literally meaning “The kind, the good-hearted”. SHIVA is the third essential god in the Hindu trinity which also contains BRAHMA and VISHNU. SHIVA is the god of destruction of those who are ignorant and of what is impure. He can also be an infinite beneficialial force as he often removes AVIDYA (the shroud of ignorance which produces sufferance). His symbol is the LINGAM, the male creative organ, as a symbol of his virility, and SOLAR (+) force. He is often represented in ecstatic fusion with his consort, the supreme goddess SHAKTI, who is the feminine, LUNAR (-) aspect and who’s symbol is the YONI or feminine sexual organ. Shakti is a symbol of nature and earth while SHIVA is the symbol of sky. In the tantric philosophy, SIVA represents the Ultimate Reality, the Absolute, God, The Liberator. He also has many other names : SHAMBU, SHANKARA, ISHANA, VISHVANATHA or NATARAJA (the cosmic dancer).