lord of the cremation – Shiva


Shiva, the third god of the Hindu triad, has three eyes, the third one (between the eyebrows) being usually closed, except at the time of destruction of things. He wears long hair, supports the holy Ganga river on his head and the crescent moon on his matted hair. He has two to four arms, holds a trident in his hand, is naked except for a tiger-skin, besmears himself with ash and is decorated with snakes on his head, neck and arms. He is very fair-coloured but has a blue throat due to his having drunk poison during the time of the churning of the ocean by the gods. In his other hands he holds an axe, an antelope, and an hour-glass shaped drum called a ‘damru’. He wears a garland of skulls and is also known as the lord of the cremation grounds. His consort is Parvati and he is the father of Ganesha and Skanda (Kartikeya). His vehicle is the bull called Nandi.

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