Shiva, aka: Śivā, Sivā, Śiva, Siva, Sīva; 35 Definition(s)


Shiva means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit terms Śivā and Śiva can be transliterated into English as Siva or Shiva, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Shilpashastra (iconography)

1) Śiva (शिव):—One of the eight names of Rudra, given to him by Brahmā, according to the Pādma-purāṇa. This aspect became the presiding deity over the earth. The corresponding name of the consort is Śivā. His son is called Manojava.

2) Śivā (शिवा):—The consort of Śiva (Śiva is an aspect of Śiva, as in, one of the eight names of Rudra) according to the Pādma-purāṇa.

3) Śiva:—Second of the eleven emanations of Rudra (ekādaśa-rudra), according to the Aṃśumadbhedāgama and the Śilparatna. The images of this aspects of Śiva should have three eyes, four arms, jaṭāmakuṭas and be of white colour. It should be draped also in white clothes and be standing erect (samabhaṅga) on a padmapīṭha. It should be adorned with all ornaments and with garlands composed of all flowers and it should keep their front right hand in the abhaya and the front left hand in the varada poses, while it should carry in the back right hand the paraśu and in the back left hand the mṛga.

4) Śiva:—Of the five faces of this deity (Śiva),

  1. the one facing the east is that of Īśāna,
  2. that facing the south, of Īśvara,
  3. the west, of Brahmā,
  4. the north, of Īśa
  5. and the top of Sadāśiva.

All ceremonials, such as installation (sthāpana), should be done only for the Īśāna face and not for the other faces. The other faces are meant for the meditation of those who have attained perfection in yoga, mantra-siddhi, etc. It is from these five faces the Śaivāgamas were given out to the world.

5) Śiva:—We learn from the Liṅga-purāṇa that Śiva is to the universe what clay and the potter are to the pot, namely the upādāna-kāraṇa (material cause) and the nimitta-kāraṇa (instrumental or generative cause). Such a Being manifests himself in five different forms

  1. He who is the soul of the universe is called Īśāna.
  2. The illusory (māyā) material world is Tatpuruṣa;
  3. Buddhi with its eight components beginning from dharma is Aghora;
  4. Vāmadeva pervades the whole of the universe in the form of ahaṅkara
  5. and the manas-tatva (mind) is Sadyojāta.
Source: Wisdom Library: Elements of Hindu Iconograpy

Śiva is the embodiment of Tamas, the centrifugal inertia, the tendency towards disintegration, dispersal, annihilation, non-existence, darkness, the Void. The dispersion is the final outcome of all differentiation, all time and space.

In terms of consciousness Śiva is experienced in the emptiness of dreamless sleep — the state of Suṣupti. Perception of the formless transcendental Reality is achieved only in the state of deep silence, in the emptiness of the mind. (Suṣupti = Śiva).

Source: Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | Trinity
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

Discover the meaning of shiva or siva in the context of Shilpashastra from relevant books on Exotic India

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Śivā (शिवा):—One of the sixteen yoginīs representing the sixteen petals of the Dūtīcakra. The sixteen petals comprise the outer furnishment, whereupon the abode of the Dūtīs is situated. The Dūtīs refer to the eighty-one “female messengers/deties” of the Dūtīcakra.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

Two verses cited below attribute the power of mantras to Śiva and identied the god with them.

All gods are made of mantras and all mantras are made of Śiva. Knowing this [world] to be made of Śiva, one should always meditate on Śiva.

To release [people] from the bonds of Māyā, seventy million mantras, endowed with Śiva’s power, were produced from the imperishable Soul, the Lord.

Another passage, however, suggests that it is Śiva’s power as a separate entity that ensures the efficacity of mantras.

All the female mantras that are associated with the [supernatural] effects of being infinitely small etc. and depend on the mastery of magic possess the power / a part (kalā) of Śiva. All these [mantras] are parts of Śiva’s power / parts of Śiva and Śakti and have been taught by the Omniscient. They are auspicious and bestow magic effects, liberation, happiness, lordship, money and virility.

Thus, The Raurava’s description may represent a transition between the idea thatŚiva isthe source of mantras and the concept of Mātṛkā as Śiva’s Śakti.

Source: HAL: The alphabet goddess Mātṛkā in some early Śaiva Tantras

Śiva (शिव).—By reading the Śivapurāṇa we get a clear idea that Śiva has two aspects: formlessness (niṣkala) and embodied form (sakala). Śiva appearing in the middle of a luminous pillar and Śiva carrying a Liṅga on his shoulders are the expressions of Īśatva and brahmatva, the two aspects of one and the same Lord Śiva. In other words, they represent “niṣkala-sakala and sakala-niṣkala” forms. Śiva carrying Liṅga on his shoulder can be said as “Sakala-Niṣkala liṅga”.

Source: Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (śaivism)

Śiva (शिव) is the name of a deity who was imparted with the knowledge of the Makuṭāgama by Sadāśiva through parasambandha, according to the pratisaṃhitā theory of Āgama origin and relationship (sambandha). The makuṭa-āgama, being part of the eighteen Rudrabhedāgamas, refers to one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgama: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu.

Śiva in turn transmitted the Makuṭāgama (through mahānsambandha) to Mahādeva who then, through divya-sambandha, transmitted it to the Devas who, through divyādivya-sambandha, transmitted it to the Ṛṣis who finally, through adivya-sambandha, revealed the Makuṭāgama to human beings (Manuṣya). (also see Anantaśambhu’s commentary on the Siddhāntasārāvali of Trilocanaśivācārya)

Śiva was also imparted with the knowledge of the Vātulāgama, which was in turn, through mahānsambandha transmitted to Mahākāla.

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva
Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

Discover the meaning of shiva or siva in the context of Shaivism from relevant books on Exotic India


Śiva (शिव)—One of the eleven other names of Rudra, according to the Bhāgavata Purāṇa 3.12.12.

Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

Śivā (शिवा) is the name of a mind-born ‘divine mother’ (mātṛ), created for the purpose of drinking the blood of the Andhaka demons, according to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.8. The Andhaka demons spawned out of every drop of blood spilled from the original Andhakāsura (Andhaka-demon). According to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.35, “Most terrible they (eg., Śivā) all drank the blood of those Andhakas and become exceedingly satiated.”

The Matsyapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 20,000 metrical verses, dating from the 1st-millennium BCE. The narrator is Matsya, one of the ten major avatars of Viṣṇu.

Source: Wisdom Library: The Matsya-purāṇa

1) Śivā (शिवा).—A river mentioned in a list of rivers flowing from the five great mountains (Śailavarṇa, Mālākhya, Korajaska, Triparṇa and Nīla), according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 82. Those who drink the waters of these rivers live for ten thousand years and become devotees of Rudra and Umā.

2) Śivā (शिवा).—One of the seven major rivers in Kuśadvīpa, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 87. It is also known by the name Yaśodā. Kuśadvīpa is one of the seven islands (dvīpa), ruled over by Vapuṣmān, one of the ten sons of Priyavrata, son of Svāyambhuva Manu, who was created by Brahmā, who was in turn created by Nārāyaṇa, the unknowable all-pervasive primordial being.

One of the five mountains situated near Bhadrāśva, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 82. The Varāhapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, a type of Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, instructions for religious ceremonies and a whole range of topics concerning the various arts and sciences. The original text is said to have been composed of 24,000 metrical verses, possibly originating from before the 10th century.

Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

1) Śiva (शिव).—(rudra) One of the Trinity. Birth. The seers or spiritual giants of India imagined three forms to God, dividing all the activities into three departments, i.e. creation, sustenance and destruction or annihilation. Brahmā, for creation, Viṣṇu, for sustenance and Śiva, for annihilation-they are the Trinity. Viṣṇu was born first, Brahmā next and Śiva last. The essence of Indian spiritualistic thought is that these three visible forms of God will, at the close of the Kalpa cease to be and become one with the cosmic power, and that the trinity will be born again at the commencement of the Kalpa and will take up their respective functions. (See full article at Story of Śiva from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Śivā (शिवा).—Wife of Aṅgiras. Consumed by lust she once slept with Agnideva and then flew away in the form of a she-kite. (Vana Parva, Chapter 225).

3) Śivā (शिवा).—Wife of the Vasu called Anila and mother of two sons called Manojava and Avijñātagati. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 66, Verse 25).

4) Śivā (शिवा).—The very noble wife of Aṅgiras. (Vana Parva, Chapter 225 Verse 1)

5) Śivā (शिवा).—A river in India made famous in the Purāṇas. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 25).

6) Śiva (शिव).—One of the seven sectors of Plakṣa island. Śivam Yavasam, Subhadram, Śāntam, Mokṣam, Amṛtam and Abhayam are the seven sectors. (Bhāgavata, 5th Skandha.

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Śiva (शिव) refers to a deity that was once worshipped in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) according to the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—Praised highly in the latter one-third of the Nīlamata, Śiva occupies a position second to that of Viṣṇu in the earlier two-thirds of the work. The Nīlamata refers to Śiva as a member of the triad of deities and describes his three forms creating, protecting and destroying the world.

The names given to Śiva according to the Nīlamata: Rudra, Śarva, Mahādeva, Bhava, Hara, Īśvara, Maheśvara, Śambhu, Śaṅkara, Śiva, Virūpākṣa, Bhīma, Bhuśuṇḍa, Kratha, Krathana, Śīghra, Mahāhaṃsa, Samudra and Mahānadīśvara.

Source: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study

1a) Śiva (शिव).—(also Giritra): several names of the god are mentioned: master of all Gaṇas and Bhūtas, and a god of wrath, worshipped for learning;1 Parīkṣit compared to him for liberality in granting boons: awarded his own missile to Arjuna: a great Yogin. Resident of Kailāsa; worships Sankaṛṣaṇa in Ilāvṛta.2 Met by Pracatas and venerated by Kṛṣṇa; knew Vāsudeva's glory and the dharma ordained by Hari;3 pleased with Bāṇa, guarded his city, and fought with Kṛṣṇa. Insulted by Dakṣa and Bhṛgu in the sacrifice of Prajāpatis: warned Satī against attending Dakṣa's sacrifice where he was deprived of his share. Heard from Nārada of Satī's sacrifice and grew angry, out sprang Vīrabhadra to ruin the sacrifice; cut off Dakṣa's head; waited on by Brahmā and consoled, agreed to attend and praised Viṣṇu, and felt obliged to him.4 Appeared before the Pracetasas and initiated them into the Rudragītā in glory of Hari and left them;5 praised Aditi and Vāmana's exploits and was present when he was anointed Upendra;6 praised Nṛsimha, and prayed to, by Prahlāda. His discomfiture at Maya who built three cities for the safety of the Asuras. Them he killed. But Maya brought back all of them to life by the immortalised waters which he discovered in a well. Śiva was worried when Brahmā and Hari drank the whole of the liquid. Induced by them he attacked Tripura with success.7

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 12. 12; IV. 29. 42; VIII. 5. 39; II. 2. 7; IV. 2. 32; 3. 7.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 12. 23; 15. 12; 18. 14; V. 17. 16-24.
  • 3) Ib. IV. 24. 16; X. 44. 13; I. 9. 19; VI. 3. 20.
  • 4) Ib. VI. 18. 18; IV. Chh. 2-7 (whole); 21. 29; IX. 10. 10.
  • 5) Ib. IV. 24. 25-68; 25. 1; 29. 42.
  • 6) Ib. VIII. 23. 20-27.
  • 7) Ib. VII. 8. 41; 10. 32, 51-68.

1b) One of the seven divisions of Plakṣa with mountains and rivers.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 20. 3.

1c) A son of Medhātithi and founder of the Kingdom of Śiva in Plakṣadvīpa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 14. 37-9; Vāyu-purāṇa 33. 33; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 4. 4 and 5.

1d) A lake near Vyāsasaras.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 13. 52.

1e) A sage of the Auttama epoch.

1f) The name of a gaṇa attributed to Viśravas.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 28.

1g) A Mahāpurāṇa.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 6. 21.

1h) A group of 12 gods of the epoch of Uttama Manu.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 36. 27, 33.

1i) The region adjoining the Somaka hill in Plakṣa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 14. 39; 19. 16; Vāyu-purāṇa 49. 14.

2a) Śivā (शिवा).—A wife of Īśāna, the son of Manojava.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 10. 78; Vāyu-purāṇa 27. 52.

2b) A river in Kuśadvīpa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 19. 61; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 4. 43.

2c) A daughter of Hari and (Khaśā, Vāyu-purāṇa) the wife of Anila: (Anala, Matsya-purāṇa) a Vasu.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 3. 26. Matsya-purāṇa 5. 25; Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 25; 69. 170.

2d) A daughter of Khaśa and a Rākṣasī; of Śaiveya clan.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 138.

2e) A Śakti.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 44. 75.

2f) A mind-born mother.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 179. 10.

2g) A consort of Vāyu.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 8. 8; 15. 114.

2h) Disturbed Dhruva's penance.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 12. 26.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

1) Śivā (शिवा, “Auspicious”):—One of the female offspring from Mahāsarasvatī (sattva-form of Mahādevī). Mahāsarasvatī is one of the three primary forms of Devī, the other two being Mahālakṣmī and Mahākālī. Not to be confused with Sarasvatī, she is a more powerful cosmic aspect (vyaṣṭi) of Devi and represents the guṇa (universal energy) named sattva. Also see the Devī Māhātmya, a Sanskrit work from the 5th century, incorporated into the Mārkaṇḍeya-Purāṇa.

2) Śivā (शिवा, “prosperous”):—Name of one of the sixty-four mātṛs to be worshipped during Āvaraṇapūjā (“Worship of the Circuit of Goddesses”, or “Durgā’s Retinue”), according to the Durgāpūjātattva. They should be worshipped with either the five upācāras or perfume and flowers.

Her mantra is as follows:

ॐ शिवायै नमः
oṃ śivāyai namaḥ.

A similar mantra is mentioned by the same text, prefixed with ह्रीं (hrīṃ), to be worshipped at the goddess’s right.

3) Śivā (उमा, “auspicious”).—One of the names of the Goddess, Devī, who is regarded as the female principle of the divine; the embodiement of the energies of the Gods.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

Śivā (शिवा) means the energy of Śiva personified as His consort.

Source: Google Books: Lalita Sahasranama

As absolute eternal time, Śiva is transcendent. He is the “Beyond the beyond” (parat paraḥ) of the Upanishads. The term Śiva can be derived from the root Sin, which means “to sleep.” Hence Śiva is described as he in whom “all goes to sleep,” “he who puts all things to sleep,” etc. His power is represented by the eternal night in which all goes to sleep.

Source: Red Zambala: The 10 Great Wisdom Goddesses

Śiva (शिव).—According to the Śaradātilaka, Śiva is both nirguṇa and saguṇa, the two aspects being conceived in terms of difference from and identitical with Prakṛti. When Śiva is identical with Śakti or Prakṛti, he is saguṇa. From Śakti or Prakṛti evolves nāda (apara) and from this nāda arises bindu. The latter is subdivided into bindu (apara), bīja and nāda (para). The first is again identified with Śiva, the second with Śakti and third with both in identical relation.

Source: DSpace at Pondicherry: Siddha Cult in Tamilnadu (shaktism)
Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Katha (narrative stories)

1) Śiva (शिव) was visited by Sūryaprabha after he ascended through the mountain Kailāsa in order to invite Śiva and Ambikā for his coronation, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 50. Accordingly: “... then, in one part of it [Svarga], Sūryaprabha beheld with joy the great god Śiva, seated on a throne of crystal, three-eyed, trident in hand, in hue like unto pure crystal, with yellow matted locks, with a lovely half-moon for crest, adored by the holy daughter of the mountain, who was seated at his side. And he advanced, and fell at the feet of him and the goddess Durgā. Then the adorable Hara placed his hand on his back, and made him rise up, and sit down, and asked him why he had come”.

2) Śiva (शिव) is the name of a theif, who, together with Mādhava, came from the city Ratnapura and used to rob the rich men by means of trickery, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 24. Their story was told by princess Kanakarekhā to her father Paropakārin in order to demonstrate that “all kinds of deceptions are practised on the earth by rogues”.

3) Śivā (शिवा) is one of the epithets of Durgā, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 53. Accordingly, as Vīravara praised Durgā: “... thou art the principle of life in creatures; by thee this world moves. In the beginning of creation Śiva beheld thee self-produced, blazing and illuminating the world with brightness hard to behold, like ten million orbs of fiery suddenly produced infant suns rising at once, filling the whole horizon with the circle of thy arms, bearing a sword, a club, a bow, arrows and a spear. And thou wast praised by that god Śiva in the following words ... [Śivā, etc...]”.

Also, “... when Skanda, and Vasiṣṭha, and Brahmā, and the others heard thee praised, under these [eg., Śivā] and other titles, by Śiva well skilled in praising, they also praised thee. And by praising thee, O adorable one, immortals, Ṛṣis and men obtained, and do now obtain, boons above their desire. ”

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Śiva, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Śiva (शिव).—Śiva along with Brahmā and Viṣṇu make up the Hindu Triad. He is the most favourite deity of Soḍḍhala whom he invokes in the Beginning of his work, “Victorious is the three-eyed god, who is the primal cause and the pillar of the great house called the universe charming with three worlds (also three storeys) and in whose body shines forth the Goddess, the daughter of the king of mountains (Pārvatī) as a decorative image”.

The names and attributes that are assigned to him bring out well his powerful character. They are Trinetra, Aṣṭamūrti, Bhava, Umeśa, Mahādeva, Śiva, Ambikānātha, Dhurjati, Purajit, Candraketu, Śambhu, Ardhenduśekhara, Maheśvara, Śaṅkara, Caṇḍiśa, Andhakāri, Andhakavipāṭaka, Hāṭakeśvara, Somanātha, Candravibhūṣaṇa and Pinākin.

Several temples were dedicated to Śiva. Kālidasa refers to a Jyotirliṅga called Mahākāla at Ujjayinī, and of Viśveśvara or Viśvanātha at Banares.

Source: Shodhganga: A critical appreciation of soddhalas udayasundarikatha
Katha book cover
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Śiva (शिव) is the name of a ancient authority on the science of Sanskrit metrics (chandaśāstra) mentioned by Yādavaprakāśa (commentator on Chandaśśāstra of Piṅgala).—Śiva is the originator of chanda school of Sanskrit, mentioned by Yādavaprakāśa as Bhava.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
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Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

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Itihasa (narrative history)

Śiva (शिव) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. XIV.8.13, XIV.8, XIV.8.28, XIV.8) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Śiva) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Śivā also refers to the name of a Lady mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.60.24).

Śivā also refers to the name of a River mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. VI.10.24).

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Śivā (शिवा) is another name for Rudrajaṭā, a medicinal plant identified with Aristolochia indica (Indian birthwort or duck flower) from the Aristolochiaceae or “birthwort family” of flowering plants, according to verse 3.79-81 of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu. The third chapter (guḍūcyādi-varga) of this book contains climbers and creepers (vīrudh). Together with the names Śivā and Rudrajaṭā, there are a total of sixteen Sanskrit synonyms identified for this plant.

Source: WorldCat: Rāj nighaṇṭu
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

According to the Vatula-tantra, Śiva may be distinguished in ten ways:

  1. tattva-bheda,
  2. varṇa-bheda,
  3. cakra-bheda,
  4. varga-bheda,
  5. mantra-bheda,
  6. praṇava,
  7. brahma-bheda,
  8. aṅga-bheda,
  9. mantra-jāta,
  10. kīla.

Śiva is called niṣkala when all His kalās, that is parts or organs or functions, are concentrated in a unity within Him. Śiva through His energy can know and do all things. Śiva creates all things by His simple saṃkalpa and this creation is called the śuddhādhva.

Source: A History of Indian Philosophy

Shiva is the destructive aspect of the supreme Trinity. His consort is Parvati. His sons are Skanda, the commander of the army of Devas, and Ganapati, who is also known as Vinayaka.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

1. Siva. The name of a god (Cv.xciii. 9, 10). A devaputta, named Siva, is mentioned in the Samyutta (S.i.56) as visiting the Buddha and speaking several verses on the benefit of consorting only with the good. It is interesting that Buddhaghosa makes no particular comment on the name in this context. In the Samantapasadika, however, he refers to the worship of the Sivalinga. Sp.iii.626; cf. UdA.351, where mention is made of Khandadeva Sivadi paricaranam.

2. Siva. See Sivi.

3. Siva. A palace guard, paramour of Anula. He reigned for fourteen months, at the end of which time he was killed in favour of Vatuka. Mhv.xxxiv.18.

4. Siva. One of the eleven children of Panduvasudeva and Kaccana. Dpv.x.3.

5. Siva. One of the ten sons of Mutasiva (Dpv.xi.7; xvii.76). He reigned for ten years and established the Nagarangana vihara. Dpv.xviii.45.

-- or --

1. Siva Thera. A monk of Ceylon, an eminent teacher of the Vinaya. Vin.v.3.

2. Siva. See Mahasiva, Culasiva, Tanasiva, Bhayasiva, etc.

3. Siva. King of Ceylon (522 A.C.). He was the maternal uncle of Kumaradhatusena, whom he killed in order to seize the throne. He reigned only twenty five days, and was killed by Upatisssa. Cv.xli.1-5.

4. Siva - A village near Giritimbilatissa pabbata. Ras.ii.42.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Śivā (शिवा) is mentioned as the wife of king Candrapradyota in the Śivājātaka, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter L.—Accordingly, “thus Che-p’o (Śivā), for an offering to Kia-tchan-yen (Kātyāyana), obtained in the present existence a fruit of retribution: she is the main wife of king Tchan-t’o-tccheou-t’o (Candrapradyota)”.

Notes: For having made a gift to the great disciple Mahākātyāyana, then chaplain to Caṇḍapradyota, king of Avanti, Śiva, otherwise unknown, became the king’s wife.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Śiva (शिव) is the father of Puruṣasiṃha: the fifth Vāsudeva (“violent heroes”) according to both Śvetāmbara and Digambara sources. Since they enjoy half the power of a Cakravartin (universal monarch) they are also known as Ardhacakrins. Jain legends describe nine such Vāsudevas usually appearing together with their “gentler” twins known as the Baladevas. The legends of these twin-heroes usually involve their antagonistic counterpart known as the Prativāsudevas (anti-heroes).

The stories of king Śiva, queen Ammayā and their son, Puruṣasiṃha are related in texts such as the Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacarita (“the lives of the sixty-three illustrious persons”), a twelfth-century Śvetāmbara work by Hemacandra.

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Śiva (शिव) participated in the war between Rāma and Rāvaṇa, on the side of the latter, as mentioned in Svayambhūdeva’s Paumacariu (Padmacarita, Paumacariya or Rāmāyaṇapurāṇa) chapter 57ff. Svayambhū or Svayambhūdeva (8th or 9th century) was a Jain householder who probably lived in Karnataka. His work recounts the popular Rāma story as known from the older work Rāmāyaṇa (written by Vālmīki). Various chapters [mentioning Śiva] are dedicated to the humongous battle whose armies (known as akṣauhiṇīs) consisted of millions of soldiers, horses and elephants, etc.

Source: Een Kritische Studie Van Svayambhūdeva’s Paümacariu
General definition book cover
context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geogprahy

Śiva (शिव).—Of all the deities Śiva was considered to be the highest as it is evident from several inscriptions. Early concepts of the god were Ekalinga, Śiva, Girisutāpati as recorded in the Nāth Inscription of V.S.1028 (971 A.D.). The Chirvā Inscription of V.S. 1331 (1274 A.D.) opens with a eulogy of the god Yogarājeśvara. In the Rasiyā-ki-Chhatri Inscription of V.S. 1331 (1274 A.D.) the poet invokes the blessing of Śiva by addressing him as Samidheśvara and Candra-cūda. In the opening verses of the Acaleśvara Inscription V. S. 1342 (1285 A.D.), obeisance is first made to Śiva and he is addressed as Deva, Prabhu, Acaleśvara, Bhavanipati, and Ekalinga. Homage is paid to him in other mediaeval inscriptions naming him as Pinākin, Śambhu and Svayambhū.

Source: Social Life In Medieval Rajasthan

Temples of Śivaconstructed by the Śilāhāra dynasty (r. 765-1215 A.D.).—In the Śiva-temples the object of worship is the Śiva-liṅga, but images of the god are affixed to their walls, the principal one being in the niche on the hind wall of the garbha-gṛha. In the temple at Ambarnāth this image of Śiva is three-faced. Besides this, other forms of Śiva such as the Ardhanārīśvara and the Kalyāṇasundara are noticed in the Ambarnath temple.

Source: What is India: Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras
India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Shiva in Pali glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

siva : (adj.) sheltering; safe. (m.), the God Siva. (nt.), a safe place; the Nirvāna.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Sivā, (f.) (Sk. śivā) a jackal DA. I, 93. (Page 711)

— or —

Siva, (adj. -n.) (Vedic śiva) auspicious, happy, fortunate, blest S. I, 181; J. I, 5; II, 126; Miln. 248; Pv IV. 33; Vv 187.—2. a worshipper of the god Siva Miln. 191; the same as Sivi J. III, 468.—3. nt. happiness, bliss Sn. 115, 478; S. IV, 370.

—vijjā knowledge of auspicious charms D. I, 9; DA. I, 93 (alternatively explained as knowledge of the cries of jackals); cp. Divy 630 śivāvidyā. (Page 711)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

śiva (शिव).—m (S) The deity Shiva, the third of the Hindu triad. He is represented as irascible, vindictive, and altogether terrible. He is the particular god of the Tantrikas or followers of the books called tantra. The adoration of which he is the object is of a more gloomy nature than that of the others; and it is more popular or more extensively prevalent. His office is that of destruction. He is usually drawn with a third eye and in the middle of his forehead, with a crescent on his forehead, the Ganges flowing from his head, a necklace of human skulls, and a blue throat occasioned by his drinking the poison produced at the churning of the ocean. 2 Shiva, as distinguished from jīva (Jiva), and viewed as the pure soul or divine emanation, the vivifying, actuating, and sustaining principle in animated beings. 3 The twentieth of the twenty-seven astronomical Yogas. 4 S Final emancipation from separate existence. 5 Generally with repetition. Used as an interjection of disgust or disapprobation. śiva śiva karaṇēṃ Uttered as an interjection of disgust or abhorrence. v kara, mhaṇa. Also śivā śivā. śivāvaracā bēla ucalaṇēṃ-kāḍhaṇēṃ-ghēṇēṃ To take the Belleaf from off the image of Shiva. A form of swearing. See under śapatha. śivāvaracā bēla cukēla parantu hēṃ cukaṇāra nāhīṃ A phrase implying that a particular observance, rite, privilege, practice &c. will never fail or cease.

--- OR ---

śiva (शिव).—m The name of a small fish of the creeks.

--- OR ---

śīva (शीव) [or शींव, śīṃva].—f (sīmā S) A boundary, border, limit. śiṃvāṇīṃ ubhā na karaṇēṃ or na rāhūṃ dēṇēṃ Not to suffer to stand in the presence of; to hold at a distance. śiṃvāṇa as nominative is obsolete.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

śiva (शिव).—m The deity śiva. Final emancipa- tion from separate existence. śivaśiva An interj of disgust. śivāvaracā bēla ucalaṇēṃ-kāḍhaṇēṃ-ghēṇēṃ A form of swearing.

--- OR ---

śīva (शीव).—f A boundary, limit.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Śiva (शिव).—a. [śyati pāpaṃ śo-van pṛṣo°]

1) Auspicious, propitious, lucky; इयं शिवाया नियतेरिवायतिः (iyaṃ śivāyā niyaterivāyatiḥ) Ki.4.21;1.38; R.11.33.

2) In good health or condition, happy, prosperous, fortunate; तीर्थेन मूर्ध्न्यधिकृतेन शिवः शिवोऽभूत् (tīrthena mūrdhnyadhikṛtena śivaḥ śivo'bhūt) Bhāg. 3.28.22; शिवानि वस्तीर्थजलानि कच्चित् (śivāni vastīrthajalāni kaccit) R.5.8. (= anupaplavāni, 'undisturbed'); शिवास्ते पन्थानः सन्तु (śivāste panthānaḥ santu) 'a happy journey to you', 'God bless (or speed) you on your journey'.

-vaḥ 1 Name of the third god of the sacred Hindu Trinity, who is entrusted with the work of destruction, as Brahman and Viṣṇu are with the creation and preservation, of the world; एको देवः केशवो वा शिवो वा (eko devaḥ keśavo vā śivo vā) Bh.2.115.

2) The male organ of generation, penis.

3) An auspicious planetary conjunction.

4) The Veda; अट्टशूलाः जनपदाः शिवशूलाश्चतुष्पथाः (aṭṭaśūlāḥ janapadāḥ śivaśūlāścatuṣpathāḥ) Mb.3.188.42.

5) Final beatitude.

6) A post to which cattle are tied.

7) A god, deity.

8) Quick-silver.

9) Bdellium.

1) The black variety of thorn-apple.

11) Rum, spirit.

12) Buttermilk.

13) A ruby.

14) Time (kāla).

-vau (m. dual) Śiva and Pārvatī; कथयति शिवयोः शरीरयोगं विषमपदा पदवी विवर्तनेषु (kathayati śivayoḥ śarīrayogaṃ viṣamapadā padavī vivartaneṣu) Ki.5.4.

-vam 1 Prosperity, welfare, well-being, happiness; तं धर्मेऽग्निषु पुत्रेषु शिवं पृष्ट्वा (taṃ dharme'gniṣu putreṣu śivaṃ pṛṣṭvā) Rām.7.33.13; तव वर्त्मनि वर्ततां शिवम् (tava vartmani vartatāṃ śivam) N.2.62; Ratn.1.2; R.1.6.

2) Bliss, auspiciousness.

3) Final beatitude.

4) Water.

5) Seasalt.

6) Rock-salt.

7) Refined borax.

8) Iron.

9) Myrobalan.

1) Sandal.

--- OR ---

Śivā (शिवा).—

1) Name of Pārvatī.

2) A jackal (in general); जहासि निद्रामशिवैः शिवारुतैः (jahāsi nidrāmaśivaiḥ śivārutaiḥ) Ki.1.38; हरेरद्य द्वारे शिव शिव शिवानां कलकलः (hareradya dvāre śiva śiva śivānāṃ kalakalaḥ) Bv.1.32; R.7.5;11.61;12.39.

3) A fortunate woman.

4) Final beatitude.

5) The Śamī tree.

6) The yellow myrobalan.

7) Dūrvā grass.

8) A kind of yellow pigment.

9) Turmeric.

--- OR ---

Siva (सिव).—A sewer, sticher.

Derivable forms: sivaḥ (सिवः).

See also (synonyms): sivaka.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

Search found 4328 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

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Paramaśiva (परमशिव).—Parama Śiva is the inert and formless state of absolute transcendence beyo...
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