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The Hindu deity Shiva

The god Shiva is one of the main deities of Hindiusm. Shiva can take many forms, but is frequently depicted with unkempt hair, a third eye, and a trident. Temples to Shiva feature a lingam, a column representing the creative force.  Learn more about Shiva on education.asianart.org.

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  • leaf orange style avatar for user Jeff Kelman
    It is interesting to me how different cultures must have portrayed their version of the "ideal figure." The Greeks for example obviously sculpted men with "6 pack abs" and muscular bodies, but the Hindu representation of their gods tends to have a little more fat on their bodies. I don't see this as better or worse, but I wonder if this was in any way representative of the time and place and conditions of these regions? Perhaps there was greater famine for instance in the Hindu regions and thus a sculpted man or God with some more fat would have been seen as healthier or happier, more powerful even?
    (9 votes)
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    • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user 🚀The knowledge Hunter🔭
      I don't think that Hindus particularly had any Idea of making their deity fat or healthy. Well, its not also because of the conditions in Southern Asia which some guys think as worse. But, being an Asian I perfectly know that Asian Countries were like the land of Gods. Europeans who were surprised by the Asian wealth and culture thought it as a land of Sun. You could also take an example of their dress patterns. Greek Mythology deals with Simple dresses just to cover their skin, but Hinduism deals with long dresses witch have filled with loots of colors almost covering all their body. Perhaps you may be right, the Sculpted men may think of Making his deity Healthier than the deity is supposed to be. But personally I don't think so, because I have seeing Lord Shiva from my birth by visiting the temples and haven't found any difference at all :) Any how I hope comparison of Culture with dress pattern may Conclude that its due to their way of life which all creates this difference.
      (11 votes)
  • starky sapling style avatar for user Ameya
    Doesn't Shiva have dances called thandavam? I also learned that is Shiva takes his hair out of the bun and lets it come down then the world will be flooded. (Just a little fun fact.)
    (4 votes)
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    • leaf green style avatar for user Harshit Tiwari
      as to your fact of flood,there exists a story that for purification of earth a mighty river was brought down from heaven but it was feared by the god that it may flood the earth so they asked the god shiva to contol this river so he traps the flow of river in his hairs.
      here the mountains of Himalayas are personified as hairs of shiva,the river ganga exists now too and is know to have a certain bacteria that purifies its water to some extend(not to a great extend but yea a bit. ) .
      and as of thandava he uses it as a tool to supress his rage and anger.
      (2 votes)
  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user Crystalline Alicorn
    At , why do they say his body is smeared in ashes?
    (2 votes)
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  • piceratops seed style avatar for user flyhighstem
    Does anybody know about the Hindu god Lakshmi and Krishna? Along with Shiva?
    (1 vote)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user professorg54
    Who is this "brahman", is he a god of some sort
    (1 vote)
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    • starky sapling style avatar for user Sreerag Nair
      Brahman is said to be a formless entity and also said to be the eternal consciousness from wherein we emerge and we go back to once we achieve moksha (salvation). Till such a point comes, when this current form of yours dies, you are sent back to earth in a different form to accumulate karma.
      (1 vote)
  • blobby green style avatar for user penny.g.caldwell
    What is their proof that these gods exist?
    (0 votes)
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Video transcript

god schewe can take many forms he can appear as a ferocious figure or he can also be depicted as a family man while Shiva has dreadlocks and often he's shown with a third eye on his forehead and he often carries the Trident he's always shown his body smeared with ashes and his hair unkempt and disheveled and bearing a garland of cobras he is represented as the great yogi and the great teacher Shiva may be represented in his symbolic forms such as the Linga or the phallus the Linga is represents the creative power you would recognize that a temple is dedicated to Shiva by the image of the Linga that you would see in the temple sanctuary and here we have got a very interesting object called three pure an taka that means the victory or the three cities and the Shiva is shown here in a as an archer in his victorious pose the legend tells us that by performing severe austerities three demon brothers received a gift of power so that they can build three indestructible cities one of gold in the heavens one of silver in the sky and one of iron in the earth thinking themselves invincible they ravaged both God and man but there was a stipulation that once in thousand years the three cities would join to become one and then it would be possible to destroy them if peers by a single arrow so the man and God petitioned Shiva and when the three cities became united he discharged his mighty arrow and destroyed the cities thus rescuing the world from the evil tyranny Oh