33. Traditions Involving Shiva Stretch From India to Indonesia
Depictions and stories about Shiva have been found in Nepal, Sri Lanka, and even Bali, an island in Indonesia. Scholars believe that the figure Hindus now recognize as Shiva is an amalgamation of many different local deities. For example, in the state of Maharashtra, Khandoba, the god of farming became assimilated into Shiva worship by coming to be seen as one of Shiva’s incarnations or avatars. By absorbing so many different deities, each of whom represented various aspects of life, he came to embody many extremes and contradictions.