In this ninety archive story by Kristian Bertel, we learn about one of the most important gods in the Hindu pantheon in Varanasi, India.
Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
Shiva also known as Mahadeva which literaly means the great god is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. He is one of the supreme beings within Shaivism, one of the major traditions within contemporary Hinduism. Shiva is one of the three major deities of Hinduism and he is the most important Hindu god for the Shaivism sect, the patron of Yogis and Brahmins, and also the protector of the Vedas, the sacred texts.
Shiva also known as Mahadeva which literaly means the great god is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. He is one of the supreme beings within Shaivism, one of the major traditions within contemporary Hinduism. Shiva is one of the three major deities of Hinduism and he is the most important Hindu god for the Shaivism sect, the patron of Yogis and Brahmins, and also the protector of the Vedas, the sacred texts.

Sri Sri Shiva Mahadeva

The iconographical attributes of Shiva are the serpent around his neck, the adorning crescent moon, the holy river Ganga flowing from his matted hair, the third eye on his forehead, the trishula or trident, as his weapon and the damaru drum.

Supreme God in Shaivism
Shiva is worshiped as the supreme god within Shaivism, one of the three most influential denominations in contemporary Hinduism. The main iconographical attributes of Shiva are the third eye on his forehead, the snake Vasuki around his neck, the adorning crescent moon, the holy river Ganga flowing from his matted hair, the trishula as his weapon and the damaru as his musical instrument. Shiva is usually worshiped in the aniconic form of Lingam. The worship of Shiva is a pan-Hindu tradition, practiced widely across all of India and is here photographed in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India.

"Shiva or Siva is one of the most important gods in the Hindu pantheon and, along with Brahma and Vishnu, is considered a member of the holy trinity also known as the Trimurti of Hinduism"

Many names for Indian god
Shiva is known by many names such as Viswanatha, which means Lord of the universe, Mahadeva, Mahandeo, Mahasu, Mahesha, Maheshvara, Shankara, Shambhu, Rudra, Hara, Trilochana, Devendra which means Chief of the gods, Neelakanta, Subhankara, Trilokinatha which means Lord of the three realms and Ghrneshwar, which means lord of compassion. Shiva is considered the Great Yogi who is totally absorbed in himself – the transcendental reality. He is the Lord of Yogis and the teacher of Yoga to sages. As Shiva Dakshinamurthi he is the supreme guru who teaches in silence the oneness of one's innermost self Atman with the ultimate reality. The theory and practice of Yoga, in different styles, has been a part of all major traditions of Hinduism, and Shiva has been the patron or spokesperson in numerous Hindu Yoga texts. These contain the philosophy and techniques for Yoga. These ideas are estimated to be from or after the late centuries of the first millennium and have survived as Yoga texts such as the Isvara Gita which literally means Shiva's song which has been stated to have had a profound and lasting influence on the development of Hinduism.

Other famed Shiva-related texts influenced Hatha Yoga, integrated monistic known as Advaita Vedanta ideas with Yoga philosophy and inspired the theoretical development of Indian classical dance. These include the Shiva Sutras, the Shiva Samhita, and those by the scholars of Kashmir Shaivism such as the 10th-century scholar Abhinavagupta. Abhinavagupta writes in his notes on the relevance of ideas related to Shiva and Yoga, by stating that people, occupied as they are with their own affairs, normally do nothing for others and Shiva and Yoga spirituality helps one look beyond, understand interconnectedness, and thus benefit both the individual and the world towards a more blissful state of existence. The Trimurti is a concept in Hinduism in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified by the forms of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver and Shiva the destroyer or transformer. These three deities have been called The Hindu triad or the Great Trinity. However, the ancient and medieval texts of Hinduism feature many triads of gods and goddesses, some of which do not include Shiva. Ardhanarishvara, which actually means 'Lord who is half woman' and composite male-female figure of the Hindu god Shiva together with his consort Parvati. As seen in many Indian and Southeast Asian sculptures, the right male half of the figure is adorned with the traditional ornaments of Shiva.

Everyone is Mahadeva
The Hindi saying 'Har Har Mahadeva' means everyone is Mahadeva, since Shiva resides as Aatma rudra, which means soul in every living being. Hindu religion believes in symbolisms and the blue color is a symbol of the infinite and the immeasurable. According to Swami Chinmayananda, the inspiration behind Chinmaya Mission, whatever is immeasurable can appear to the mortal eye only as blue, just like the cloudless summer sky appears blue to the physical eye.

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More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of Shiva in Varanasi. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.