Lord Shiva is one of the Hindu Trinity of Creator, Preserver and Destroyer. Hindus use the word GOD, meaning Generator, Organiser, Destructor.
In Hinduism, it is taught that everything, all things that exist, come from God and contain a particle of His reality, called the Atma (soul). The soul is on an eternal journey of return to the Divine, and God Shiva is called the receiver of all life.
Everything that has been created must return to dust or to ash. Lord Shiva is said to be covered in ash, ashes of those who have died.
Shiva is naked, because he is the stark reality, consciousness itself. He sits in mediation rather than active in a task for Absolute Being makes no effort at all, yet, due to its sheer existence, all time and space unfolds.
- Idol of Lord Shiva on the Ganges River. Many devout Hindus are cremated on the Ganges and it is taught that the ashes fall into the river fall on Lord Shiva, who resides on Mount Kailash.