha+ee+va which is
- Sha stands for shareeram or body
- Ee stands for eeshwara or life giving energy
- Va stands for vayu or motion
Hence, Shiva represents the body and its life and movement. If the ‘ee’ is removed the body becomes ‘Shava’ which means a corpse. Hence Shiva is the life of our body. Without Shiva only a lifeless body is left. Also, in order to attain atonement and liberation from your sins it is necessary to worship Shiva who will forgive your sins and lead you forward on the path of life.
Shiva is the protector of all animals
Shiva is also called ‘Pashupatinath’ which means the Lord of all animals or beasts. This word is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘pashu’ which means animal and ‘pati’ which means protector. He was given this title by Lord Vishnu after he defeated the three demons that ruled Tripura, the three cities of illusion. Shiva is known for his compassion and kindness towards animals and he does not harm them in anyway. His own son Ganesha has an elephant head. Anyone who loves animals and wants to protect them should worship lord Shiva to attain his blessings for the animals.
Shiva is a deity of supreme power
Shiva is the destroyer and the creator of this universe. He is the one that takes care of the life cycle and balance in this universe. He destroys evil and lets the good grow. In human beings he is the destroyer of bad emotions like- ego, jealousy, cruelty etc. Worshipping him would remove your sufferings and make your path through life better. He is also known for his forgiveness and worshipping him would lead to you being forgiven for your sins and becoming pure again.
Shiva is fair in his justice
Lord Shiva passes judgement fairly. He gives his devotees what they deserve on the basis of how strong their faith is and how hard they try to get his blessings. He punishes when someone does something wrong. But he also showers his blessings on people who are good.
Shiva has a family. He has a wife who is goddess Parvathi and two sons- Lord Ganesha and Lord Karthikeya. He loves his family and always spends time with them in his home in Kailash. He knows the value of having a family and hence worshipping him would help you in learning how important having families are. The devotee would come to know about the importance of relationships and how to give and take love and respect. He would have a sense of duty towards his family members and always give them more priority.
Shiva is a good husband
Shiva is the prime example of a good husband. He loves his wife Parvathi and always treats her with utmost love and respect. He considers her to be a part of him and considers her to be equal to him in all aspects. She has a place beside him and not below him. He never considers her to be lesser than him and always takes care of his duties towards her. In return Parvathi does the same. Hence, this makes him a god worth worshipping and loving as he teaches you to treat woman equally and with respect.
Shiva also gets angry and uncontrollable.
Worshipping him one accepts the fact that anger is a part of themselves that can sometimes go out of control and ruin things. It makes it easier to know that Lord Shiva also gets very angry and destroys everything in his wake in his anger. An angry Shiva is frightening and no one (not even the gods) what to see this form of him. But it’s a part of him that can’t be removed just like our own anger.
Shiva is not a god that loves material things. He does not require any form of offering or sacrifice when worshipping him. He wants faith and devotion. That is what connects him to the hearts of the worshippers. That’s why it is easy to worship it. One can do it anywhere at any time if he actually truly believes in the lord and his power.
Shiva rewards the devotees that please him
Shiva rewards his devotees irrespective of their background, strength, weakness or intentions. He doesn’t give attention to whether a person is good or bad. If he is pleased with what you have then he will reward you according to your wishes and never say no to what you want. Due to this he is also called ‘Bhole nath’ or the innocent lord.