Another name for the Hindu divination, Shiva. Ancient Hinduism tells us that there was only a vacuum in space. Out of this vacuum, a Supreme Being was born. The name of this Supreme Being is generally accepted as Brahman, however, there is debate between Hindu philosophers as to who this Being was. The Supreme Being handled the task of creating the universe. The problem arose that in order to conserve existence, the universe or parts of the universe needs to be maintained and then destroyed as well. Thus, the Supreme Being split up into three different supreme "Gods". These gods were Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, the Creator, the Maintainer, and the Destroyer respectively. Thus, the creation, conservation, and destruction of the universe started.
Shiva was known as an ascetic got that made his home at the top of Mount Kailash in the Himalayas. He wore a tiger-skin "skirt" and a cobra around his neck (Shiva was also the serpent-god). He is usually shown with four arms, tied up hair, and the moon in his hair. He sits on a stump on Mount Kailash with one leg crossed and one leg hanging down. Shiva's main weapon is the trisul or in English, trident. He carries this in his lower right hand. He is also shown holding an Indian percussion instrument in his lower left hand. His two upper hands are situated in a meditating position. Shiva Shankar has a third eye in his forehead situated up and down that when open, is the source of all the peaceful and vengeful destruction in the world.
Shiva is usually in deep meditation setting out the path of the world and its destruction. Although being attributed to demons and asuras, he is also favored by many of the lower, materialistic gods such as Indradev and Narad. However, Shiva Shankar is not pleased easily and has a very destructive temper. For example, when the Hindu god of love, Kamadev shot an arrow of love at Shiva so he could fall in love with Parvati and produce the child (Kartikeye) that would kill an evil demon, Shiv struck him down with his third eye and destroyed him.
In modern science, many scientists believe in the continous loop theory of the universe. This theory includes the universe expanding, reaching a peak, then shrinking to nothing. The process would repeat over forever. The Hindu Supreme Gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiv Shankar (Mahesh), coincide with this continuous theory in order to follow conservation while making all of life immortal.
Shiva Shankar is the God of Destruction, Serpents, Tigers, Asuras, Mountains, Ascetics, Poison, Dams, and Weapons.
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