a). Bhava (The Originator of Things) - As Bhava, Shiva rules over
the east, the direction of beauty and of the sun. In this form he
protects the humble, wanderers (mendicants or nomads), the
excommunicated, and the excluded etc.
b). Sharva (The Archer) - Ruler of the south, the direction of
death and of the ancestors.
c). Pashupati (Lord of the Animals) - Rules over the west, the
direction of night and of magic.
d). Ugra (The Terrible) - Rules over north, the direction of the
e). Rudra (Lord of Tears) - Rules over the nether regions.
f). Ishana (The Supreme Sovereign) - Rules over the vault of heaven
and the gods.
Rudra, Sharva and Ugra are the destructive aspects of Shiva, whilst
Bhava, Pashupati, and Ishana are his benevolent aspects.
Here the sculptor has sought to delineate Shiva in his benevolent
aspect of 'Bhava,' or the 'Source of all things he is seated on a
tiger skin, and the head of the dead animal can be seen hanging
over the symbolic mound which signifies the Mount Kailash, whose
summit serves as his abode. The ornaments adorning him (armlets,
bracelets and necklaces) are made up of the sacred rudraksh beads.
In addition, he wears a amuletic choker and also a serpent coils
himself around his neck, rasing its venomous hood at Shiva's right
Shiva's attire is composed solely of an animal-skin loin cloth,
worn typically by sadhus and mendicants. The sacred thread crosses
his body diagonally. His right hand is raised in the mudra of
blessing. Inscribed over the palm is AUM, Hinduism's holiest
mantra. The trident stands majestically in the background, and tied
to it is the damaru, the hourglass shaped drum, Shiva's favorite
musical instrument. The swirls of his hair are tied in a high knot,
perceptible there is a distinctly feminine face. She is Ganga, and
the whirls symbolize her scared waters.
For practising Yoga and for performing beneficent rites, one must
always face east. Indeed, temples dedicated to the beneficent
aspects of a god, always open to the east.
This is what the Linga Purana say about Shiva as Bhava:
"Bhava, the knower of the Veda say, is the all-powerful god. He is
the nature of the life of the worlds. His consort is called
Peace-of-the-Night (Uma) by the sages, his son is the planet Venus.
He is the reservoir of the seed of the seven worlds; he is the
protector of the seven worlds." (Linga Purana 2.13.5-6.).
Banerjee, P. Early Indian Religions: Delhi, 1973.
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