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Hinduism - Traditions of Siva

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Essay title: Hinduism - Traditions of Siva

Traditions Of Siva

India Garcia

12/8/08

Prof. Glen Hayes

Hinduism- Essay #4

Traditions of Siva

Siva is the prototypical destroyer; he has the responsibility of destroying all of the worlds at the end of creation and dissolves them to nothingness. Siva has many things he must destroy before the world comes to an end. The things he will destroy are beneficial to Hinduism because he ensures the spiritual progress to move along. Siva destroys the false selves and the myriad illusions. Siva is known to be the god of anger.

Siva destroys the ignorance, illusions, and desires. He also destroys the non positive nature and evil that surrounds them. He washes away the old memories, so that they are able to move on with their lives. He demolishes the relationships, impurities, physical and mental wrong doings, the effects of bad Karma, the passions and emotions that try and come between them and their Gods. When Siva is done destroying all the harmful and non useful things he makes them well prepared for what is to come next. Siva makes it so that when they are ready to face any inner conflict they are prepared and willing to face anything; when they are at that point then Siva will then destroy death.

Siva lives with his family; but although he does in fact live with his family he is very fond of whom they call his better half Parvathi. He married her after he had her take many tests. Parvathi shares half of his body and because she does share half his body, he is now what they call half female half lord. He has two children Skanda or Kumara and Lord Ganesha or Vinayaka.

The minor deities of Siva that are important are Nandi, Bhringi, Virabhadra, and chandesvara. Nandi is Siva's vehicle. Nandi taught the secrets of Vedas and lessons of humility. Bhringi was a demon named Andhaka but now has transformed by Siva into a humble devotee and admitted to be the force as a commander of his armies. He was so loyal to Siva he would not offer his worship to anyone not even Siva's better half Parvathi. Virabhadra is Siva in his ferocious mood. Siva made himself as Virabhadra when his father in law Daksha insulated and gave a treatment to his wife Sati which was Daksha father. Virabhadra has an image of being angry. (Rodrigues, 195.) Chandesvara is an aspect of Chandi in human forms which elevate to the status of divinity which signify's the connection between Siva and Chandi, or Durga. He is a ferocious God which is always ready and prepared for war and battle.

Many of the traditions Siva and his family are based on what they are taught and believe. It also depends on what it passed down from generation to generation and what they feel the need to continue to practice. Traditions and rituals we practice are unchanged and, an understanding of the shlokas /mantras, or propitiation of our gods will help us understand ourselves and our cultural roots wherever we are in the world today. (http://www.sawf.org/newedit/edit10112004/culture.asp)

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