Chapter

Śiva

Arvind Sharma

in Classical Hindu Thought

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780195658712
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199082018 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195658712.003.0009
Śiva

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This chapter focuses on Śiva, the third God of the Hindu trinity, responsible for destruction. In order to understand his role properly, we must shed the negative emotional reaction associated with the word destruction. There is nothing perverse in the process of destruction associated with Śiva. First of all, the process is a natural one. At its appointed time, the universe must dissolve into its subtle form, from which it will manifest again. Not only does destruction possess a natural aspect, it may also possess a beneficial one. Thus, not only can evil be destroyed, but illness, misfortune, even radical metaphysical ignorance, and the cycle of births and rebirths to which it leads, can be destroyed. Thus, Śiva is far from being just a horrific god; he is a salvific god too.

Keywords: Hindu trinity; Śiva; salvific god; destruction; dissolution; re-manifestation; universe

Chapter.  1317 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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