Siva is the last deity of the Hindu Trinity. He is responsible for the dissolution of the universe. Siva means “one in whom the universe sleeps”. Siva is much more than disintegration. Universe ends in the ultimate thinning out, into the boundless void. This boundless void is the substratum of all existence, from which spring out again and again. He is equally responsible for creation and existence.
He is Rudra in the terrific form of dissolution, also as Eswara playing the game of Maya and Sadhasiva the Guru who bestows wisdom. This is the main aspect of “Saiva Siddhanta” teachings.
Siva is worshiped both in the anthropomorphic aspect as the Linga and various other forms. The most common images show him as very handsome youth white as camphor and his limbs besmeared with ashes. He has three eyes, the third eye being on the forehead between the eyebrows. He has four arms two of the arms holding Trishul (Trident) and Damaru (Drum) while other two are in Abhayamudra (Protection -Giving) and Varadamudra (Boon-Giving). He has a crown of long matted hair from which flows the river Ganga. He wears a crescent moon as a diadem. A tiger and elephant skin adorns his body as his garments. There are serpents all over his body, especially as the necklace. There is a garland of skulls around his blue neck.
Parvathi is his consort. Ganesh and Kumara (Muruga)are his sons. Nandhi is his Vehicle-Bull and he is surrounded by Goblins, Imps and Elf constantly capering around him.