Shiva is symbolized by the left hand in
mrigashirsha hasta and the right hand in
Lord shiva is known by different names, example
Nilakantha (the blue necked one), Trinetra (one
with three eyes), Nataraja (the king of dance)
and many others. Each of these personifications
can be expressed differently.
Shiva in Sanskrit means
“Auspicious or Benevolent”. He is responsible for
the dissolution of this world during pralaya of the
New Moon period especially at the end of the Year.
He is fair in complexion, but having the blue neck
and a third eye on the forehead. He has a long
matted hair which are tied into a knot. A spring of
water is seen flowing from his hair representing the
river celestial Ganges or the Zodiac. A crescent
moon is studded to his hair. He has four arms as he
holds his weapon trident (Trishula) and a smal drum
Damaru. The other two hands are in Abhaya and Varada
mudra. A bull named Nandi is his vehicle. And Devi
Parvati is his consort.
When Shiva is in Nataraja’s pose his upper right
hand holds Damaru symbolizing sound of creation. The
upper left hand holds fire of destruction. The
second right hand shows protection from evil and
ignorance and the second left hand points to the
raised foot which is symbol for liberation.
cobra uncoils from his lower right forearm, the
crescent moon and a skull are on his crest. He dances
within an arch of flames.