Rudra-Shiva concept (Study)

by Maumita Bhattacharjee | 2018 | 54,352 words

This page relates ‘Epithets relating to Rudra’s auspicious character’ of the study on the Rudra-Shiva concept in the Vedic and Puranic literature, starting with the concept of God as contemplated by the Rishis (Vedic sages). These pages further deal with the aspects, legends, iconography and eulology of Rudra-Shiva as found in the Samhitas, Brahamanas, Aranyakas, Upanishads Sutras and Puranas. The final chapters deal with descriptions of his greatness, various incarnations and epithets.

2(f): Epithets relating to Rudra’s auspicious character

Rudra’s auspicious character is revealed by a number of epithets. Such as Mayaskara, Mayobhava, Śaṃbhava, Śaṅkara, Śiva, Śivatara,[1] Mīḍhuṣṭama,[2] Mīḍhuṣa,[3] Mīḍhva,[4] Śivatama.[5]

Mahīdhara derives the term śaṅkara and mayaskara respectively as:

śaṃ laukikasukhaṃ karoti śaṅkaraḥ


mayo mokṣasukhaṃ karoti mayaskaraḥ.[6]

It means Rudra bestows loukikasukha (earthly happiness) and mokṣasukha (salvation).

The term śiva implies auspicious and sinless—

śivaḥ kalyāṇarūpo niṣpāpaḥ...[7]

In this context, Uvaṭa remarks that—

he mīḍhuṣṭama (mih secane) sektṛtama yuvatama.[8]

From his (Uvaṭa’s) commentary it can be understood that he has a capacity of sprinkling rain or water and he is youthful. He is also known as Śambhu and Mayobhū.[9]

According to Sāyaṇācārya,

saṃ sukhaṃ bhāvayatyutpādayatīti vā śambhuḥ | mayaḥ sukhaṃ bhāvayatīti mayobhū.[10]

It means one who bestows or generates happiness is called Śambhu and Mayobhū. He is extolled as Prathamo Daivyo Bhiṣak or the first divine physician[11] and Tāra or one who protects the whole world.[12]

Uvaṭa takes the term prathamo daivyo bhiṣak as:

mukhyo devasambandhī bhiṣak vaidyaḥ[13]

And the word tāra means:

tārayati saṃsāramiti tāraḥ...[14]

Footnotes and references:


namaḥ śaṃbhavāya ca mayobhavāya ca namaḥ śaṅkarāya ca mayaskarāya ca namaḥ śivāya ca śivatarāya ca || Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā, 16.41


yā te hetimīḍhuṣṭama haste babhūva te dhanuḥ || Ibid., 16.11


namo’stu nīlagrīvāya sahasrākṣāya mīḍhuṣe | Ibid., 16.8


ava sthirā maghavadbhyastanuṣva mīḍhvastokāya tanayāya mṛḍa || Ibid.,16.50


...śivatama śivo naḥ sumanā bhava | Ibid.,16.51


Mahīdhara, Ibid., 16.41


Mahīdhara, Ibid.


Uvaṭa, Ibid., 16.11


Sāyaṇa, Ibid.


adhyavocadadhivaktā prathamo daivyo bhiṣak | Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā, 16.5


namo vṛkṣebhyo harikeśebhyo namastārāya || Ibid., 16.40


Uvaṭa, Ibid., 16.5


Mahīdhara, Ibid., 16.40

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