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The Great Night of Maha Shivaratri

Maha Shivaratri Shiva wallpaper

Shiva is known for destruction in the Indian mythology. However, he was not mentioned in the Vedas and hence the question of finding his identity in Vedic literature is scientifically controversial. As per archaic myth, his consort is Parvati and is represented with four children Ganesha, a half man and half elephant being, Saraswati, patron of knowledge, Lakshmi, patron of wealth and Kartikeya, patron of fertility and war.

Shiva shares several features with Rudra. In the post vedic period, the use of the epithet came to overcome the original theorem and the name of the god Rudra was taken as synonymous with the god Shiva and since then both names are used interchangeably. Rudra preferred what is outside the norm, who did not act and live like everyone else. He was wild, untamed and dangerous and so later, Rudra loses much influence to almost disappear completely in favour of the newcomer Shiva.

Shiva's symbol was the trident and the animals sacred to him were the bull and the snake. Similar deities to Shiva were Priapus and Poseidon of the ancient world, Rodon in Illyrian religion and Nethuns in Etruscan religion and his corresponding Roman was Neptune.

In Slavic mythology Živa pronounced Siva, Siwa, Żiwia, Sieba or Razvia, was the love goddess of fertility. It is often represented as a young woman with long hair. The mate of Sieba was Siebog, her male equivalent. Along with Rod, the oldest deity of the Slavic pantheon, the personification of destiny and fate, as a divine couple often symbolized by a dove. In Russia is celebrated, the day of Zivin (Živa is abbreviated form of the name Zhivana). In Norse mythology, there is an almost identical deity, the goddess Sif. From the name and the history of these two goddesses you can see that both were probably the same deity.

Sometimes, he is symbolized also doing his dance of destruction, tandava. Evidently the cult of Shiva was born earlier and independently of what would become his kingdom. He is often represented along with snakes and holding his trident. Shiva was worshiped as the main deity in many cities and was considered second only to Vishnu. Temples dedicated to Shiva were widespread throughout India. The celebration of Shivaratri in honor of Shiva is held at the beginning of the spring season, in many of the Indian cities.

Shivaratri is the day when Shiva and Parvati were married and so this festival is a celebration of their divine union. Shiva has also performed on this night the Tandava or the dance. More likely, his hypomorphs performances served to highlight the strange and superhuman strength he controlled. In this festival the married women pray for luck and longevity of their husbands and unmarried ones pray to have a good husband. The phallic symbol of Shiva, called Lingam, is washed with urine, dung, milk, butter and sour milk.

Disciples prepare the favorite food of Shiva called bhang. This preparation is obtained from the leaves and flowers of cannabis.

Perhaps the best-known myth about Kamadeva is the one on a perennial spring, when flowers had bloomed, and the bees were buzzing among the flowers. Cuckoos sang and a fragrant breeze began to float in the forest, that tells of his annihilation in the hands of Shiva, who resolved to help the maid Parvati to gain the love of Shiva. Although it was only an instant, Siva was enraged, and with a single lighted gaze he lit Kama and burned him to ashes and later the qualities of Kama was taken over by Shiva. So the truth is that Kamadeva is much earlier than Hinduism.

Shiva is associated with many similar epithets which are all elements of description of his function or perception that it induces. Sometimes fear of vindictive god, preferred the epithet in its very name, but always with devotion and reverence. The use of such parables delights the poets who diversify to have a bivalent literary tool in one or two words often, marked by a deliberately kept pace, where sense devolved designates both the god as well as the faculty that the author wants to give it in his book.

Some epithets are linked to local cults or are more or less historical, others disseminated by the works and common myths throughout India, advancing broader divine traits, sometimes fantastic. Epithets of Shiva draw him as a paternalistic god. Shiva's first love was Sati. Through his unusual lifestyle as an ascetic, he came into conflict with Sati's father Daksha. Sati was hurt in her father's disapproval and committed suicide by burning herself alive.

Later Parvati, also called Uma, the daughter of King Hima of the Himalayan Kingdom and apsara Menaka became the consort of Shiva for the rest of their lives. The nature of Vishnu and Shiva is often the subject of debate. Among the Shiva and Vishnu devotees repeatedly flare up discussions, who is more powerful. There were plenty of arguments for both positions.

The Samudra Manthan is one of the fundamental episodes where the devas and asuras fought among themselves for taking control of the Soma or amrita, the magical drink and the nectar of immortality and power. Although the Asuras were the victors, Shiva drank the Kalakuta or jala-jala, a virulent poison that made a blue mark on his throat and he was called Nila Kantha.

Shiva is represented by the linga or even lingam, an enormous phallus in perpetual erection in phallic position. The cult of the phallus is a common worship to many peoples of antiquity, as well as with the people of the Indus valley civilization, Dionysus in Greece, Osiris in Egypt, with the people of Celtic Europe, at Knossos, in Thebes, in Malta and a phallic symbolism expressed was even in the megaliths found in Brittany, Corsica and England.

Different traditions indicate that there are in India about seven to twelve important natural Jyotirlingas, in each of which a shaped of natural Lingam stands, the best known being those of Somnath in Gujarat, Mahakala in Ujjain and Shiva or Visweswara in Benares, Amarnath in Himalaya, where in certain cycles forms a pillar of ice and disappears again. In the late nineteenth century, in India it was estimated that there were over 30 million lingas.

In Japan, where many Hindu deities are worshiped by the relationship that these two nations maintained, Shiva is known as Shiba and Daikoku, meaning black, as Shiva is covered by ashes of cremated corpses and is called Kala or Kali.

It should be noted that many gods were known by different names even in the same language, as it was felt that calling them by the real name procure bad luck. It was therefore used a large number of circumlocutions or adjectives describing their qualities. Over time these epithets assumed an independent role and were to approach the principal names.


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