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Symbolism Of Skull In The Hands Of Shiva – Kapala Of Shiva

Symbolically, the kapala or skull in the hands of Shiva represents  all the world which remains in his hands. There is a story that explains this symbolism.

The story of creation from thigh of Shiva is found in the Kathasaritasagara. Once at the end of Kalpa (a cycle of creation) a great deluge happened and the earth was covered with water. Now it was time for next cycle of creation to begin.


Shiva then cut open his thigh and dropped a drop of blood in the water and it turned into an egg.

Breaking it open a male emerged from it. Seeing him Shiva created Prakriti, the female principle. Both created prajapatis, the progenitors. They gave rise to Praja, living beings. 

Being ancient among them all the creation the very first man became known in the world as Pitamaha, supreme father.

His mind was filled with pride for his act of creation of the world

As per Kathasaritasagara, this account was given by Shiva in the cremation ground in Ujjain.

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