The image of Lord Shiva has over the centuries been romanticized by historians and devotees alike. A body smeared with ash, a tiger skin encircling his loins, a crescent moon adorning his forehead, matted hair piled high on his head from whence flows the celestial river Ganga, one hand bearing a trident, another set in a classical mudra, sometimes playing the dumroo as he is consumed in the cosmic dance, the third eye between the brows accentuating his bold handsomeness, snakes encircling his azure neck.
The imagery in its evocativeness has never failed to attract and arouse the curiosity within. As much as there have been metaphors to describe the visual appearance of Shiva, there have been many more names to describe the attributes that he has been known to embody.
The 1008 names of Shiva only serve to portray his infinite and versatile nature, his unknowable mysteries, a being devoid of polarities, composite and synthesized. Yet, He is beyond description or definition. He can only be experienced and lived through. You cannot completely know Shiva with just the head or the heart alone.
In this book, we have compiled a series of commentaries by Gurudev Sri Sri on aspects related to Shiva and to His worship, which appeals to both the rational and the devotional. Through this offering, we hope to move the reader beyond the limited abstract conceptions of Shiva, and expose the vibrant kaleidoscope of the all-encompassing reality that Shiva is.