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Mythology

Top 10 Fascinating Stories Of Shiva | Lord Shiva Facts


Shiva’s name represent different dimensions of who he is. Sadhguru says, “Shiva has innumerable forms and manifestations but fundamentally, we can categorize these into seven categories. There is the distant godhead that we call as Ishwara; there is a benevolent personal god that we call as Shambho; there is an uncomplicated hermit or Bho, or an endearingly naïve Sambaleshwara or Bhola; there is a wise teacher of the Vedas whom we call as Dakshinamurthy; the fountainhead of all art forms, we call him Natesha; the fierce, the destroyer of the wicked, we call him Kalabhairava or Mahakala; the dashing seducer of the romantic, we call him Somasundara, which means more beautiful than the moon. These are the seven basic forms out of which millions of manifestations can be derived.”

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In there are 108 different names of Shiva that are widely known:
Aashutosh: One who instantly fulfills all wishes
Adiguru: The first Guru
Adinath: The first Lord
Adiyogi: The first Yogi
Aja: The Unborn
Akshayaguna: The one with limitless qualities
Anagha: The faultless one
Anantadrishti: Of infinite vision
Augadh: One who revels all the time
Avyayaprabhu: Imperishable
Bhairav: Destroyer of fear
Bhalanetra: One who has an eye in the forehead
Bholenath: The simple one
Bhooteshwara: One who has mastery over the elements
Bhudeva: Lord of the earth
Bhutapala: Protector of the disembodied beings
Chandrapal: Master of the moon
Chandraprakash: One who has moon as a crest
Dayalu: The compassionate one
Devadideva: The god of gods
Dhanadeepa: Lord of wealth
Dhyanadeep: The light of meditation
Dhyutidhara: Lord of brilliance
Digambara: The one who wears the sky as his raiment
Durjaneeya: Difficult to be known
Durjaya: The unvanquished
Gangadhara: Lord of river ganga
Girijapati: Consort of girija
Gunagrahin: Acceptor of gunas
Gurudeva: The great Guru
Hara: Remover of sins
Jagadisha: Master of the Universe
Jaradhishamana: Redeemer from afflictions
Jatin: The one with matted hair
Kailas: One who bestows peace
Kailashadhipati: Lord of Mount Kailash
Kailashnath: Master of Mount Kailash
Kamalakshana: Lotus-eyed lord
Kantha: Ever-radiant
Kapalin: One who wears a necklace of skulls
Kochadaiyaan: The lord with long dreadlocks
Kundalin: One who wears earrings
Lalataksha: One who has an eye in the forehead
Lingadhyaksha: Lord of the lingas
Lokankara: Creator of the three worlds
Lokapal: One who takes care of the world
Mahabuddhi: Extreme intelligence
Mahadeva: Greatest God
Mahakala: The lord of time
Mahamaya: Of great illusions
Mahamrityunjaya: Great victor of death
Mahanidhi: Great storehouse
Mahashaktimaya: One who has boundless energies
Mahayogi: Greatest yogi
Mahesha: Supreme lord
Maheshwara: Lord of Gods
Nagabhushana: One who has serpents as ornaments
Nataraja: King of the art of dancing
Nilakantha: The Blue-throated one
Nityasundara: Ever beautiful
Nrityapriya: Lover of Dance
Omkara: Creator of AUM or OM
Palanhaar: One who protects all
Panchatsaran: Vigorous
Parameshwara: First among all gods
Paramjyoti: Greatest splendor
Pashupati: Lord of all living beings
Pinakin: One who has a bow in his hand
Pranava: Originator of the primal sound of AUM
Priyabhakta: Favorite of the devotees
Priyadarshana: Of loving vision
Pushkara: One who gives nourishment
Pushpalochana: One who has eyes like flowers
Ravilochana: Having Sun as the eye
Rudra: The Roarer
Sadashiva: The Transcended one
Sanatana: The Eternal God
Sarvacharya: The Supreme Teacher
Sarvashiva: The Eternal Lord
Sarvatapana: Preceptor of All
Sarvayoni: Always Pure
Sarveshwara: Lord of All
Shaono: The auspicious one
Shankara: Lord of All Gods
Shantah: Preceptor of Skanda
Shoolin: Giver of Joy
Shreshhtha: Lord of the MPurShrikantha: Always Pure
Shrutiprakasha: The one who has a trident
Skandaguru: Illuminator of the vedas
Someshwara: One who has a pure body
Sukhada: The giver of joy
Swayambhu: Self-created
Tejaswani: One who spreads illumination
Trilochana: Three-eyed Lord
Trilokpati: Master of all the three worlds
Tripurari: Destroyer of the “Tripur” (the 3 planets created by Asuras)
Trishoolin: One who has a trident in his hands
Umapati: Consort of Uma
Vachaspati: Lord of Speech
Vajrahasta: One who has a thunderbolt in his hands
Varada: Granter of Boons
Vedakarta: Originator of the Vedas
Veerabhadra: Supreme Lord of the Nether World
Vishalaksha: Wide-eyed Lord
Vishveshwara: Lord of the Universe
Vishwanath: Master of the Universe
Vrishavahana: One who has bull as his vehicle

Story of Shiva’s Birth

There is a very interesting story behind the birth of Lord Shiva. One day, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu were both arguing about their powers – both of them wanted to prove that one is mightier than the other. Right then, amidst the heated discussion, an inexplicable blazing pillar appeared in front of them, whose roots and tip were not visible.The roots seemed to penetrate deep into the earth with the tip piercing into the skies beyond eternity. Amazed by the view of this pillar, both the Lords wondered about this third entity that stood there, challenging both of their supremacy. Now their argument had subdued and they started discussing how to find out more about this new entity. Both Brahma and Vishnu set out to locate the start and end of that pillar. Brahma turned into a goose and flew up to find the top of the pillar, while Vishnu transformed into a boar and dug into the earth to look for its roots. The search went on for ages but the outcome proved futile as neither of them succeeded in their respective missions.After their unsuccessful attempts, both Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu felt humbled and came back to their original place only to find Lord Shiva manifesting in front of them. They understood that Shiva’s power and cosmic existence is much beyond their imagination and in fact, it was Lord Shiva who was more powerful than both of them.

Lord Shiva as a Lingam

Lord Shiva is a god of ambiguity and paradox. He is depicted with an ambivalent nature when worshipped by the Hindus as their supreme God. He is mentioned in the Yajurveda as possessing both malignant and auspicious attributes. He is portrayed as a figure of honour, delight, brilliance.
Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of the linga – some of which are jyotirlingas – at numerous places across India. The Linga, a sign of masculinity, symbolises Shiva’s role in the creation, sustainance and withdrawal of the Universe.

There was a great sacrificial ceremony that was going to take place many hundreds of years ago. The great sage Narada Muni was invited to it and asked who would receive the effects of the sacrifice. No one could answer, so the sages who were present asked him who should receive it. Narada said that Sri Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva were all eligible, but they would have to find out which one had the most patience and purity to be the receiver of the sacrifice. So he chose the great sage Brighu to learn the answer.

Brighu had many mystic powers and was able to travel to the domain of the demigods. So first he went to see Lord Brahma, but Brahma was preoccupied and did not notice Brighu’s presence. Feeling insulted, Brighu cursed Brahma, “You are so proud of your power of creation, you did not notice my arrival. For this, you shall have no temples on earth.” Thus, there are very few temples of Brahma on earth. Next, Brighu went to see Shiva in Kailash, but Shiva also did not notice Brighu’s arrival. Brighu, again feeling offended, cursed Shiva to be worshiped only as a lingam on earth. This is the reason why Lord Shiva is primarily represented and worshiped as a lingam on this planet.

Story behind the Name: Neelkanth

We all know that Shiva is called the “Neelkanth”. The story behind the name is certainly one of the most fascinating ones. The Devas and Asuras got together to churn the Milky ocean to obtain the Amrita. In the process, they obtained a lot of other products as well, which the Devas and Asuras claimed accordingly. Then, it churned out large quantities of the deadly poison Halahala. The Devas and Asuras turned to Brahma, who pointed his hand at Vishnu. Vishnu advised that only Shiva could consume such large quantities of poison.

As per the request of the Devas and Asuras, the calm and composed Shiva drank all the poison that came out of the ocean, without regard for its aftereffects. Parvati was quick to react and pressed Shiva’s throat tightly. The caused the poison to stay there, giving a blue color to his throat. Hence the name “Neelkanth”.

Story of Ravana shaking Mount Kailash

Ravana was one of Shiva’s greatest devotees. Once he tried to uproot Mount Kailasa, Shiva’s abode in the Himalayas. He could not succeed in this endeavour. Shiva trapped him beneath Kailasa. To redeem himself, Ravana started singing hymns in praise of Shiva. He cut off one of his heads to make a veena and used his tendons as the instrument’s string to make music. Eventually, over many years, Shiva did forgive Ravana and freed him from under the mountain. Also, post this episode, Shiva was so moved by Ravana’s prayer that he became his favorite devotee.

Story of Snake behind Shiva’s Neck

In many photographs or in movies we have seen snake around the neck of Shiva. Though the name of the snake is Vasuki and the three coils depict future, present and past. While the right side represents the action of human in terms of knowledge and wisdom. There are numerous tales associated with Lord Shiva and Vasuki. One of which says, during Samudra Manthan (the churning of the ocean) Shiva drank poison. Not just Shiva, the snakes in water also consumed the poison. Impressed by the snakes’ act, Shiva accepted Vasuki as his companion and since then Vasuki is found around Shiva’s neck. According to another legend, the snakes help Shiva to keep poison around his throat.

Hanuman is an avatar of Lord Shiv

Hanuman, devotee of Lord Rama and son of Anjana and Kesari, is believed to be the eleventh incarnation of Lord Shiva. It is said that the radiance of all celestials came in the form of Shiva’s radiance from which Hanuman was born.

Story behind Shiva’s Tandava

There are many legends associated with tandava, one of which says, the demon Apasmara challenged Shiva. Shiva took the form of Nataraja to suppress Apasmara – the symbol of ignorance. He accepted the challenge and took the form of Nataraja to perform tandava. During the performance, Shiva crushed Apasmara under his right foot. Since Apasmara cannot die to maintain the balance between knowledge and ignorance, Shiva remained in his Nataraja form. This avatar of Shiva gives the message that ignorance can be overcome by knowledge, music and dance.

Story of Kali stepping over Shiva

Goddess Kali is regarded as the most fierce and destructive form of Shakti. She has a dark complexion, red eyes and has four arms. In one of Her hands She carries a sword (khadaga) and in another hand She carries the decapitated head of a demon. The other two hands are in the position of blessing Her devotees. She also wears a garland of heads of the demons She has killed which makes this form of the Goddess even more fearful and divine.
There was once a very powerful demon known as Rakta Beej who had acquired a boon that he could duplicate himself as soon as his drop of blood touched the Earth. Goddess Durga was charged to kill this monster but as soon she slayed her sword the blood felt down on the earth and the monsters started multiplying leading into huge armies. Enraged by this, the Devi took the fierce form of Kali.

She went on to destroy the demon with a sword in Her hand. She would slay each demon and drink his blood immediately. Soon She finished the whole army of Rakta Beej and only the real Rakta Beej was left. Then She slay him and drank all his blood till he fell down lifeless. It is said that the Goddess became mad with blood lust after this incident. She started dancing the dance of destruction and forgot that She had already killed the demon. She kept on slaying the innocent after that. Seeing this, the Gods became extremely worried and approached Lord Shiva for help. Only Shiva had the power to stop Kali at this stage. So, Lord Shiva went and lay down among the corpses where the Goddess was dancing. Accidentally, Kali stepped on Shiva and soon She realised Her mistake. It is then Her tongue immediately came out of embarrassment and She calmed down. She was ashamed that Her blood lust had prevented Her from recognizing Her own husband. Thus, She came back to Her original form and the destruction was stopped. Shiva lying at Kali’s feet also symbolises the supremacy of Nature over man.q

Story behind Bel (Belva) Leaves offered to Shiva

Bel Tree is a sacred tree having sacrificial importance .Its trifoliate leaf is symbolic of Trikaal or the Hindu Trinity of Devas namely Brahma Vishnu and Shiva .This tree is also called Wood apple
Bel leaves are important as their trifoliate shape signifies Shiva’s three eyes as well as the three spokes of the lords Trishul .Since they have a cooling effect, they are offered to the Shivalinga to soothe this hot-tempered deity. Those who perform the puja of Shiva and Parvati devoutly, using the leaves, may be endowed with spiritual powers.Even a fallen bel is never used as firewood, for fear of arousing Shiva’s wrath.

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