Shiva(Redirected from Mahesha)
Shiva (/, -/; Sanskrit: शिव, IAST: Śiva, lit. the auspicious one) is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. He is the Supreme Being within Shaivism, one of the major traditions within contemporary Hinduism.
Statue of Shiva at Murudeshwar
|Affiliation||Brahman (Shaivism), Trimurti, Deva, Ishvara|
|Mantra||Om Namah Shivaya|
|Festivals||Maha Shivaratri, Shravan month|
|Children||Ganesha and Kartikeya
Regional: Ayyappan (Aiyanar, Shasta), Ashokasundari, Manasa, Vishnumaya and others
Shiva is the "destroyer of evil and the transformer" within the Trimurti, the Hindu trinity that includes Brahma and Vishnu. In Shaivism tradition, Shiva is the Supreme being who creates, protects and transforms the universe. In the goddess tradition of Hinduism called Shaktism, the goddess is described as supreme, yet Shiva is revered along with Vishnu and Brahma. A goddess is stated to be the energy and creative power (Shakti) of each, with Parvati the equal complementary partner of Shiva. He is one of the five equivalent deities in Panchayatana puja of the Smarta tradition of Hinduism.
According to the Shaivism sect, the highest form of Shiva is formless, limitless, transcendent and unchanging absolute Brahman, and the primal Atman (soul, self) of the universe. Shiva has many benevolent and fearsome depictions. In benevolent aspects, he is depicted as an omniscient Yogi who lives an ascetic life on Mount Kailash as well as a householder with wife Parvati and his two children, Ganesha and Kartikeya. In his fierce aspects, he is often depicted slaying demons. Shiva is also known as Adiyogi Shiva, regarded as the patron god of yoga, meditation and arts.
The iconographical attributes of Shiva are the serpent around his neck, the adorning crescent moon, the holy river Ganga flowing from his matted hair, the third eye on his forehead, the trishula as his weapon and the damaru. He is usually worshipped in the aniconic form of Lingam. Shiva is a pan-Hindu deity, revered widely by Hindus, in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Etymology and other names
The Sanskrit word "Śiva" (Devanagari: शिव, transliterated as Shiva or Siva) means, states Monier Monier-Williams, "auspicious, propitious, gracious, benign, kind, benevolent, friendly". The roots of Śiva in folk etymology is śī which means "in whom all things lie, pervasiveness" and va which means "embodiment of grace".
The word Shiva is used as an adjective in the Rig Veda (approximately 1700-1100 BC), as an epithet for several Rigvedic deities, including Rudra. The term Shiva also connotes "liberation, final emancipation" and "the auspicious one", this adjective sense of usage is addressed to many deities in Vedic layers of literature. The term evolved from the Vedic Rudra-Shiva to the noun Shiva in the Epics and the Puranas, as an auspicious deity who is the "creator, reproducer and dissolver".
The Sanskrit word śaiva means "relating to the god Shiva", and this term is the Sanskrit name both for one of the principal sects of Hinduism and for a member of that sect. It is used as an adjective to characterize certain beliefs and practices, such as Shaivism.
Some authors associate the name with the Tamil word śivappu meaning "red", noting that Shiva is linked to the Sun (śivan, "the Red one", in Tamil) and that Rudra is also called Babhru (brown, or red) in the Rigveda. The Vishnu sahasranama interprets Shiva to have multiple meanings: "The Pure One", and "the One who is not affected by three Guṇas of Prakṛti (Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas)".
Shiva is known by many names such Viswanatha (lord of the universe), Mahadeva, Mahandeo, Mahasu, Mahesha, Maheshvara, Shankara, Shambhu, Rudra, Hara, Trilochana, Devendra (chief of the gods), Neelakanta, Subhankara, Trilokinatha (lord of the three realms), and Ghrneshwar (lord of compassion). The highest reverence for Shiva in Shaivism is reflected in his epithets Mahādeva ("Great god"; mahā "Great" and deva "god"), Maheśvara ("Great Lord"; mahā "great" and īśvara "lord"), and Parameśvara ("Supreme Lord").
Sahasranama are medieval Indian texts that list a thousand names derived from aspects and epithets of a deity. There are at least eight different versions of the Shiva Sahasranama, devotional hymns (stotras) listing many names of Shiva. The version appearing in Book 13 (Anuśāsanaparvan) of the Mahabharata provides one such list. Shiva also has Dasha-Sahasranamas (10,000 names) that are found in the Mahanyasa. The Shri Rudram Chamakam, also known as the Śatarudriya, is a devotional hymn to Shiva hailing him by many names.
Historical development and literature
The Shiva-related tradition is a major part of Hinduism, found all over India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bali (Indonesia). Scholars have interpreted early prehistoric paintings at the Bhimbetka rock shelters, carbon dated to be from pre-10,000 BCE period, as Shiva dancing, Shiva's trident, and his mount Nandi. Rock paintings from Bhimbetka, depicting a figure with a trishul, have been described as Nataraja by Erwin Neumayer, who dates them to the mesolithic.
Indus Valley origins
Of several Indus valley seals that show animals, one seal that has attracted attention shows a large central figure, either horned or wearing a horned headdress and possibly ithyphallic, seated in a posture reminiscent of the Lotus position, surrounded by animals. This figure was named by early excavators of Mohenjo-daro as Pashupati (Lord of Animals, Sanskrit paśupati), an epithet of the later Hindu deities Shiva and Rudra.
Sir John Marshall and others suggested that this figure is a prototype of Shiva, with three faces, seated in a "yoga posture" with the knees out and feet joined. Semi-circular shapes on the head were interpreted as two horns. Scholars such as Gavin Flood, John Keay and Doris Meth Srinivasan have expressed doubts about this suggestion.
Gavin Flood states that it is not clear from the seal that the figure has three faces, is seated in a yoga posture, or even that the shape is intended to represent a human figure. He characterizes these views as "speculative", but adds that it is nevertheless possible that there are echoes of Shaiva iconographic themes, such as half-moon shapes resembling the horns of a bull. John Keay writes that "he may indeed be an early manifestation of Lord Shiva as Pashu-pati", but a couple of his specialties of this figure does not match with Rudra. Writing in 1997, Srinivasan interprets what John Marshall interpreted as facial as not human but more bovine, possibly a divine buffalo-man.
The interpretation of the seal continues to be disputed. McEvilley, for example, states that it is not possible to "account for this posture outside the yogic account". Asko Parpola states that other archaeological finds such as the early Elamite seals dated to 3000-2750 BCE show similar figures and these have been interpreted as "seated bull" and not a yogi, and the bovine interpretation is likely more accurate. Gregory L. Possehl in 2002, associated it with the water buffalo, and concluded that while it would be appropriate to recognize the figure as a deity, and its posture as one of ritual discipline, regarding it as a proto-Shiva would "go too far".
The Vedic literature refers to a minor atmospheric deity, with fearsome powers called Rudra. The Rigveda, for example, has 3 out of 1,028 hymns dedicated to Rudra, and he finds occasional mention in other hymns of the same text. The term Shiva also appears in the Rigveda, but simply as an epithet that means "kind, auspicious", one of the adjectives used to describe many different Vedic deities. While fierce ruthless natural phenomenon and storm-related Rudra is feared in the hymns of the Rigveda, the beneficial rains he brings are welcomed as Shiva aspect of him. This healing, nurturing, life-enabling aspect emerges in the Vedas as Rudra-Shiva, and in post-Vedic literature ultimately as Shiva who combines the destructive and constructive powers, the terrific and the pacific, as the ultimate recycler and rejuvenator of all existence.
The similarities between the iconography and theologies of Shiva with Greek and European deities have led to proposals for an Indo-European link for Shiva, or lateral exchanges with ancient central Asian cultures. His contrasting aspects such as being terrifying or blissful depending on the situation, are similar to those of the Greek god Dionysus, as are their iconic associations with bull, snakes, anger, bravery, dancing and carefree life. The ancient Greek texts of the time of Alexander the Great call Shiva as "Indian Dionysus", or alternatively call Dionysus as "god of the Orient". Similarly, the use of phallic symbol as an icon for Shiva is also found for Irish, Nordic, Greek (Dionysus) and Roman deities, as was the idea of this aniconic column linking heaven and earth among early Indo-Aryans, states Roger Woodward. Others contest such proposals, and suggest Shiva to have emerged from indigenous pre-Aryan tribal origins.
Shiva as we know him today shares many features with the Vedic god Rudra, and both Shiva and Rudra are viewed as the same personality in Hindu scriptures. The two names are used synonymously. Rudra, the god of the roaring storm, is usually portrayed in accordance with the element he represents as a fierce, destructive deity.
The oldest surviving text of Hinduism is the Rig Veda, which is dated to between 1700 and 1100 BC based on linguistic and philological evidence. A god named Rudra is mentioned in the Rig Veda. The name Rudra is still used as a name for Shiva. In RV 2.33, he is described as the "Father of the Rudras", a group of storm gods.
The hymn 10.92 of the Rigveda states that deity Rudra has two natures, one wild and cruel (rudra), another that is kind and tranquil (shiva). The Vedic texts do not mention bull or any animal as the transport vehicle (vahana) of Rudra or other deities. However, post-Vedic texts such as the Mahabharata and the Puranas state the Nandi bull, the Indian zebu, in particular, as the vehicle of Rudra and of Shiva, thereby unmistakably linking them as same.
Rudra and Agni have a close relationship. The identification between Agni and Rudra in the Vedic literature was an important factor in the process of Rudra's gradual development into the later character as Rudra-Shiva. The identification of Agni with Rudra is explicitly noted in the Nirukta, an important early text on etymology, which says, "Agni is also called Rudra." The interconnections between the two deities are complex, and according to Stella Kramrisch:
The fire myth of Rudra-Śiva plays on the whole gamut of fire, valuing all its potentialities and phases, from conflagration to illumination.
In the Śatarudrīya, some epithets of Rudra, such as Sasipañjara ("Of golden red hue as of flame") and Tivaṣīmati ("Flaming bright"), suggest a fusing of the two deities. Agni is said to be a bull, and Lord Shiva possesses a bull as his vehicle, Nandi. The horns of Agni, who is sometimes characterized as a bull, are mentioned. In medieval sculpture, both Agni and the form of Shiva known as Bhairava have flaming hair as a special feature.
According to Wendy Doniger, the Puranic Shiva is a continuation of the Vedic Indra. Doniger gives several reasons for her hypothesis. Both are associated with mountains, rivers, male fertility, fierceness, fearlessness, warfare, transgression of established mores, the Aum sound, the Supreme Self. In the Rig Veda the term śiva is used to refer to Indra. (2.20.3, 6.45.17, and 8.93.3.) Indra, like Shiva, is likened to a bull. In the Rig Veda, Rudra is the father of the Maruts, but he is never associated with their warlike exploits as is Indra.
The Vedic beliefs and practices of the pre-classical era were closely related to the hypothesised Proto-Indo-European religion, and the pre-Islamic Indo-Iranian religion. The earliest iconic artworks of Shiva may be from Gandhara and northwest parts of ancient India. There is some uncertainty as the artwork that has survived is damaged and they show some overlap with meditative Buddha-related artwork, but the presence of Shiva's trident and phallic symbolism in this art suggests it was likely Shiva. Numismatics research suggests that numerous coins of the ancient Kushan Empire that have survived, were images of a god who is probably Shiva. The Shiva in Kushan coins is referred to as Oesho of unclear etymology and origins, but the simultaneous presence of Indra and Shiva in the Kushan era artwork suggest that they were revered deities by the start of the Kushan Empire.
The texts and artwork of Jainism show Indra as a dancer, although not identical but generally resembling the dancing Shiva artwork found in Hinduism, particularly in their respective mudras. For example, in the Jain caves at Ellora, extensive carvings show dancing Indra next to the images of Tirthankaras in a manner similar to Shiva Nataraja. The similarities in the dance iconography suggests that there may be a link between ancient Indra and Shiva.
Rudra's evolution from a minor Vedic deity to a supreme being is first evidenced in the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (400–200 BC), according to Gavin Flood. Prior to it, the Upanishadic literature is monistic, and the Shvetashvatara text presents the earliest seeds of theistic devotion to Rudra-Shiva. Here Rudra-Shiva is identified as the creator of the cosmos and liberator of souls from the birth-rebirth cycle. The period of 200 BC to 100 AD also marks the beginning of the Shaiva tradition focused on the worship of Shiva as evidenced in other literature of this period. Shaiva devotees and ascetics are mentioned in Patanjali's Mahābhāṣya (2nd-century BC) and in the Mahabharata. Other scholars such as Robert Hume and Doris Srinivasan state that the Shvetashvatara Upanishad presents pluralism, pantheism, or henotheism, rather than being a text just on Shiva theism.
The Shaiva Upanishads are a group of 14 minor Upanishads of Hinduism variously dated from the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE through the 17th century. These extol Shiva as the metaphysical unchanging reality Brahman and the Atman (soul, self), and include sections about rites and symbolisms related to Shiva.
A few texts such as Atharvashiras Upanishad mention Rudra, and assert all gods are Rudra, everyone and everything is Rudra, and Rudra is the principle found in all things, their highest goal, the innermost essence of all reality that is visible or invisible. The Kaivalya Upanishad similarly, states Paul Deussen – a German Indologist and professor of Philosophy, describes the self-realized man as who "feels himself only as the one divine essence that lives in all", who feels identity of his and everyone's consciousness with Shiva (highest Atman), who has found this highest Atman within, in the depths of his heart.
The Shaiva Puranas, particularly the Shiva Purana and the Linga Purana, present the various aspects of Shiva, mythologies, cosmology and pilgrimage (Tirtha) associated with him. The Shiva-related Tantra literature, composed between the 8th and 11th centuries, are regarded in devotional dualistic Shaivism as Sruti. Dualistic Shaiva Agamas which consider soul within each living being and Shiva as two separate realities (dualism, dvaita), are the foundational texts for Shaiva Siddhanta. Other Shaiva Agamas teach that these are one reality (monism, advaita), and that Shiva is the soul, the perfection and truth within each living being. In Shiva related sub-traditions, there are ten dualistic Agama texts, eighteen qualified monism-cum-dualism Agama texts and sixty four monism Agama texts.
Shiva-related literature developed extensively across India in the 1st millennium CE and through the 13th century, particularly in Kashmir and Tamil Shaiva traditions. The monist Shiva literature posit absolute oneness, that is Shiva is within every man and woman, Shiva is within every living being, Shiva is present everywhere in the world including all non-living being, and there is no spiritual difference between life, matter, man and Shiva. The various dualistic and monist Shiva-related ideas were welcomed in medieval southeast Asia, inspiring numerous Shiva-related temples, artwork and texts in Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, with syncretic integration of local pre-existing theologies.
Assimilation of traditions
The figure of Shiva as we know him today may be an amalgamation of various older deities into a single figure. How the persona of Shiva converged as a composite deity is not understood, a challenge to trace and has attracted much speculation. According to Vijay Nath, for example:
Vishnu and Siva [...] began to absorb countless local cults and deities within their folds. The latter were either taken to represent the multiple facets of the same god or else were supposed to denote different forms and appellations by which the god came to be known and worshipped. [...] Siva became identified with countless local cults by the sheer suffixing of Isa or Isvara to the name of the local deity, e.g., Bhutesvara, Hatakesvara, Chandesvara."
An example of assimilation took place in Maharashtra, where a regional deity named Khandoba is a patron deity of farming and herding castes. The foremost center of worship of Khandoba in Maharashtra is in Jejuri. Khandoba has been assimilated as a form of Shiva himself, in which case he is worshipped in the form of a lingam. Khandoba's varied associations also include an identification with Surya and Karttikeya.
Position within Hinduism
Shaivism is one of the four major sects of Hinduism, the others being Vaishnavism, Shaktism and the Smarta Tradition. Followers of Shaivism, called "Shaivas", revere Shiva as the Supreme Being. Shaivas believe that Shiva is All and in all, the creator, preserver, destroyer, revealer and concealer of all that is. He is not only the creator in Shaivism, he is the creation that results from him, he is everything and everywhere. Shiva is the primal soul, the pure consciousness and Absolute Reality in the Shaiva traditions.
The Shaivism theology is broadly grouped into two: the popular theology influenced by Shiva-Rudra in the Vedas, Epics and the Puranas; and the esoteric theology influenced by the Shiva and Shakti-related Tantra texts. The Vedic-Brahmanic Shiva theology includes both monist (advaita) and devotional traditions (dvaita) such as Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta and Lingayatism with temples featuring items such as linga, Shiva-Parvati iconography, bull Nandi within the premises, relief artwork showing mythologies and aspects of Shiva.
The Tantric Shiva tradition ignored the mythologies and Puranas related to Shiva, and depending on the sub-school developed a spectrum of practices. For example, historical records suggest the tantric Kapalikas (literally, the "skull-men") co-existed with and shared many Vajrayana Buddhist rituals, engaged in esoteric practices that revered Shiva and Shakti wearing skulls, begged with empty skulls, used meat, alcohol and sexuality as a part of ritual. In contrast, the esoteric tradition within Kashmir Shaivism has featured the Krama and Trika sub-traditions. The Krama sub-tradition focussed on esoteric rituals around Shiva-Kali pair. The Trika sub-tradition developed a theology of triads involving Shiva, combined it with an ascetic lifestyle focusing on personal Shiva in the pursuit of monistic self liberation.
The Vaishnava (Vishnu-oriented) literature acknowledges and discusses Shiva. Like Shaiva literature that presents Shiva as supreme, the Vaishnava literature presents Vishnu as supreme. However, both traditions are pluralistic and revere both Shiva and Vishnu (along with Devi), their texts do not show exclusivism, and Vaishnava texts such as the Bhagavata Purana while praising Krishna as the Ultimate Reality, also present Shiva and Shakti as a personalized form and equivalent to the same Ultimate Reality. The texts of Shaivism tradition similarly praise Vishnu. The Skanda Purana, for example, states:
Vishnu is nobody but Shiva, and he who is called Shiva is but identical with Vishnu.— Skanda Purana, 1.8.20–21
Mythologies of both traditions include legends about who is superior, about Shiva paying homage to Vishnu, and Vishnu paying homage to Shiva. However, in texts and artwork of either tradition, the mutual salutes are symbolism for complementarity. The Mahabharata declares the unchanging Ultimate Reality (Brahman) to be identical to Shiva and to Vishnu, that Vishnu is the highest manifestation of Shiva, and Shiva is the highest manifestation of Vishnu.
The goddess-oriented Shakti tradition of Hinduism is based on the premise that the Supreme Principle and the Ultimate Reality called Brahman is female (Devi), but it treats the male as her equal and complementary partner. This partner is Shiva.
I am the Queen, the gatherer-up of treasures, most thoughtful, first of those who merit worship.
Thus gods have established me in many places with many homes to enter and abide in.
Through me alone all eat the food that feeds them, – each man who sees, breathes, hears the word outspoken.
They know it not, yet I reside in the essence of the Universe. Hear, one and all, the truth as I declare it.
I, verily, myself announce and utter the word that gods and men alike shall welcome.
I make the man I love exceeding mighty, make him nourished, a sage, and one who knows Brahman.
I bend the bow for Rudra [Shiva], that his arrow may strike, and slay the hater of devotion.
I rouse and order battle for the people, I created Earth and Heaven and reside as their Inner Controller.
The Devi Upanishad in its explanation of the theology of Shaktism, mentions and praises Shiva such as in its verse 19. Shiva, along with Vishnu, is a revered god in the Devi Mahatmya, a text of Shaktism considered by the tradition to be as important as the Bhagavad Gita. The Ardhanarisvara concept co-mingles god Shiva and goddess Shakti by presenting an icon that is half man and half woman, a representation and theme of union found in many Hindu texts and temples.
In the Smarta tradition of Hinduism, Shiva is a part of its Panchayatana puja. This practice consists of the use of icons or anicons of five deities considered equivalent, set in a quincunx pattern. Shiva is one of the five deities, others being Vishnu, Devi (such as Parvati), Surya and Ganesha or Skanda or any personal god of devotee's preference (Ishta Devata).
Philosophically, the Smarta tradition emphasizes that all idols (murti) are icons to help focus on and visualize aspects of Brahman, rather than distinct beings. The ultimate goal in this practice is to transition past the use of icons, recognize the Absolute symbolized by the icons, on the path to realizing the nondual identity of one's Atman (soul, self) and the Brahman. Popularized by Adi Shankara, many Panchayatana mandalas and temples have been uncovered that are from the Gupta Empire period, and one Panchayatana set from the village of Nand (about 24 kilometers from Ajmer) has been dated to belong to the Kushan Empire era (pre-300 CE). The Kushan period set includes Shiva, Vishnu, Surya, Brahma and one deity whose identity is unclear.
Shiva is considered the Great Yogi who is totally absorbed in himself – the transcendental reality. He is the Lord of Yogis, and the teacher of Yoga to sages. As Shiva Dakshinamurthi, states Stella Kramrisch, he is the supreme guru who "teaches in silence the oneness of one's innermost self (atman) with the ultimate reality (brahman)."
The theory and practice of Yoga, in different styles, has been a part of all major traditions of Hinduism, and Shiva has been the patron or spokesperson in numerous Hindu Yoga texts. These contain the philosophy and techniques for Yoga. These ideas are estimated to be from or after the late centuries of the 1st millennium CE, and have survived as Yoga texts such as the Isvara Gita (literally, "Shiva's song"), which Andrew Nicholson – a professor of Hinduism and Indian Intellectual History – states have had "a profound and lasting influence on the development of Hinduism".
Other famed Shiva-related texts influenced Hatha Yoga, integrated monistic (Advaita Vedanta) ideas with Yoga philosophy and inspired the theoretical development of Indian classical dance. These include the Shiva Sutras, the Shiva Samhita, and those by the scholars of Kashmir Shaivism such as the 10th-century scholar Abhinavagupta. Abhinavagupta writes in his notes on the relevance of ideas related to Shiva and Yoga, by stating that "people, occupied as they are with their own affairs, normally do nothing for others", and Shiva and Yoga spirituality helps one look beyond, understand interconnectedness, and thus benefit both the individual and the world towards a more blissful state of existence.
The Trimurti is a concept in Hinduism in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified by the forms of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver and Shiva the destroyer or transformer. These three deities have been called "the Hindu triad" or the "Great Trinity". However, the ancient and medieval texts of Hinduism feature many triads of gods and goddesses, some of which do not include Shiva.
- Third eye: Shiva is often depicted with a third eye, with which he burned Desire (Kāma) to ashes, called "Tryambakam" (Sanskrit: त्र्यम्बकम् ), which occurs in many scriptural sources. In classical Sanskrit, the word ambaka denotes "an eye", and in the Mahabharata, Shiva is depicted as three-eyed, so this name is sometimes translated as "having three eyes". However, in Vedic Sanskrit, the word ambā or ambikā means "mother", and this early meaning of the word is the basis for the translation "three mothers". These three mother-goddesses who are collectively called the Ambikās. Other related translations have been based on the idea that the name actually refers to the oblations given to Rudra, which according to some traditions were shared with the goddess Ambikā.
- Crescent moon: Shiva bears on his head the crescent moon. The epithet Candraśekhara (Sanskrit: चन्द्रशेखर "Having the moon as his crest" – candra = "moon"; śekhara = "crest, crown") refers to this feature. The placement of the moon on his head as a standard iconographic feature dates to the period when Rudra rose to prominence and became the major deity Rudra-Shiva. The origin of this linkage may be due to the identification of the moon with Soma, and there is a hymn in the Rig Veda where Soma and Rudra are jointly implored, and in later literature, Soma and Rudra came to be identified with one another, as were Soma and the moon.
- Ashes: Shiva iconography shows his body covered with ashes (bhasma, vibhuti). The ashes represent a reminder that all of material existence is impermanent, comes to an end becoming ash, and the pursuit of eternal soul and spiritual liberation is important.
- Matted hair: Shiva's distinctive hair style is noted in the epithets Jaṭin, "the one with matted hair", and Kapardin, "endowed with matted hair" or "wearing his hair wound in a braid in a shell-like (kaparda) fashion". A kaparda is a cowrie shell, or a braid of hair in the form of a shell, or, more generally, hair that is shaggy or curly.
- Blue throat: The epithet Nīlakaṇtha (Sanskrit नीलकण्ठ; nīla = "blue", kaṇtha = "throat"). Since Shiva drank the Halahala poison churned up from the Samudra Manthan to eliminate its destructive capacity. Shocked by his act, Parvati squeezed his neck and stopped it in his neck to prevent it from spreading all over the universe, supposed to be in Shiva's stomach. However the poison was so potent that it changed the color of his neck to blue.
- Meditating yogi: his iconography often shows him in a Yoga pose, meditating, sometimes on a symbolic Himalayan Mount Kailasha as the Lord of Yoga.
- Sacred Ganga: The epithet Gangadhara, "Bearer of the river Ganga" (Ganges). The Ganga flows from the matted hair of Shiva. The Gaṅgā (Ganga), one of the major rivers of the country, is said to have made her abode in Shiva's hair.
- Tiger skin: Shiva is often shown seated upon a tiger skin.
- Serpents: Shiva is often shown garlanded with a snake.
- Trident: Shiva typically carries a trident called Trishula. The trident is a weapon or a symbol in different Hindu texts. As a symbol, the Trishul represents Shiva's three aspects of "creator, preserver and destroyer", or alternatively it represents the equilibrium of three Gunas of "sattva, rajas and tamas".
- Drum: A small drum shaped like an hourglass is known as a damaru. This is one of the attributes of Shiva in his famous dancing representation known as Nataraja. A specific hand gesture (mudra) called ḍamaru-hasta (Sanskrit for "ḍamaru-hand") is used to hold the drum. This drum is particularly used as an emblem by members of the Kāpālika sect.
- Axe (Parashu) and Deer are held in Shiva's hands in south Indian icons.
- Rosary beads: he is garlanded with or carries a string of rosary beads in his right hand, typically made of Rudraksha. This symbolises grace, mendicant life and meditation.
- Nandī: Nandī, also known as "Nandin", is the name of the bull that serves as Shiva's mount (Sanskrit: vāhana). Shiva's association with cattle is reflected in his name Paśupati, or Pashupati (Sanskrit: पशुपति), translated by Sharma as "lord of cattle" and by Kramrisch as "lord of animals", who notes that it is particularly used as an epithet of Rudra.
- Mount Kailāsa: Mount Kailash in the Himalayas is his traditional abode. In Hindu mythology, Mount Kailāsa is conceived as resembling a Linga, representing the center of the universe.
- Gaṇa: The Gaṇas are attendants of Shiva and live in Kailash. They are often referred to as the bhutaganas, or ghostly hosts, on account of their nature. Generally benign, except when their lord is transgressed against, they are often invoked to intercede with the lord on behalf of the devotee. His son Ganesha was chosen as their leader by Shiva, hence Ganesha's title gaṇa-īśa or gaṇa-pati, "lord of the gaṇas".
- Varanasi: Varanasi (Benares) is considered to be the city specially loved by Shiva, and is one of the holiest places of pilgrimage in India. It is referred to, in religious contexts, as Kashi.
Forms and depictions
According to Gavin Flood, "Shiva is a god of ambiguity and paradox," whose attributes include opposing themes. The ambivalent nature of this deity is apparent in some of his names and the stories told about him.
Destroyer and Benefactor
In Yajurveda, two contrary sets of attributes for both malignant or terrifying (Sanskrit: rudra) and benign or auspicious (Sanskrit: śiva) forms can be found, leading Chakravarti to conclude that "all the basic elements which created the complex Rudra-Śiva sect of later ages are to be found here". In the Mahabharata, Shiva is depicted as "the standard of invincibility, might, and terror", as well as a figure of honor, delight, and brilliance.
The duality of Shiva's fearful and auspicious attributes appears in contrasted names. The name Rudra reflects Shiva's fearsome aspects. According to traditional etymologies, the Sanskrit name Rudra is derived from the root rud-, which means "to cry, howl". Stella Kramrisch notes a different etymology connected with the adjectival form raudra, which means "wild, of rudra nature", and translates the name Rudra as "the wild one" or "the fierce god". R. K. Sharma follows this alternate etymology and translates the name as "terrible". Hara is an important name that occurs three times in the Anushasanaparvan version of the Shiva sahasranama, where it is translated in different ways each time it occurs, following a commentorial tradition of not repeating an interpretation. Sharma translates the three as "one who captivates", "one who consolidates", and "one who destroys". Kramrisch translates it as "the ravisher". Another of Shiva's fearsome forms is as Kāla "time" and Mahākāla "great time", which ultimately destroys all things. The name Kāla appears in the Shiva Sahasranama, where it is translated by Ram Karan Sharma as "(the Supreme Lord of) Time". Bhairava "terrible" or "frightful" is a fierce form associated with annihilation. In contrast, the name Śaṇkara, "beneficent" or "conferring happiness" reflects his benign form. This name was adopted by the great Vedanta philosopher Adi Shankara (c. 788–820), who is also known as Shankaracharya. The name Śambhu (Sanskrit: शम्भु swam-on its own; bhu-burn/shine) "self-shining/ shining on its own", also reflects this benign aspect.
Ascetic and householder
Shiva is depicted as both an ascetic yogi and as a householder (grihasta), roles which have been traditionally mutually exclusive in Hindu society. When depicted as a yogi, he may be shown sitting and meditating. His epithet Mahāyogi ("the great Yogi: Mahā = "great", Yogi = "one who practices Yoga") refers to his association with yoga. While Vedic religion was conceived mainly in terms of sacrifice, it was during the Epic period that the concepts of tapas, yoga, and asceticism became more important, and the depiction of Shiva as an ascetic sitting in philosophical isolation reflects these later concepts.
As a family man and householder, he has a wife, Parvati and two sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya. His epithet Umāpati ("The husband of Umā") refers to this idea, and Sharma notes that two other variants of this name that mean the same thing, Umākānta and Umādhava, also appear in the sahasranama. Umā in epic literature is known by many names, including the benign Pārvatī. She is identified with Devi, the Divine Mother; Shakti (divine energy) as well as goddesses like Tripura Sundari, Durga, Kali, Kamakshi and Minakshi. The consorts of Shiva are the source of his creative energy. They represent the dynamic extension of Shiva onto this universe. His son Ganesha is worshipped throughout India and Nepal as the Remover of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings and Lord of Obstacles. Kartikeya is worshipped in South India (especially in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka) by the names Subrahmanya, Subrahmanyan, Shanmughan, Swaminathan and Murugan, and in Northern India by the names Skanda, Kumara, or Karttikeya.
Some regional deities are also identified as Shiva's children. As one story goes, Shiva is enticed by the beauty and charm of Mohini, Vishnu's female avatar, and procreates with her. As a result of this union, Shasta – identified with regional deities Ayyappan and Aiyanar – is born. In outskirts of Ernakulam in Kerala, a deity named Vishnumaya is stated to be offspring of Shiva and invoked in local exorcism rites, but this deity is not traceable in Hindu pantheon and is possibly a local tradition with "vaguely Chinese" style rituals, states Saletore. In some traditions, Shiva has daughters like the serpent-goddess Manasa and Ashokasundari. According to Doniger, two regional stories depict demons Andhaka and Jalandhara as the children of Shiva who war with him, and are later destroyed by Shiva.
The depiction of Shiva as Nataraja (Sanskrit: naṭarāja, "Lord of Dance") is popular. The names Nartaka ("dancer") and Nityanarta ("eternal dancer") appear in the Shiva Sahasranama. His association with dance and also with music is prominent in the Puranic period. In addition to the specific iconographic form known as Nataraja, various other types of dancing forms (Sanskrit: nṛtyamūrti) are found in all parts of India, with many well-defined varieties in Tamil Nadu in particular. The two most common forms of the dance are the Tandava, which later came to denote the powerful and masculine dance as Kala-Mahakala associated with the destruction of the world. When it requires the world or universe to be destroyed, Shiva does it by the Tandava, and Lasya, which is graceful and delicate and expresses emotions on a gentle level and is considered the feminine dance attributed to the goddess Parvati. Lasya is regarded as the female counterpart of Tandava. The Tandava-Lasya dances are associated with the destruction-creation of the world.
Dakshinamurthy (Dakṣiṇāmūrti) literally describes a form (mūrti) of Shiva facing south (dakṣiṇa). This form represents Shiva in his aspect as a teacher of yoga, music, and wisdom and giving exposition on the shastras. This iconographic form for depicting Shiva in Indian art is mostly from Tamil Nadu. Elements of this motif can include Shiva seated upon a deer-throne and surrounded by sages who are receiving his instruction.
An iconographic representation of Shiva called Ardhanarishvara (Ardhanārīśvara) shows him with one half of the body as male and the other half as female. According to Ellen Goldberg, the traditional Sanskrit name for this form is best translated as "the lord who is half woman", not as "half-man, half-woman".
Shiva is often depicted as an archer in the act of destroying the triple fortresses, Tripura, of the Asuras. Shiva's name Tripurantaka ( Tripurāntaka), "ender of Tripura", refers to this important story.
Apart from anthropomorphic images of Shiva, he is also represented in aniconic form of a lingam. These are depicted in various designs. One common form is the shape of a vertical rounded column in the centre of a lipped, disk-shaped object, the yoni, symbolism for the goddess Shakti. In Shiva temples, the linga is typically present in its sanctum sanctorum and is the focus of votary offerings such as milk, water, flower petals, fruit, fresh leaves, and rice. According to Monier Williams and Yudit Greenberg, linga literally means "mark, sign or emblem", and also refers to a "mark or sign from which the existence of something else can be reliably inferred". It implies the regenerative divine energy innate in nature, symbolized by Shiva. Some scholars, such as Wendy Doniger, view linga merely as an erotic phallic symbol, although this interpretation is disputed by others, including Swami Vivekananda, Sivananda Saraswati, and S. N. Balagangadhara. According to Moriz Winternitz, the linga in the Shiva tradition is "only a symbol of the productive and creative principle of nature as embodied in Shiva", and it has no historical trace in any obscene phallic cult.
The worship of the lingam originated from the famous hymn in the Atharva-Veda Samhitâ sung in praise of the Yupa-Stambha, the sacrificial post. In that hymn, a description is found of the beginningless and endless Stambha or Skambha, and it is shown that the said Skambha is put in place of the eternal Brahman. Just as the Yajna (sacrificial) fire, its smoke, ashes, and flames, the Soma plant, and the ox that used to carry on its back the wood for the Vedic sacrifice gave place to the conceptions of the brightness of Shiva's body, his tawny matted hair, his blue throat, and the riding on the bull of the Shiva, the Yupa-Skambha gave place in time to the Shiva-Linga. In the text Linga Purana, the same hymn is expanded in the shape of stories, meant to establish the glory of the great Stambha and the superiority of Shiva as Mahadeva.
The oldest known archaeological linga as an anicon of Shiva is the Gudimallam lingam from 3rd-century BCE. In Shaivism pilgrimage tradition, twelve major temples of Shiva are called Jyotirlinga, which means "linga of light", and these are located across India.
The five mantras
These are represented as the five faces of Shiva and are associated in various texts with the five elements, the five senses, the five organs of perception, and the five organs of action. Doctrinal differences and, possibly, errors in transmission, have resulted in some differences between texts in details of how these five forms are linked with various attributes. The overall meaning of these associations is summarized by Stella Kramrisch:
Through these transcendent categories, Śiva, the ultimate reality, becomes the efficient and material cause of all that exists.
According to the Pañcabrahma Upanishad:
One should know all things of the phenomenal world as of a fivefold character, for the reason that the eternal verity of Śiva is of the character of the fivefold Brahman. (Pañcabrahma Upanishad 31)
Puranic scriptures contain occasional references to "ansh" – literally portion, or avatars of Shiva, but the idea of Shiva avatars is not universally accepted in Saivism. The Linga Purana mentions twenty-eight forms of Shiva which are sometimes seen as avatars , however such mention is unusual and the avatars of Shiva is relatively rare in Shaivism compared to the well emphasized concept of Vishnu avatars in Vaishnavism. Some Vaishnava literature reverentially link Shiva to characters in its mythologies. For example, in the Hanuman Chalisa, Hanuman is identified as the eleventh avatar of Shiva. The Bhagavata Purana and the Vishnu Purana claim sage Durvasa to be a portion of Shiva. Some medieval era writers have called the Advaita Vedanta philosopher Adi Shankara an incarnation of Shiva.
There is a Shivaratri in every lunar month on its 13th night/14th day, but once a year in late winter (February/March) and before the arrival of spring, marks Maha Shivaratri which means "the Great Night of Shiva".
Maha Shivaratri is a major Hindu festival, but one that is solemn and theologically marks a remembrance of "overcoming darkness and ignorance" in life and the world, and meditation about the polarities of existence, of Shiva and a devotion to humankind. It is observed by reciting Shiva-related poems, chanting prayers, remembering Shiva, fasting, doing Yoga and meditating on ethics and virtues such as self-restraint, honesty, noninjury to others, forgiveness, introspection, self-repentance and the discovery of Shiva. The ardent devotees keep awake all night. Others visit one of the Shiva temples or go on pilgrimage to Jyotirlingam shrines. Those who visit temples, offer milk, fruits, flowers, fresh leaves and sweets to the lingam. Some communities organize special dance events, to mark Shiva as the lord of dance, with individual and group performances. According to Jones and Ryan, Maha Sivaratri is an ancient Hindu festival which probably originated around the 5th-century.
Another major festival involving Shiva worship is Kartik Purnima, commemorating Shiva's victory on the demons Tripurasura. Across India, various Shiva temples are illuminated throughout the night. Shiva icons are carried in procession in some places.
Regional festivals dedicated to Shiva include the Chittirai festival in Madurai around April/May, one of the largest festivals in South India, celebrating the wedding of Minakshi (Parvati) and Shiva. The festival is one where both the Vaishnava and Shaiva communities join the celebrations, because Vishnu gives away his sister Minakshi in marriage to Shiva.
Some Shaktism-related festivals revere Shiva along with the goddess considered primary and Supreme. These include festivals dedicated to Annapurna such as Annakuta and those related to Durga. In Himalayan regions such as Nepal, as well as in northern, central and western India, the festival of Teej is celebrated by girls and women in the monsoon season, in honor of goddess Parvati, with group singing, dancing and by offering prayers in Parvati-Shiva temples.
The ascetic, Vedic and Tantric sub-traditions related to Shiva, such as those that became ascetic warriors during the Islamic rule period of India, celebrate the Kumbha Mela festival. This festival cycles every 12 years, in four pilgrimage sites within India, with the event moving to the next site after a gap of three years. The biggest is in Prayaga (renamed Allahabad during the Mughal rule era), where millions of Hindus of different traditions gather at the confluence of rivers Ganges and Yamuna. In the Hindu tradition, the Shiva-linked ascetic warriors (Nagas) get the honor of starting the event by entering the sangam first for bathing and prayers.
Beyond Indian subcontinent and Hinduism
In Shaivism of Indonesia, the popular name for Shiva has been Batara Guru, which is derived from Sanskrit Bhattaraka which means “noble lord". He is conceptualized as a kind spiritual teacher, the first of all Gurus in Indonesian Hindu texts, mirroring the Dakshinamurti aspect of Shiva in the Indian subcontinent. However, the Batara Guru has more aspects than the Indian Shiva, as the Indonesian Hindus blended their spirits and heroes with him. Batara Guru's wife in southeast Asia is the same Hindu deity Durga, who has been popular since ancient times, and she too has a complex character with benevolent and fierce manifestations, each visualized with different names such as Uma, Sri, Kali and others. Shiva has been called Sadasiva, Paramasiva, Mahadeva in benevolent forms, and Kala, Bhairava, Mahakala in his fierce forms. The Indonesian Hindu texts present the same philosophical diversity of Shaivism traditions found on the subcontinent. However, among the texts that have survived into the contemporary era, the more common are of those of Shaiva Siddhanta (locally also called Siwa Siddhanta, Sridanta).
In the pre-Islamic period on the island of Java, Shaivism and Buddhism were considered very close and allied religions, though not identical religions. The medieval era Indonesian literature equates Buddha with Siwa (Shiva) and Janardana (Vishnu). This tradition continues in predominantly Hindu Bali Indonesia in the modern era, where Buddha is considered the younger brother of Shiva.
The worship of Shiva became popular in Central Asia through the Hephthalite Empire, and Kushan Empire. Shaivism was also popular in Sogdia and the Kingdom of Yutian as found from the wall painting from Penjikent on the river Zervashan. In this depiction, Shiva is portrayed with a sacred halo and a sacred thread ("Yajnopavita"). He is clad in tiger skin while his attendants are wearing Sogdian dress. A panel from Dandan Oilik shows Shiva in His Trimurti form with Shakti kneeling on her right thigh. Another site in the Taklamakan Desert depicts him with four legs, seated cross-legged on a cushioned seat supported by two bulls. It is also noted that Zoroastrian wind god Vayu-Vata took on the iconographic appearance of Shiva.
Daikokuten, one of the Seven Lucky Gods in Japan, is considered to be evolved from Shiva. The god enjoys an exalted position as a household deity in Japan and is worshipped as the god of wealth and fortune. The name is the Japanese equivalent of Mahākāla, the Buddhist name for Shiva. Shiva is also mentioned in Buddhist Tantra. Shiva as Upaya and Shakti as Prajna. In cosmologies of Buddhist tantra, Shiva is depicted as passive, with Shakti being his active counterpart.
The Japuji Sahib of the Guru Granth Sahib says, "The Guru is Shiva, the Guru is Vishnu and Brahma; the Guru is Paarvati and Lakhshmi." In the same chapter, it also says, "Shiva speaks, and the Siddhas listen." In Dasam Granth, Guru Gobind Singh has mentioned two avtars of Rudra: Dattatreya Avtar and Parasnath Avtar.
In contemporary culture
Popular films include the Gujarati language movie Har Har Mahadev and well-known books include Amish Tripathi's Shiva Trilogy, which has sold over a million copies. On television, Devon Ke Dev...Mahadev, a mythological drama about Shiva on the Life OK channel was among the most watched shows at its peak popularity.
In the Final Fantasy videogame series, Shiva is often depicted as a benevolent ancient being of Ice Element who frequently aids the heroes against mighty foes (via summoning). Shiva is also a character in the video game Dark Souls, with the name Shiva of the East.
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- For translation see: Dutt, Chapter 17 of Volume 13.
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- Chidbhavananda, "Siva Sahasranama Stotram".
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- Kramrisch, p. 476.
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- Kramrisch, p. 477.
- For appearance of the name in the Shiva Sahasranama see:Sharma 1996, p. 299
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- Sir Monier Monier-Williams, sahasranAman, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary: Etymologically and Philologically Arranged with Special Reference to Cognate Indo-European Languages, Oxford University Press (Reprinted: Motilal Banarsidass), ISBN 978-8120831056
- Sharma 1996, p. viii–ix
- This is the source for the version presented in Chidbhavananda, who refers to it being from the Mahabharata but does not explicitly clarify which of the two Mahabharata versions he is using. See Chidbhavananda, p. 5.
- For an overview of the Śatarudriya see: Kramrisch, pp. 71–74.
- For complete Sanskrit text, translations, and commentary see: Sivaramamurti (1976).
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... prehistoric cave paintings at Bhimbetka (from ca. 100,000 to ca. 10,000 BCE) which were discovered only in 1967...
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- Chakravarti 1986, pp. 2–3.
- Chakravarti 1986, pp. 1–9.
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- Alain Daniélou (1992). Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The Traditions of Shiva and Dionysus. Inner Traditions / Bear & Co. pp. 49–50. ISBN 978-0-89281-374-2., Quote: "The parallels between the names and legends of Shiva, Osiris and Dionysus are so numerous that there can be little doubt as to their original sameness".
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- Michaels, p. 316.
- Flood (2003), p. 73.
- For dating based on "cumulative evidence" see: Oberlies, p. 158.
- Doniger, pp. 221–223.
- Stella Kramrisch (1993). The Presence of Siva. Princeton University Press. p. 7. ISBN 0-691-01930-4.
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- For general statement of the close relationship, and example shared epithets, see: Sivaramamurti, p. 11.
- For an overview of the Rudra-Fire complex of ideas, see: Kramrisch, pp. 15–19.
- For quotation "An important factor in the process of Rudra's growth is his identification with Agni in the Vedic literature and this identification contributed much to the transformation of his character as Rudra-Śiva." see: Chakravarti, p. 17.
- For translation from Nirukta 10.7, see: Sarup (1927), p. 155.
- Kramrisch, p. 18.
- For "Note Agni-Rudra concept fused" in epithets Sasipañjara and Tivaṣīmati see: Sivaramamurti, p. 45.
- "Rig Veda: Rig-Veda, Book 6: HYMN XLVIII. Agni and Others". Sacred-texts.com. Retrieved 2010-06-06.
- For the parallel between the horns of Agni as bull, and Rudra, see: Chakravarti, p. 89.
- RV 8.49; 10.155.
- For flaming hair of Agni and Bhairava see: Sivaramamurti, p. 11.
- Hans Loeschner (2012), Victor Mair (Editor), The Stūpa of the Kushan Emperor Kanishka the Great Sino-Platonic Papers, No. 227, pages 11, 19
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- For text of RV 2.20.3a as स नो युवेन्द्रो जोहूत्रः सखा शिवो नरामस्तु पाता । and translation as "May that young adorable Indra, ever be the friend, the benefactor, and protector of us, his worshipper" see: Arya & Joshi (2001), p. 48, volume 2.
- For text of RV 6.45.17 as यो गृणतामिदासिथापिरूती शिवः सखा । स त्वं न इन्द्र मृलय ॥ and translation as "Indra, who has ever been the friend of those who praise you, and the insurer of their happiness by your protection, grant us felicity" see: Arya & Joshi (2001), p. 91, volume 3.
- For translation of RV 6.45.17 as "Thou who hast been the singers' Friend, a Friend auspicious with thine aid, As such, O Indra, favour us" see: Griffith 1973, p. 310.
- For text of RV 8.93.3 as स न इन्द्रः सिवः सखाश्चावद् गोमद्यवमत् । उरूधारेव दोहते ॥ and translation as "May Indra, our auspicious friend, milk for us, like a richly-streaming (cow), wealth of horses, kine, and barley" see: Arya & Joshi (2001), p. 48, volume 2.
- For the bull parallel between Indra and Rudra see: Chakravarti, p. 89.
- RV 7.19.
- For the lack of warlike connections and difference between Indra and Rudra, see: Chakravarti, p. 8.
- Roger D. Woodard (18 August 2006). Indo-European Sacred Space: Vedic and Roman Cult. University of Illinois Press. pp. 242–. ISBN 978-0-252-09295-4.
- Beckwith 2009, p. 32.
- T. Richard Blurton (1993). Hindu Art. Harvard University Press. pp. 84, 103. ISBN 978-0-674-39189-5.
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- [a] A Kunst, Some notes on the interpretation of the Ṥvetāṥvatara Upaniṣad, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. 31, Issue 02, June 1968, pages 309–314; doi:10.1017/S0041977X00146531;
[b] Doris Srinivasan (1997), Many Heads, Arms, and Eyes, Brill, ISBN 978-9004107588, pages 96–97 and Chapter 9
- Deussen 1997, pp. 792–793.
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- Deussen 1997, p. 769.
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- Mark Dyczkowski (1989), The Canon of the Śaivāgama, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120805958, pages 43–44
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- Biroba, Mhaskoba und Khandoba: Ursprung, Geschichte und Umwelt von pastoralen Gottheiten in Maharastra, Wiesbaden 1976 (German with English Synopsis) pp. 180–98, "Khandoba is a local deity in Maharashtra and been Sanskritised as an incarnation of Shiva."
- For worship of Khandoba in the form of a lingam and possible identification with Shiva based on that, see: Mate, p. 176.
- For use of the name Khandoba as a name for Karttikeya in Maharashtra, see: Gupta, Preface, and p. 40.
- Michaels 2004, p. 216.
- Michaels 2004, pp. 216–218.
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- David Lawrence, Kashmiri Shaiva Philosophy, University of Manitoba, Canada, IEP, Section 1(d)
- Edwin Bryant (2003), Krishna: The Beautiful Legend of God: Srimad Bhagavata Purana, Penguin, ISBN 978-0141913377, pages 10–12, Quote: "(...) accept and indeed extol the transcendent and absolute nature of the other, and of the Goddess Devi too"
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- "The Rig Veda" – via Wikisource.
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- David R. Kinsley (1975). The Sword and the Flute: Kālī and Kṛṣṇa, Dark Visions of the Terrible and the Sublime in Hindu Mythology. University of California Press. pp. 102 with footnote 42. ISBN 978-0-520-02675-9., Quote: "In the Devi Mahatmya, it is quite clear that Durga is an independent deity, great in her own right, and only loosely associated with any of the great male deities. And if any one of the great gods can be said to be her closest associate, it is Visnu rather than Siva".
- Gupteshwar Prasad (1994). I.A. Richards and Indian Theory of Rasa. Sarup & Sons. pp. 117–118. ISBN 978-81-85431-37-6.
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- Kramrisch, Stella (1981). Manifestations of Shiva. Philadelphia Museum of Art. p. 23.
- [a] Vasugupta; Jaideva (1979). Śiva Sūtras. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. xv–xx. ISBN 978-81-208-0407-4.;
[b] James Mallinson (2007). The Shiva Samhita: A Critical Edition. Yoga. pp. xiii–xiv. ISBN 978-0-9716466-5-0. OCLC 76143968.
- [a] Jaideva Vasugupta (1991). The Yoga of Delight, Wonder, and Astonishment: A Translation of the Vijnana-bhairava with an Introduction and Notes by Jaideva Singh. State University of New York Press. pp. xii–xvi. ISBN 978-0-7914-1073-8.;
[b] Vasugupta; Jaideva (1980). The Yoga of Vibration and Divine Pulsation: A Translation of the Spanda Karika with Ksemaraja's Commentary, the Spanda Nirnaya. State University of New York Press. pp. xxv–xxxii, 2–4. ISBN 978-0-7914-1179-7.
- Andrew J. Nicholson (2014). Lord Siva's Song: The Isvara Gita. State University of New York Press. pp. 1–2. ISBN 978-1-4384-5102-2.
- David Smith (2003). The Dance of Siva: Religion, Art and Poetry in South India. Cambridge University Press. pp. 237–239. ISBN 978-0-521-52865-8.
- Jaideva Vasugupta; Mark S. G. Dyczkowski (1992). The Aphorisms of Siva: The Siva Sutra with Bhaskara's Commentary, the Varttika. State University of New York Press. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-0-7914-1264-0.
- For quotation defining the trimurti see Matchett, Freda. "The Purāṇas", in: Flood (2003), p. 139.
- Ralph Metzner (1986). Opening to Inner Light: The Transformation of Human Nature and Consciousness. J.P. Tarcher. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-87477-353-8.;
David Frawley (2009). Inner Tantric Yoga: Working with the Universal Shakti: Secrets of Mantras, Deities and Meditation. Lotus. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-940676-50-3.
- For definition of trimurti as "the unified form" of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva and use of the phrase "the Hindu triad" see: Apte, p. 485.
- For the term "Great Trinity" in relation to the Trimurti see: Jansen, p. 83.
- The Trimurti idea of Hinduism, states Jan Gonda, "seems to have developed from ancient cosmological and ritualistic speculations about the triple character of an individual god, in the first place of Agni, whose births are three or threefold, and who is threefold light, has three bodies and three stations". See: Jan Gonda (1969), The Hindu Trinity, Anthropos, Bd 63/64, H 1/2, pages 218–219; Other trinities, beyond the more common "Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva", mentioned in ancient and medieval Hindu texts include: "Indra, Vishnu, Brahmanaspati", "Agni, Indra, Surya", "Agni, Vayu, Aditya", "Mahalakshmi, Mahasarasvati, and Mahakali", and others. See: [a] David White (2006), Kiss of the Yogini, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0226894843, pages 4, 29
[b] Jan Gonda (1969), The Hindu Trinity, Anthropos, Bd 63/64, H 1/2, pages 212–226
- For Shiva as depicted with a third eye, and mention of the story of the destruction of Kama with it, see: Flood (1996), p. 151.
- For a review of 4 theories about the meaning of tryambaka, see: Chakravarti, pp. 37–39.
- For usage of the word ambaka in classical Sanskrit and connection to the Mahabharata depiction, see: Chakravarti, pp. 38–39.
- For translation of Tryambakam as "having three mother eyes" and as an epithet of Rudra, see: Kramrisch, p. 483.
- For vedic Sanskrit meaning Lord has three mother eyes which symbolize eyes are the Sun, Moon and Fire.
- For discussion of the problems in translation of this name, and the hypothesis regarding the Ambikās see: Hopkins (1968), p. 220.
- For the Ambikā variant, see: Chakravarti, pp. 17, 37.
- For the moon on the forehead see: Chakravarti, p. 109.
- For śekhara as crest or crown, see: Apte, p. 926.
- For Candraśekhara as an iconographic form, see: Sivaramamurti (1976), p. 56.
- For translation "Having the moon as his crest" see: Kramrisch, p. 472.
- For the moon iconography as marking the rise of Rudra-Shiva, see: Chakravarti, p. 58.
- For discussion of the linkages between Soma, Moon, and Rudra, and citation to RV 7.74, see: Chakravarti, pp. 57–58.
- Flood (1996), p. 151.
- This smearing of cremation ashes emerged into a practice of some Tantra-oriented ascetics, where they would also offer meat, alcohol and sexual fluids to Bhairava (a form of Shiva), and these groups were probably not of Brahmanic origin. These ascetics are mentioned in the ancient Pali Canon of Thervada Buddhism. See: Flood (1996), pp. 92, 161.
- Antonio Rigopoulos (2013), Brill's Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Volume 5, Brill Academic, ISBN 978-9004178960, pages 182–183
- Paul Deussen (1980). Sechzig Upaniṣad's des Veda. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 775–776, 789–790, 551. ISBN 978-81-208-1467-7.
- Chidbhavananda, p. 22.
- For translation of Kapardin as "Endowed with matted hair" see: Sharma 1996, p. 279.
- Kramrisch, p. 475.
- For Kapardin as a name of Shiva, and description of the kaparda hair style, see, Macdonell, p. 62.
- Sharma 1996, p. 290
- See: name #93 in Chidbhavananda, p. 31.
- For Shiva drinking the poison churned from the world ocean see: Flood (1996), p. 78.
- Kramrisch, p. 473.
- For alternate stories about this feature, and use of the name Gaṅgādhara see: Chakravarti, pp. 59 and 109.
- For description of the Gaṅgādhara form, see: Sivaramamurti (1976), p. 8.
- For Shiva supporting Gaṅgā upon his head, see: Kramrisch, p. 473.
- Flood (1996), p. 151
- Wayman & Singh 1991, p. 266.
- Suresh Chandra 1998, p. 309.
- Sitansu S. Chakravarti 1991, p. 51.
- Michaels, p. 218.
- For definition and shape, see: Apte, p. 461.
- Jansen, p. 44.
- Jansen, p. 25.
- For use by Kāpālikas, see: Apte, p. 461.
- C. Sivaramamurti (1963). South Indian Bronzes. Lalit Kalā Akademi. p. 41.
- John A. Grimes (1996). A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy: Sanskrit Terms Defined in English. State University of New York Press. p. 257. ISBN 978-0-7914-3067-5.
- Prabhavati C. Reddy (2014). Hindu Pilgrimage: Shifting Patterns of Worldview of Srisailam in South India. Routledge. pp. 114–115. ISBN 978-1-317-80631-8.
- For a review of issues related to the evolution of the bull (Nandin) as Shiva's mount, see: Chakravarti, pp. 99–105.
- For spelling of alternate proper names Nandī and Nandin see: Stutley, p. 98.
- Sharma 1996, p. 291
- Kramrisch, p. 479.
- For the name Kailāsagirivāsī (Sanskrit कैलासिगिरवासी), "With his abode on Mount Kailāsa", as a name appearing in the Shiva Sahasranama, see: Sharma 1996, p. 281.
- For identification of Mount Kailāsa as the central linga, see: Stutley (1985), p. 62.
- Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna L. Dallapiccola
- Keay, p. 33.
- For quotation "Shiva is a god of ambiguity and paradox" and overview of conflicting attributes see: Flood (1996), p. 150.
- George Michell (1977). The Hindu Temple: An Introduction to Its Meaning and Forms. University of Chicago Press. pp. 25–26. ISBN 978-0-226-53230-1.
- For quotation regarding Yajur Veda as containing contrary sets of attributes, and marking point for emergence of all basic elements of later sect forms, see: Chakravarti, p. 7.
- For summary of Shiva's contrasting depictions in the Mahabharata, see: Sharma 1988, pp. 20–21.
- For rud- meaning "cry, howl" as a traditional etymology see: Kramrisch, p. 5.
- Citation to M. Mayrhofer, Concise Etymological Sanskrit Dictionary, s.v. "rudra", is provided in: Kramrisch, p. 5.
- Sharma 1996, p. 301.
- Sharma 1996, p. 314.
- Kramrisch, p. 474.
- Sharma 1996, p. 280.
- Apte, p. 727, left column.
- Kramrisch, p. 481.
- Flood (1996), p. 92.
- Chakravarti 1986, pp. 28 (note 7), and p. 177.
- For the contrast between ascetic and householder depictions, see: Flood (1996), pp. 150–151.
- For Shiva's representation as a yogi, see: Chakravarti, p. 32.
- For name Mahāyogi and associations with yoga, see, Chakravarti, pp. 23, 32, 150.
- For the ascetic yogin form as reflecting Epic period influences, see: Chakravarti, p. 32.
- For Umāpati, Umākānta and Umādhava as names in the Shiva Sahasranama literature, see: Sharma 1996, p. 278.
- For Umā as the oldest name, and variants including Pārvatī, see: Chakravarti, p. 40.
- For Pārvatī identified as the wife of Shiva, see: Kramrisch, p. 479.
- Search for Meaning By Antonio R. Gualtieri
- For regional name variants of Karttikeya see: Gupta, Preface.
- Doniger, Wendy (1999). Splitting the difference: gender and myth in ancient Greece and India. London: University of Chicago Press. pp. 263–5. ISBN 978-0-226-15641-5.
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- Pattanaik, Devdutt (2001). The man who was a woman and other queer tales of Hindu lore. Routledge. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-56023-181-3.
- See Mohini#Relationship with Shiva for details
- Vettam Mani (1975). Puranic Encyclopaedia: a Comprehensive Dictionary with Special Reference to the Epic and Puranic Literature. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. pp. 62, 515–6. ISBN 978-0-8426-0822-0.
- Wendy Doniger (2005). The Bedtrick: Tales of Sex and Masquerade. University of Chicago Press. pp. 72, 206. ISBN 978-0-226-15643-9.
- For description of the nataraja form see: Jansen, pp. 110–111.
- For interpretation of the naṭarāja form see: Zimmer, pp. 151–157.
- For names Nartaka (Sanskrit नर्तक) and Nityanarta (Sanskrit नित्यनर्त) as names of Shiva, see: Sharma 1996, p. 289.
- For prominence of these associations in puranic times, see: Chakravarti, p. 62.
- For popularity of the nṛtyamūrti and prevalence in South India, see: Chakravarti, p. 63.
- Kramrisch, Stella (1994). "Siva's Dance". The Presence of Siva. Princeton University Press. p. 439.
- Klostermaier, Klaus K. "Shiva the Dancer". Mythologies and Philosophies of Salvation in the Theistic Traditions of India. Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press. p. 151.
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- For iconographic description of the Dakṣiṇāmūrti form, see: Sivaramamurti (1976), p. 47.
- For description of the form as representing teaching functions, see: Kramrisch, p. 472.
- For characterization of Dakṣiṇāmūrti as a mostly south Indian form, see: Chakravarti, p. 62.
- For the deer-throne and the audience of sages as Dakṣiṇāmūrti, see: Chakravarti, p. 155.
- Goldberg specifically rejects the translation by Frederique Marglin (1989) as "half-man, half-woman", and instead adopts the translation by Marglin as "the lord who is half woman" as given in Marglin (1989, 216). Goldberg, p. 1.
- For evolution of this story from early sources to the epic period, when it was used to enhance Shiva's increasing influence, see: Chakravarti, p.46.
- For the Tripurāntaka form, see: Sivaramamurti (1976), pp. 34, 49.
- Michaels, p. 216.
- Flood (1996), p. 29.
- Tattwananda, pp. 49–52.
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- Sivananda, Swami (1996). "Worship of Siva Linga". Lord Siva and His Worship. The Divine Life Trust Society.
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- For five as a sacred number, see: Kramrisch, p. 182.
- It is first encountered in an almost identical form in the Rudram. For the five syllable mantra see: Kramrisch, p. 182.
- For discussion of these five forms and a table summarizing the associations of these five mantras see: Kramrisch, pp. 182–189.
- For distinct iconography, see Kramrisch, p. 185.
- For association with the five faces and other groups of five, see: Kramrisch, p. 182.
- For the epithets pañcamukha and pañcavaktra, both of which mean "five faces", as epithets of Śiva, see: Apte, p. 578, middle column.
- For variation in attributions among texts, see: Kramrisch, p. 187.
- Kramrisch, p. 184.
- Quotation from Pañcabrahma Upanishad 31 is from: Kramrisch, p. 182.
- Parrinder, Edward Geoffrey (1982). Avatar and incarnation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 88. ISBN 0-19-520361-5.
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- James Lochtefeld (2002), "Shiva" in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 2: N-Z, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 0-8239-2287-1, page 635
- Constance Jones; James D. Ryan (2006). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase. p. 474. ISBN 978-0-8160-7564-5.
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- Sri Ramakrishna Math (1985) "Hanuman Chalisa" p. 5
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- "Footnote 83:4 to Horace Hayman Wilson's English translation of The Vishnu Purana: Book I – Chapter X".
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