Shiva ( /ˈʃɪvə/; Sanskrit: शिव Śiva, meaning "auspicious one") is a major Hindu deity, and is the Destroyer or Transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. In the Shaiva tradition of Hinduism, Shiva is the Supreme God and has five important works: creator, preserver, destroyer, concealer, and revealer (to bless). He is considered as the most powerful god in hinduism. In spite of being the cause of material existence, he lives the life of a sage on Mount Kailash. In the Smarta tradition, he is regarded as one of the five primary forms of God. Followers of Hinduism who focus their worship upon Shiva are called Shaivites or Shaivas (Sanskrit Śaiva), one of the three most influential denominations in Hinduism. He is also commonly known as Rudra.
Shiva is usually worshipped in the aniconic form of lingam. He is described as an omniscient yogi, who lives an ascetic life on Mount Kailash, as well as a householder with a wife Parvati, and two sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya. Shiva has many benevolent as well as fearsome forms. He is often depicted as immersed in deep meditation, with his wife and children or as the Cosmic Dancer. In fierce aspects, he is often depicted slaying demons.
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