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Sex Gods & Divine Imagery
This page is a three-part website dealing with Kama Sutra artwork and erotica. You are currently viewing part two: Sex Gods and Divine Imagery.
Traditionally, the first transmission of Kama Shastra or "Discipline of Kama" is attributed to Nandi the sacred bull, Shiva's doorkeeper, who was moved to sacred utterance by overhearing the lovemaking of the god and his wife Parvati and later recorded his utterances for the benefit of mankind. It is important to note that in this culture sex is not considered a sin.
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Nandi/Nandhi, a hindu god, is the bull which Lord Shiva rides and the gate keeper of the Shiva according to Hindu mythology. He symbolizes purity and justice. An idol of Nandi facing the main shrine will be seen in every Siva temple . There are also a number of temples dedicated solely to Nandi.
Parvati, sometimes spelled Parvathi or Parvathy, is a Hindu goddess. She is the wife of Lord Shiva and the divine mother of Lord Ganesh and Lord Murugan. Some communities also believe her to be the divine sister of Lord Vishnu who is married to Lakshmi and many of the believers of Shakta philosophy also consider her as the ultimate Divine. In many interpretations of the scriptures, Parvati is also regarded as a representation of Shakti or Durga, albeit the gentle aspect of that goddess because she is a mother goddess otherwise known as Devi . Parvati's other names include Uma, Lalitha, Gowri, Shivakamini, Aparna, the maternal epithet Mataji, and many hundreds of others; the Lalita sahasranama contains an authoritative listing.
Shiva (also spelled Siva) is considered to be the supreme God in Shaivism, a denomination of Hinduism. Many Hindus such as those of Smarta tradition are free to accept various manifestations of the divine as their chosen deity for worship, and those who prefer Shiva are called Shaivas (Sanskrit Saiva). Shaivism, along with Vai??ava traditions that focus on Vishnu, and Sakta traditions that focus on the Goddess (Devi) are three of the most influential denominations in Hinduism.
Attributes of Shiva
Third Eye: The third eye of Shiva, which is located on his forehead and is the eye of wisdom. It is the eye that looks beyond the obvious. Thus he is known as Trinetreshwara or Triambakeshwara (The Lord with Three Eyes). The third eye of Shiva is also popularly associated with his untamed energy which destroys evil doers and sins.
Serpents: Shiva is often associated with snakes.
Crescent: Shiva bears on his head the crescent of the fifth day (panchami) moon. This is placed near the fiery third eye and this shows the power of Soma, the sacrificial offering, which is the representative of moon. It means that Shiva possesses the power of procreation along with the power of destruction. The moon is also a measure of time; thus the Crescent also represents his control over time. Thus Shiva is known by the names of Somasundara and Chandrashekara.
Sacred Ganga: Ganga, the holiest of the holy rivers, flows from the matted hair of Shiva. Shiva allowed an outlet to the great river to traverse the earth and bring purifying water to human beings. The flowing water is one of the five elements which compose the whole Universe and from which earth arises. Ganga also denotes fertility one of the creative aspect of Shiva.
Drum: The drum is known as "Damaru".
Vibhuti: Vibhuti is three lines of ashes drawn on the forehead that represents the essence of our Being, which remains after all the malas (impurities of ignorance, ego and action) and vasanas (likes and dislikes, attachments to one's body, world, worldly fame, worldly enjoyments, etc.) have been burnt in the fire of knowledge. Hence vibhuti is revered as the very form of Shiva and signifies the Immortality of the soul and manifested glory of the Lord.
Ashes: Shiva smears his body with cemetery ashes (bhasma). For some devotees this points to the fact that death (transformation) is the ultimate reality of life. Some forms of Shiva, such as Bhairava, are associated with a very old Indian tradition of cremation-ground asceticism that was practiced by some groups who were outside the fold of brahmanic orthodoxy. These practices associated with cremation grounds are also menteioned in the Pali canon of Theravada Buddhism. One epithet for Shiva is "Inhabitant of the cremation ground" (Sanskrit: smasanavasin, also spelled Shmashanavasin) referring to this connection.
Tiger skin: The tiger is the vehicle of Shakti, the goddess of power and force.
Elephant and Deer Skin: Shiva also wears elephant skins. Similarly deer represent the jumping of minds (flickering mind). Shiva wears deer skin which indicates that he has controlled the mind perfectly.
Rudraksha: Shiva wears wrist bands of Rudraksha. These beads are supposed to have medicinal properties.
Trident: The three points of the Shiva’s Trishul symbolizes three functions of the triad – the creation, the sustenance and the destruction. The Trident, in the hand of Shiva indicates that all the three aspects are in his control. It is said that the ancient city of Kashi or modern Varanasi sits atop Shiva's Trishul.
Nandi, the Bull, is his Vahana (Sanskrit for vehicle).
Lingam:Shiva is often worshipped in the form of a lingam. These are depicted in various forms.