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Shiva Tatvam


It is very difficult to understand the Tatvam of Maheshwara. Some foolish people are afraid of Lord maheshwara, think he is destroyer, and by looking his appearance which means wearing Snakes as Garland, wearing Skulls in his neck as garland. For each every aspect of his appearance there is a significant meaning.




Shiva as a destroyer.

Lord Shiva is a destroyer, but he is a destroyer of evil and wrong doers. He destroys ignorance, desires. He destroyes our attachments, relationships,physical and mental wrong doings, the effects of bad karma, our passions, emotions and other things which stand between us and god which prevents the inner transformation. There must be a proper balance between good and evil. When the balance is disturbed the lord will dissolve the universe, in order for creation of next cycle, so that the unliberated souls will have another opportunity to liberate themselves from the physical world. Unliberated souls means the souls which have no obtain moksham. Meaning of moksham is athama of our body or jyothi from our body goes into Shiva. 

According to Shri BhagavadGita , Shri Krishana said that every Creature in this earth have to die at some stage and again he have to Rebirth, this cannot be avoided. The only way to liberate our souls or athma from this physical world is to attain Moksham.


Creation and destruction both are essential for maintaining a balance between good and evil. As every night is essential for the day to follow in the similar way destruction is essential for creation.  As the gold smith the creator of jewelry cannot make ornaments without burning the gold , in the same manner Parameshwara the Creator of universe cannot create universe until there is destruction.


Some think that Shiva is a fierce god, But is incorrect. Shiva is a God of boons, he can be pleased very easily by suras, asuras, humans, and also by animals, if they pray him pure heart, he is a god of meditation always in a very cheerful and bliss full state.

Shiva, as Destroyer, needs plenty of power and energy. This is what Parvati, or Durga or Shakti as she is called, provides. It is only the Hindu tradition, which provides, even at the conceptual level, this picture of the male and female principles working together, hand in hand, as equal partners in the universe. In order to show this tradition he took the  form of Ardhanarishwara, formed by the fusion of Shiva and Shakti in one body, each occupying one half of the body, denoting that one is incomplete without the other. Shiva is inseparable from Shakti - Parvati the daughter of Himavaan - Haimavati. There is no Shiva without Shakti and no Shakti without Shiva, the two are one. Shiva is considered as sughun Brahmin which means auspicious When he is with shakthi or mother Parvathi. When he is not with shakthi or mother parvathi he is known are nirghun Brahmin which means incomplete.


Significance of the Ornaments of Shiva


Ganga on his head:  Ganga (river Ganges) is associated with Hindu mythology and is the most sacred river of Hindus. According to tradition, one who bathes in Ganga , is relived from sin and attains knowledge, purity and peace. Ganga, symbolically represented on the head of the Lord by a female with a jet of water emanating from her mouth and falling on the ground, signifies that the Lord destroys sin, removes ignorance, and bestows knowledge, purity and peace on the devotees.             

Story behind Ganga.

Ganga used to flow in heavens till the time The sage Baghiratha brought Ganga to earth, his 60000 ancestors were laying on the earth as ash due to the curse of kaplila muni.

A mighty king named Sagara was performing a great sacrificial ritual, which would make him as the undisputed ruler over all earth. 

The ritual consisted of letting lose a white horse, who would be free to wander anywhere upon earth. Following it would be the mighty army of Sagara. Wherever the horse ventured, the king of that area would have to give him free way, and  presenting him with material gifts of supplication. In the event of this not happening, Sagara's army make war with such king. BY seing the power of king Sagara's , no ruler on the way dared hold up the horse.

The news of the impending victory of Sagara reached the ears of Indra, the king of gods. Fearing a challenge to his own throne, Indra disguised himself as a human being, went to the earth and laid his hands on the sacrificial horse. He  hid it in the Ashram of sage Kapila.

The army which contains 60000  legends of King Sagara have found the horse in the ashram of the sage, the  princes rushed towards him in anger, and called him  thief. The sage, who was doing meditation was un aware of all the things happening. Opening his eyes, he had merely gazed at the princes with trepidation, than they were reduced to ashes.

The news of the unfortunate demise of his sons soon reached king Sagara. Now the traditional Indian belief is that if someone dies an untimely death, he or she remains a ghost and is not liberated until something is done to purify the soul from the residue of its accumulated sins. Sagara too, was extremely desirous of ridding the souls of his sons from the after-effects of curse of the wise sage Kapila. On asking, the latter informed the monarch that it was only Ganga, having the auspicious nature of purifying anybody and everybody who crossed her path, who was capable of liberating his sixty thousand sons, and wash away their ashes in her overwhelming flow.

Hearing this, king Sagara immediately handed over the throne to his surviving grandson and went to the Himalayas to perform tapasu in order to please  Brahma, the Supreme Creator, attempting to convince him to ask Ganga to flow to the earth. Though he tried hard and sincerely, Sagara died before accomplishing his goal. After him his grandson tried to call upon Brahma, but he too was unsuccessful. In this manner, generation after generation of Sagara tried to please Brahma to no avail. It was only the seventh descendant of Sagara, a just and noble king named Bhagiratha who could manage enough to make Brahma appear before him. Happy with Bhagiratha's conduct and also that of his preceding ancestors, Brahma asked Bhagiratha for any boon he wished. Naturally enough, he asked Brahma to request Ganga to flow to the earth from her current abode in heaven. Brahma accepted his request, and said the force of Ganga is very massive, if it is released as it is from the heaven the earth cannot bear the force, and all the life will be washed away in floods. So Bramha asked Bhagiratha to pray Lord Shiva, whose matted hair held sufficient power to withstand the Ganga's forceful fall.

Thus the prince began praying Lord Shiva, who appeared soon before him and agreed to tie Ganga's fall in his matted hair locks.

She followed Brahma's order to descend to earth, being mischievous she said that her force can even seep away mighty shiva in her forceful current. Shiva decided to teach her a lesson. Spreading open his coils of hair, he covered the entire sky, and collected all the waves of Ganga in his outspread locks.

Then with a mighty swoop, he collected his hair, tied into a neat and tight bun, and captured Ganga in his Jatajutam . Ganga still flowed with tremendous force, but could not escape, and remained imprisoned and confined inside Shiva's hair.

Bhagiratha, requested to Shiva to release Ganga, so that she could wash away the sins of his ancestors, Thus Ganga started following Bhagiratha, who showed her the way.

Just near their ultimate destination lay the ashram of another accomplished sage, known as Jahnu. Ganga, ever the playful maiden, hurried over and entered upon the area of the ashram, that it became flooded, and all sacrificial fires were extinguished. The utensils and tools were washed away, and the inhabitants of the area became frightened and anxious. The leader of the ashram, sage Jahnu, came to know about ganga with his intrusion . He then chanted a mantra, and took a sip of the water flowing all around his hermitage. With the power of his mantra, he swallowed away Ganga with all her waters. All traces of Ganga were gone. Bhagiratha was in a fix. He hurried over to Jahnu, and explained to him the magnitude and significance of the task he was out to accomplish. Jahnu gave him a sympathetic hearing and appreciated his hard work in bringing Ganga to the earthly realm. Consoling Bhagiratha, he said: " For you, I will release Ganga immediately," and saying this, he made a cut in his left thigh, and the waters of Ganga flew out like a fountain. Hence did Ganga came to be known as Jahnvi, the daughter of sage Jahnu.

Bhagiratha successfully showed Ganga the way to the ashes of his ancestors. As soon as Ganga touched the ashes, the ancestors arose, glowing forth in their astral bodies, and ascended towards heaven. Carrying away their mortal remains, Ganga merged into the ocean, which had been dry.

From that day onwards, the ocean came to be known as 'Sagara,' in honor of the king who started it all in the first place. The place where Ganga merged in the ocean, came to be known as Ganga-Sagar, and to this day, a great festival is held here every year, to celebrate Ganga's birthday, or the day when she came to earth. This occasion is knows as Ganga Dassehra.

 Falling onto Shiva's head, where she meanders through his jatajuttam, the mighty Ganga appears in this world after having been made more sacred by her direct contact with Shiva, and also the accomplished ascetic Jahnu. The river then spreads the divine potency of these hallowed personalities into the world, when she flows into the terrestrial realm.

The water of the Ganga river is poured over the sacred Shiva Linga. Here it is important to note that the linga of Shiva is often thought of as incandescent pillar of fire. By cooling the linga with her soothing waters, Ganga is in a sense saving the world from Shiva's fiery linga, whose extreme heat could destroy all life on earth. Bearing her on his head, Shiva becomes the facilitator for Ganga's smooth fall to the earth. But if Shiva saves the world from the power and force of Ganga's torrent, it is also Ganga, who in a similar manner, saves us from Shiva's scorching powers of destruction.

Covering body with ash

Ash  is called vibhuti. It symbolizes death or detachment from the world and lust. It also indicates that our bodies, being inert matter in their essential form, will also become ashes when we die and if the body is cremated. Thus, we must rise above the bodily identification and become conscious of our real identity within. Ash is the sign of Shiva’s complete renunciation of the world.

Rudraksha maala

Rudraksha maala: Rudra is another name of Shiva. Rudra also means "strict or uncompromising" and aksha means "eye." Rudraksha necklace worn by the Lord illustrates that He uses His cosmic laws firmly - without compromise - to maintain law and order in the universe.

Moon on the head of shiva.

Moon increases and decreases. When moon increases to a full big size it is called as purnami, when moon decreases and becomes invisible it is called amavasya, which is completely dark. The increase and decrease in the size of moon represent passage of time. Wearing it in the head signify that Lord is the controller of time.

Amavasya is completely dark which implies ignorance, purnami is bright which implies knowledge, which implies shiva is the only person who can remove the darkness of ignorance , and create the brightness of knowledge.


Shiva holds Trishula in his hands, Thrishula means Three gunas satvikam, rajas am, and tamasam. Holding it in his hands resemble that he is controller of all the three gunas.



When damarukam is vibrated it produces dissimilar sounds which are combined into one sound which is Om.  

Tiger Skin  

A tiger skin symbolizes potential energy. Lord Shiva, sitting on or wearing a tiger skin, illustrates the idea that He is the source of the creative energy that remains in potential form during the dissolution state of the universe.

Cremation ground

Shiva sitting in the cremation ground signifies that He is the controller of death in the physical world. Since birth and death are cyclic, controlling one implies controlling the other. Thus, Lord Shiva is revered as the ultimate controller of birth and death in the phenomenal world.

Snakes around the neck:  Snakes are the most feared and dangerous  animal in the world. Snakes represent the evil and demonical nature, wearing them in his neck gives us an assurance that no evils can touch us are destroy us if we surrender our self to the mighty god with deep devotion. Snake is having kundalani power. Its is compared to muladhara kundalani of all human beings which will incline upwards when one starts a spiritual journey, The snake around the neck of Siva conveys the meaning that in him the kundalini not only has arisen fully but is also actively involved in the divine activity by keeping an eye on all the devotees who approach Siva with their individual problems.

The snake also stands for all passions and desires. By wearing the snakes around his neck, Lord Siva conveys the message to all his devotees that He has overcome all desires and is in full control of Prakriti or maya.

Kundalas ( ear rings)    :     The names of two Kundalas are Alakshaya and niranjan. The Kundala of the left ear is of the type which is used by women and the kundala of the right ear is of the type used by men. These symbolizes Shiva and Shakthi.