The previous paragraphs point out how Lord Shiva participated in the creation process as Shambhu, and it is also related how Lord Shiva appeared in this world in a personal form from Lord Brahma. It is explained in the Bhagavatam (3.12.4), that in the beginning of the creation process, Lord Brahma manifested four great sages named Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and Sanat-kumara. Brahma expected them to assist in filling the universe with varieties of living beings. However, they were unwilling to adopt materialistic activities because they were highly elevated beings. Brahma requested that they begin to produce progeny, but they refused because they were already attached to Lord Vasudeva, the Supreme Lord, and were focused on achieving liberation. So they expressed their unwillingness, which made Lord Brahma extremely angry.

       The anger generated in the mind of Lord Brahma, though he tried to control it, came out from between his eyebrows. Immediately there was produced a child of mixed red and blue color. This child immediately began to cry and requested to Lord Brahma, ?O destiny maker, teacher of the universe, kindly designate my name and place.? Lord Brahma then pacified the boy and said, ?O chief of the demigods, you shall be called Rudra because you have cried so anxiously.? Then Brahma gave Rudra the following places for his residence: the heart, the senses, the life-air of the body, the sky, the air, the fire, water, earth, sun, the moon and austerity. He then told Rudra that he would be known by eleven other names: Manyu, Manu, Mahan, Shiva, Ritadhvaja, Ugrareta, Bhava, Kala, Vamadeva and Dhritavrata. These names represent the other aspects of Lord Shiva, each having different appearances and activities. Rudra is often shown as tall, well built, with long hair, wielding the thunderbolt, bow and arrow. He is viewed as the protector of humanity against its enemies. He is also known as an excellent physician and has numerous medicines which can cure diseases. Brahma also told Rudra that he would have eleven wives, namely Dhi, Dhriti, Rasala, Uma, Niyut, Sarpi, Ila, Ambika, Iravati, Svadha and Diksha.

       Brahma then told Rudra to accept these names and wives, and that since he was one of the masters of the living beings, he should now increase the population on a large scale. Rudra then created many offspring that resembled him in color, strength, and furious nature. They were unlimited in number, and when they gathered together, they attempted to devour the universe. Brahma, becoming alarmed at the situation, then requested Rudra not to generate living beings of this nature. It would be better if Rudra engaged himself in penance, or meditation, which is auspicious for all. Through penance he could create the universe as it was before. By penance only can one approach the Supreme Lord, who is within the heart of every living being and at the same time beyond the reach of the senses. Thus Rudra accepted the advice of his father, Brahma, and went to the forest to perform austere penances. This is why we so often see Shiva pictured in the mountain forests engaged in meditation.




      Some of Shiva?s other names include Dakshinamurti, meaning a universal teacher. Then there is Trilochana (Three-eyed), Nila-kantha (Blue-throated), Pancha-anana (Five-faced), Chandrashekhara (Moon-crested), Gangadhara (Bearer of the Ganga), Girisha (Mountain Lord), Jatadhara (Wearer of matted hair), Sthanu (Immutable), Visvanatha (Lord of the Universe), Bhairava (the Terrible, destructive aspect of Shiva), Bhutesha or Bhuteshvara (Lord of ghosts or elements), Hara (remover of death), Shambhu (abode of joy), Shankara (giver of joy), Bhava (existence), Mahadeva (great God), Ashani (thunderbolt), Isha or Ishana (the ruler), Pashupati (the herdsman or friend of animals), Mritunjaya (conqueror of death), Aghora (non-fearful), Ugra (the fearful), Bhima (the tremendous), Rudra (Lord of tears), Shuli, Maheshvara, Ishvara, Sharva, Khandaparashu, Mrida, Krittivasas, Pinaki, Pramathadhipa, Kapardi, Shrikantha, Shitikantha, Kapalabhrit, Vamadeva, Mahadeva, Virupaksha, Krishanuretas, Sarvajna, Dhurjati, Nilalohita, Smarahara, Bharga, Tryambaka, Tripurantaka, Antakaripu, Kratudhvamsi, Vrishadhvaja, Vyomakesha, Umapati, Ahirbudhnya, Ashtamurti, Gajari, Mahanata, and others. The 1000 names of Shiva can be found in Chapter 17 of the Anushasana Parva of the Mahabharata, as well as the Linga Purana (1.65-98).


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