Path to Siva: A Catechism for Youth

11 Who Is Siva?§


This Kerala mural beautifully depicts Siva in the form of Ardhanarishvara, God who is half male and half female. Siva worshipers believe that Siva and Shakti are a one Divinity that cannot be separated.§


Lord Siva is the Supreme Being of the universe. He/She is All and in all, both the Creator and the creation, within everything and beyond everything at the same time. Siva has a threefold nature. His highest reality is beyond time and form. His second aspect is the Divine Mind, existing here, there and everywhere. His third aspect is the Personal Lord, the Creator and source of all time and all form. Only in the deepest meditation can the nature of such a vast and mysterious God be fully known. The name Siva means “the auspicious,” “gracious” or “kindly one.” Siva is the One Supreme Being that all faiths have worshiped, by many names, and sought to understand for thousands of years. Siva has five powers: creation, preservation, destruction, and the twin graces of concealment and revelation. He creates the three worlds from His own being, and He also preserves the three worlds, dancing in each tiny atom at every point in time. Ultimately, He absorbs creation back into Himself. He does this in great cycles of time spanning billions of years. Then, in the next grand cycle of time, He creates again. Siva is also the creator of individual souls, like us. With His fourth and fifth powers, concealing and revealing, Siva governs and guides our evolution, as a parent guides a child. We should always worship this great God of love and never fear Him. He is the Self of ourself, closer than our breath. Gurudeva taught, “His nature is love, and if you worship Him with devotion you will know love and be loving toward others.” Siva is the sun above us, the wind that cools the land, the five elements, the thought within our mind, the spark of light within our body, that which lives and that which is inert. Beyond knowing, beyond gender, He/She is the deathless Being who resides beyond the three worlds, yet stands in souls united.§


GURUDEVA: To love God is to know God. To know God is to feel His love for you. Such a compassionate God—a being whose resplendent body may be seen in mystic vision—cares for the minutiae such as we and a universe such as ours.§