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Shiva Home -› Hindu Trinity -› The Destroyer -› Shiva
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Shiva - the giver of joy
Amongst the above five faces the southern face of Shiva, called AGHORA-BHAIRAV needs a brief introduction on its own. Bhairav means 'Frightful', 'Terrible'. Lord Shiva, after the death of his first wife named' Sati ' could not be consoled.
[shiva linga]
[shiva - the supreme creator]
He wandered over the earth aimlessly, carrying the corpse of his consort on his shoulders. To bring Shiva to his normal state and to cure him of this obsession Vishnu used his Sudarshan Chakra and cut up Sati's body scattering her limbs at various spots. The places where the limbs fell became sacred spots and are known as SHAKTIPITHAS. Shiva in the form of a Bhairav guards each of these spots. Bhairav is seen either in the company of a dog or riding a dog. Bhairav is invoked in rites designed to destroy enemies.

Another most popular image of Shiva has no human form but is represented by LINGA (the Phallus Figure). It is made of black or white stone, depicted sometime as 'rounded both at top and bottom to show that it does not stand' or 'arise from' anywhere in our space or time, and in some cases an egg-shaped stone tapering at top recalling either the 'COSMIC EGG', from which the world emerge or the 'Bright Flame of Light'; hence it is called JYOTIR LINGA too. Thus, whether depicted as the generative symbol or the fountain-source of light, this Linga represents the Lord of the Universe.

It may also be noted that sex symbolism is for long associated with fanning and the implements connected with it. This fertility aspect of the Linga belongs to the period of Epics and Puranas. As the symbol of transcendental energy and power Linga is the central conception of Shiva philosophy. Shiva is represented in temples in beautifully sculptured forms as well as the symbolic Linga form. The Lingaayat sect follower's initiation ceremony corresponding to the sacred thread ceremony of most of the Hindus is performed by replacing, YAJNOPAVITA (sacred thread) with a necklace of small Lingas. In south India male devotees of Shiva also wear a formalized miniature Linga, attached to a necklace and concealed under the clothing.

In fact western scholars have overdone the phallus aspect though Linga's first meaning is that of a 'sign', 'mark' or 'symbol'. Shiva-Purana, the source book of Shiva's divinity, itself defines Linga as the distinctive sign through which it is possible to recognize the nature of the object. Thus Linga, the phallus, giver of life is the important shape under which the nature of the shapeless can be represented. Again Shiva-Purana in another hymn says: "It is not the Linga itself which is worshipped but the owner of the Linga, the Progenitor, the Supreme Creator (Purushottama), the Linga leads to Shiva, whose symbol it is." The Shiva-Linga is represented erect and is divided into three parts. The lowest part is below the pedestal, and is called Brahma part. The middle or the second part is on the pedestal and is womb-shaped: it is called the Vishnu part. The third part is cylindrical and rises above the pedestal; this is the Rudra-Shiva part.
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