The dissolving principle (Laya). His consort is Parvati, his sons are Ganesha, Karttikeya, Ayyappa, Andhaka, Vettakkorumakan. Ashokasundari is his daughter. His mount is Nandi, the bull. His abode is mount Kailash.

Shiva is one of the cosmic Trimurti Brahma – Vishnu – Shiva. Creation – Preservation – Dissolution. Srishti – Sthiti – Laya.

Shiva is usually referred to as destroyer. He does not destroy, he dissolves so that something new can arise – die and become. Shiva is the time that shows us the impermanence that we do not want to admit

Shiva means the benevolent. In his dissolving aspect he is called Rudra, Bhairava, Virabhadra, Hara.

See also Shiva’s insignia.