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Lord Siva

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SIGNIFICANCE OF LORD SIVA

Of all the Hindu Gods, none appealed to the emotions of a Hindu mind as much as Lord Shiva, the dweller of the mountains and the bearer of the trident, who with His third eye symbolizes the all knowing awareness of the universe.

Description of Siva:

Unlike Vishnu who is depicted as dark blue, Siva is white in color, except for his neck, which is dark blue. His neck became dark blue when he swallowed the poison emanated from the sea in the process of churning the amutham. He took the whole poison by himself to protect the cosmos from destruction and thus the images of him are prevailing in dark blue color here and there.

He leads a life of severe austerities. But in the images we find him tall and well built. His body is usually besmeared with ashes, denoting his frequent rounds to the cremation grounds and highlighting his fondness for Thiruneeru, a white sacred ash. He has three eyes. The third eye rests between his eyebrows. It is the eye of wisdom, by opening which he destroys the evil to maintain the cosmic hormony.

Though he is described in the scriptures as god of anger, he is, in fact, the god of love and he always bestows all kinds of wealth and power to the devotees and this is the reason for which we generally find him in his cheerful and jovial mood in the images.

Ravana and Surapathma were blessed with immortal powers by Lord Siva which gave a room for the birth of Rama and Skanda. Sometimes he is depicted with a lot of innocence in his demeanor as Bholenath. He is generally shown sitting cross-legged in a yogic posture, with his eyes closed and deep in meditation. When he is shown with his eyes open, his face expresses love and compassion.

The images of Siva evoke us in deep emotions. Those who are inclined to worship god are naturally drawn to him as they hold him in their minds and this is the reason for which the Saint Thirumular used to name him as Anbe Sivam, the lord of love.

Siva is the god of simplicity, exemplary humility and austerity. A tiger skin and an elephant skin serve as his garments. His long matted hair is normally tied into a knot or left flowing. He has four arms. With one he holds his weapon the trident. With another, he holds Damaru, a small drum. The remaining two is held in abhaya and varada mudras (postures).