Shiva is a name Hindus give to the Mystery of Consciousness
which illuminates life on Earth
This post is linked to the page Rudra, Shiva, Agni and Loki which explores the connection between these three Gods.
“Brahma, the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Transformer. What does Brahma create? He creates inner consciousness at every second. What does Vishnu preserve? He preserves the consciousness that is created by Brahma. And what does Shiva transform? Shiva transforms the consciousness that has been created by Brahma and preserved by Vishnu. Transformation means our conscious and constant awakening to high, higher and highest Truth. Transformation means a radical change of our inner and outer nature. It is comparatively easy to transform our inner nature, but unless and until the outer consciousness is transformed we do not get the full result.
The word ‘destroyer’ has been used by many Hindu philosophers and spiritual Masters in regard to Shiva. But I am of the opinion that we should not speak of God as a destroyer at all. He is our most compassionate Father; He cannot destroy us. What he does is transform our ignorance, imperfection and limitation into light and perfection. If I am in ignorance, He gives me Wisdom. If I am in darkness, He brings me Light so that I can be illumined.”
Shiva is one of the chief deities of Hinduism. His name means “Auspicious One.” Shiva is known by many other names (1000 to be precise – here is a link to them https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiva_Sahasranama), including Sambhu (“Benignant”), Samkara (“Beneficent”), Pasupati (“Lord of Beasts”), Mahesa (“Great Lord”), Mahadeva (“Great God”) and Mahakala (“Great Time”- or Lord of Time).
Shiva – like Loki – is a paradoxical and complex deity: Both destroyer and the restorer, great ascetic and symbol of sensuality, God of passion and ideal husband, the benevolent herdsman of souls and wrathful avenger. He is the Lord of dark creatures as well as the protector of purity and innocence.
In the Vedas, Shiva is an aspect of the god Rudra, not a separate god. However, a joint form Rudra-Shiva appears in early household rites, making Shiva one of the most ancient Hindu gods still worshipped today.
Shiva is the Lord of Tantra, Destroyer of Desires, Embodiment of Innocence and Unifier of Dualities; He wields the power of maya or illusion by which He controls the world.
Lord Shiva is the Transformer within the Trinity and in Shaivism (the worship of Lord Shiva) He represents the Supreme being who creates, protects and transforms the universe. Shaivism is essentially a nature religion offering alignment and coordination with subtle beings and supernatural forces.
In His role as Dakshinamurthi or World-Teacher He facilitates the spiritual progress of humanity, by destroying the old order of things to bring about renewal and regeneration of the manifest universe. He destroys impurities of the mind and body to expedite our spiritual evolution and transforms ignorance to bring liberation. Thus He is ultimately responsible for the flow of divine consciousness into earth consciousness to transform us into spiritual beings.
Lord Shiva is protector of those on the fringes of society, of everything chaotic and dangerous, of the unexpected and unexplainable. He is also the protector of animals, trees and all innocent creatures, Lord of Nature, and God of the humble, outcasts and criminals.
The scriptures describe Him as a God of anger, when He is in fact a God of Love who bestows all kinds of wealth and power upon his devotees. Men and women love Him alike for his unsurpassed love and generosity.
In worship, He is simple and easy to please, friend to both poor and rich, thief and saint. He is often depicted as Bholanath, the innoncent, Lord of simplicity and simple people and carries a lot of innocence.
Lord Shiva rules magic and the occult, He is the God of Tantra, also the Left Hand Path – the ritual use of intoxication and ecstasy. He is the destroyer of desires and Master of the Kundalini – to tread the path of Tantra and gain union of Shakti and Shiva, sexual desires have to be transcended and Shiva is the God who comes to aid here. Shiva is the magician, the shaman, the trickster who opens up our vision and allows us to step into a reality beyond good or evil, male or female – beyond duality.
Shiva – like Loki – is a master of (Kundalini) magic, and of androgynous nature. His form of Ardhanarishvara is half man half woman. Shiva combines both male and female aspects of creation, and thus helps us integrate both within ourselves (in my experience, Loki fulfils the same role). The symbol of His worship is the “Lingam” a phallic symbol representing the Lingam and Yoni (male and female sexual organs) in a state of union. On one level, it symbolises the union of the body and the Mind, spiritually it represents the union between Purusha and Prakriti, the highest dual principles in creation.
All suffering, the product of dualities is overcome by an integration of polarities.
For more detailed information on Lord Shiva visit: