Shiva is the destroyer of the world, following
Brahma the creator and Vishnu the preserver, after which Brahma again
creates the world and so on. Shiva is responsible for change both in the
form of death and destruction and in the positive sense of the shedding
of old habits. In Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram or Truth, Goodness and
Beauty, Shiva also represents the most essential goodness.
Shiva is the god of the yogis, self-controlled
and celibate, while at the same time a lover of his spouse (shakti).
Shiva's first wife was Sati and his second wife was Parvati, also known
as Uma, Gauri, Durga, Kali and Shakti. His sons are Ganesha and
Kartikeya. Shiva lives on Mount Kailasa in the Himalayas.
Shiva's main attributes are the trident that
represents the three gunas and the snakes that show he is beyond the
power of death and poison and also stand for the Kundalini energy. The
vehicle of Shiva is the white bull called Nandi (the joyful).
When Ganga incarnated on Earth, Shiva captured
her in his hair to avoid that she would flood all of Earth