Saivism, may be defined as the setting aside of the triune equality of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, and the merging of the former two Gods in the God - Siva. But it is also more than this. It is supreme being, infinite, eternal, an exempt from subjection to the law of ultimate absorption into the universal spirit.
Rudra appears quite early in the Veda with a
well-recognized and well-marked personality of his own. He is an important
deity, whose anger is to be dreaded and whose favour is to be propitiated.
Probably the first office or function connected with him was that of directing
and controlling the rage of the howling storms. As God of gale and tempest, he
is father of the destructive storm-winds, who are also called Rudras, and
generally identified with the Maruts. He is also closely related to time (kala),
the all-consumer, and indeed identified with him.
Siva became to his worshippers the great God (Maha-Deva) and lord of the universe (Jagat-pitri, Visva-natha) who, although he has numerous forms, is generally worshipped under one mystical shape - a plain upright stone, the sign or symbol (Linga) of generative and creative power scattered in millions of shrines over every part of India.
Unquestionably all Hindus, even the strictest Vaishnavas, are ready to pay homage to Siva in his characters of dissolver and regenerator. The book is designed to be an informative treatise devoted to Siva.
About the Editor:
Subodh Kapoor is the chief editor in a leading Indian scholarly publishing house, Cosmo Publications. In 2000 he published his much acclaimed and critically appreciated work titled, 'The Hindus', Encyclopaedia of Hinduism. The book is a pioneering work in five large volumes organised alphabetically. It is a store house of information on the Hindus, some of which is now available for the first time. He has also compiled and edited another scholarly work titled, Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Hinduism which, in a short space of time, has become very well-known. The Dictionary, containing over 13000 terms, is the largest and most comprehensive work of its type.
'The Buddhists', Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, is his second major encyclopaedia to be published. In his Introduction to the work he has called this book the product of his spiritual journey to uncover the mystique and mystery of the Oriental religions which are once again drawing immense attention the world over.
Subodh Kapoor has also prepared and published a compilation of the feminine aspect of the divine in Hinduism titled 'Sakti.' The Dictionary of Female in Hindu Mythology.