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Mystical Power of Lord Shiva’s Third Eye: Stories and Significance

Lord Shiva

The theory of Lord Shiva’s third eye has always attracted most people. Lord Shiva, one of the principal deities in Hinduism, is revered as the supreme being who embodies the functions of creation, preservation, and destruction. Among many aspects of his attributes, the third eye on his forehead holds a profound symbol of knowledge, power and wisdom. Lord Shiva’s right eye represents the sun, the left eye is the moon, and the third eye is fire. Typically, Lord Shiva is known as the Destroyer. People believed that the third eye opened only in extreme anger and would destroy the world. Let’s explore the stories and significance behind the Third Eye.  

Mythological Stories  

Demise of Sati and Burning of Kamadeva  

In Hindu Mythology, Lord Shiva’s third eye is also known as rejection of desire. How can the third eye eliminate desire? When Sati Lord Shiva’s wife killed herself after being humiliated by her father.   

Sati marries Shiva against her father Daksha’s wishes, who prefers his daughters to wed Devas (gods) rather than an ascetic. In full vengeance, Daksha organizes a fire-sacrifice (yagna), inviting all his sons-in-law except Shiva.  Sati, angered for neglecting her husband, confronted her father at the event. Daksha mocked Sati in front of the guest, this humiliation made Sati unable to bear it and jumped into the sacrificial fire.   

Upon learning of Sati’s death, Shiva is consumed by rage and sorrow. Transforming into Veerabhadra Swamy, a fierce warrior, Shiva goes on a rampage, attacking all who witnessed Sati’s demise and eventually beheading Daksha. However, his vengeance does not alleviate his sorrow. Shiva roams around the world, carrying Sati's charred remains, tears streaming down his face. Fearing for the world’s well-being, the Devas intervened and cut Sati’s corpse into pieces. With her body gone, Shiva overcomes his sorrow and retreats into a cave in the Himalayas, where he removes himself from anger and pain, embracing his ascetic nature and rejecting worldly things. This made Lord Shiva’s third eye the rejection of desire.  

After the death of Sati, Lord Shiva returned to meditate in Mount Kailash. Sati was reborn as a Parvati, who showered unconditional devotion towards Lord Shiva. The Devas learned that the demon Tarakasura, who had caused them trouble, was destined to be killed by the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. So, Devas decided to send the Kamadeva (the god of love) to awaken Shiva and stir the desire in Shiva’s heart for Parvati. Kamadeva with his bow made of sugarcane and arrows adorned with flowers.  

 As Shiva meditated, completely absorbed in his inner world, Kama Deva aimed and released an arrow of desire. The arrow struck its mark, and for a moment, Shiva’s concentration wavered, and he opened his eyes. The disruption of his meditation provoked Shiva's anger. In a burst of rage, he opened his third eye in the middle of his forehead. From this eye, a fierce and fiery beam shot out instantly burning Kama Deva and reducing him to ashes. The incineration of Kama Deva caused great distress among the gods and his wife, Rati. Parvati, who had been devotedly serving Shiva, was also deeply saddened. Understanding the importance of love and the impact of his actions, Shiva later revived Kama Deva in a bodiless form, making him Ananga (without physical form). This act balanced Shiva's fierce nature with his compassionate side.  

Significance of Third eye  

Spiritual Insight:  

The third eye also known as “Eye of Wisdom” represents Lord Shiva’s ability to see beyond the physical world and understand the depths of life.  

Destruction of Ignorance 

When Shiva opens his third eye, it is thought to release a powerful energy that destroys illusions and falsehoods, revealing the truth. This act symbolizes the eradication of ignorance and the illumination of wisdom.  

Balancing Energy  

Shiva’s act of destroying and later reviving Kama Deva highlights the balance between asceticism and the vital role of love and desire in creation. This dual action illustrates the balance between maintaining strict spiritual practices and acknowledging the natural impulses that drive existence.  


Shiva’s third eye is a powerful symbol of destruction and creation, illustrating the dynamic and complex nature of the divine. This tale reminds devotees of the importance of spiritual insight. Additionally, Sani Maha Pradosham, an auspicious day to worship Lord Shiva, will occur two times this year: April 6, 2024, and August 31, 2024.


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