Śiva (Shiva) (Biographical details)

Śiva (Shiva) (deity; Hindu; Male)

Also known as

Śiva; Shiva; Siva; Tripurantaka; Maheśvara; Ekapadaśiva; Ekapadashiva; Caturbhuja Śiva; Caturbhuja Shiva; Bhiksatana; Candrasekhara; Chandrasekhara; Dakshinamurti; Dakṣinamúrti; Gajahmurti; Gangadhara; Kalaharamurti; Kamantakamurti; Lingodbhava; Mahesamurti; Nataraja; Trimbukesvara; Tripuranatakamurti; Bhairava; Mahākaleśavara; Mahākaleshvara; Chitreśvara (Employed on coins attributed to the Kunindas); linga; Mahākāla; Shankar; Dattātreya; Dattatreya; Eklingji

Biography

One of the two most important male deities in Hinduism, the other being Viṣṇu. Śiva is shown in both iconic and aniconic form. When the latter, he is depicted as the liṅga, the standing phallic pillar, an image generally associated with fertiliy and power. In iconic form, a famous representation is as Nataraja where he is shown simultaneously dancing, at the moment of cosmic dissolution and creation. Here is the supreme yogi and is frequently depicted deep in meditation.
His consort is Pārvatī and his children are Gaṇeśa and Kārttikeya. His mount is the bull, Nandī , and his homes are Mount Kailāsa in the Himālayas and the sacred city of Vārāṇasī.
Tripurāntaka is an epithet for Śiva as the destroyer of the three cities.

Additional entry for Śiva, by Sona, had:
Viṣṇu, Brahma and Śiva are described as the Hindu trinity. In this aspect, he is the destroyer where Viṣṇu is the Preserver and Brahma the Creator. Intimately tied to notion of destruction is that of regeneration. Hence Śiva is often symbolised through a phallic liṇga. Often shown with a third eye positioned centrally on the forehead which is said to denote his view of the three divisions of time: past, present and future.