Shiva is considered as the destroyer of the universe, in Hinduism. Shiva is a complex god, in terms of nature and represents contradictory qualities, being the destroyer and the restorer simultaneously. There are numerous legends surrounding Lord Shiva and his powers. Here're a few popular stories of Lord Shiva.
Story of Shiva Lingam - Why Shiva is worshipped in the Phallic Form
This is an interesting story regarding the worship of Lord Shiva in the
phallic form. It is believed that once Brahma and Vishnu, the two
deities of the Trinity, got into an argument regarding their supremacy.
Lord Brahma declared himself to be more admired, being the creator.
While the preserver, Vishnu, pronounced that he commanded more
admiration. Just then a huge pillar of fire (lingam), called as
Jyotirlinga, appeared in flames, before them. This Lingam enthralled
both Brahma and Vishnu, with its hastily increasing size.
this incident, they forgot their quarrel and decided to find its size.
Vishnu took the form of boar and went to the netherworld. Brahma assumed
the form of a Swan and flew to the skies. However both of them were
unsuccessful in completing the self-assumed tasks. At that time, Shiva
appeared out of the lingam and acknowledged that he was the progenitor
of both, Brahma and Vishnu. So, he should be worshipped in his phallic
(lingam) form, and not in the anthropomorphic form.
Story of Shiva and the Hunter
Here is one more interesting story of Lord Shiva, showing his merciful
nature. Once a hunter was wandering in a dense forest, to chase a deer
and suddenly he found himself on the banks of river Kolidum, where he
heard the roar of a tiger. In order to defend himself from the tiger, he
climbed up a tree close by. The Tiger sat on the ground below the tree
without the purpose to leave.
The huntsman stayed at the tree whole night and to keep himself awake,
he plucked one leaf after another from the tree and threw it down. There
was a Shiva Lingam under the tree and gracefully the tree turned out to
be a ''bilva'' tree (leaves of this tree are adored by Shiva). Without
any knowledge, the huntsman had delighted the deity by pouring Bilva
leaves all night. With the arrival of the sun, the hunter looked down
and found the tiger gone. In its place, Lord Shiva was standing and he
prostate before the lord. With Shiva's blessings, he attained salvation
from the bondage of the material world.