Thursday, December 11, 2008


Shiva is called Om which represents the five elements of the process of a life-cycle. Om has three sound elements which give the sounds of vowels, such as 'A', 'Ou' and 'Ma', and two physical elements, such as a 'dot' and a 'crescent'. 'A' represents birth, 'Ou' life, 'Ma' death, 'dot' disintegration of the body into original five elements and 'crescent' the soul moving to another physical body or returning to merge with the Supersoul. In the human form, each element of this life-cycle process also represents one face each of the five faces of Shiva. Therefore, Om also stands for Shiva and denotes the Universe.

Shiva is depicted as a five-facad form to represent these five elements that support life on earth. Each face has three eyes, which also represent birth, life and death.

Shiva appears as a luminous lingam. Although it has a special form, the Lingam is considered as a formless and infinite object representing the Lord as the universe. The base of the object representing 'Ou' is considered to be 'Om' which depicts the Lord and the Universe. Such a set is worshipped as Shiva everywhere in the Hindu world. The lingam also is believed to have five faces. Four faces are usually carved on all four directions and the fifth, which is not carved, is believed to be facing upwards.

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