Key Points

Why Lord Shiva Wear Tiger Skin?

Lord Shiva, the epitome of power and divinity, is a fascinating character in Hindu mythology. Among his many distinctive attributes, one particularly intriguing aspect of his appearance is his choice of clothing a tiger skin.

This unique clothing choice holds a deep symbolism and mystique that reflects the profound teachings and spiritual significance associated with Lord Shiva.

Delving into the reasons why Lord Shiva wear tiger skin unravels a captivating journey of wisdom, symbolism, and divine purpose that unveils the profound depths of this powerful deity.

Why Lord Shiva wear tiger skin
Why Lord Shiva wear tiger skin


🐯 Topic of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. The symbolism of Lord Shiva's complete attire
  3. Historical and cultural references
  4. Spiritual interpretations
  5. Final Thoughts
  6. FAQs


The symbolism of Lord Shiva's complete attire

Lord Shiva, the god of destruction and transformation in Hinduism, is known for his unique and distinctive attire, which carries deep symbolism. Each element of his clothing represents a specific aspect or characteristic associated with him.

  1. Rudraksha beads: Lord Shiva is often depicted wearing a mala (garland) made of rudraksha beads. These beads are believed to have a connection with the tears of Lord Shiva, symbolizing compassion, spiritual power, and protection. Wearing them signifies the wearer's devotion to Shiva and his divine qualities.
  2. Serpent around the neck: Shiva is often seen wearing a snake (naga) around his neck, known as Vasuki. The serpent represents the dormant energy (Kundalini) that resides in all living beings. It signifies divine wisdom, knowledge, and eternity. The snake also symbolizes control over desire and physical attachments.
  3. Damru (drum): Lord Shiva is often depicted holding a small drum called a Damru. The damru represents the rhythmic sound of creation, sustaining the cosmic order. Its shape, resembling the primordial sound "Aum," symbolizes the origin of life and creation. The sound of the damru represents the vibration that brings harmony and balance to the universe.
  4. Trishula (trident): Shiva is frequently seen holding a trishula, a three-pronged weapon. The trishula represents the triple energies of creation, preservation, and destruction. It symbolizes the ability to overcome the three main obstacles in life – ignorance, ego, and desire. It represents Lord Shiva's power to destroy negative energies and create a path for spiritual growth.
  5. Tiger skin: Lord Shiva is often depicted wearing tiger skin as his attire. The tiger represents power, strength, and fearlessness. It symbolizes victory over primal desires, symbolizing control over human instincts.
  6. Ashes (Bhasma): Shiva is often seen with ashes smeared on his body. The ashes represent the transient nature of life and remind devotees of their mortality. It signifies the destruction of the physical body and the purification of the soul. Ashes also symbolize the dissolution of ego and attachment to material possessions.

It shows Lord Shiva's connection with cosmic order and spiritual awakening. It encourages devotees to give up worldly attachments, embrace change and seek inner transformation.


Historical and cultural references

Historical Context:

The origins of Lord Shiva and his association with the tiger skin can be traced back to ancient Indian civilization. In the early days of human settlement, tigers were found in abundance in the Indian subcontinent. As a result, encounters between humans and tigers were common, and tigers were often considered a symbol of power and strength.

Over time, as Indian civilization developed and religious practices evolved, the tiger became associated with various deities, including Lord Shiva. Tigers were seen as fearsome creatures and were considered to possess divine and mystical qualities. Shiva, as the god of destruction and transformation, was often depicted wearing the tiger skin as a means to portray his power and dominance over both the physical and spiritual realms.

Cultural Context:

In Hindu tradition, Shiva is worshipped as the Supreme God who represents both creation and destruction. His attire, including the tiger skin, reflects his multifaceted nature and his ability to transcend worldly attachments.

The tiger skin is also symbolic of Shiva's ability to conquer the ego and desires, as the tiger epitomizes primal instincts and strength. By wearing it, Shiva represents the idea of shedding one's mortal limitations and reaching a higher state of consciousness.

Furthermore, the tiger skin is believed to have specific powers and attributes. It is said to protect the wearer from negative energies and acts as a shield against evil forces. Therefore, devotees of Lord Shiva may wear or use tiger skin during certain rituals and practices to ensure spiritual protection and connection with the divine.

READ ALSO: Who is the father of lord shiva?


Spiritual interpretations

It can be understood in several ways, here are some possible spiritual interpretations:

  1. Conquest of animalistic instincts: Tigers are powerful creatures symbolizing strength, courage, and fearlessness. By wearing the tiger skin, Lord Shiva is indicating his mastery over these primal instincts. It represents his ability to harness and control the animalistic energy within oneself, transcending the lower nature and its desires.
  2. Triumph over ignorance: Tigers are also associated with ignorance and delusion. Lord Shiva, being the supreme deity, is often portrayed as the destroyer of ignorance and the source of true knowledge. Wearing the tiger skin signifies his victory over spiritual ignorance, leading his devotees toward enlightenment and ultimate liberation.
  3. Symbol of divine protection: Tigers are known for their protective instincts, defending their territories and loved ones fearlessly. By adorning the tiger skin, Lord Shiva is considered to be the ultimate protector, guarding his devotees against external and internal threats. It symbolizes his strong presence and the assurance that he is always there to safeguard and guide his followers.
  4. Connection with the natural world: Tigers are an integral part of the natural world, representing the wild and untamed aspects of nature. By wearing the tiger skin, Lord Shiva is signifying his deep-rooted connection with nature and the universe. It depicts his role as the Lord of the animals and his ability to maintain the equilibrium between the material and spiritual realms.
  5. Aesthetic significance: Apart from its symbolic interpretations, the depiction of Shiva wearing a tiger skin also holds aesthetic significance. The vibrant stripes and texture of the tiger skin symbolize Shiva's association with cosmic energy (Kundalini) and the dynamic nature of creation and destruction.


Final Thoughts

Lord Shiva wears tiger skin symbolically as a representation of his supreme power and his ability to conquer and transcend all aspects of the material world. It serves as a reminder of the need to tame one's primal instincts and conquer the ego to attain spiritual enlightenment and connect with the divine.

The choice of tiger skin also signifies his strong association with nature and his role as the ultimate protector and preserver of the universe.

Overall, Lord Shiva's choice to wear tiger skin embodies his unique and unparalleled divine qualities.



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FAQs on Lord Shiva's attire

Which God sits on a tiger?

Goddess Durga and Swami Ayyappa.

Why lord Shiva wears snake?

Wearing a snake around a neck carries various meanings related to divine energy, control over desires, connection with nature, and spiritual protection.

Why lord Shiva wear Rudraksha?

Lord Shiva wears Rudraksha beads as a symbol of his divine power and to inspire devotees to seek spiritual enlightenment.

Why lord Shiva wears moon on his head?

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva wears the moon on his head to symbolize control over time and to represent the cyclical nature of life. The moon also represents calmness and peace, which are qualities associated with Lord Shiva. Additionally, the moon is believed to have a cooling effect, and Lord Shiva's association with the moon signifies his ability to temper the destructive aspects of his nature.

Is Shiva wearing elephant skin or tiger skin?

Tiger skin.