Mahashivratri Special: What Do Lord Shiva’s Ornaments Symbolise?

Mahashivratri Special: What Do Lord Shiva’s Ornaments Symbolise?

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Shiva, part of the holy trinity and known as the destroyer, has a very different mien compared to other Hindu deities. All the ornaments that adorn him have an interesting significance. Let’s understand the meaning behind these symbols of Lord Shiva.

The crescent moon:

The waxing moon signifies the importance and substance of time. The moon also symbolizes a calm mind and foresight. And any work if done with a calm and stable mind always gives positive results.

Earrings (Kundal):

Shiva wears a bigger earring in his right ear, which signifies manhood, and wears a smaller one in his left ear, signifying womanhood. Wearing both the types of earrings together means equality of men and women. It is also be considered as “Shiva-Shakti”. That is why Shiva is also worshiped as “Ardhanarishwara”.

The coiled snake:

There is always a snake coiled around His neck. Each coil represents the past, present, and future. It also signifies that Shiva is above life and death. The straight hood represents spiritual awakening. The snake also symbolizes the dormant energy in humans, known as the Kundalini energy.

The Rudraksha beads:

As per legend, Rudraksha means the uncompromising eye of Shiva. Rudra also means anger. Scientific studies reveal that the Rudraksha beads are potent in relieving a person of stress, depression, and anxiety. It also symbolizes nature and healthy living.


Science behind Mahashivratri and symbols of Shiva | Image: File Image

Some of this symbology also has scientific relevance. So, what’s the science behind Lord Shiva?

Body smeared with ashes:

Shiva is believed to smear himself with ashes to remind his devotees about the transient nature of physical beauty. Sooner or later, it will turn into nothing but ash.

Scientifically, applying ash on the body is said to close the pores of your body. As a result, the sensations like cold and heat may not affect one. Many renunciates who live in extreme conditions, are known to cover themselves with ashes, even today. So, one may lose the need to decorate themselves with excessive clothing or focus on looks. In a way, this also points towards not paying unnecessary attention towards physicality but focusing on what is beyond the material world.

The Third Eye:

Shiva’s third eye is perhaps the most-dreaded element. But what is the real significance behind this? And what exactly is the meaning of opening of the third eye?

In scientific terms, the position of the Third Eye corresponds with that of your higher brain, located behind the forehead. According to scholars, it is your higher brain that distinguishes humans from animals. When you act with awareness and consciousness, your higher brain is at work. So, Shiva’s Third Eye is actually the seat of wisdom that we need to awaken within us.


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