Lord Shiva is also popularly called the greatest Lord -the Mahadev. He is considered to be the most powerful god in the Hindu pantheon. Lord Shiva is also popularly known as Bhole Nath, Pashupati, Bhairava, Vishwanath, etc.
Amongst the Hindu deities, Lord Shiva is the most complex of them all. You must have noticed that his shrine in the temple is always separate from other deities. He may be known as the God of destruction but there are other sides to him as well.
Here are some interesting facts about Lord Shiva that will definitely fascinate you:
1. The Trident or Trishul of Shiva symbolizes the unity of 3 worlds of a human being. One is his inside world, second the immediate world around him and third the broader world. This Trishul also represents 3 Gunas namely Rajas, Tamas, and Sattva.
2. It is said that Lord Shiva’s Damaru or the drum represents the sacred sound OM from which all languages were formed.
3. If you are an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva then you cannot miss the crescent moon on his forehead. Thus, he was named Chandrashekar since the Vedic age when Rudra, Soma, and the Moon God were worshiped together.
4. Lord Shiva’s throat turned blue after he drank the entire poison, the dreaded Kalakuta emitted by the serpent Vasuki during Samudra Manthan. This is the reason why he is also known as Neelakanth or the One with a Blue Throat.
5. Lord Shiva is represented as Nataraja; the Lord of Dance. However, there are two forms of his dance - the Tandava is the fierce side representing the destruction of the universe and Lasya is the gentler one. He represents truth when he dances. Through his dance, he banishes ignorance and helps relieve the suffering of his followers.
6. It may be hard to believe but Ravana was one of Shiva’s greatest devotees. It is believed that once Ravana tried to uproot Mount Kailasa but could not succeed. Lord Shiva trapped him beneath Kailasa. Thereafter, to redeem himself Ravana started singing hymns in praise of Shiva. He even went to the extent of cutting off one of his head and made a veena out of it and used the tendons as strings to make music. Not only did Lord Shiva free him from under the mountain, Ravana’s devotion made him become Lord Shiva’s favorite devotee.
7. His first wife was Sati and not Parvati. However, Parvati is a reincarnation of Sati.
8. Lord Vishnu’s famous Sudarshana chakra was bestowed by Lord Shiva. The story goes as follows: Lord Vishnu was meditating with thousands of lotuses to please Lord Shiva. Shiva wanted to test Vishnu’s patience and so he took every flower which Vishnu was using to offer to Shivalinga on each namah. Vishnu only realized he was not left with any flowers at the thousandth time when he opened his eyes. Surprised to see there were no more flowers Vishnu offered Lord Shiva his eyes. Lord Shiva was pleased by the devotion of Vishnu and bestowed him the Sudarshan Chakra.
9. Did you know Shiva has many weapons that make him unbeatable? It includes a bow made from the rainbow, a club with a skull on the end, a spear made from thunderbolts and a sword.
Lord Shiva is a simple and peaceful deity and this is the reason that he is known as Bholenath. But if enraged he can become very destructive. There are so many facets to his personality but he is the one God who can give us the most valuable lessons of life.