Shiva (or Siva) is one of the most important gods in the Hindu pantheon. Shiva is the God of the yogis, self-controlled and celibate. Parvati is the hindu goddess of fertility, love, beauty, marriage, children, and devotion; as well as of divine strength and power. Shiva is the renunciate and dresses in tiger skin and snakes for ornaments. Parvati is a perfect picture of a devoted wife and dresses beautifully along with be jewelled ornaments. Ganesha’s mouse is no match to Shiva’s bull or Parvati’s lion. He is honoured at the start of rituals and ceremonies. Ganesha is worshipped first on every pooja and is the God of pure consciousness, good luck, knowledge and wisdom
Shiv is the third member of the Hindu trinity representing godhead in its aspect of annihilator, in charge of the “constructor – destructor” in the continuous process of creation, preservation, destruction and recreation or transformation. He is the god of austerity. He is clad in deer-skin, besmears his body with holy ash, has matted hair, and is adorned with snake around his neck and arms. It is said that he has consumed a cup of poison, which has made his neck blue in color giving him the appellation “Neel Kantha” the blue-necked god.
This divine consort of Shiv i.e. Uma or Parvati, the daughter of Himavan, is the Shakti or power (energy) that supplies the energy to Shiv. She manifests herself in various forms such as, Uma, Kali, and Durga. As Uma she did severe tapasya to obtain Shiv as her lord and husband. As Mrudani she mothers Ganesha, Kartikeya and Saasa though she never conceived any of them. It is significant that among the three “Shaktis” Saraswati, Lakshami and Uma, it is Uma who is known as Jagatmata, the mother of the universe and as such she represents the primal source of everything.
The Lord of the Ganas, the commander of the spiritual forces, also called Vighnaraja, the remover of all obstacles, is represented in a very peculiar form with a human trunk and elephant’s head, with a mouse for his vehicle. The uninitiated may laugh at this, but he is only laughing at his own ignorance of high symbology underlying this representation. Ganesh also is given two spouses. Riddhi and Siddhi, i.e. prosperity and achievements which of course go together.
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