Interesting Facts and Stories of Lord Shiva

About Lord Shiva | Stories of Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva is the prime cause of creation. This is the faith of the Shaivites.

Lord Shiva is Maheshwara. He is beyond the cosmic sound of Aum.

He alone assumes the forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra for creation, maintenance and annihilation.

The Supreme of all, Lord Sada Shiva resides in Shiva lok. The Kailash that we see on earth and the one existing in heaven represent that divine Shiva lok.

Sadashiva is the cause of all causes. The destroyer form of Lord Shiva or the Rudra avatar is similar to the Brahma and Vishnu that Lord Shiva himself creates in every universe.

Description of Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva blessing

There are two worshippable forms of Lord Shiva.

1) 5-headed form (Panchamukhi) – It is the 10- handed form.

Lord Shiva is fair and fresh as camphor.

He has three eyes on all his faces and adorns a crescent moon as the head ornament.

He has a deep blue throat, and wears an ornament of snakes.

A Trishula, bow and Damru are his accoutrements. The bull which stands for Dharma serves as his vehicle and symbol on his flag.

The Lord mainly clads animal skin. Besides, we also find a description of deerskin, tiger skin and elephant skin.

2) Ekamukhi, or the one-headed form.- This form of lord Shiva is four handed.

Shaiva Sampradaya

There are many classes of Shiva devotees. Of these the most prominent Sampradayas of Shaivism are Kashmir, Pashupat sampradaya, Lingayat Sampradaya and many more. These Sampradayas have their unique doctrine and preach different modes of worship, mantras and rules.

Due to these many differences, you will find infinite names and forms of Lord Shiva.

There are 12 prominent Jyotirlingas (Shiva Peeth) in India.

However, there are in total 108 divine Shiva Kshetras (regions resided by Lord Shiva).

The Shiva sampradaya has its acharyas residing right from the north in Kashmir to the Southern realms of the nation.

5 Shaiva Acharyas are considered to be the direct incarnations of Lord Shiva. Shiva worship is well accepted and falls in line with the Vedic doctrine. It also has a mention in conventional scriptures. Thus, it is an authentic doctrine. In essence, you shall find its ancient footprints encompassing the entire planet.

Stories of Lord Shiva

Who is greater- Brahma or Vishnu?

shiva curses brahma

1) Once, the Supreme principle, Lord Shiva in a playful spirit expanded himself into Brahma and Narayan.

At their birth, Brahma and Vishnu started arguing as to who is superior. Then a divine Jyotirlinga which has no beginning and end appeared which was pillar-like in shape.

On seeing the linga, they remarked that the one who reaches its beginning and end shall win the bet.

Eventually, Brahma soared upwards while Vishnu plunged to its bottom.

The journey was endless. At last, the two were utterly exhausted and decided to give up.

When the two met each other, Brahma brought the Ketkai flowers and a cow as the false witness and told Vishnu that he had won the challenge.

He asserted that “He had reached the beginning.”

However Lord Vishnu admitted his failure and spoke the truth.

At that moment, Lord Shiva emerged from the Jyotirlinga.

He praised Lord Vishnu for his truthfulness and cursed Brahma depriving him of all worship.

Thereafter, he stopped accepting ketaki flowers and considered anything touched by the cow’s mouth impure, since the two had sided with untruth.

Lord Shiva cuts Brahma’s head

Lord Shiva is also known as Kapali.

At the beginning of the creation, Lord Shiva and Brahma had 4 heads.

But Lord Brahma became arrogant and started hurling abuses at Lord Shiva.

So Shankara with his nails chopped one head of Brahma.

Brahma thus became 4-headed.

However the head got stuck to Lord Shiva’s hand, hence he became acclaimed as Kapali.

By Lord Vishnu’s advice, Lord Shiva bathed in Varanasi and was finally rid of the head.

Immolation of Sati

Devi Sati discarded her body since her father had not assigned the rightful share of the sacrificial oblations to Lord Shiva.

She could not tolerate such a horrendous humiliation of her husband.

Lord Shiva on hearing the disastrous news of his wife’s immolation, gave rise to Virabhadra, to kill the convict, Daksha.

Thereafter, the Shiva Ganas sabotaged the entire fire sacrifice.

Marriage of Lord Shiva

Later, Sati was reborn as the daughter of the mountain-king Himavan.

Meanwhile, Tarakasura conquered the heavens since he had acquired the boon that only the son of Lord Shiva could kill him.

Lord Shiva led the life of a recluse after being separated from his consort.

So, the Devatas sent cupid to distract the Lord, in order to fulfil their purpose.

However Lord Shiva trembled with rage and burnt cupid with the fire of his third eye.

Hence He is also called Madanari.

Finally, by the appeal of Brahma and pleased by the prayers of Parvati, Lord Shiva agreed to be her husband and thus Skanda was born.

Skanda killed the demon Tarakasura.

Lord Shiva drinks poison

The churning of the ocean produced deadly venom, causing havoc in the three worlds. Since creation was at stake, Lord Shiva gulped the venom and stopped it at his throat.

However, the poison got his throat to turn blue. Since then he is called Neela kantha.

Tripurari

The demon-king Maya had crafted three miraculous aircrafts out of gold, silver and metal that could land on water, land and ether, and move as per one’s volition.

Thus, they were full-packed cities.

Maya offered the attorney of his creation to his three sons.

However his sons were brat.

They misused their powers and landed their aircraft wherever they desired, thus causing havoc in the three worlds.

The only means to vanquish the three-problematic cities was to attack at their junction which met once in a thousand years.

To help the terrorized Devas, Lord Shiva produced a celestial chariot, bow, arrows and other weaponry, and when the three cites met at the juncture, Lord Shiva’s arrow found its aim and sabotaged the cities.

He is hence known as Tripurari.

Facts about Lord Shiva

lord nataraja blesses sundarar

1) The Sound of Lord Shiva’s drum during his entrancing dance has given rise to the alphabets.

Lord Shiva is a maestro in all art forms, including dance, weaponry, Vedas, mantras and the divine sciences.

His Pashupatastra is one of the deadliest of weapons.

2) King Bhaghirata to redeem his ancestors from the rage of Kapila muni, called upon the river Ganga to descend on earth.

After severe austerities, Ganga appeared; but she needed an anchor to bind her forceful flow. Bhagirath then worshipped Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva caught the speedy Ganges in his dense locks. He is hence also called Gangadhara.

3) Lord Shiva has killed many atrocious demons like Jalandhar, Andhak and Daruk.

4) Sri Krishna, Rama and even Narayana have worshipped Lord Shiva.

Arjuna had performed penance to acquire Lord Shiva’s Pashupatastra.

Lord Shiva then disguised as a hunter and tested the potential of Arjuna.

He then awarded him with his Pashupatastra.

5) Many Asuras like Ravana and Vanasura have experienced his grace and received numerous boons from Him. Lord Shiva has a simple heart and has conferred extremely rare and unattainable boons to his devotees.

6) The Shiva Linga is the union of both Prakriti and Purusha.

So, Linga worship is the symbolic method of worshipping Prikriti and Purusha.

It is similar to worshipping the Shaligram in Vishnu Puja.

The Linga is special in comparison to worshipping Bhagavan in an idol form since a linga is the union of both form and formless aspects.

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