The primary goal of Shaivism is Moksh, Mukti or Nirvan,
      realizing one's identity with God Shiv, in perfect union and
      non-differentiation, thus gaining liberation from the cycles of
      birth and death.  This is also termed Nirvakalp Samadhi and 
      may be attained in this life.  A secondary goal is Shalvakalp  
      Samadhi or experience of God Shiv as Satchidanand or pure 
      consciousness. The soul's final destiny is to merge with
      Bhagavan (God)Shiv.

     The third member of the supreme trinity, Shiva is also called
     Mahadeva,the great god.He is by far the most complx personage
     in Hindu mythology.He unites in himself the contradictory
     aspects of life: he destroys and he creates;he kills the old
     world to make a new one emerge from it.Characteristic of him 
     are third ,vertical eye which he bears in the middle of his 
     forehead,and the three horizontal lines across it.

     The Mahabharata narrates how Shiva meditated,seated at the
     summit of the Himalayas. His wife,Uma,approached him and
     playfully covered his eyes wth her hands.The world was 
     suddenly plunged in darkness. But a ray of light as brilliant
     as the sun sprang from his third eye,restoring life and 
     warmth to the world.
     Shiva is the greatest of the yogis. He sits on a tiger or
     panther-skin,and he wears his hair in a bun. Snakes are
     coiled around his neck and a crescent moon decorates his
     hair.Water spouts fountain-like from the top of his hair.
     This is the Ganges,the sacred river. In his four hands
     he holds a drum ,a begging bowl with which he asks for alms,
     a trident symbolising his power, and an antelope. He rides
     the bull Nandi, which is a cult figure in its own right.
     Shiva is the supreme god of south India. He is an ascentic
     and also Nataraj,the god of dance who destroys the world
     through fire,and recreates it with drum-beats. Shiva's
     essential symbol is the lingam,or phallus, symbolising
     creation.He enters and facundates the yoni,female symbol
     of earth.

     Shiva may be Bhairava,the terrible,or Hari-Hara 
     (combination of Vishnu and Shiva).When he personifies the
     Absolute,he unites within himself the forms of Vishnu,
     Brahma and Shiva. In this case , he is called Trimurti,Shiva
     with three faces.