The Forms of Lord Shiva
Forms of Hindu God Shiva : Lord Shiva is known by many names and titles. As the god of destruction, he is Rudra, literally ‘the Red One’, feared by one and all. As Kailasanatha, he is the Lord of Mount Kailash, His Abode in the Himalayas. As Purusha, he is Iswara, or the Ultimate Reality, Himself. As the Lord of the beings, he is known as Pasupatinath. As the consort of Uma, the Mother Goddess, he is known as Umapathi. As the bearer of the sacred river Ganges, he is known as Ganagadhar. Because of His matted hair, he is called Jatadhari by His ascetic followers. As a perfect being He is Siddheshwar. With the trident in His hands, he became popular as the heroic and fearless Trisuladhari. As the world teacher, he was named Dakhshinamurthi by Adi Shankara.
As the Lord of Dance, he is well known as Nataraja. As the master of yoga, he is credited with the source of all knowledge concerning the various yogas. Such was His prowess and divinity that Lord Vishnu Himself in his incarnations as Rama and Krishna worshipped him with great reverence. Ever willing to help those who are in distress, he saved the worlds and all the gods by drinking the poison Halahal that was created during the churning of the oceans, a feat that turned his throat blue and earned him the name Neelakanthan, or blue-throated one.
Lord Shiva was also dear to demons, as he was easily pleased and granted boons freely to devotees. Demons like Ravana and Hiranyakashipu were his ardent followers who became infinitely powerful due to the various boons we granted them out of an unbounded love. To the followers of Vira Saiva cult, he is Virabhadra, valor personified. In His terrific forms, he is worshipped as Bhairavamurthy and Pataleswar.
While Lord Shiva is worshipped as a symbol of sexual vitality, he is also known to have destroyed the physical form of love, Kama, with his third eye when the latter tried to interrupt his meditation. Loved by his children Ganesha and Skanda, and followed by Hhs dutiful wife Parvathi, he became a symbol of ideal householder to his devotees despite of his well known image as the ideal ascetic. Men and women love him alike for his unsurpassed qualities of love and generosity. Even today many young and unmarried girls in rural India worship Lord Shiva and pray for a devoted husband like him. Combining both the male and female aspects of creation in himself, Lord Shiva earned the popular name of Ardhanariswara. As rider of the bull Nandi, he is known to the world as Nandeswara.