Attributes: Unclad body smeared with ashes: This form of Lord Shiva symbolizes the transcendental aspect of his nature and indicates that his presence is much higher than this physical phenomenon.
Jata (Matted Hair): The flow of his matted hair represents Shiva as the Lord of Wind or Vayu, who is the subtle form of breath present in all living beings. It shows that Shiva is Pashupatinath, Lord Of All Living Beings.
Sacred Ganga: The river Ganga (or Ganges) is the most sacred river for pious Hindus. According to a legend, the river Ganga has its source in Shiva and flows from his matted hair. This is symbolically represented by depicting Ganga as a jet of water sprinkling out of the head of the Lord and falling on the ground.
The Third Eye: In the great Hindu epic Mahabharata, Lord Shiva is depicted as a three-eyed God. Hence, he is often referred to as Tryambaka Deva, meaning "three-eyed Lord". The sun is said to be his right eye, the moon the left eye while fire is his third eye.
Half-Open Eyes: The half-open eyes signify that creation is going through an eternal cyclic process, with no beginning and no end.
Crescent: Lord Shiva is typically pictured as wearing a crescent-shaped ornament on one side of his head. This is why he is often called 'Chandrasekhara' meaning "Having the moon as his crest". The Crescent is actually the moon in its fifth day phase and symbolizes the time cycle through which creation evolves from the beginning to the end.
The Snake around the neck: Lord Shiva is often shown with a snake curled three times around His neck and looking towards His right side. The three coils of the snake symbolize the past, present and future - time in cycles.
Vibhuti: The three line of ashes drawn on the forehead of the Lord is known as the Vibhuti. It signifies the Immortality of the Lord and his manifested glory.
Tiger Skin: Hindu mythology states that the tiger is the vehicle of Shakti, the Goddess of power and force. Lord Shiva is often shown seated upon or wearing a tiger skin, which emphasizes the fact that he is the master of Shakti and is beyond and above any kind of force.
The Elephant and Deer Skin: The Lord also wears elephant and deer skins. Elephants stand in for pride while deer represent the flickering mind. Wearing elephant and deer skin shows that Lord Shiva has conquered both these vices.
Rudraksha Necklace: He is almost always shown as wearing a necklace having 108 beads made with seeds of the Rudraksha tree. The beads represent the elements used in the creation of the world.
Damaru (Drum): It is the small hourglass-shaped drum that the Lord holds in one of his hands in a specific gesture called 'damaru-hasta'.When a damaru is shaken, it produces Nada, the cosmic sound of AUM, which can be heard during deep meditation. According to Hindu scriptures, Nada is the source of creation. This is one of the attributes of Shiva in his famous dancing representation known as Nataraja.
Trishul (Trident): The trident, or the spear with three prongs, is one of the accessories of the Lord and symbolizes His three fundamental powers iccha(will), kriya(action) and jnana(knowledge).
Kamandalu: The water pot (Kamandalu) often shown adjacent to the Lord is another of his accessories. It is said to be made from a dry pumpkin and containing amrit (nectar).
Kundalas: The Kundalas refer to the two ear rings, Alakshya (meaning "which cannot be shown by any sign") and Niranjan (meaning "which cannot be seen by mortal eyes"), worn by the Lord. The ornaments in the ears of the Lord signify that He is beyond ordinary perception. It is noteworthy that the kundala in the left ear of the Lord is of the type used by women and the one in His right ear is of the type used by men. The dual type of Kundalas represent the Shiva and Shakti (male and female) principle of creation.
Mount Kailasa: Lord Shiva is most often shown to be seated with the beautiful Himalayas serving as his backdrop. Mount Kailash in the Himalayas is said to be His traditional abode. In Hindu mythology, Mount Kailasa is said to represent the center of the universe. This denotes that Lord Shiva is 'Kailas' - the bestower of peace and also 'Kailashadhipati' meaning "Lord Of Mount Kailash".
Nandi, the Bull: Nandi is the Bull of Lord Shiva and is said to be his vehicle. The bull is a symbol both of power and ignorance which suggests that Lord Shiva removes ignorance of his devotees and gives them the power of wisdom. In Sanskrit a bull is called "Vrisha" which also means "righteousness". The Nandi bull beside Lord Shiva indicates that He is the eternal companion of righteousness.
SHARED BY ; Durai Rajan @ guggle +