In Hinduism Lord Shiva is worshipped as one of the main Diety of Trimurthi. According to Vedas, Puranas and Hindu Mythology this universe is formed from 3 Divines, in which Bramha is the Creator, Vishnu is the Preserver or Maintainer, and Shiva is the Destroyer or Transformer.So these three Divines are called Trimurthis.(thri-means 3,murthis means Gods). Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are both regarded as same,equal and Main Divines along with Devi Maa in Hinduism. Those Dieties who worship Lord Shiva are called Shaivites or Shaivas . Lord Shiva is usually depecited and worshiped in Linga form.
Lord Shiva is unique with his ”Three Eyes“(Trinetra) “Blue Throat” “Crescent Moon on his head ” Gangadhar“(bearer of river ganga), Garland of a Snake, Wores and Seated upon a tiger skin, holds Trishul with drums, Ashes all over body. Lord Shiva apperas in meditation, as a dancer (nataraja), both an ascetic yogin and as a householder (wife paravathi, two sons ganesha and karthikeya) teacher of yoga, music, and wisdom, and giving exposition on the shastras. One another form of Shiva is Ardhanarishvara (one half of the body as male, and the other half as female) teaches both men and female are equal . lord Shiva is also referes as Ganagadhar, Pasupathi (his vahana nandi a bull), Mahadeva,Mahesvara, Parameshwara, Chandrasekhara, Nilakanta, Bheesmeshwara..etc which are in his Sahasthranamas and Astotharas.
Shiva-Linga is worshiped all over india, china, also other Hindus. He is Shambho, whose being is peace and also Ishwara, whose perception is without limitation. He is the Consciousness of Infinite Goodness takes us beyond the mind. Shiva will be prassana (bless you) even with bhelwapathra,(a leaf) or abhishekha(milk on linga) or atleast some water on shivlinga.
Siva Mantra :
“Om Namah Shivaya”
Siva mantra is called Panchakshari(5 words) which is recieted all over india, hindus and mostly in November(karthika masam) month which is regarded as the mostly ascpious month for Shiva puja.
Jyothirlingas of Maha Deva :
The name Jyothirlingas itself defines the Jyothi of Shiva is there in those Lingas. All over india there are Dwadasa Jyotirlingas (12) of Shiva. Those are,
- Somanath Jyothirlinga (Sourashtra in Gujarat)
- Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga (Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh)
- Bhimashankar Jyothirlinga (Sahyadri hills of Maharastra)
- Tryambakeshwar Jyothirlinga(Nasak,Maharastra)
- Rameswaram Jyothirlinga(Tamilnadu)
- Omkareshwar Jyothirlinga (Madhya Pradesh)
- Vaidyanath Jyothirlinga (Deogarh,Bihar)
- Sree Saila Mallikarjuna Jyothirlinga (Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh)
- Kedarnath Jyotirlinga (Himalayas)
- Varanasi Viswanatha Jyothirlinga(Benaras,Uttar Pradesh)
- Nageshwar Jyothirlinga (Dwaraka, Gujarat)
- Grishneshwar Jyothirlinga (Ellora Caves).