Go To Home Page

Tag Archives: Legends of 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.

    Shop for this Shivalingam - Click Here Shop for this Shivalingam - Click Here

    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.

1 Item(s)