~  Shiva the God  ~ 
Also written in Sanskrit as Siva. Some of the concept arts for FF Shiva, books and Ultimania also have "Siva" written below them. It could be because there's no differentiation between "Shi" and "Si" in japanese. You will notice that a lot of Hindu terms are used in FF games and RPGs in general, and as you read some names may be recognized.

The Sanskrit word Shiva is the confluence of two phonetic parts - Shi and Va, meaning redeemer and liberator. Similarly, the Sanskrit suffix linga or lingam (to Shiva) signifies sign, symbol, quality and characteristics of an entity. When subdivided into phonetic consonants li, lin or laya and ga, gam or agaman; these all refer to the process of destruction and recreation which Shiva epitomises. This is similar to the composition and connotation of the term 'god' that may be deciphered to define the divine ordering of generation, operation and destruction. Shiva's linga symbol is also often worshipped instead of Shiva's human form.

In human form, Shiva is called Maheshwara. Shiva is generally pictured as a male, but sometimes portrayed as genderless. He is depicted as a calm half-naked human, with a tiger skin, decorating his head with a crescent and the Ganges, wearing serpents on his limbs and around his neck, holding a trident and his body massaged with ashes. The trident symbolises the Trinity - Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra. The crescent and the Ganges indicate that Shiva is as clear as the Ganges and as cool as the crescent. Serpents represent anger and threat, the serpents under his arms and neck mean that he has control over anger and is fearless. The tiger skin represents the ferocious animal power under his control. The ashes on his body mean that all living beings are subject to death.

This all represents his victory over the demonic activity and the calmness of human nature. His vehicle is a bull (symbol of happiness and strength) called Nandi. He's so powerful that even the bull he rides is a God and is worshipped in its own temples.

In the Hindu beliefs, there's a main trinity of the universe. Brahma is creator, Vishnu is preserver and Shiva is destroyer. Shiva isn't just symbolized as destroyer but also as rebirth. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva each have a consort. Brahma's is Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge. Vishnu's is Lakshmi, the Goddess of love, beauty and delight. Shiva's is Kali (aka Goddess Durga or Parvati), the Goddess of power, destruction and transformation.

As you may not know, the summon called Lakshmi was renamed to Starlet in FF6. Lakshmi's effect was called "Loving Embrace" which was renamed to "Group Hug" and it recovered HP for the whole party. Her summon picture was also edited in order to have her body covered more.

Kali the goddess of destruction, is a form of Goddess Durga (aka Parvati or Lalitha). The other form of Durga is the goddess beyond reach. Both forms have many hands, great power and energy (Shakti). Durga rides on a lion and Kali rides on the dead body of a demon. Durga was called Sati in her previous divine incarnation. Lord Shiva, Durga and their sons (Ganesha and Kartikeya) are like an ideal example of family unity and love.

The image of a Shiva lying under the feet of Kali represents Shiva as the passive potential of creation and Kali as his Shakti. The generic term Shakti denotes the Universal feminine creative principle and the energizing force behind all male divinity including Shiva. Shakti is known by the general name Devi, from the root 'div', meaning to shine. She is the Shining One, who is given different names in different places and in different appearances, as the symbol of the life-giving powers of the Universe. It is she that powers him. This Shakti is expressed as the i in Shiva's name. Without this i, Shiva becomes Shva, which in Sanskrit means a corpse. Thus suggesting that without his Shakti, Shiva is powerless or inert.