Shiva (pron.: /ˈʃɪvə/; Sanskrit: शिव Śiva, meaning "auspicious one") is a Hindu deity and is "the Destroyer" or "the Transformer" among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. He is considered the Supreme God within Shaivism, one of the three most influential denominations in Hinduism, where as in other branches of Hinduism such as in the Smarta tradition, he is regarded as one of the five primary forms of God.
Shiva is usually worshipped in the aniconic form of lingam. He is described as an omniscient yogi, who lives an ascetic life on Mount Kailash, as well as a householder with a wife Parvati, and two sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya. Shiva has many benevolent as well as fearsome forms. He is often depicted as immersed in deep meditation, with his wife and children or as the Cosmic Dancer. In fierce aspects, he is often depicted slaying demons.