Why is this Lord Shiva, leaving away gems decorated crown, wears the moon as the crown, instead of various perfumes smears in ash, in place of golden ornaments puts skull garland, instead of nice silk clothings appears naked or wear skin of tiger ? Why should the Supreme God appear in such a cheap decoration ?
While the other divines appear with many cosmetics and materials that decorate them, with glaring crowns and silk, golden robes, Lord shiva appear in a form which is too simple with moon, river, snakes and skulls. This makes one wonder, why should the Supreme that commands the whole universe and has none above Him, appear in such a form ! To find an answer let us look at the ornaments of the Lord. A river, skull, feather, various leaves, crescent, snake earring, skull garlands, snakes as sacred thread, waist thread and ornaments - roughly these are the adornments of the Lord. Isn't there one thing in common across all these ? Yes, all these are non made items - they are naturally existing ones !! Neither is the moon nor the river made by someone; Nor are the skulls and feathers made by a sculptor.
Who is there to make crowns and ornaments for the Supreme That existed when none else were present and Which would exist even when all others cease to exist. The ash smeared on the Lord's form in fact indicates this ever-being of the God. Who can make clothing for the Lord standing limitless, hence He is naked. There are beautiful purANic stories about each of the Lord's ornament worn by the Lord. For example refer (1).
All these natural ornaments indicate the God's uniqueness which controls the whole nature. The moons, rivers and creatures are all ornaments to the Supreme. These are not cheap, but invaluable ornaments in deed ! To that Lord, Who made the beauties of the world, Who Itself is nothing but beauty, what decorations of us would add value other than His own creations !! Salutations to that Lord of nature, salutations to that Lord of creature.
1. daxa kANTham in sha~Nkara samhita in ska.ndha purANa.