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Lord Shiva

  • The Legends of Lord Shiva

    Lord Shiva is a widely revered god with many followers in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. In Shaivism, which is one of the main traditions of Hinduism, Shiva is the Supreme being who creates, protects and transforms the universe. He is depicted with the holy river Ganga flowing through his hair, a blue neck wrapped with a serpent and his weapons — the trident or “trishul” and the small drum or “damaru”. It is said that the damaru was created by Shiva to produce sounds that ultimately created and controlled the universe. Lord Shiva is often known as the “creator” and “destroyer” — an attribute that is displayed through “tandava”, a vigorous dance performed by him.

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    The Story of Neelkanth

    According to mythology, there was once a time when the Devas (gods) and Asuras (demons) were at war with each other. Upon being advised by Lord Vishnu to handle the demons diplomatically, the gods joined hands with the demons to churn the ocean to obtain the nectar of immortality. Secretly, it was decided between the gods that they would not share the nectar with the evil demons.

    The ocean was churned using Mount Mandara as the rod and the King of Snakes as a rope. During this process, known as “SamudraMathan”, many things emerged from the ocean including Sura, Apsaras, Kaustubha, Uchhaishravas, Kalpavriksha, Kamadhenu, Airavata, Lakshmiand Haalaa-Hala — the Poison. This poison was extremely potent for destroying the entire universe. The gods had to think of something fast so they requested Lord Shiva to drink the poison because only he was strong enough to be able to take it. Out of compassion for the world, Lord Shiva drank the poison. His consort, Parvati pressed his neck to prevent the poison from reaching his stomach. Thus the world was saved, but the toxic poison turned his neck blue. Neelkanth, which means the blue necked one became a title of Lord Shiva after this episode.

    Descent of the Ganga on Lord Shiva’s Hair

    According to a legend in the Ramayana, an enraged Kapila Muni erroneously burnt 60,000 princes to ashes. King Bhagiratha was the son of one of those princes. On King Bhagiratha’s request to save his father and uncles, Kapila Muni advised that the water of the holy Ganga alone could bring back the princes. King Bhagiratha meditated and prayed for a thousand years for the salvation of his ancestors before Lord Brahma finally granted his wish for the descent of the Ganga from the heaven. However, the gushing force of the river could destroy everything, and Lord Shiva alone could bear the weight of it. Therefore, he spread out his thick matted hair to catch and slow down the descending river. The water was then flown over the princes’ ashes to bring them back alive. During the process the Ganga became a part of Lord Shiva’s hair and came to the earth in the form of the holy river.

    Legend of the Third Eye

    Lord Shiva is often identified with his third eye which is also a symbol of his wisdom as well as destructive side. There are various legends in which Shiva used his third eye to punish or destroy. For example, when he went into solitude and deep meditation following the demise of his wife Sati, the gods sent Kamadeva — the god of love — to bring him out of his meditation. Angered by the intervention, Lord Shiva opened his third eye and burnt Kamadeva to ashes.

  • NATYANJALI FESTIVAL

    ‘Natyanjali’ is a festival of dance. The word Natyanjali is composed of two words; ‘natya’, which means dance and ‘anjali’ which means offering. So,Natyanjali is a festival, where dancers devote their dance and reverence to the Lord of Dance i.e. Lord Nataraja.

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    Natyanjali festival falls in the Tamil month of Masi; which coincides with the English months of February and March. In Tamil Nadu, at Chidambaram, Natyanjali festival is celebrated at the Nataraja Temple.Dancers from all across India participate in this festival to dedicate their dance to Lord Nataraja; the dancing manifestation of Lord Shiva. All the forms of classical dances i.e. the Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, MohiniAttam, Odissi, etc.are performed by well-known dancers.Besides having a religious significance, the Natyanjali festival is also a great occasion to revive the spirit of ‘unity in diversity’ as dancers from all over India perform at a common platform. Each group of dancers gets around 20 – 30 minutes to perform their dance recitals.

    To express devotion and to worship Lord Shiva in a unique style, in the year 1981, an annual event of a combined dance program was organized. This tradition of performing at a concert has since then been carried out each year. Natyanjali has developed not only as a National Festival,but has also gained international fame. It is a five day event in which more than 300 dancers show their dancing talent in the traditional dress and offer it to Lord Nataraja. The celebration starts from the day of MahaShivaratri.

    Initially,this annual classical Indian dance festival was celebrated at the Chidambaram Temple only, but now it is also organized at other temples in Thanjavur, Mayavaram, Nagapatinam, Chennai, Thirunallar,etc.  An interesting fact about the festival is that it was started in Chidambaram by a Muslim person, as a mark of religious integrity. He began by teaching dance to children from Dheekshidar, without charging any remuneration for it. He mixed his own compositions with Kirthanas.

    The celebration of this festival is the result of collective effort by the Tourism Department of Tamil Nadu and the Natyanjali Trust within the vicinity of the Shiva Temples.

  • Shiva Lingam – A symbol of creation

    Shiva Lingam, a holy symbol of lord Shiva, literally means the body of Shiva. It is considered as more sacred and holistic by Shiva devotees in and around India.

    Lingam is often seen as a symbol of the energy and potential of God, Shiva himself. The word “Lingam” has two parts – Lim (the end) and Gam (the recreation).

    It represents the manifesting power of God and some interpret the Lingam as the symbol of Truth, knowledge and Infinity.

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    The Puranas, Tantra, The early tribes of Indus valley civilization, modern Shiva theology scholars, and Hindu devotees interpret different meanings for Shiva lingam.

    The Shiva lingam is often worshiped attached to Yoni, a symbol of goddess Shakthi. It represents the oneness of male (Shiva) energy and Female (Shakthi) energy a source of creative energy – the Universe

    Early tribes of Indus valley civilization believed the togetherness of lingam and Yoni in Shiva lingam as the point of entire cosmos energy, creation, and enlightenment.

    Apart from these varied interpretations and believes the Lingam declares the truth that God does not have any definite form, thus makesworship simple. Lingam is not a form but it is an Arupa Rupam.

    Shiva Lingam could be divided into three parts consisting of lowest, the middle and the upper moat.The lowest portion symbolizes ‘Brahma-Pitha’ (the creator), the middle portion symbolizes ‘Vishnu-Pitha’ (Preserver), and the uppermost represents Shiva pitha (Samhara).

    There are 32 types of Shiva Lingams made of out of different materials from metals to seed paste.This because of Lord Shiva is believed to be beyond all qualities of Forms and Formless.

    The oldest example of Lingam is in Parasurameswara Temple at Gudimallam, a small village, located in Srikalahasti Mandal of the Chittoor district of Andra Pradesh.

    The 5 Pancha-bhuta Lingas are: Kalahastishwar, Jambukeshwar, Arunachaleshwar, Ekambareshwar of Kanjivaram, and Nataraja of Chidambaram.

    We, Tamil Nadu Poombuhar, present you this antique Shivlingam made of 5 metals containing Zinc, Copper, Gold, Lead, and Tin. This beautiful antique finished Shivalingam weighs 8 kgs and perfect for Pooja and for decoration purpose.

    Incorporate this Shiva Lingam at your home and get blessed with wealth, health, and happiness.

  • THE AVATARS OF LORD SHIVA

    ‘Shiva’, as the word means, the ‘Auspicious One’, in Sanskrit, is the supreme God of the Hindus. He came to the world in different forms, or avatars, to perform great and ideal works in human form so as to set example for the rest of the human beings. He assumed some avatars in order to save his devotees from devils or even proud Gods. he has many benevolent and fearful forms. Of the numerous incarnations of Lord shiva, the most valuable of his avatars are Tatpurush, Namadeva, Aghoresh, Sadhojat and Ishan.

    Lord Shiva appeared as Tatpurush, after the prayer of Lord Brahma, in the 21st Kalpa of the planet Peetavasa. It was his third most popular incarnation.

    Namadeva is the avatar assumed by Lord Shiva in the 20th Kapla. It was when Lord Brahma changed his complexion to red and from this appeared another entity; which was the incarnation of Lord Shiva, called Namadeva.

    Aghoresh is the avatar of Lord Shiva , which is an entity of black colored complexion of Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma was in deep meditation at this time and named this form of Lord Shiva as Aghoresh.

    Sadhojat is the avatar assumed by Lord Shiva in the 19th Kalpa. It is assumed to be the first incarnation of Lord Shiva. While Lord Brahma was meditating, this form of Lord Shiva appeared. From his own body, four disciples of the Sadhojat appeared; which were Nandan, Vishwanandan, Sunand and Upanandan.

    Ishan form of Lord Shiva appeared with Saraswati in its manifestation in the Vishwaroop Kalpa. And from the Ishan Shiva appeared four divine forms Mundi, Shikhandi, Caste and Ardhamundi. Lord Brahma blessed all of them with the creation facility.

    Besides these, there are some more forms in which Lord Shiva appeared. These are :-

    Ardhnaarishwar Avatar

    Arthanarieshwar Polish

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    Here,  Lord Shiva appeared with half of his body and the other half body is of Mata Parvati. This form of Lord Shiva, besides being calm and peaceful, provides blessings to its disciples.

    Nandi Avatar

    Sharabh Avatar was the 6th avatar of Lord Shiva.

    Grihpati avatar was the 7th avatar of Lord Shiva.

    Neelkanth avatar is the form of Lord Shiva which was assumed by him when there was a lot of poison (vish) caused by the churning of the ocean, and in order to save the world from its harmful effects, Lord Shiva drank up all its water. Mata Parvati put her palm on his neck so that it would not go below his throat. But the effect of the poison was so much that he turned blue in color. It is therefore called Neelkanth form.

    Rishi Durvasha avatar of lord Shiva is the main avatar. Lord Shiva has acquired this avatar to maintain the discipline of this universe.

    Mahesh avatar is another peaceful form of the Lord.

    Hanuman avatar is the incarnation to portrait the example of the Lord and his good disciple. This avatar was acquired during the time of Lord Rama.

    Rishabh avatar

    Piplaad avatar of Lord Shiva is to rescue the devotees from their Shani Dosha. The name of this avatar is said to be given by Lord Brahma.

    Vaishyanath avatar

    Yatinath avatar is yet another peaceful avatar of Lord Shiva.

    Krishna Darshan avatar of the Lord promotes the importance of yagna and the other Hindu religious rituals.

    Awdhuteshwar avatar was to crush the ego of the arrogant Indra.

    Bichhuwara avatar protects the creatures from all difficulties.

    Sureshwar avatar represents the Lords love and care towards his devotees.

    Brahmachari avatar

    Sunatnartak avatar

    Saddhu avatar

    Vibhuashwathma avatar

    Kiraat avatar

    Veerbhadra avatar

    Bhairav avatar

    Allama Prabhu avatar

    Khandoba avatar

    Lord Shiva is fondly called Bholenath, Mahadev, Parmeshwara etc and is one of the most popular deities of Hinduism. All his avatars have saved the earth from evils.

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