Short DescriptionsUnderstanding Shiva (English Books): This book is an effort at unraveling the layers of meaning of Shiva from a scientific, universal perspective. It tries to look at Shiva from the standpoints of Shivaratri and its experience, the Shiva tattva, the primordial connection of Shiva, its cosmic perception in the form of Rudra, the earthly view in a human form, the various symbolisms attached to the form of Shiva and the other popular forms in which Shiva is worshipped.
In India, Shiva has been depicted as the Supreme Power that pervades all of space and everything in it. Shiva means ‘Mangalam’ or ‘auspicious’. Shiva can be split into sha+ee+va where "Sha" stands for Shareeram or Body "EE" stands for Eeshwar or life-giving energy and VA stands for Vayu or motion. Thus Shiva represents a body with life and motion. Shiva is auspicious, Shiva is potential and Shiva is life. Shivratri is the special day when devotees stay up the night to meditate upon the Shiva Tattva, the shiva energy. A variety of forms and aspects of Shiva are worshipped in India. If you wish to worship him as a teacher he is Dakshinamurthy, Maheshwara, if the 5 elements that make up the bodies of this cosmos are to be prayed to, Sadashiva, if the eternal one who keeps the cycle of regeneration going has to be revered, Mahakaleshwar, if the keeper of time has to be bowed down to, Kala Bhairava, if the slayer of time has to be invoked and Omkarnath, if the Lord or originator of Om has to be asked for blessings. Is Shiva only these physical manifestations? No, since he is associated with the concept of death and destruction, he is also the regenerative principle. Shiva also signifies change. It is Nitya Pralaya or daily regeneration when the old cells are replaced by new ones, blood is purified and circulated and new blood cells are produced in the body. Avantara Pralaya or seasonal regeneration can be seen in nature. Shiva is a celebration too. Shivratri is a celebration of anticipating and helping change to happen. Shiva has many more layers of meanings attached to his name. This book is thus a bold attempt to decode the cosmic phenomena called Shiva.