Lord Shiva , the master of the universe is known and is worshipped in many forms by His ardent devoutees all over the world ! To name a few of the most popular aspects of Lord Shiva :
This is the statue of Lord Shiva with five faces , and is found to be worshipped in this form in some of the temples . Each of the faces represents a different aspect of Lord Shiva , and these are specifically Isana, Tatpurusa, Aghora, Vamadeva and Sadyojata.
Here Isana literally means the eternal Lord Shiva , and faces towards the south east . Next you have Tatpurusha , which refers to the deluded ego or purusha , and this face faces in east direction . The third face , namely Aghora , is a face depicting the great ability of the Lord to destroy and recreate , and this face is positioned towards the south direction. Lord Shiva's fourth face , ie Vamadeva is representative of the healing and preserving powers of Lord Shiva , and faces towards the North . Lastly you have Sadyojata, which represents the healing power of the Lord Shiva , and faces in the West direction .
This aspect or form of Lord Shiva refers to him in his most peaceful aspect when he is surrounded by his ardent devoutees and family members. He is very composed and in a state of tranquility in this form .
On the other extreme you have this form of Lord Shiva, in his most ferocious or heightened state of anger, when He ventures out to destroy all the evil forces that come to exist all over .
Lord Shiva is also known as Natraj, the God of dance , and he performs the tandava which is a dance form characterised by dynamic rhythmic movement. All the 108 classical indian dance forms are said to have been sourced from Him, and Lord Shiva performs his various dance forms to reduce the sufferings of his devotees, as well as to defuse the negative forces in the universe !
He also performs the dance forms to entertain the Gods, as well as his family and devotees . However , you seldom , if ever , find this particular form of Lord Shiva being worshipped in the temples .
This form of Lord Shiva represents him as a teacher of all the, mystic secrets of thevarious art forms such as alchemy , yantras , tantrsince he as , yogas , predictions about the future to the saints and sadhus , various magic mantras , arts and sciences . And in this form he is called Dakshinamurthy since he performs all these teachings sitting on the high and snowy peaks of Mount Kailash , facing towards Indian peninsula .
He is said to be in a very pleasant mood in this form , with two of his arms holding a snake or rosary , or even both of them , with the sacred fire in the other hand . Here the snake is a symbol of knowledge pertaining to the tantras, and the fire a source of illumination and enlightenment .
This form of Lord Shiva signifies the infinite nature of Lord Shiva , with no beginning and no end , and the Lord in the form of Linga depicts the supreme self .
Lord Shiva in the form of an ascetic, wandering from place to place , with a human skull begging bowl in hand , lost in meditation and in His own thoughts !
Lord Shiva in a state of friendliness with Lord Vishnu, with the images depicting the right half side of Lord Shiva on the right side of the image and the left half side of image of Lord Vishnu on the left side .
This particular form shows the fusion of the masculine right half of Lord Shiva with the feminine left half of Godess Parvati, in one continous form, signifying their unity, and sometimes showing the bull Nandi sitting in the background .