The Lingayats number 436,968, or 46% of the Hindu population; they worship the symbol of Siva, and males and females both carry this emblem about their person in a silver case.
Brahma (n.) is the designation generally applied to the Supreme Soul (paramatman), or impersonal, all-embracing divine essence, the original source and ultimate goal of all that exists; Brahma (m.), on the other hand, is only one of the three hypostases of that divinity whose creative activity he represents, as distinguished from its preservative and destructive aspects, ever apparent in life and nature, and represented by the gods Vishnu and Siva respectively.
On the river bank is a temple to Siva, of hexagonal shape, old and going to ruin.
The Mahrattas generally follow Siva and his wife, a dread goddess known under many names.
The first part of Mihiragula seems to be the name of the Persian deity Mithra, but his patron deity was Siva, and he left behind him the reputation of a ferocious persecutor of Buddhism.
Among the filthiest are the Aghoris, who preserve the ancient cannibal ritual of the followers of Siva, eat filth, and use a human skull as a drinking-vessel.
DURGA, or Devi (Sanskrit for inaccessible), in Hindu mythology, the wife of Siva and daughter of Himavat (the Himalayas).
As Brahma is the creator and Vishnu the preserver, so Siva is the destroyer.
Death being a transition to a new form of life, the destroyer is really a re-creator, and thus Siva is styled the Bright or Happy One.
The Mahavinayaka peak, visible from Cuttack, has been consecrated for ages to Siva-worship by ascetics and pilgrims.
The general shape and style are Roman: the inscriptions are in Greek or in a Persian language written in Greek letters, or in Kharoshthi: the reverse often bears the figure of a deity, either Greek (Herakles, Helios, Selene) or Zoroastrian (Mithra, Vata, Verethraghna) or Indian (generally Siva or a war god).
The principal temple is sacred to Siva, and is said to have been rebuilt or enlarged by a leper emperor, who came south on a pilgrimage and was cured by bathing in the temple tank; upwards of 60,000 pilgrims visit the temple every December.
==Tiger== The tiger is associated with Siva and Durga, but its cult is confined to the wilder tribes; in Nepal the tiger festival is known as Bagh Jatra, and the worshippers dance disguised as tigers.
The man was an Avatar of Vishnu or Siva; his supreme apotheosis is now complete, and the Brahmins feel warranted in providing for him a niche in the orthodox pantheon."'
One relates that he had no mother but was produced by Siva alone, and was suckled by six nymphs of the Ganges, being miraculously endowed with six faces that he might simultaneously obtain nourishment from each.
Another story is that six babes, miraculously conceived, were born of the six nymphs, and that Parvati, the wife of Siva, in her great affection for them, embraced the infants so closely that they became one, but preserved six faces, twelve arms, feet, eyes, &c. Kartikeya became the victor of giants and the leader of the armies of the gods.
So great were his learning and piety that he was regarded as an incarnation of Siva, and his works (commentaries on the Vedanta Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads) exercised a permanent influence on Hindu thought.
Distant, is a group of 108 Siva lingam temples built in 1788.
In the Deccan their place is taken by Lingayats from the south, who again follow their own form of Hinduism, which is an heretical species of Siva worship. Throughout Mysore, and in the north of Madras, Lingayats are still found, but along the eastern sea-board the predominating classes of traders are those named Chetties and Komatis.
The monuments of the great Buddhist monarchs, Asoka and Kanishka, confronted him from the time he neared the Punjab frontier; but so also did the temples of Siva and his " dread " queen Bhima.
The goal of this expedition was the temple dedicated to Siva at Somnath, around which so many legends have gathered.
As regards this latter, purely exoteric, doctrine, there can be little doubt of its owing its origin to considerations of theological expediency, as being calculated to supply a sufficiently wide formula of belief for general acceptance; and the very fact of this divine triad including the two principal deities of the later sectarian worship, Vishnu and Siva, goes far to show that these two gods at all events must have been already in those early days favourite objects of popular adoration to an extent sufficient to preclude their being ignored by a diplomatic priesthood bent upon the formulation of a common creed.
That the theory of the triple manifestation of the deity was indeed only a compromise between Brahmanical aspirations and popular worship, probably largely influenced by the traditional sanctity of the number three, is sufficiently clear from the fact that, whilst Brahma, the creator, and at the same time the very embodiment of Brahmanical class pride, has practically remained a mere figurehead in the actual worship of the people, Siva, on the other hand, so far from being merely the destroyer, is also the unmistakable representative of generative and reproductive power in nature.
In the estimation of these people "Siva and Vishnu may be more dignified beings, but the village deity is regarded as a more present help in trouble, and more intimately concerned with the happiness and prosperity of the villagers.
2 It is a significant fact that, whilst in the worship of Siva and Vishnu, at which no animal sacrifices are offered, the officiating priests are almost invariably Brahmans, this is practically never the case at the popular performance of those "gloomy and weird rites for the propitiation of angry deities, or the driving away of evil spirits, when the pujaris (or ministrants) are drawn from all other castes, even from the Pariahs, the out-caste section of Indian society."
Both these divine figures have grown out of Vedic conceptions - the genial Vishnu mainly out of a not very prominent solar deity of the same name; whilst the stern Siva, i.e.
Two of such new gods actually pass as the sons of Siva and his consort Parvati, viz.
Skandaalso called Kumara (the youth), Karttikeya, or Subrahmanya (in the south) - the six-headed war-lord of the gods; and Ganese, the lord (or leader) of Siva's troupes of attendants, being at the same time the elephant-headed, paunch-bellied god of wisdom; whilst a third, Kama (Kamadeva) or Kandarpa, the god of love, gets his popular epithet of Ananga," the bodiless,"from his having once, in frolicsome play, tried the power of his arrows upon Siva, whilst engaged in austere practices, when a single glance from the third (forehead) eye of the angry god reduced the mischievous urchin to ashes.
But, in this repect, we also meet in the epics with the first clear evidence of what in after time became the prominent feature of the worship of Siva and his consort all over India, viz.
Though Siva, too, assumes various forms, the incarnation theory is peculiarly characteristic of Vaishnavism; and the fact that the principal hero of the Ramayana (Rama), and one of the prominent warriors of the Mahabharata (Krishna) become in this way identified with the supreme god, and remain to this day the chief objects of the adoration of Vaishnava sectaries, naturally imparts to these creeds a human interest and sympathetic aspect which is wholly wanting in the worship of Siva.
Though himself, like most Brahmans, apparently by predilection a follower of Siva, his aim was the revival of the doctrine of the Brahma as the one self-existent Being and the sole cause of the universe; coupled with the recognition of the practical worship of the orthodox pantheon, especially the gods of the Trimurti, as manifestations of the supreme deity.
Since the time of Sankara, or for more than a thousand years, the gods Vishnu and Siva, or Hari and Hara as they are also.
The high-caste Brahman will probably keep at his home asalagram stone, the favourite symbol of Vishnu, as well as the characteristic emblems of Siva and his consort, to both of which he will do reverence in the morning; and when he visits some holy place of pilgrimage, he will not fail to pay his homage at both the Saiva and the Vaishnava shrines there.
Siva has at all times been the favourite god of the Brahmans,' and his worship is accordingly more widely extended than that of his rival, especially in southern India.
Indeed there is hardly a village in India which cannot boast of a shrine dedicated to Siva, and containing the emblem of his reproductive power; for almost the only form in which the" Great God "is adored is the Linga, consisting usually of an upright cylindrical block of marble or other stone, mostly resting on a circular perforated slab.
Wilson remarks," notwithstanding the acknowledged purport of this worship, it is but justice to state that it is unattended in Upper India by any indecent or indelicate ceremonies, and it requires a rather lively imagination to trace any resemblance in its symbols to the objects they are supposed to represent."In spite, however, of its wide diffusion, and the vast number of shrines dedicated to it, the worship of Siva has never assumed a really popular character, especially in northern India, being attended with scarcely any solemnity or display of emotional spirit.
Amongst the many thousands of Lingas, twelve are usually regarded as of especial sanctity, one of which, that of Somnath in Gujarat, where Siva is worshipped as" the lord of Soma,"was, however, shattered by Mahmud of Ghazni; whilst another, representing Siva as Visvesvara, or" Lord of the Universe,"is the chief object of adoration at Benares, the great centre of Siva-worship. The Saivas of southern India, on the other hand, single out as peculiarly sacred five of their temples which are supposed to enshrine as many characteristic aspects (linga) of the god in the form of the five elements, the most holy of these being the shrine of Chidambaram (i.e."
Natesa (Hindu Feasts, Fasts and Ceremonies)," the several forms of the god Siva in these sacred shrines are considered to be the bodies or casements of the soul whose ' Siva is said to have first appeared in the beginning of the present age as Sveta, the White, for the purpose of benefiting the Brahmans, and he is invariably painted white; whilst Vishnu, when pictured, is always of a dark-blue colour.
Rudra's eye "), sacred to Siva, and allowing their hair to grow till it becomes matted and filthy.
That these two figures would appeal far more strongly to the hearts and feelings of the people, especially the warlike Kshatriyas, 1 than the austere Siva is only what might have been expected; and, indeed, since the time of the epics their cult seems never to have lacked numerous adherents.
1199, was less intolerant of the Linga cult than Ramanuja, but seems rather to have aimed at a reconciliation of the Saiva and Vaishnava forms of worship. The Madhvas or Madhvacharis favour Krishna and his consort as their special objects of adoration, whilst images of Siva, Parvati, and their son Ganesa are, however, likewise admitted and worshipped in some of their temples, the most important of which is at Udipi in South Kanara, with eight monasteries connected with it.
What has made this cult attach itself more especially to the Saiva creed is doubtless the character of Siva as the type of reproductive power, in addition to his function as destroyer which, as we shall see, is likewise reflected in some of the forms of his Sakti.
In these works, almost invariably composed in the form of a colloquy, Siva, as a rule, in answer to questions asked by his consort Parvati, unfolds the mysteries of this occult creed.
If the worship of Siva, despite the purport of his chief symbol, seems on the whole less liable to produce these undesirable effects than that of the rival deity, it is doubt- less due partly to the real nature of that emblem being little realized by the common people, and partly to the somewhat repellent character of the "great god," more favourable to evoking feelings of awe and terror than a spirit of fervid devotion.
But the city was most famous for the temple just outside its walls in which stood the great idol or rather columnar emblem of Siva called Somnath (Moon's lord), which was destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni.
It seems to have been originally included, along with the greater part of north-eastern Bengal, in the old Hindu territory of Kamrup. Its early legends point to great religious revolutions between the rival rites of Krishna and Siva as a source of dynastic changes.
He lost much of his supremacy when the triad Brahma, Siva and Vishnu became predominant.
As in India, after the expulsion of Buddhism, the degrading worship of Siva and his dusky bride had been incorporated into Hinduism from the savage devil worship of Aryan and of non-Aryan tribes, so, as pure Buddhism died away in the north, the Tantra system, a mixture of magic and witchcraft and sorcery, was incorporated into the corrupted Buddhism.
The two queens have become semi-divine personages, and are worshipped under the name of the two Dard-Eke, the " glorious mothers," being regarded as incarnations of the wife of Siva, representing respectively two of the qualities which she personifies, divine vengeance and divine love.
Older than this temple are the Vaikuntha Perumal temple of Vishnu and the Siva temple of Kailasanath, which date from the time of the Pallava kings.