By Roshan Ghimire
Shiva is one of the most popular God’s in Hinduism. He is referred to as bholenath, Pashupati and has a variety of other names. Devotees of Shiva have been imitating his life style and philosophy for hundreds of years.
As with most religions, Hinduism comes with a lot of sects. Shaivism is one of them, where followers believe Shiva is all. Today is the day of Maha Shivaratri, which literally means “ great night of Shiva”.
Maha Shivaratri is largely celebrated throughout India and Nepal when there is a new moon in the month of Maagha (Mid February). The dates are determined each year according to the Hindu calendar.
But Shiva, the God, who is sometimes depicted dancing; sometimes mediating, and sometimes showing wrath is largely unknown in the world of non-Hindus. Here’s a list of 8 fun facts about Shiva this Shiva Ratri.
1) Shiva is the third god in the Hindu triumvirate. He is accountable for the destruction of the world. He is often depicted as having a temper, but is mostly seen in a meditative state. The other two gods are Brahma and Vishnu. Brahma is responsible for the creation of the world and Vishnu is responsible for running the world.
2) Shiva can largely be considered a fashion icon. He wears elephant and tiger skins, and carries live cobras that dangle from his neck and has dreadlocks. He is also known as the lord of the animals- Pashupati.
3) Shiva is slender and resolute. He has a blue face. He has an extra eye in in forehead, which represents his wisdom and intuition. He carries a trident, which represents the three function of the triumvirate.
4) Shiva is called the Lord of Dance, or the Nataraja. His most important dance is the Tandev, the cosmic dance of death, which he performs at the end of every age to destroy the universe. He also performs the Lasya, which is the dance of creation.
5) Legend says that Shiva lives a simple life in the Kailas Mountains of the Himalayas with his wife, Parvati. He is usually spotted in a yogic position. Whenever Parvati is present, she is always at the left hand side of Shiva.
7) In some Hindu legend, Shiva is known for his reckless life style. He rides a bull, and he often smokes weeds. He also loves meditating, and is called the lord of yoga.
8) Shiva and Parbati are husband and wife. They have two sons- Ganesh and Kumar.