Lord Shiva is often referred as ” MAHADEV “, meaning GOD of GODS..
Before knowing that, let us see what GOD refers to : GOD refers to
G – Generator ( Lod Brahma, the creator),
O – Operator (lord Vishnu) and
D – destroyer ( Lord shiva destroys with his third eye).
In this regards, it may seem that Lord Shiva has the 3rd eye and he destroys in anger.. But the truth is mahadev is BHOLA SHANKAR (BHOLA means innocent), he is the only GOD who is pleased by mere chanting his name and fulfills all wishes of all people.
The other popular names associated with Lord Shiva are Mahesh, Maheshwar, Shankar, Shambhu, Rudra, Har, Trilochan, Devendra (meaning Chief of the gods) and Trilokinath (meaning Lord of the three realms). Shiva means “the One who is eternally pure” and he is untouched by any thing.
According to a story, a dispute occurred between Brahma the creator, and Vishnu the preserver, over which of them was superior. In order to settle the argument, Lord Shiva is said to have manifested as a column of light and told them to find the start point and end point of the column of fire, then Brahma took the form of a swan and flew to see the crown of Siva. Unable to see the crown, Bramha saw a thazhambu flower which had decked Siva’s crown falling down. He asked the flower as to the distance of Siva’s crown whereby the flower replied that he had been falling for forty thousand years. Brahma, realizing that he would not be able to reach the crown asked the flower to act as a false witness. The thazhambu flower acting as a false witness declared that Brahma had seen the crown. Siva became angry at the deception and cursed that Brahma should have no temple on earth and that the thazhambu flower should not be used while praying to Lord Siva. Lord Vishnu accepted his defeat and said that he was not able to find the end of the column. Neither Lord Vishnu nor Lord Brahma were able to find the start and end of the column of fire of Mahadev. That is why mahadev says “Is brahmaand ka arambh bhi main hoon aur anth bhi main hoon” (means that Lord Shiva is the start and he is the end of this universe).
Lord Shiva is present in each and every element that comprises this universe, and mahadev is the only God who is present in every human being (that is why they say Har Har Mahadev means every one is mahadev, since he is present in every one) when he/she is alive and when the person dies, even then he applies the ashes of our dead body all over his body. That is the greatness of mahadev.
At a glance when we see Shiva, we see him as a married man with wife Parvati (Aadi Shakti) and children Ganesh and Karthikey and in the next instance he is a Sanyasi and bairaagi, Who doesn’t need any wordly desires and wears lion cloth and applies all ash over his body and it is said that he stays in the burial ground. If we pray Mahadev from our Chitta (chitta is termed as the mind-stuff or mental substance), he will be pleased and all desires will be fulfilled. People should chant the panchakshari mantra (five letter mantra) ” namah shivaaya” , it comprises the 5 elements of the nature namely Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Akash (sky).