What are the 5 important jobs of Shiva?
Shiva is a god who is worshipped not just in India but in Nepal and Sri Lanka too. His popularity does not end there. Throughout the globe there are many followers of Shiva from Australia and Malaysia to USA and UK, but do all of them know what are the 5 important jobs of Shiva?
While Shiva is best known for his fierce personality and his destructive third eye, in Hinduism, Shiva is also a very important part of the Trimurti or Hindu Trinity. He bears the title of The Destroyer and is said to bring forth an end to all the evil that exists in this world. It is believed that by chanting the various stotras or hymns the chanter gains health, wealth, happiness and a long life.
In general, five is a very sacred number for Shiva. His most popular mantra namaḥ śivāya has five syllables His body is said to have been made up of five mantras: Sadyojāta, Vāmadeva, Aghora, Tatpuruṣha and Īsāna. These are also represented as the five faces of Shiva, just like sometimes Shiva is represented as having three heads for the Trimurti. These five are also associated with the five senses, the five elements, the five organs of perception and the five organs of action.
Many Shaivites believe that Shiva also has five actions that he performs- creation, preservation, dissolution, concealing and revealing. The first three actions of creation, preservation and dissolution are performed by the different avatars of Shiva namely Sadyojata, Vamadeva and Aghora. These three avatars of Shiva are said to perform the same functions as the gods Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra, the other gods of the famous Hindu Trimurti. And so according to the Shaivite religion, Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra are simply other embodiments of the almighty Shiva. As the avatar of Brahma, Shiva is the creator. As the avatar of Vishnu, Shiva preserves all that is held sacred. And as the avatar of Rudra, Shiva is seen as the destroyer who ends all the evil in this world and any other world.
As the creator or Brahma, according to Shaivism, Shiva creates space both internally and externally for new paths, ideas and actions. He opens up a channel through which individuals who follow in his footsteps have a chance to change themselves so they may lead more fulfilled and happy lives.
As the preserver or Vishnu, Shiva is seen as one who protects all that is sacred in this world and all other worlds. While he holds no qualms of destroying those who are not worthy, he is not as quick to condemn those who have done no wrong or wish to rectify all the sins they have committed. In this way, Shiva is the preserver.
As the destroyer or Rudra, Shiva is in his most well known avatar. He is known as the god who destroys ego and all that is evil and negative in the world. And as the destroyer it is he who opens a space for the creation of new positive actions, ideas and pathways. For is it not true that one can only create space for something new by the destruction of what already exists? And in the creation of these new spaces, Shiva also proves himself to be,yet again, the creator.
While this ideology is in stark contrast to Shiva being known as The Destroyer, to Shaivites Shiva is the god of all things. He is the one who performs all the actions necessary for the survival of this and other worlds. Of all his actions destruction is just one of them though a very vital part.
Another answer to our question: what are the 5 important duties of Shiva?, may be found in his position as the one who reveals grace. While it is considered Shivas duty to create, protect and destroy, another one is his duty as a teacher or guru. As a guru, Shiva must teach his disciples (also his devotees) what is right and wrong. When he is imparting this wisdom, that act is known as revealing grace.For Shiva has deemed a mortal of being touched by the grace (anuradha) of the almighty god. All that he imparts, from the importance of destruction and the shattering of the ego to finding balance within one’s self and learning the very difficult art of detachment is part of Shiva’s revealing grace.But this act of revealing is not for everyone. By the very act of revelation, Shiva bestows a blessing on those to whom he has revealed his teachings. And by bestowing this blessing he creates gurus or masters and shisyas or disciples. For not everyone can understand the grace of this mighty god. And only those who do are revealed his true form.
Going hand in hand with the duty of revealing grace is concealing grace. According to Shaivism, the duty of Shiva is not only to reveal all his teachings to certain individuals it is also to conceal what they might not understand or what they might take as a wrong meaning. There are many things that Shiva does which is not revealed to his devotee. Nor is it revealed to the devotees guru. Many believe that Shiva works in mysterious ways, providing for his devotees, listening to them and being there in their time of need. But he never gives an explanation as to why he does the things he does or why things happen in a certain order. This fifth and very important part of Shiva’s duties in known as the concealing grace.
It was the Shaivites who are known to have first asked: “what are the 5 important duties of Shiva?” and they are said to have concluded that, Lord Shiva is the be all and end all and that there is nothing that Shiva cannot do whether it is to indulge in the acts of creation, preservation or revelation.