Lord Shiva as a Lingam
Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of the linga – some of which are jyotirlingas – at numerous places across India. The Linga, a sign of masculinity, symbolises Shiva’s role in the creation, sustainance and withdrawal of the Universe.
The Avatars of Lord Shiva
Lord Shiva, similar to Lord Vishnu, had many avatars. It was Virabhadra, an avatar of Lord Shiva, who disrupted Daksha’s yajna and cut off his head. His Bhairava avatar, also known as Kaal Bhairava, was created to protect the Sati Pind. His Durvasa avatar was famous for his short temper. Khandoba was another avatar of Shiva known in Maharashtrian and Kannada cultures. Finally, Hanuman avatar is known as the eleventh Rudraavtaar of Lord Shiva in the era of Lord Rama!
Shiva The Multi-Faceted
Lord Shiva is a god of ambiguity and paradox. He is depicted with an ambivalent nature when worshipped by the Hindus as their supreme God. He is mentioned in the Yajurveda as possessing both malignant and auspicious attributes. He is depicted in the Mahabharata as a figure of honour, delight, and brilliance. The Rudra form of Lord Shiva denotes “the wild one” or the fierce god. Yet, Shiva is also known as Sambhu, or the one who causes happiness.
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