Ten Reasons Why You Should Worship Shiva
Shiva and Parvathi are the Primal Deities, Purusha and Prakriti, or Isvara and Isvari
In popular Hinduism, Shiva is considered one the three highest aspects of Brahman, or one of the Trimurthis, and identified with the universal function of destruction. His abode is Kailas and his consort Parvathi. Ganesha and Kartikeya are his divine sons, who also occupy an important place in the Hindu pantheon. Shiva's vehicle is Nandi, the divine bull. Saivism is the most popular sect of Hinduism, next to Vaishnavism. Shaivism is a tradition of the masses. It rejects caste privileges that come with birth and exclusive rights of Brahmanas in Hindu ritual traditions.
At one time, Shaivism was indeed the most popular sect of Hinduism. Even today , Shiva is worshipped by millions people not only in India but elsewhere also where Hindus live. Shiva goes by many names and has many forms which include his pleasant and fierce forms. Shiva is also the most popular deity of Tantra and Shakta traditions. Nearly 80% of Hindu literature is dedicated to either Shiva or Vishnu or Shakti, which include the Vedas, the epics, the Puranas and the Agama Shastras. The following are the ten most important reasons why Shiva is a popular Hindu deity and why he is venerated by millions of Hindus.
1. Shiva is easily pleased.
Shiva is known to grant boons to his devotees frequently, even if they happen to be some really wicked ones. He is called Bholenath, the innocent one, because he is pure in heart and easy to please. Which means, if you love him and worship him, and even if you have some defects and weaknesses, you can be sure of his love and compassion.
2. He is very unconventional
Shiva makes and breaks all social customs and moral codes to convey his state of freedom. He is the lord of the Tantra, who permits left hand methods of worship to sublimate evil tendencies to show that we need to transcend all dualities and judgment to achieve liberation. Which means you do not have to worry about what you eat, how you live, what lifestyle you follow, what norms you practice and to which caste or social background you belong.
3. He is the Lord of the body
3. Shiva represents tamas, which is the predominant component of a living body. A living body embodies Shiva in the form of an individual soul. Which means if want to purify and transform your body to achieve liberation, you should first worship Shiva and request him to destroy all your impurities and facilitate your progress on the path.
4. It is easy to worship Him.
To worship Shiva you do not require the services of a priest. You can walk into any Shiva temple and offer him prayers directly, or you can pray to him in your own heart and offer anything with love. Which means you have a direct connection with Shiva and he listens to your prayers directly.
5. He makes your anger acceptable and tolerable
Shiva can really get frighteningly angry at times and unleash his destructive powers. No one wants to see Shiva angry, even gods, because when he is angry he can do terrible things. Which means you can acknowledge your anger as an aspect of Shiva and not feel guilty about it.
6. He is a very good husband
Shiva treats his wife Parvathi with great love and respect. He not only made her an inseparable part of him but also ensured that she would receive an equal honor, by giving her a place to sit by his side, which many Hindu men and even gods like Vishnu and Brahma do not consider necessary. Which means if there is one deity who truly deserves our love and respect, and who represents today's values, it is Shiva.
7. He is a family person
7. Shiva loves his family and children as much as he loves his devotees. He also has an extended family of gods and ganas, who are very fond of him and who love to spend their time in his company. Which means one can learn from Shiva about family values, and the importance of loving and caring relationships.
8. He has immense powers
Shiva has immense powers. He destroys our suffering, the poison of human life, and removes from us impurities such as ignorance, egoism, delusion, attachment and pride to facilitate our spiritual growth. Which means if you are looking for a change or direction in your life, he is the right deity to worship.
9. He is the lord of the animals
Shiva has great love and compassion for all animals. He protects them from disease, death and destruction. Hence he is known as Pasupathinath. Which means if you love animals and you want them to be protected from cruelty and treated well, you should worship none other than Shiva and request him to give them a better birth in their next lives.
10. He gives you wisdom and knowledge
Shiva is the world teacher. All knowledge flows from him, especially the liberating knowledge, in the form of Ganga. He is rightfully the source of all arts, crafts and sciences. He Himself is a good musician, dancer and singer. Which means you should choose Shiva as your inner Guru and worship him because there is no better Guru than Shiva in the whole creation.
Suggestions for Further Reading
- The Symbolism of Snakes and Serpents in Hinduism
- Ten Distinguishing Features Of Hinduism
- Ten Reasons Why You Should Worship Shiva
- The River Sutra - Lessons From the River
- The Ten Main Duties (dharmas) in Hinduism
- The Ten Manifestations Of Sattva in Hinduism
- The 12 Manifestations of Brahman, the Supreme God of Hinduism
- Ten Teachings of the Buddha From the Dhammapada
- The Meaning And Significance Of Swastika In Hinduism
- What is Prana? The Five Types of Breath
- Hinduism and the God of Death
- Om, Aum, Pranava or Nada in Mantra and Yoga Traditions
- Wealth and Duty in Hinduism
- Hindu Gods - Lord Ganesha
- Symbolism and Significance of the Descent Of Ganga
- Symbolism of Ganga As the Purifier and Liberator
- The Meaning and Significance of Heart in Hinduism
- The Origin and Significance of the Epic Mahabharata
- Yin and Yang, and the Hindu Connection
- Symbolism in the Story of Sagar Manthan, the Churning of The Ocean
- The Symbolic Significance of Puja Or Worship In Hinduism
Introduction to Hinduism
The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
The Chandogya Upanishad
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