Shiva is the great God, Mahadeva. He represents the pure existence or Divine will beyond
creation. He is therefore the lord of Yogis and the lord of Jnanis, those who pursue
the Yoga of knowledge.
Shiva has many names like Shankara, Shambhu, Sadashiva, Rudra, Bhava, Sharva,
Pashupati, Aghora, Bhairava. Shiva itself means "the beneficent or auspicious". Some of his forms like
Shiva and Shankara are beneficent. Others like Rudra and Bhairava are
terrible. The terrible forms are useful for removing any negativity from our spiritual lives. They
become our protectors.
In Nepal, Indonesia and Indochina a cult of Shiva-Buddha arose, combining the qualities of these
two related great religious forms.
One of his main forms is Shiva Nataraja, Shiva as the Lord of the
cosmic dance. He performs the mighty tandava, the dance of
destruction that destroys the universe. This is also the dance of
knowledge that takes us from the unreal to the real, from the
ignorance to the knowledge, from the ego to the Self.