Shiva - the creator destroyer

Shiva pendant in silver

Shiva (or Siva) is one of the most important gods of the Hindu pantheon and, together with Brahma and Vishnu, is considered a member of the holy trinity (trimurti) of Hinduism.

A complex character, he can represent goodness, benevolence and serve as a Protector, but he also has a darker side as the leader of evil spirits, ghosts and vampires and as a master of thieves, villains and beggars.

He is also associated with Time, and in particular as the destroyer of all things. However, Shiva is also associated with creation. In Hinduism, the universe is thought to regenerate in cycles (every 2,160,000,000,000 years).

Shiva destroys the universe at the end of each cycle, which allows for a new Creation. Shiva is also the great ascetic, abstaining from all forms of indulgence and pleasure, focusing instead on meditation as a means to finding perfect happiness. He is the most important Hindu god for the sect of Shaivism, the patron of Yogis and Brahmins, and also the protector of the Vedas, the sacred texts.