The word “A” is pronounced as “ah”. It means “peace”, and it is used in many different contexts. A person’s name is derived from this word.
In ancient times, the god Indra was known as the protector of all things. The goddess Parvati (meaning “the one who gives birth”) was born from him, and she gave birth to Shiva (meaning “one who protects”). Thus, Shiva became a symbol of protection.
Shiva is considered to be the most powerful Hindu deity. His attributes include strength, power, wisdom, speed and agility. Shiva is also associated with the four elements: fire (which represents life), water (which represents fertility), earth (representing stability) and air (which represents knowledge).
Shiva is sometimes represented as a bull or a serpent. He often wears a trident which symbolizes his ability to control fire.
Shiva is believed to have been born from the ocean. According to some legends, he was killed by a demon named Yama, but later resurrected when Lord Vishnu cast a spell over Yama’s daughter Sita. Shiva is also sometimes depicted as having wings like a bird or as having human form.
According to Hindu mythology, Shiva was once a mortal man called Shatrughanjaya (or Shatrughinjaya). His story is seen as an allegory for how a mortal man can achieve immortality by uniting with God.
Some sources claim that when the demon king Ravana in the Ramayana tried to abduct Sita, she was protected by a mysterious being with a third eye. The creature is believed to be an avatar of Shiva.
It is believed that Lord Vishnu once held an incredible dance party at his palace that lasted for endless years. Many divine beings and supernatural creatures attended this party, and all had a wonderful time. But, eventually, the party had to end. When it did end, Lord Vishnu decided to give immortality to whoever stayed behind to close the door of his palace.
When the door was finally closed, only three people remained inside: the demon Nandi (Lord Vishnu’s gatekeeper), a small mouse and Lord Shiva himself. Nandi was quickly rejected by Lord Vishnu because he was a demon. The mouse was rejected because it was too tiny. That left only Shiva, who was chosen because he alone was completely still while the other two were moving. Lord Vishnu’s dance was so magnificent that it had slowed the entire universe down to a standstill.
It is believed that by being in the exact center of this stillness, Shiva achieved immortality.
In several stories, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva are depicted as rivals. One story claims that they both wanted to be the sole lord of the universe. In order to decide this, they decided that the first thing that one of them saw upon waking up in the morning would belong to that person. Of course, both of them woke up at the same time and saw each other. They argued and fought over this for a long time, but neither was willing to back down.
Finally, Ganesha (the god with an elephant head), intervened and ended the quarrel. It is believed he did this by moving very quickly and placing a lump of dirt in between Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva when they woke up.
In some stories, Ganesha and Lord Shiva are depicted as rivals. One story claims that Ganesha was created by Lord Shiva’s wife Parvati in order to keep him away from her. After Ganesha was brought to life, he and Lord Shiva argued over who should be Parvati’s husband.
Because Ganesha was very proud of his elephant head, he claimed that he was the superior being. In order to punish Ganesha for his arrogance, Lord Shiva lopped off his head. After doing this, Lord Shiva quickly felt guilty about what he had just done and replaced Ganesha’s head with that of an elephant’s.
In some stories, Ganesha’s head is replaced with that of a goat’s. In these versions of the story, Parvati created Ganesha in order to find a husband for her. Ganesha was brought to life, but he was so ugly and misshapen that he frightened Parvati. In order to get rid of him, Ganesha declared that he would only leave Parvati alone if she could find somebody more ugly and misshapen than he was. Parvati brought this creature to Lord Shiva, who agreed that Ganesha was indeed more ugly and misshapen than the creature.
In his rage, Lord Shiva lopped off Ganesha’s head.
Ganesha’s head was replaced with that of a donkey. In some versions of the story, Ganesha is completely replaced by a donkey. In these versions of the story, Parvati created Ganesha from dirt in order to keep Lord Shiva away from her. Lord Shiva did not like Parvati’s new toy and destroyed him.
In some stories, Ganesha is depicted as a womanizer that uses his ability to create obstacles in order to prevent women from marrying other men. One story claims that he was defeated by an angry husband in a battle of wits.
In some stories, Ganesh tries to stop the marriage of Lord Shiva to Parvati by creating an obstacle course that only Lord Shiva could get through. When he fails to stop the marriage, Ganesha loses his temper and destroys all of the obstacles.
In other stories, Ganesha tries to stop the marriage of Lord Shiva to Parvati by creating an obstacle course that no one could get through. In this version of the story, Ganesha succeeds and this blocks the marriage. Lord Shiva is so angry at Ganesha that he beheads him. In some versions of this story, Parvati becomes angry with Lord Shiva for beheading Ganesha and leaves him. In these versions of the story, Lord Shiva also becomes angry at himself for losing Parvati and spends the rest of his life mourning her.
In other stories, Ganesha helps the marriage of Lord Shiva to Parvati by creating a path for them to walk down without any obstacles.
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