Depictions of Shiva

Topics: Hinduism, Shiva, Vishnu Pages: 4 (1564 words) Published: November 13, 2010
Lord Shiva, meaning the Auspicious One is Sanskrit, is a highly worshipped deity in Hinduism. In Hindu mythology, Brahma and Vishnu were born out of Lord Shiva and the three were separated into three different aspects of divinity. Shiva is the Destroyer God as he dissolves the universe for the next cycle of creation and destroys obstacles for his devotees. Today, Shaivism is a popular sect in Hinduism, predominantly in South India, where devotees believe Shiva is All and omnipresent. Lord Shiva is always portrayed with the same postures and symbols in various forms of media such as paintings and idols. Shiva is the ultimate role model for a Hindu trying to attain moksha by embodying the four stages of life, the cycles of creation and the omnipresence of God. Therefore, Lord Shiva’s meditative posture, him as Nataraja and the sacred lingam have both a literal and spiritual significance in Hinduism.

Shiva’s calm and meditative posture is significant in Hinduism. This is because Lord Shiva is the master of yoga. "With the body, with the mind, with the intellect, even merely with the senses, the Yogis perform action toward self-purification, having abandoned attachment. He who is disciplined in Yoga, having abandoned the fruit of action, attains steady peace..." Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline that can lead to the unification of the atman and Brahman. Physically, yoga helps flexibility, the flow of blood and contributes to muscle toning. While performing these physical exercises, one learns to meditate and channel their energies properly. By learning breath control, yoga can potentially dissolve stress and anxiety. Spiritually, one can feel the presence of their atman while trying to achieve moksha, or liberation from the constant cycles of rebirth. Therefore, Shiva’s yogic posture helps devotees understand the great importance of yoga in Hinduism. In these specific types of Shiva depictions, his eyes are always mid-way...
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