That these two figures would appeal far more strongly to the hearts and feelings of the people, especially the warlike Kshatriyas, 1 than the austere Siva is only what might have been expected; and, indeed, since the time of the epics their cult seems never to have lacked numerous adherents.
Distant, is a group of 108 Siva lingam temples built in 1788.
As Brahma is the creator and Vishnu the preserver, so Siva is the destroyer.
What has made this cult attach itself more especially to the Saiva creed is doubtless the character of Siva as the type of reproductive power, in addition to his function as destroyer which, as we shall see, is likewise reflected in some of the forms of his Sakti.
As in India, after the expulsion of Buddhism, the degrading worship of Siva and his dusky bride had been incorporated into Hinduism from the savage devil worship of Aryan and of non-Aryan tribes, so, as pure Buddhism died away in the north, the Tantra system, a mixture of magic and witchcraft and sorcery, was incorporated into the corrupted Buddhism.
Tulsi, as a Smarta Vaishnava and a Brahman, venerates the whole Hindu pantheon, and is especially careful to give Siva or Mahadeva, the special deity of the Brahmans, his due, and to point out that there is no inconsistency between devotion to Rama and attachment to Siva (Ramayan, Lankakand, Doha 3).
Death being a transition to a new form of life, the destroyer is really a re-creator, and thus Siva is styled the Bright or Happy One.
DURGA, or Devi (Sanskrit for inaccessible), in Hindu mythology, the wife of Siva and daughter of Himavat (the Himalayas).
The high-caste Brahman will probably keep at his home asalagram stone, the favourite symbol of Vishnu, as well as the characteristic emblems of Siva and his consort, to both of which he will do reverence in the morning; and when he visits some holy place of pilgrimage, he will not fail to pay his homage at both the Saiva and the Vaishnava shrines there.
The general shape and style are Roman: the inscriptions are in Greek or in a Persian language written in Greek letters, or in Kharoshthi: the reverse often bears the figure of a deity, either Greek (Herakles, Helios, Selene) or Zoroastrian (Mithra, Vata, Verethraghna) or Indian (generally Siva or a war god).