Shiva

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This is the gist of all worship — to be pure and to do good to others. He who sees Shiva in the poor, in the weak, and in the diseased, really worships Shiva; and if he sees Shiva only in the image, his worship is but preliminary. ~ Swami Vivekananda

Shiva (சிவபெருமான்: Tamil, (/ˈʃiːvə/; Sanskrit: Śiva, meaning "The Auspicious One"), also known as Mahadeva ("Great God"), is a popular Hindu deity, regarded as one of the primary forms of God. He is considered the Supreme God in Shaivism, one of the five primary forms of God in the Smarta traditions, and grouped in the Trimurti, with Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, he is designated "the Destroyer" or "the Transformer". Shiva is represented in a variety of forms: in a pacific mood with his consort Parvati and son Skanda, as the cosmic dancer (Nataraja), as a naked ascetic, as a mendicant beggar, as a yogi, and as the androgynous union of Shiva and his consort in one body, half-male and half-female (Ardhanarishvara).


CONTENT : A - F , G - L , M - R , S - Z , See also , External links

Quotes[edit]

Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author

A - F[edit]

...It exists eternally associated with the male principle, Shiva, who plays a secondary role. The “Srichakra” is the diagrammatic representation of their union. ~ N Balasubramanyam
The geography of the Himalayas is such that all its passes lead one to the region of Kailash and Manasarovar, Western Tibet, the place of the heavenly abode of Lord Shiva, has been known to the Hindus and their ancestors since thousands of years. ~ Pradeep Chamariya
Linga Purana, listed eleven in the order of composition, enunciates many rituals in the text with legends and stories that date back to a hoary period. It gives details of Shiva Puja... ~ B.K. Chaturvedi
Aum Shiva! — Oh, man, you're stoned out of your gourd. You're writing gibberish. ~ Illuminatus!.
Most of the puranas are highly sectarian as is the Shiva Purana, which is one of the longer and larger puranas. It gives an exhaustive account Shiva’s mythic deeds – many of which have become the common mythic currency for many traditional Hindus – as well as instructions for how, where, and when Shiva is to be worshipped. ~ James G. Lochtefeld
The prayers of those that are pure in mind and body will be answered by Shiva, and those that are impure and yet try to teach religion to others will fail in the end. ~ Swami Vivekananda.
  • At the time of Ganesha's 'birth', Shiva was away from the family home. On returning, and finding an unknown young man standing guard outside the bathroom of his wife, he naturally challenged him. Ganesha was equally unknowing of his father, and the two came to blows. The result was never in doubt, for Shiva is the greatest of the Gods, and the father killed his own son, by cutting off his (human) head. When Parvati found out what had happened and explained the circumstances to Shiva, the god undertook to restore Ganesha to life. This he did by ordering by one of his retinue to bring the head of the first he met. This was an elephant, and thus Ganesha was returned to life with an elephant’s head. Further, as compensation for the loss of his human head, Ganesha was entrusted by Shiva with the leadership of the members of his rowdy and dwarfish retinue (the ganas). Ganesha’s name means no more than ‘Lord of the Gana’. In recognition of his courage in the defense of his mother’s chamber, Ganesha is given custody over all doorways.
    • T. Richard Blurton in: Hindu Art, Harvard University Press, 1993, p. 105.
  • Linga Purana, listed eleven in the order of composition, enunciates many rituals in the text with legends and stories that date back to a hoary period. It gives details of Shiva Puja and has two parts – the first part is said to be ‘Poorva Bhaga’ and the other ‘Uttara Bhaga'. It has 180 chapters in the first part and 55 in the second. The language of the Purana is difficult.
    • B.K. Chaturvedi, in Linga Purana, Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd.p.7 (Preface)
  • The image of Shiva as Nataraj is indelibly stitched into the Indian imagination. How many various dances of Shiva are known to His worshippers. I cannot say. No doubt the root idea behind all of these dances is more or less one and the same, the manifestation of primal rhythmic energy. Whatever the origins of Shiva's dance, it became in time the clearest image of the activity of God which any art or religion can boast of.
    • Ananda Coomaraswamy in Nataraja. SSCNET, UCLA. Retrieved on 11 January 2014.
When the two boys [Ganesha and Skanda] were of marriageable age, Shiva and Parvati did not know which of the children to marry off first. So they proposed a competition: We shall celebrate the marriage of the one who first returns after having gone round the world. The clever Ganesha walked around his parents and said to them “You are the Universe”. He was considered the winner and his wedding was celebrated with Siddhi (Success) and Buddhi (Intelligence), the two daughters of the Lord of the World - Visharupa. ~ Alain Daniélou.
  • Shiva is by no means a non-Vedic god, and Indra never really disappeared from popular Hinduism but lives on under another name.
    • Koenraad Elst, Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate (1999)

G - L[edit]

  • All the multiverses are trying to merge, to create a true universe such as we have only imagined previously. Maybe it will be spiritual, like Zen or telepathy, or maybe it will be physical, one great big gang-fuck, but it has to happen: the creation of a universe and the one great eye opening to see itself at last. Aum Shiva! — Oh, man, you're stoned out of your gourd. You're writing gibberish.
  • Most of the puranas are highly sectarian as is the Shiva Purana, which is one of the longer and larger puranas. It gives an exhaustive account Shiva’s mythic deeds – many of which have become the common mythic currency for many traditional Hindus – as well as instructions for how, where, and when Shiva is to be worshipped.
  • He comes from Kilas, earth and sky,
    Bright before the deity;
    The sun shines, as he shone when first
    His glory over ocean burst.
    The vales put forth a thousand flowers,
    Mingling the spring and summer hours;
    The Suras fill with songs the air.
    The Genii and their lutes are there;
    By gladness stirred, the mighty sea
    Flings up its waves rejoicingly;
    And Music wanders o'er its tide,
    For Siva comes to meet his bride.
    • Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1832 (1831) 'Skeleton Group in the Ramedwur, Caves of Ellora. Supposed to represent the nuptials of Siva and Parvati.'

M - R[edit]

Mahabharata: According to some accounts, the Ganga split into seven streams as she emerged from the hair of Shiva, three flowing to the east, three to the west, and the Bhagirathi to the south...
  • According to some accounts, the Ganga split into seven streams as she emerged from the hair of Shiva, three flowing to the east, three to the west, and the Bhagirathi to the south. This tradition recalls the seven rivers of the Vedic hymns and reminds us that the Ganga in essence waters the whole earth. Indeed, when Bhagiratha brought the Ganga to earth, her waters not only restored the ashes of the dead but also replenished the ocean, which had been swallowed by the sage Agastya.
  • God creates the world as Brahma, sustains it as Vishnu, and destroys it as Shiva. One day, Shiva started to sing. Vishnu was so moved by the melody that he began to melt. Brahma caught the molten Vishnu in a pot. This was poured on earth. it took the form of the river Ganga. The Ganga nourished the earth. to bathe in the Ganga’s waters is to bathe in God.
  • Vishnu and Siva as integral components of the Triad, while continuing to be a subject of theological speculation, however in their subsequent sectarian avatars began to absorb countless local cults and deities within their folds. The latter were either taken to represent the multiple facets of the same god or else were supposed to denote different forms and appellations by which the god came to be known and worshipped.... Siva became identified with countless local cults by the sheer suffixing of Isa or Isvara to the name of the local deity, e.g., Bhutesvara, Hatakesvara, Chandesvara.
  • Shiva and Shakti are the two names given to the monistic Absolute (Paramasiva) when it is being considered in its dual aspects of eternal and transcendent changelessness (Shiva), and the ever-changing and immanent manifestation of universal appearances (Shakti).
  • According to the deep yogic experience of the sages of this philosophy, there is no difference between Shiva tattva and Shakti tattva. They are both actually one with Paramasiva. They are considered to be two tattvas only for the convenience of philosophical thinking and as a way of clarifying the two aspects of the one absolute reality, Paramasiva. These two aspects are Shiva, the transcendental unity, and Shakti, the universal diversity. The changeless, absolute and pure consciousness is Shiva, while the natural tendency of Shiva towards the outward manifestation of the five divine activities is Shakti. So, even though Shiva is Shakti, and Shakti is Shiva, and even though both are merely aspects of the same reality called Paramasiva, still, these concepts of Shiva-hood and Shakti-hood are counted as the first two tattvas. These two tattvas are at the plane of absolute purity and perfect unity.
  • There is a deeper symbolism. The black image of Kali is standing on the white image of Lord Shiva. Shiva is Brahman and Kali is Brahman’s energy, Shakti. Brahman is passive while Shakti – Kali –is active. The images so stand that Shiva looks at Kali and Kali at Shiva. This symbolizes the fact that every action, big or small, of destruction or creation, performed by Kali at the instance of Shiva. Kali, as it were, is the working organ of Shiva. Shiva and Kali, Brahman and Shakti, the source and energy, are essential one.
  • I am Shakti, as well as Shiva. I am everything male and female, light and dark, flesh and spirit. Perfectly balanced in one single moment lasting an eternity...
    • Robin Rumi, in Naked Morsels : Short Stories of Spiritual Erotica (2014)

S - Z[edit]

Perform Vishnu smaranam in Shiva temples and Shiva smaranam in Vishnu temples.
  • The most elegant and sublime of these is a representation of the creation of the universe at the beginning of each cosmic cycle, a motif known as the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva. The god, called in this manifestation Nataraja, the Dance King. In the upper right hand is a drum whose sound is the sound of creation. In the upper left hand is a tongue of flame, a reminder that the universe, now newly created, with billions of years from now will be utterly destroyed.
  • One should know all things of the phenomenal world as of a fivefold character, for the reason that the eternal verity of Śiva is of the character of the five-fold Brahman.
    • Pañcabrahma Upanishad quoted in : Stella Kramrisch The Presence of Siva, Princeton University Press, 1994, p. 182
  • It is in love that religion exists and not in ceremony, in the pure and sincere love in the heart. Unless a man is pure in body and mind, his coming into a temple and worshipping Shiva is useless. The prayers of those that are pure in mind and body will be answered by Shiva, and those that are impure and yet try to teach religion to others will fail in the end. External worship is only a symbol of internal worship; but internal worship and purity are the real things. Without them, external worship would be of no avail. Therefore you must all try to remember this.
    People have become so degraded in this Kali Yuga that they think they can do anything, and then they can go to a holy place, and their sins will be forgiven. If a man goes with an impure mind into a temple, he adds to the sins that he had already, and goes home a worse man than when he left it.
  • This is the gist of all worship — to be pure and to do good to others. He who sees Shiva in the poor, in the weak, and in the diseased, really worships Shiva; and if he sees Shiva only in the image, his worship is but preliminary. He who has served and helped one poor man seeing Shiva in him, without thinking of his caste, or creed, or race, or anything, with him Shiva is more pleased than with the man who sees Him only in temples.
    • Swami Vivekananda, in "Address at the Rameswaram Temple on Real Worship", in The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol. 3
  • A rich man had a garden and two gardeners. One of these gardeners was very lazy and did not work; but when the owner came to the garden, the lazy man would get up and fold his arms and say, "How beautiful is the face of my master", and dance before him. The other gardener would not talk much, but would work hard, and produce all sorts of fruits and vegetables which he would carry on his head to his master who lived a long way off. Of these two gardeners, which would be the more beloved of his master? Shiva is that master, and this world is His garden, and there are two sorts of gardeners here; the one who is lazy, hypocritical, and does nothing, only talking about Shiva's beautiful eyes and nose and other features; and the other, who is taking care of Shiva's children, all those that are poor and weak, all animals, and all His creation. Which of these would be the more beloved of Shiva? Certainly he that serves His children. He who wants to serve the father must serve the children first. He who wants to serve Shiva must serve His children — must serve all creatures in this world first. It is said in the Shâstra that those who serve the servants of God are His greatest servants. So you will bear this in mind.
    • Swami Vivekananda, in "Address at the Rameswaram Temple on Real Worship", in The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol. 3
  • Let me tell you again that you must be pure and help any one who comes to you, as much as lies in your power. And this is good Karma. By the power of this, the heart becomes pure (Chitta-shuddhi), and then Shiva who is residing in every one will become manifest. He is always in the heart of every one. If there is dirt and dust on a mirror, we cannot see our image. So ignorance and wickedness are the dirt and dust that are on the mirror of our hearts. Selfishness is the chief sin, thinking of ourselves first. He who thinks, "I will eat first, I will have more money than others, and I will possess everything", he who thinks, "I will get to heaven before others I will get Mukti before others" is the selfish man. The unselfish man says, "I will be last, I do not care to go to heaven, I will even go to hell if by doing so I can help my brothers." This unselfishness is the test of religion. He who has more of this unselfishness is more spiritual and nearer to Shiva. Whether he is learned or ignorant, he is nearer to Shiva than anybody else, whether he knows it or not. And if a man is selfish, even though he has visited all the temples, seen all the places of pilgrimage, and painted himself like a leopard, he is still further off from Shiva.
    • Swami Vivekananda, in "Address at the Rameswaram Temple on Real Worship", in The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol. 3
  • So, as the Council of Trent declared, the Catholic Church, rich with the experiences of ages and clothed with their splendor, has introduced mystic benediction (mantra), incense (dhupa), water (achamana), lights (dipa), bells (ghanta), flowers (w:Pushpanjalipushpa),vestments and all the magnificence of ceremonies in order to excite the spirit of religion to the contemplation of the profound mysteries which they reveal. As are its faithful, the Church is composed of both body (deha) and soul (atma). It renders to the Lord (ishvara) [Shiva] a double worship, external (bahyapuja) and interior (manaspuja), the latter being the prayer (vandana) of the faithful.

Lord of the Dance (1963)[edit]

I danced in the morning
When the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon
And the stars and the sun
They buried my body
And they thought I'd gone,
But I am the Dance,
And I still go on.
Inspired by a sense of the Inner Light of All, as evoked by reverence of Jesus as Christ and Shiva as Nataraja, the Quaker poet Sydney Carter wrote these original lyrics to accompany the Shaker tune of "Simple Gifts" by Joseph Brackett.
I am the life
That'll never, never die;
I'll live in you
If you'll live in me —
I am the Lord
Of the Dance, said he.
  • I danced in the morning
    When the world was begun,
    And I danced in the moon
    And the stars and the sun,
    And I came down from heaven
    And I danced on the earth,
    At Bethlehem
    I had my birth.
  • Dance, then, wherever you may be,
    I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
    And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be,
    And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said he.
  • I danced on the Sabbath
    And I cured the lame;
    The holy people
    Said it was a shame.
    They whipped and they stripped
    And they hung me on high,
    And they left me there
    On a Cross to die.
  • They buried my body
    And they thought I'd gone,
    But I am the Dance,
    And I still go on.
  • They cut me down
    And I leapt up high;
    I am the life
    That'll never, never die;
    I'll live in you
    If you'll live in me —
    I am the Lord
    Of the Dance, said he.
  • The optimistic lines "I danced in the morning when the world begun and I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun" also contain a hint of paganism which, mixed with Christianity, makes it attractive to those of ambiguous religious beliefs or none at all.
    Carter himself genially admitted that he had been partly inspired by the statue of Shiva which sat on his desk; and, whenever he was asked to resolve the contradiction, he would declare that he had never tried to do so.
    However, he admitted to being as astonished as anyone by its success. "I did not think the churches would like it at all. I thought many people would find it pretty far flown, probably heretical and anyway dubiously Christian. But in fact people did sing it and, unknown to me, it touched a chord.

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