Lord Shiva holds a position of remarkable recognition as one of the most well-known Hindu deities worldwide. He is commonly associated with the role of the god of ultimate destruction, but ancient scriptures also depict him as the universe’s resurrector.
Within Hinduism, he ranks among the three most prominent gods, alongside Brahma and Vishnu, collectively referred to as the Trimurti. Lord Shiva commands a vast and devoted following among worshipers, and his influence stretches even into the scientific community.
A striking illustration of this can be found at the entrance to the world’s largest physics laboratory, CERN, in Switzerland. There, a statue portraying Nataraja, Lord Shiva as the divine cosmic dancer, stands as a powerful symbol.
This convergence of science and spirituality underscores the enduring impact and appeal of Lord Shiva in diverse aspects of life.
People Are Unaware Of Lord Shiva’s Birth
Despite his immense popularity, many remain in the dark about the origins of Lord Shiva. Questions often arise regarding his parentage and birth. This curiosity extends to the other two members of the Trimurti, Brahma and Vishnu, whose true origins are equally shrouded in mystery.
In this article, we aim to delve into the scriptures, particularly the Puranas, to shed light on the enigmatic birth of Lord Shiva.
The Exact Meaning Of The Word “Shiva”
Among the average Hindus of India, there is a deep-rooted belief that Lord Shiva is an eternal entity, never born or created. The very definition of the name ‘Shiva’ implies this notion, as ‘Shiva‘ translates to ‘that which is not.’
However, Shiva is also revered as Adiyogi, often considered the first yogi and the originator of yoga. This connection between Shiva and Adiyogi highlights their synonymous nature in many aspects.
Lord Shiva (Adi Yogi) Was Born As Human Being
Now, things can become rather perplexing! When we envision Lord Shiva as the first yogi residing atop Mount Kailash, it’s easy to unintentionally start perceiving him as a divine human being, rather than understanding his true nature as a non-physical and eternal entity.
The legends woven into ancient scriptures further complicate matters, making it challenging for the average person to grasp the intricacies of Lord Shiva’s origin in a logical or easily understandable way.
Certain spiritual gurus propose that Adiyogi, the originator of yoga, was indeed a human being who lived thousands of years ago. This individual is often mistaken as the actual Lord Shiva, but in reality, they are not one and the same.
More Evidence Of His Existence In Past
If you delve deeper into the history of Tantrism, you may come across mentions of a figure known as ‘Sada Shiva,’ who bears a striking resemblance to the Lord Shiva we are familiar with today. Within the Tantric tradition, it is believed that Sada Shiva was the first to impart the teachings of tantra vidyas to his disciples.
He is credited with initiating the tradition of ‘Guru–shishya Parampara,’ where knowledge is passed down from guru (teacher) to shishya (student). Moreover, in various events recounted in epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, as well as other texts, Lord Shiva is depicted as physically appearing before his devotees to grant their wishes.
These occurrences might be considered as evidence suggesting that, at some point in the past (or possibly even now, who can say for certain), there was an individual whom we have come to know as Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva In Two Different Forms – Symbolic And Physical
The real perplexity arises when we worship Lord Shiva in two distinct forms. One is the Lingam, also known as Shivalinga, which holds symbolic significance, and the other is his physical form, often depicted in a meditative posture atop Mount Kailash.
In the vast pantheon of Hinduism, there are likely no other deities who are venerated in two such different manifestations. Yet, it is the Lingam that stands as the predominant form of Lord Shiva and dominates our mental imagery when we think of him. This is evident from the fact that in every Shiva temple across the world, the Lingam is worshipped as the presiding deity.
Who Gave Birth To Lord Shiva’s Physical Form?
Several scriptures, most notably the Shiva Purana, shed light on the true origin of Lord Shiva. During the sacred marriage rituals of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati, the chief priest inquired about Shiva’s lineage. To this question, Lord Shiva maintained a dignified silence.
After repeated queries, Narad Muni, who stood behind Lord Shiva, declared that he is ‘Ajanma‘ (unborn) and ‘Anant‘ (infinite). This signifies that Lord Shiva had no parents, and no one gave birth to him. In Hindu beliefs, Lord Shiva is often referred to as ‘Swayambhu,’ signifying that he is self-created.