Lord Shiva Family
Lord Shiva is usually called the god of prosperity. He easily frees his devotees from various problematic situations in life. He is Devadideva. According to Vedanta he is Maha Ishvar. In the Svetasvatara Upanishad, he is described as the Supreme Brahman. Goddess Parvati, the daughter of Himavan, practised severe penance to win Lord Shiva’s heart. After years of Tapasya she succeeded in convincing Lord Shiva to accept her as his wife. Shiv-Parvati or Shiv-Durga couple is one of the most worshipped couples in Hinduism. Lord Shiva is a householder, again a monk. As a householder, he has a large family. Today I would like to tell you about Lord Shiva family.
Five Sons of Lord Shiva
Everyone knows the names of Shiva’s two sons, Kartikeya and Ganesha. But many may not know that Mahadev has three more sons. Like their father, they also have great qualities. Let’s find out the brief stories about Shiva’s five sons.
Kartikeya or Kartik is the first child of Lord Shiva. Kritika, the wife of a sage, nurtured him and he was named Kartikeya. Skanda Sashti or Kumar Sashti, a popular Hindu festival is dedicated to him. His other name is Skanda. Skanda Purana, the largest of all the Puranas, is titled after him. Shiva-Parvati gave birth to this child to kill Tarakasura. In South India, this son of Shiva is worshipped as Murugan.
There are many stories in mythology about the birth of Ganesha. According to Ganesha Purana and Shiva Purana, Goddess Parvati made a beautiful idol. After making it, Parvati liked it very much. Then she gave it a life. This idol was named Ganesha. Seeing Ganesha’s intellect and qualities, the gods accepted him as Gananayaka. They decided to worship him before any puja.
After Kartikeya and Ganesha, Ayappa is considered to be the son of Shiva. It is said that Vishnu took the form of Mohini to save Mahadev from the hands of Bhasmasura. This Ayappa is the great son of Mohini and Shiva. Like Kartikeya, Ayappa is worshipped in the south India.
Many have heard the name of Andhakasura. He is believed to be the son of a demon named Hiranyaksha. In fact this Andhakasura was the son of Shiva. Once Parvati joked and closed Shiva’s eyes. As a result, creation also became dark. Meanwhile, Shiva’s body gradually became brighter. Mahadev started sweating. From one drop of Shiva’s sweat a blind son was born. He was named as Andhakasura. Later, Hiranyaksha appeased Shiva in austerities and got Andhak as his son. It is said that Andhakasura had to lose his life at the hands of Shiva because Andhakasura looked at Parvati with covetous eyes.
Shiva’s fifth son is Angarak. He is also known as Mangal. Many, however, think that Angarak is the son of Vishnu. It is heard that Parvati fell in love with an orphan boy named Sukesh. She informed Mahadev about the matter. They then adopted Sukesh as their adopted son.
Five Daughters of Lord Shiva
What is the number of daughters in Shiva’s family? Most of the people will tell you with their eyes closed – two, Lakshmi and Saraswati. But suddenly, if someone says that there are three more daughters of Shiva, then you may be surprised. Going through the pages of ‘Shiva Purana’, one can really find three more daughters of Shiva. Their names are Ashok Sundari, Jyoti and Manasa. Let’s see the brief stories about Shiva’s five daughters.
Lakshmi is a Hindu goddess. She is the goddess of wealth, spiritual wealth, good fortune and beauty. She is the wife of Vishnu. Her other name is Mahalakshmi. Lakshmi’s vehicle is an owl. Lakshmi is the goddess of six special qualities. He is also the source of Vishnu’s energy. When Vishnu incarnated as Rama and Krishna, Lakshmi became their companion in the form of Sita and Radha. Worship of Lakshmi is performed in the homes of most Hindus. His special puja is performed on the days of Diwali and Kojagari full moon. It is known as Kojagari Lakshmi Puja. Bengali Hindus worship Lakshmi every Thursday. However, in the story of p, the biggest festival of Bengali Hindus, Lakshmi is one of the two daughters of Shiva-Parvati.
Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, art, intellect and learning. She is one of the trinity goddesses Saraswati-Lakshmi-Parvati. The job of these three goddesses is to help Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to observe the creation of the world respectively. Saraswati’s skin color is white. White lotus is his seat. He has a book in one hand and a harp in the other. He is called Veenapani because he has a harp in his hand. Hindu devotees worship goddess Saraswati on the day of Basant Panchami, and chant Saraswati mantra. The first mention of Saraswati is found in the Rig Veda. She is the wife of Brahma. However, in the story of Durga Puja, the biggest festival of Bengali Hindus, Saraswati is the daughter of Shiva-Parvati.
Once Parvati felt intense loneliness on Mount Kailash. She created Ashoka Sundari as her companion. This girl was named Ashoka because she was able to make forget the grief of her mother’s loneliness. According to a legend, when Ganesha lost his head in a battle with Shiva, Ashoka Sundari hid his head in a bag of salt. From then on, salt became the main taste of life. Goddess Ashoka Sundari is still worshipped in Gujarat.
The word ‘jyoti’ means ‘light’. According to a story, she was born from the emanating light of Mahadev. According to another story, she appeared from the third eye of Parvati. In several temples in Tamil Nadu, she is worshipped as the goddess Jwalamukhi. It is mentionable that Jwalamukhi temple located in Himachal Pradesh, India, is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas.
Manasa is another daughter of Shiva. She is the presiding deity of the serpent family. According to the Puranas, at the touch of Shiva, the serpent mother Kadru became pregnant and gave birth to Manasa. Manasa is a popular goddess in Bengal.
Nandi and Bhringi
Like other members, the names of Nandi and Bhringi are also associated with the Shiva family. Nandi and Bhringi are the two closest followers of Shiva.
Shiva and Ganesha always kept them under strict discipline. If they disobeyed, they were sometimes sent into exile from Kailash to earth. Among Shiva’s followers, Nandi is Shiva’s vehicle. Nandi is also worshipped as a bull along with Shiva in the temples.
Om Namah Shivay