संसारसारम् भुजगेन्द्रहारम् ।
भवं भवानीसहितं नमामि ॥
Varanasi history related to Lord shiva:
Varanasi is the holy city of Lord shiva and has become one of the seven sacred cities of Hindus. The city has been described in many Hindu scriptures such as Rigveda, Skanda Purana, Ramayana, and Mahabharata. According to Legends, Varanasi is about 3000 years old and known as the oldest city in the world. Varanasi is the centre of industries and famous for a variety of work such as muslin, silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works as well as sculpture. Varanasi was the capital of Kingdom of Kashi at the time of Gautama Buddha.
The Varanasi city was named as the center of a variety of religious and artistic activities by a celebrated Chinese traveller Xuanzang. It is located along the western bank of the river Ganges. The great Jain Tirthankar Suparshv Nath Ji and Tirthankar Parshva Nath Ji was born at Benares.
Varanasi is famous as a Shiva Nagari and it has become the biggest pilgrimage destination. The meaning of Shiva is the “auspicious one” known as the major Hindu deity. It is believed that the Lord Shiva is the Destroyer or Transformer of living beings among the Trimurti. The Lord Shiva is regarded as the most powerful god in Hinduism. According to the tradition of Hinduism, Lord Shiva is the Supreme God of Hindu as he is the creator, preserver, destroyer, concealer, and revealer of human beings. The followers of Lord Shiva are called Shaivites or Shaivas.
In Hinduism, the Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of lingam. It is believed that he is living on Mount Kailash as an omniscient yogi with his wife Parvati and sons Ganesha and Kartikeya. He has benevolent as well as fearsome forms and often depicted as immersed in deep meditation, slaying demons in fierce aspects or as the Cosmic Dancer.
Etymology and other names of Lord Shiva
The Shiva is a Sanskrit word having an adjective meaning “pure”. It also means “The Auspicious One”, a name for Rudra. It is known as the thousand names of Vishnu interprets Shiva having multiple meanings such as “The Pure One”, or the One who might never affected by three Gunas of Nature (Rajas, Sattva and Tamas) or the One who purifies living beings by the utterance of His name. According to Swami Chinmayananda, the meanig of Shiva is the One who is eternally pure or the One who can not ever be contaminated of the imperfection of Rajas and Tamas. The Supreme God of Hindu Shiva is considered as he has no Aadi or Anta that he has no birth or death. The Lord Shiva is known as “Devon Ke Dev Mahadev” means Great God or Great Lord.
Seal was discovered in the Mohenjodaro which shows that a seated figure is surrounded by animals, possibly Shiva, the Pashupati.
Reality of Rudra
In the 2nd century it was searched as Rudra is three-headed Shiva. In the number of Hindu traditions both Shiva and Rudra are viewed as the same personality. It is found in the Rig Veda that Rudra is the “Father of the Rudras”, a group of storm gods. According to Axel Michaels: Rudra is called “The Archer” and the arrow is vital attribute of Rudra, he was armed with arrows in his hands. Rudra is great God of Hindu who who can kill the all forces of darkness.
Relationship of Rudra with Agni
It is believed that Rudra and Agni have a close relationship. It is identified in the Vedic literature with Rudra’s gradual development process as Rudra-Shiva. According to Nirukta, Agni is also called Rudra. According to the Stella Kramrisch the relationship between two great Hindu deities is very complex.
In the Satarudria, it is clearly shown that Golden red hue as of flame and Flaming bright is a fusing of the two deities. It is considered that Agni is a bull having horn which Lord Shiva possesses as his vehicle, Nandi. The horns of Agni, who is sometimes characterized as a bull, are mentioned. But in medieval sculpture, the form of both Agni and Shiva is Bhairav having flamed hair as his special feature.
Relationship of Shiva with Indra
According to an ancient theory, continuation of the Vedic Indra was through Lord Shiva. It is considered as the Shiva and Indra have thirst for Soma. Both Hindu deities are associated with mountains, fierceness, fearlessness, rivers, male fertility, warfare, the Aum sound as well as the Supreme Self. The term Shiva is used to call Indra in the Rig Veda. God Rudra is also mentioned in Rig veda as a father of the Maruts.
History of Shiva with Parvati
God Shiva is three-eyed deities controlling the Ganges flow through his matted hair means yellowish-white or molten gold. Lord Shiva wear mala of five serpents, a garland of skulls and a skull bracelet as his lovable ornaments, he cover himself in ashes, and have Trisula and Damaru. He has a crescent moon on his head and a Trisul or Trident in the right lower arm. Because of having third eye, he is also known as Trilochana.
There is big history behind Shiva having crescent moon, because of this he is known as Chandrasekhara or Chandramouli means having the moon as his crest. Having a crescent moon on his head denotes that he has perfect control on his mind. Lord Shiva smears ashes or bhasma on his whole body with ashes. Because of his yellowish-white matted hair he also known as the Jataajoota Dhari or Kapardin means wearing his hair wound in a braid of shell-like fashion.
History behind Blue throat
Lord Shiva is known as the Nīlakaṇtha means blue throat or blue kantha. It is considered that he drank the Halahala poison arisen from the Samudra Manthan in order to eliminate its destructive capacity and save all the Devgan from Devil. Goddess Parvati was shocked with his activity and she tried to strangled his neck and to prevent spreading of poison all over the universe means in Shiva’s stomach. That’s why his neck color is changed to blue.
Relation with Gange and Tiger skin, Serpents, Deer, Trident, Drum, Nandi, Gaṇa, MountKailasa, Varanasi
Because of wearing a sacred Ganges he is also known as the Gangadhara means bearer of Ganga. The flow of the Ganges from the matted hair of Lord Shiva represents the nectar of immortality. King Bhagirath had done hard Tap of Gange to bring her on earth in order to help his Purvaj to get Moksha. And Lord Shiva wore the Gange to prevent earth from her powerful and speedy water flow. Lord Shiva had released only a single flow of Gange to go to earth from his matted hair.
Lord Shiva is often shown have seated on a tiger skin. Having seates on the tiger’s skin indicates that Lord Shiva has conquered lust.
Lord Shiva always wear garlanded of serpents known as Nagendra Haara. Wearing snakes denotes the wisdom and eternity.
He holds deer on his one hand which indicates that he has not Chanchalata in his mind showing maturity and firmness to whole world.
Lord Shiva have his most essential weapon (called Trident or Trishula) in his right hand represents the three Gunas Rajas, Tamas and Sattva. It is considered that he rules the world through these three Gunas.
He has a small Damaru in his left hand which represents OM which is origin of all languages are. It acts as an attribute in his famous dancing representation called Nataraja.
Lord Shiva has his vehicle known as Nandi or Nandin which is bull and serves as Shiva’s mount. Because of the relation of Shiva with an animal he named as Pasupati or Pashupati or lord of cattle.The bull represents him a Dharma Devata as a protector of Dharma.
Lord Shiva has a big group of Gaṇa ro bhutagana who lives in Kailash with Shiva. It is considered that the Ganesha (son of Lord Shiva) was chosen the leader of all Gana by Shiva, so the Ganesha is also called gaṇapati or lord of the gaṇas.
Mount Kailash is exists on the Himalayas, the nagari of King Himalaya. Kailash resembles a Linga which is the traditional abode of Lord Shiva known as the the center of the universe.
Varanasi is the famous city known as the holy city of God or city of Temples Varanasi specially loved by Shiva. It has became the holiest places of pilgrimage in India.
Forms of Lord Shiva and depictions
Lord Shiva is a god of ambiguity and paradox by Gavin Flood. He has the ambivalent nature worshiped by Hindus as their supreme God. He was destroyer versus benefactor. It is mentioned in the Yajurveda for his both of the attributes, the malignant or terrific and benign or auspicious. Shiva is depicted in the Mahabharata as a figure of honor, delight, and brilliance. The Rudra form of Lord Shiva denotes the wild one” or the fierce god. Shiva is also known as the Sambhu causing happiness.
Shiva as an Ascetic versus householder
The Shiva’s family includes Shiva, Parvati, Ganesha and Kartikeya or Skanda. Shiva is depicted as both an ascetic yogi as well as a householder. As a yogi he shown sitting and meditating on tiger skin. As a householder he is also known as Umapati or the husband of Uma or Umakanta or Umadhava. Mata Parvati is identified as a Devi or Divine Mother or Shakti (divine energy), Tripura Sundari, Durga, Kamakshi, Meenakshi and many more. It is considered as she is the source of Lord Shiva’s creative energy. His son Ganesha is known as the Lord of Beginnings and Lord of Obstacles and worshipped throughout India as well as Nepal as the Remover of Obstacles. His son Kartikeya is worshipped by different names such as Subrahmanya, Shanmughan, Swaminathan, Murugan, Subrahmanyan, Skanda, Kumara in Southern India like Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
Lord Shiva is known as the Nataraja as he is the Lord of Dance as an eternal dancer. His dance with music is described in the Puranic period. Tandava (denote the powerful) and masculine dance as Kala-Mahakala (denote the destruction of the whole world) are the two most common types of the dance associated with Shiva . One of the most famous dance the Tandava-Lasya is associated with destruction and creation of the world.
Lord Shiva is also called as the Dakshinamurthy as he seat facing south (dakṣiṇa) which represents Shiva as a teacher of yoga, music, wisdom and a variety of shastras.
He is called as Ardhanarishvara, the five-headed Tripurantaka pointing his arrow towards Tripura the rightmost top corner with bow of mount Meru and bow string of serpent Vasuki. In the form of Ardhanarisvara he shows himself having one half of body as a male and other half as a female the lord who is half woman. It is considered that Lord Shiva has sacrificed his half body to the shakti swaroopa Goddess Adi parashakti as a sign of love.
Shiva is called Tripurantaka as he is the destroyer of triple fortresses or ender of Tripura. It is considered that after ending Tripura he smeared his forehead with three strokes of Ashes.
Shiva as a Lingam
The Lord Shiva worshipped in the form of Lingam at Jambukesvara temple of Thiruvanaikaval. The meaning of linga is a sign or a symbol which denotes the great God of the universe. According to Hinduism, Lord Shiva is the God to creates, sustain and withdraw the whole universe.
Avatars of Lord Shiva
Virabhadra avatar of Shiva destroyed the Daksha’s yajna and cut his head as per Shiva’s order. Bhairava avatar also known as Bhairo or Bhairon or Bhairadya or Bheruji depicted as the Kala Bhairava was created by Shiva for the protection of Sati Pind. Durvasa avatar is supposed to be an incarnation of Shiva and famous for his short temper. Khandoba which is a form of Shiva in Maharashtra and Karnataka. Hanuman avatar is known as the eleventh Rudraavtaar of Lord Shiva in the era of Lord Rama.
The five mantras of Lord Shiva
The number five is known as a sacred number for Lord Shiva. Namah sivaya is one of the most important mantras. It is considered that the body of Shiva is made up of five mantras (represents as the five faces of Shiva), called pancabrahmans. Each mantras have distinct names such as:
These are associated with five elements, five senses, five organs of perception, and five organs of action.
It is considered as the mata Parvati and Lord Shiva was met at this great ocassion known as Maha Shivratri. In Hinduism, Maha Shivaratri is a holy festival which is celebrated very happily every year at 13th night or 14th day in Krishna Paksha of Maagha or Phalguna. It is night when Lord Shiva had performed the Tandava. On this ocassion the devotees of Lord Shiva become fast and worship Shiva Linga by offering him fruits, flowers and Bael leaves to Shiva.
There are many Shiva temples in India such as:
- Jyotirlinga temples
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