In Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva is the Destroyer and the most important one in the Holy Trinity, the other two being Brahma the Creator and Vishnu the Protector. Lord Shiva has always fascinated his followers by his unique appearance: he has three eyes, has ash smeared all over his body, has snakes coiled up around himself, wears tiger and elephant skin, leads a wild life in cremation grounds far removed from social pretenses, and is known for his proverbial anger.
So, how was he born?
There is a very interesting story behind the birth of Lord Shiva. One day, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu were both arguing about their powers – both of them wanted to prove that one is mightier than the other. Right then, amidst the heated discussion, an inexplicable blazing pillar appeared in front of them, whose roots and tip were not visible.
The mysterious pillar
The roots seemed to penetrate deep into the earth with the tip piercing into the skies beyond eternity. Amazed by the view of this pillar, both the Lords wondered about this third entity that stood there, challenging both of their supremacy. Now their argument had subdued and they started discussing how to find out more about this new entity.
The third power
Both Brahma and Vishnu set out to locate the start and end of that pillar. Brahma turned into a goose and flew up to find the top of the pillar, while Vishnu transformed into a boar and dug into the earth to look for its roots. The search went on for ages but the outcome proved futile as neither of them succeeded in their respective missions.
After their unsuccessful attempts, both Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu felt humbled and came back to their original place only to find Lord Shiva manifesting in front of them. They understood that Shiva’s power and cosmic existence is much beyond their imagination and in fact, it was Lord Shiva who was more powerful than both of them.
Lord Shiva’s lifestyle
Lord Shiva is no ordinary god. He is very mysterious and his ways can never be interpreted by the earthly norms and definitions. He performs multiple roles and wields a mighty power over the universe. He takes delight in occupying crematory grounds and his favorite dress code is animal skin with skull garlands.
Lord Shiva’s Gana
He is always accompanied by a large battalion of fierce-looking demons which are also bloodthirsty and can devastate anything with a sweeping operation. The entire troop of Lord Shiva and his army are considered strange and believed to constantly engage in carrying out the multifaceted mission of the Lord in all the known worlds and beyond.
Lord Shiva’s meditative powers
Though Lord Shiva is known better to most people as a ferocious god, he has another mysterious side too – he is known to spend long periods of time in deep meditation in the lofty Himalayas. This absolute silence and stillness on one hand and the vibrant and ferocious exploits on the other hand, makes it very hard to understand His original nature is.
Lord Shiva’s cosmic dance
When Shiva is found engaged in his cosmic dance – The Tandava, it is symbolic of the triumph of Truth over ignorance and impermanence. This eternal dance is so elevating and energizing that the entire universe sends every created particle into a strong vibration, thus adding life into matter. Lord Shiva’s dance dispels the clouds of ignorance and instills a faith, hope and wisdom. It banishes the sufferings of his followers and makes them find the light inside their beings.