Shiva is one of the most important gods of Hinduism. In Indian thought the god Brahma is the creator, Vishnu the maintainer and Shiva the destroyer of creation. In some forms, Shiva is an ‘algade’ who fulfils all functions. Characteristic of Shiva is his long hair, often tautly tied, containing a crescent of the moon and a skull. Shiva has a third eye on his forehead, which originated when Parvati, Shiva’s wife, jokedly covered his eyes. The whole world became dark. Suddenly a beam of light jumped out of Shiva’s forehead to replace the sun. This became the third eye. In his stretched earlobes Shiva wears various earrings, which symbolise the male and female. Shiva has four arms that can hold different attributes each time, depending on the shape in which the god appears.
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