With so many tattoo enthusiasts opting to use their choice of body art as a means of expressing their individual beliefs and characteristics, there has been a significant rise in demand for faith-themed designs which make both a moral and personal statement.
Deities and imagery that features in far eastern philosophies like Hinduism are particularly popular, not least because these images are often brightly colored and beautifully detailed which really make them stand out when inked on the human skin.
The Hindu God of Destruction, Lord Shiva, is definitely one of the most favored and as the God of the Yogis too, he is immensely popular with those who want a design to reflect their spiritual beliefs, as much as their theological ones so let us find out more about the Shiva tattoo, to see what it has to offer for you.
Despite his dubious title as the destroyer of the world, Lord Shiva formed part of the Hindu holy trinity, coming after Brahma the creator and Vishnu who was responsible for preserving the world the former had created. However, as with all things, every aspect of our universe must have a beginning, middle and an end in order for the circle of life to continue, so in this respect Shiva is as essential a part of life’s cycle as the others. As a body art design, a Shiva tattoo offers a variety of meanings and symbolism which could serve the wearer is whatever respect is most relevant to them as an individual. To some he may serve as a reminder of the value of letting go and not holding on to tightly to bad habits and attachments that are in essence holding us back. Lord Shiva reminds us that by severing these negative connections we are ultimately freeing ourselves to accept the very best that life has to offer us without the restraints of self. This interpretation also ties in with the art of yoga and meditations where individuals strive to leave the material world and all that it represents behind them and replace it with inner peace, enlightenment and eventual transcendence. As the master of meditation, Shiva also represents this art in its deepest and most absolute form so this would also suit an individual who is following this path of study.
As body art, the Shiva tattoo is suitable for placement on small, medium and large skin surfaces and there are a variety of different depictions available to suit all tastes and preferences however there are certain attributes which they all share. Lord Shiva always carries a trident to signify the triple gunas of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, or Essence, Activity and Inertia. Snakes also feature frequently in these designs to represent Shiva’s’ power of destruction and to emphasize his connotations with death and endings. He is also illustrated in many depictions on a white bull and seated or wearing a tiger skin, against a backdrop of the Himalayas as this deity lived in this mountain region on Mount Kailasa so this is also widely used in body art designs, especially for larger more elaborate versions.