In this particular blog, I would explain the significance of the various symbols that Shiva adorns himself with viz, a snake, moon, trishul, the third eye and Nandi, the bull.
1. The third eye- The opening of the third eye is one of the most significant aspects of Shiva. This indicates that through the two sensory eyes he can see only what is physically present but this third eye marks the arousal of a new dimension of perception which enables one to see what is beyond the physical world. Every individual sees things from his perception, which is essential for his survival. That is why this world is referred to as Maya, meaning illusionary. However, for your perception to enhance and evolve, your energy has to be evolved and enhanced too. It should thus be refined in such a manner that one’s perception gets enhanced and the third eye opens automatically. Opening of the third eye reveals that one’s perception has gone beyond the dualities of life, thereby enabling you to see life as it is and not as you want it to be.
2. Nandi- As per Indian culture, waiting is considered to be the greatest virtue and this is what Nandi is regarded and symbolized as. He naturally meditates and waits upon Shiva without expecting anything in return. This is the essence of receptivity that Nandi possesses. He simply sits and waits, all alert, not sleepy at all. He does not sit in a passive manner, he sits very actively, full of life, in meditation for Shiva.
3. Trishul- The three fundamental dimensions and aspects of life are represented through Shiva’s trishul namely Ida, Pingalaand and Sushumna which are three basic nadis- the left, right and center- in the energy body of the human system, also known as the Pranamayakosha. Nadis are the channels or pathways of prana, or life, in the human system. Bringing a balance between one’s Nadis is what makes for an effective life for an individual and what enables him to handle the aspects of life well.
3. Moon- One out of the many names of Shiva is also Soma or Somasundara which literally means moon. However, Soma essentially means intoxication or inebriation. Moon is used by Shiva as a piece of decoration as he happens to be a great Yogi, intoxicated at all times yet alert and upright. For enjoying intoxication, one needs to be fully alert and awake, and that is what Shiva, and all yogis, do. They are totally drunk yet totally stable and alert externally. It has been proven that the human body produces its own narcotics through millions of cannabis receptors present in the brain which gives one the feeling of peace, pleasure and joy from within, without any stimulus from outside. This was termed as Anandamide, derived from the word ananda meaning bliss.
5. Snake- Shiva has a snake around his throat. This is because a snake, too, is very sensitive to certain energies. However, there lies a scientific logic behind it as well. Out of the 114 chakras, seven are the most fundamental ones within our system. And among these seven fundamental ones, the one which is located in the pit of the throat is the Vishuddhi chakra which in turn is very strongly related to the snake. A snake carried poison while Vishuddhi means filtering the poison from entering the system. The center of Shiva is believed to be Vishiddhi and hence he is also known as Vishakantha or Neelakantha because he filters poison and stops it from entering into the system.