View Full Version : SHIVA-The ultimate symbolism

28 June 2012, 08:13 AM
Shiva means the form of welfare & benediction(kalyankarak).

1) Shiva Ji resides in the peak of Kailash. This signifies that wisdom always resides at the white peak i.e. top centers where as the ignorance resides in the lower centers. At the time of anger, fear, lust, sex , our mind, heart and soul comes down to the lower center of the body (Muladhar Kendra i.e. base of spine). If the mind & soul resides in top centers of the body then one do not fall prey sensual indulgence and carnal desires. The demigod of desires (Kam Dev) attacked Shiva Ji with an arrow, but with mere sight of Shiva Ji , the demigod burnt down into ashes. If you are also attacked by lust and desires, then come to the upper centers (i.e divert your mind and should towards the upper portion of the body) and then the those desires could not win.

2) The Kailash peak & Himalayan peak are white and Shiva Ji resides there. Similarly where Satvagun (moral values, ethics & good habits) resides there also resides AtamShiva (Supreme-Self).

3) Ganga springs out from the head of Lord Shiva. This means the wisdom springs out from the head of a learned & wise person. They have all those capabilities with which they resolve the critical & precarious issues very easily. http://bsk.ashram.org/Portals/14/Festivals/images/gangaFromShivaHead.jpg

4) Shiva Ji is adorned with the second-day moon on his head. This signifies that wise men greatly honor even the minute light and trivial qualities of others. Shiva Ji is treasure, reservoir of wisdom and that is why he does not dishonor any knowledge & wisdom instead respect it. http://bsk.ashram.org/Portals/14/Festivals/images/ShivaWithMoon1.jpg

5) Shiva Ji wears a garland of heads. Few scholars says that these heads are not common head instead are the heads of scholars & learned. In order to maintain the memory of those scholars who led their life with great knowledge, Shiva Ji wears the head garland. Some other philosophers says that Shiva Ji wears such garland to preach us that whether one is rich or poor, learned or uneducated, male or female but in the end of life , one has to leave this skull here (i.e physical body leaves here after death, and we are not physical body instead are pious souls).

6) Shiva Ji has applied ash upon his body. This is to remind us that whatever status, post, luxury we acquire; whatever proud we are of; all those are lost after death. The ash on Shiva’s body intimates the final stage of our body. Thus remember this holy ash and abdicate the pride, endearment, affection & attachment and come to your inner soul and attain self-realization.

7) The other ornament wore by Shiva Ji is monstrous snakes. If a snake is alone, it is being killed but when it is with Shiva Ji, it is being worshiped. Similarly if ones only engage in the worldly activities then would definitely fail, instead if charges the mind with divine consciousness and resides in supreme-self and then perform the worldly actions which in turn would become the ideal activity

8) Trident (Trishul) & Damaru ornate Shiva Ji. This implies that Shiva is not in control of the three Gunas (Sattvagun, Rajogun, Tamogun) instead keep them in his control and when become happy , he dances taking Damru in hand.

9) Some says that Siva Ji has an addiction to hemp. Actually he is addicted to “Bhuvan Bhang” i.e destroying the world. Hemp addicted people took only the word “Bhan” from “Bhuvan Bhang” and interpreted it as hemp and took this as excuse to consume hemp.
A good gardener is one who does the cleaning of the field regularly and uproots the weeds (unwanted plats). If he does not do that, then the garden would become a forest. Similarly Lord Shiva is a ideal gardener of this world who has the habit of destroying the evils around the world (Bhuvan Bhang).

10) In the residence of Shiva ji, the animals of opposite nature (i.e. who usually are enemies to each other) live together with peace; for example Lion - ox, peacock-snake-rat, all stay together with happiness. Why? This is because of the parity and equanimity of Lord Shiva. Similarly one who has equanimity (Samata) in life (i.e. behaves, reacts equally in all kinds of situations); can enjoy and live happily in all kinds of inimical ambience. http://bsk.ashram.org/Portals/14/Festivals/images/ShivaFamily.jpg

11) A wise person becomes happy seeing a rose and thinks “how good is this flower, which is spreading its fragrance being surrounded by thorns”. But an ignorant prosecutor would say “one flower and so many thorns! Is this the life, where happiness is little but filled with sorrows”. Thus one who is intellect and knows the Shivatattva (real meaning of Shiva), who leads life with equanimity; ponders that the supreme power who has blossomed the flower, has also created the thorns. The ultimate power that has given birth to happiness has also created the sorrows. Thus one who observes happiness and sorrows equally and do not get flown away by them, will definitely achieve the self-realization i.e would get into the root of everything as Lord Shiva.


28 June 2012, 08:38 AM
Hari Om!

Thanks for the detailed information! Some here will dispute many of the items you've presented, but that is the nature of the forum. I like what I've read as it draws me nearer to the ONE.

All the best to you.

Jai Jai Hanuman!

28 June 2012, 11:01 AM

Crescent moon

The crescent moon is shown on the side of the Lord's head as an ornament. The waxing and waning phenomenon of the moon symbolizes the time cycle through which creation evolves from the beginning to the end. Since the Lord is the Eternal Reality, He is beyond time. Thus, the crescent moon is only one of His ornaments.

found interesting link




28 June 2012, 12:06 PM
hariḥ oṁ


Siva and the crescent moon have some additional significant meanings:

The moon cycles through 15 tithi-s or stations. The moon 'fills up' to full, like awakening consciousness coming to fullness. This indicates the 15 vowel sounds ( svara) from a to ṁ - these are owned by śiva. They shine on their own or said another way svayaṁ rājantaḥ.
The crescent moon is also the seen and unseen ( that is light and dark). Śiva too is all that is seen and unseen.He is also known as śaśiśekharāya

śaśin शशिन् is a name for the moon, also camphor; it also infers the number one. We know śiva is called out as white as camphor, that of His purity.
hara हर - is bearing or wearing; We also know this word means 'Seizer', 'Destroyer' ,another epithet of śiva We know that śiva is always depicted with a moon over his head. The moon is also called soma. We also know the Supreme by the word Sat ( or satta -Being, or Truth), that is Brahmam. And Umā is Śrī Devī, Pārvatī. Now when Sa(t) comes together with Umā what is created ? Soma. What do we call the moon? Soma ( also Chandr). When Śiva and Pārvatī are joined together we get Soma. Hence for amāvāsya or the new moon, śiva and pārvatī come together, are enveloped and become Soma. for more on this , consider the HDF Post http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=3354 (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=3354)So śaśiśekhara is He is the bearer or holder of the moon; He is white as Camphor; He is the Seizer, and it is inferred that He brings Soma i.e. delight.


28 June 2012, 04:21 PM

Indeed some thought-provoking perspective on Lord Shiva; in regard to
#11, this occurred to me: from the view of the rose, thorns are the
life-giving armor, that prevent the hungry mouths of herbivores from
devouring it before the time to bloom has arrived... we, who have no
requirement of the rose as food, certainly may enjoy its fragrance and
beauty without harming it- and only the heedless and hasty will suffer true
injury (a gardener never begrudges the occasional caught sleeve or drop of
blood, as the rose does not begrudge the occasional pruning)...

Just an idle musing, this Shakta will now try to stop butting in to the Shaiva
forum so much!;)


28 June 2012, 09:47 PM
namaste dhyandev.

Shiva is not just a destroyer (although it is his job): he is a regenerator, which means that he gives souls their rebirth to commensurate with their karma-phala--fruits of karma.

Shiva's symbolism is better understood when we look for scriptural quotes (veda-itihAsa-purANa) that talk about it and the roots and meanings of the names of his personality and aspects. Some links:

(read from the 'Siva pages')
Books by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami listed in the Himalayan Academy website at http://www.himalayanacademy.com/

Just as a photograph of ours cannot represent all the aspects of our personality, a form of Shiva cannot represent his aspects and actions in full. His three major forms as Shiva, NaTarAja and Shivalinga place him in a unique position among the Hindu Trinity.

29 June 2012, 01:29 AM
Namaste to all posters (except me ;) )

what a wonderful explanation.

thanks for sharing