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There is some uncertainty as the artwork that has survived is damaged and they show some overlap with meditative Buddha-related artwork, but the presence of Shiva's trident and phallic symbolism in this art suggests it was likely Shiva.
The Shiva in Kushan coins is referred to as Oesho of unclear etymology and origins, but the simultaneous presence of Indra and Shiva in the Kushan era artwork suggest that they were revered deities by the start of the Kushan Empire.
Vishnu and Siva [...] began to absorb countless local cults and deities within their folds.
The latter were either taken to represent the multiple facets of the same god or else were supposed to denote different forms and appellations by which the god came to be known and worshipped.
A few texts such as Atharvashiras Upanishad mention Rudra, and assert all gods are Rudra, everyone and everything is Rudra, and Rudra is the principle found in all things, their highest goal, the innermost essence of all reality that is visible or invisible.
The Kaivalya Upanishad similarly, states Paul Deussen – a German Indologist and professor of Philosophy, describes the self-realized man as who "feels himself only as the one divine essence that lives in all", who feels identity of his and everyone's consciousness with Shiva (highest Atman), who has found this highest Atman within, in the depths of his heart.
This blog is an offshoot of a website that I had conceived as a result of the spiritual grace and resultant inspiration during Shivaratri Y2K ( on the joy of Shiva Bhakti and my quest for spiritual progress.
From here I believe that there is only ONE consciousness in the Cosmos, and that each of us are holographic “facets” of that ONE.
The Rigveda, for example, has 3 out of 1,028 hymns dedicated to Rudra, and he finds occasional mention in other hymns of the same text.
For example, in the Jain caves at Ellora, extensive carvings show dancing Indra next to the images of Tirthankaras in a manner similar to Shiva Nataraja.
The similarities in the dance iconography suggests that there may be a link between ancient Indra and Shiva.
(I guess the “enchilada” reference also makes it more than just one metaphor. They’re free.)It follows, at least for me, that when create, it is really The ONE still creating, and when we expand our consciousness, and our Imagination, it is The ONE still expanding.
I personally think that’s more than “just” a metaphor.