Lord Shiva is known as one of the Trinity as per mythology. The Trinity are – Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar(Shiva). Together the three are responsible for creation, maintenance and destruction of the universe.
Shiva is known for his power. He is the forgetful God, whom everyone loves. He has 108 names – each with a deep meaning and brings out one side of Lord Shiva. Some well known names are – Shankar, Someshwar, Adinath, Bholenath.
7 Lord Shiva Legends for Children (With Morals)
Below are a selection of easy to read stories for children. Each story has a moral associated which keeps your young ones engaged and helps understand important lessons.
1. Story of Shiva’s Birth
One day Brahma and Vishnu were arguing about the importance of each other in the world. They both believed they themselves were more important than the other. Suddenly a huge Pillar appeared in front of them. They stopped arguing and started wondering what the pillar was about. So, they decided to find out the mystery of the pillar.
Brahma Transformed himself into a goose and flew up while Vishnu transformed into a boar and dug around trying to find the bottom of the pillar. But both of them failed to find any end to the pillar.
Then they saw Lord Shiva emerge from the pillar. Both Brahma and Vishnu accepted that Lord Shiva was the Supreme Power.
Moral: This story teaches your child that, one should never be boastful about his or her power. Be humble and do your own work.
2. Story of Ganga Flowing from Shiva’s Head
King Bhagiratha wanted to purify the soul of ancestors. He aspired to release his 60000 great uncles from the curse of saint Kapila. Hence, Bhagiratha went to the Himalayas and did penance for a thousand years, on the advice of his guru, to please Ganga.
Goddess Ganga appeared in front of Bhagiratha and told him that she would descend on the earth. However, the force of her fall would be difficult to sustain and bring sorrow on the earth. Lord Bramha then asked Bhagiratha to worship Shiva since only Shiva can control Ganga’s fall.
Bhagiratha started worshiping Shiva. Shiva was pleased with his devotion and agreed to help. As Ganga flew down to earth with full force from the Himalayas, Shiva trapped her in his hair and let her out in 7 streams. The 6 streams are – Bhagirathi, Angana, Mandakini, Janhabi, Saraswati, and Alaknanda. Ganga then followed Bhagiratha, who led her to the place where his ancestors were cursed. As Ganga flew above the land where they were, the ancestors were released from the curse.
The mainstream of the river Ganga is called Bhagirathi after King Bhagiratha. Then it meets the Alaknanda river at Devprayag.
Moral: A very powerful Ganga captured and turned into lifeline for the land. Your child learns that, even a destructive force can be used for constructive purpose.
3. Why Shiva is called Neelkantha
Sage Durvasa once cursed all the Devas(gods) that they would lose all their strength. Worried, all the Devas went to Vishnu, who advised them that only the nectar from the bottom of the ocean can make them strong again. The nectar would make them immortal.
However, the ocean needs to be churned, for the nectar to come on the top- much like making butter from curd. Devas could not churn the ocean alone. So they asked the help of Asuras(demons), who agreed to the proposal. For the churning of the ocean, mount Mandara agreed to serve as the churning stick, while Vasuki- the king of snakes, agreed to serve as the rope for churning.
Vasuki was bound around mount Mandara and placed in the middle of the ocean. The setup was ready. Now the Devas started pulling at one end of the snake and Asuras at the other. This churning went on for thousands of years.
Suddenly poison started coming out from the bottom of the ocean and started floating on top of the water. The poison was Halahala poison, which could wipe out the entire universe. Terrified, all the Devas approached Lord Vishnu again. He asked them to seek help from Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva came and drank the poison. Parvati quickly tied a snake around his neck to prevent the person from entering his body. The powerful poison remained in Shiva’s throat and turned his throat blue. From then on Shiva also became known as Neelkantha(Neel means blue, Kantha means neck).
Moral: A wonderful story about how Lord also had to make sacrifice for the greater good. A story which teaches your child that, ones work and energy should be spent in making the world a better place for everyone.
4. Story of When Goddess Kali Stepped on Shiva
There was once a very powerful demon called Raktabeej, who was undefeated. He reigned terror on earth. He had a unique power that he would multiply whenever a drop of his blood fell on earth. Thus it became difficult to kill him, as – when hurt, thousands of demons would be born from the blood of his wound.
All the gods went and prayed to Goddess Durga to defeat the demon Raktabeej. Durga came to fight with him. But whenever she hit him, more demons would appear from his blood that fell on the ground. By this time, Devi Durga took the form of the Goddess Kali. She slayed each demon and drank their blood immediately. Raktabeej and all his demons were killed.
But Kali did not stop there, as she became enraged and started to slay others she found on her way. All the Gods then approach Shiva for help. Shiva lay down on the way in front of Goddess Kali. Without looking around, as she went on the rampage, Kali accidentally stepped on Shiva’s chest and immediately realized her mistake. She came to her senses and calmed herself down. Now she realized the mistake she committed and stuck her tongue out as a reflex. Thus Shiva saved the world from Kali’s destruction.
Moral: This is a very interesting story which teaches children that if needed one needs to bring out the destructive side to end the evils of the world.
5. When Lord Shiva Left One Crore Gods Behind
Once Lord Shiva was on his way to Kailash along with 1 crore gods, including himself. In the evening, they decided to stop on a mountain for the day. Shiva wanted to start early the next day. So he asked all the Gods and Goddesses to be ready before sunrise.
However, the next day early morning, when Shiva woke up, he saw all the other gods were not ready and still sleeping. In a rage, he decided to leave them there and go alone. So, he cursed the other gods and turned them into stone statues. The gods remained there, and Shiva went on in his way, alone.
It is a story of the place is called Unakoti, which is in the state of Tripura in India. Unakoti means one less than a crore, in the local language.
Moral: A great learning for your child how everyone should value other’s time. Even God is not above the rules of mortal world.
6. The Story about Shiva and His Tandava Pose
Once a dwarf demon named Apasmara challenged Shiva. Apasmara represents ignorance, selfishness, and laziness. Now, Shiva could very easily kill Apasmara. However, he decided that in a world without ignorance, knowledge would come easily to everyone. Consequently, people would value knowledge less. Instead, he decided to keep ignorance alive and crushed by knowledge always.
Thus Lord Shiva took the form of Nataraj- the Lord of dance and started to perform the dance of Tandava. During the dance, Nataraj stepped on Apasmara, crushing him under his right foot. It is believed that Shiva remains in his Nataraj position thus keeping Apasmara under him for eternity. This Natraj Avatar is a message that ignorance can only be overcome by knowledge and art.
Moral: The message in this story is wonderful. A story about knowledge winning over ignorance, right winning over wrong.
7. How Nandi Became the Companion of Shiva
After the Samudra Manthan Shiva had difficulty concentrating on his meditation. His throat was always burning by the Halahala poison from Samudra Manthan that was stuck there. Hence, he ordered Nandi to sit in front of him and blow on air continuously to his throat to get relief. Nandi followed Shiva’s order, sat in front of him, and started blowing air. This relieved Shiva from the burning sensation.
From that day onwards, Nandi remains seated in front of Shiva to help him meditate. That is why all Shiva temples have the Nandi statue in the front. It is for that reason, one should never stand in front of Nandi, as it stops the air blow from Nandi to Shiva. It disturbs Shiva’s meditation. If you need to look at Shiva, you can look at him through both the ears of Nandi.
Moral: A lovely story about how everyone big or small can make a big difference. Nandi in his own ways, helps Shiva to do his great work. A child learns that, everyone is important and every work is impactful.
Why is Mahashivratri celebrated?
The Festival MahaShivratri is the celebration of the grand marriage between Shiva and Parvathy. Lord Shiva is the lord of destruction and Parvathi is the goddess of love, care and beauty. Parvathy is also known as Shakti. The duo of Shiv and Shakti is considered to be the epitome of love, power, and togetherness. Their union is celebrated as MahaShivratri.
Who are the children of Shiva?
Lord Shiva has 8 children – 1. Ganesh 2. Kartikay 3. Ashok Sundari 4. Ayyappan 5. Andhaka 6. Manasa 7. Goddess Jyoti 8. Jalandhar
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