Originally a pre-vedic 'lord of the animals', perhaps originating in the Indus Valley civilization. Shiva was the great destroyer-creator and master of life and death who sat on a tiger skin. His entranced dance was said to maintain the world. His followers were primitivists who rejected civilised behavior and social norms. He was the god of outcastes, nomads and the common people. The cult of Shiva became a repository of left hand path Dravidian religion. Associatd with sexuality (the phallus being his symbol) the origins of Tantra are found in his cult. Later he becomes absorbed into the Vedic tradition and is mystified as the great transcender. The original Shiva is now largely lost. The Vedic Shiva is a permanently entranced Yogi whose teachings help his followers escape reality and achieve a transcendental state of consciousness. He acts through his Shakti, manifest as Durga and Kali.