Brahma meditated for a son as renowned and powerful as himself and found a boy name Nilalohita on his lap:
Ruroda suswaram ghoram nirdahanniva tejasaa,
Drushtwaa rudatam sahasaa Kumaram Nilalohitam/
Kim rodishi Kumareti Brahmaa tam pratyabhashata,
Sobraveedyehi mey naama prathamam twam Pitamaha/
Rudrastwam Deva naamaasi sa ityuktto rudahpunah,
Kim rodishi Kumaareti Brahmaa tam pratyabhashata/
Naama dedi dwiteeyam mey naama iktyuvaacha Swayambhuvam,
Bhavastwam Deva naamnaasi ityukttah sorudatpunah/
(As the child cried so terribly as though he would burn himself with his radiance, Brahma asked him as to why was he crying so much the child asked Brahma to give him a name first and Brahma replied that the child would be named Rudra. The child continued to cry and when asked by Brahma as to why the child continued to cry, the latter asked Brahma to give a second name as Bhava.) As this process of crying continued, Brahma gave the child further names as Sharva, Ishaana, Pashupati, Bhima, Ugra and Maha Deva. The Child then stopped crying but desired that the Eight Names given to him as Nilalohita be serialised with their inner meanings and Brahma explained as follows:
Tato Visrushtaastanava yeshaam Naamnaa Swayambhuva,
Suryo Jalam Mahi Vaayurvahnir –aakaashameyvacha/
Dikshitaa Braahmanaschandra ityevam teyshtadhaa tanuh,
Teshu Pujyaswa Vandascha Namaskaarascha yatnatah/
(Then Swayambhu Brahma decided the seriatim of the Names depending on the significance of Surya, Jala, Bhumi, Vaayu, Vahni, Akaasha, Dikshita Brahmana and Chandra; these are the Ashta Tanus or Eight Forms worthy of salutation and worship without fail).
Among these Eight Swarupas, Rudra would be likened as Surya whose radiance is unparalleled and should never be seen at the time of Sunrise or Sunset; Brahmanas should take their bath and on securing external and internal purification must perform Sandhya Vandana at both Sun Rise and Sun Set as also recite Gayatri, and Ruk-Yajur-Saama Veda Suktaas and Surya worship which tantamounts to Rudra Puja. Recital of Ruk-Suktas should be done at the Sun Rise and that of Yajussukta at mid-day besides Gayatri Japa during thrice a day. None should pass urine before the Sun God. Rudra’s physical Feature of per his Prathama Tanu is stated to be Roudri, his wife’s name is Suvarchala and his progeny is Shani.
The Second Form of Shiva is Bhava and his position among the series of Ashta Tanus is in ‘Apas’or water ; Jala is the Life Provider and Preserver. As Sarva Bhutaas are sustained by Shiva, in his Bhava Swarupa. None should attempt to turn water impure by mala-mutra varjana, vivastra-snaana, nishthinana or spitting. As Water has the nature of flow, its speed should not be restricted as the natural feature is to reach Samudra which is its beloved. However, as Munis identified Medhya Jala (Pure water) or Amedhya Jala (Contaminated water), the latter variety must be discarded. The Third Form of Ishwara is Sharva and his prescribed position is Bhumi whose strong strengh and stamina entered Shiva’s bones and Bhumi is thus called Sharva too; any tilled land or under the shade of trees, none should desecrate in any manner lest he or she would certainly attract the wrath of Sharva. Devi Vikeshi is Sharva’s wife and Angaraka his son. Ishana is the fourth name of Nilalohita and is served by Vaayu or Wind. Vaata is the regulation of Shiva; it provided Pancha Pranaas to Ishana. None should wind as being mild or furious and also none should pollute it with poisons nor go against its natural speed. Those who respect air respect Ishana himself; Wind needs ro be respected with Yajnas and Sacred deeds or else Ishana could play havoc with the severity of hurricanes and blizzards. Ishaana’s wife is called Shiva and his sons are Manojava and Avignaatagati or Speed of Mind and of Mysterious Movement. Pashupati is the fifth Swarupa of Shiva; his designated form and features are of Agni. No person should play with fire, dump impurities into it and cross it or seek to warm up feet or hands in cold climate as it would strike back the person concerned; the fiery element is full of Pashupati’s instincts and thus requires veneration. Indeed Agni burns of every one after death and at the same time burns off food in digestion; Pashupati too is a preserver as also a Destroyer. Swaha Devi is Pashupati’s wife and his son is Skanda.The sixth name of Maha Deva is Bheema and as soon as Brahma announced Nilalohita’s name, Akakasha entered Siva’s body at once and like Shiva, Aakasha too is Omni Present encasing the totality of Universe. The Ashta Diks or the Eight Directions are stated to be his wife and Swarga his son. Any sin committed by a person is recorded by Aakasha; the least one should is to refrain from throwing Mala-Mutras, and open-to-Sky copulation. Ugra was the seventh Swarupa of Nilalohita and his regulatory control is of a Dikshita Brahmana or a Brahmana who practises the Ashtanga Yoga of Yama-Niyama-Asana- Pranaayaama- Pratyaahara- Dharana- Dhyana-Samadhi. Chaitanya or Enlightenement of a Model Brahmana thus entered Shiva’s personality as soon as his name was announced by Brahma as Ugra or the Epitome of Rigorousness and Ruthlessness as a Dikshita would never err nor lapse. Most appropriately, his wife’s name and nature are Diksha and his progeny is called Santana or Virtuous Offspring.
The Ashtama Tanu or Vibhuti / Body variation of Shiva is named Maha Deva with Chandra as the regulatory control signifying coolness and placidity and no sooner that Brahma assigned the name of Maha Deva to Shiva than Chandra entered his heart and thus gave the epithet of Shashidhara to Shiva. As Chandra controls Brahmanas, Auoshadhis (herbs) and Trees, Brahmanas are to be revered and herbs and trees are to be given special consideration on Amavasyas and Purnimas, besides festival days or special occasions in any family. Since Chandra is the Cool Mind of Shankara in his benevolent Form, Maha Deva is worshipped for securing boons on such days of speciality. His wife’s position is of Rohini and of son’s is of Budha in the context of Shiva’s vibhuti as Maha Deva.