Shiva is one of the principal Hindu deities. In Indian thinking Brahma is the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer of creation. In some incarnations Shiva is an omnipotent deity who fulfils all functions. A characteristic of Shiva is his long hair, often tied up in a knot with a crescent moon and a skull.

Shiva has a third eye on his forehead, which appeared when Parvati, his wife, covered his two eyes as a joke. The whole world turned dark. Suddenly a beam of light emanated from Shiva’s head, to replace the sun. This was the deity’s third eye.

Different earrings hang from Shiva’s elongated earlobes, symbolizing the male and the female. Shiva has four arms which hold various attributes depending on the god’s incarnation.



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