[Shiva] In Hindu mythology, a god who forms the trinity with Brahma and Vishnu; as the former is the creator, and the latter the preserver, so Shiva is the destroyer. But as death is a new form of life, the destroyer is really a re-creator, and thus Shiva is called the Bright or Happy One. His name does not occur in the Vedas, but in later Hinduism he is an important divinity.

New Catholic Dictionary

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