Names of Lord Shiva and their significance—
Names of Lord Shiva and their significance—
Rudra—As the concluder of creation, Lord Shiva is known as Rudra—because then he has to assume a ruthless and angry form. The word ‘Rudra’ means anger and wrathfulness.
Mritunjaya—Shiva is called ‘Mritunjaya’ because he has conquered or vanquished death.
Yajaamahe—Shiva is called ‘Yajaamahe’ because he represents the basic or fundamental Truth and Authority of creation that we offer our obeisance to. The word ‘Yajan’ means worship and honour, and ‘Mahe’ means me. So, with the combined word ‘Yajan’ and ‘Mahe’ we invoke the essential Tattwa or the basic Truth that forms the fundamental cosmic Reality and the ultimate force that is behind all aspects of this creation. Aghor—Shiva is also called ‘Aghor’, meaning the most fierce, terrible, formidable and an unconventional form of the Supreme Being who has an odd and mysterious existence.
Sugandhim—Shiva is called ‘Sugandhim’ because of an aura of divinity, holiness, purity, spirituality and majesty that effuses from him and radiates in all the directions in an invisible form like the sweet fragrance of a beautiful flower. The word ‘Sugandha’ means good fragrance or a sweet and pleasant aroma.
Pushti-vardhan—Lord Shiva is honoured by the word ‘Pushti-vardhan’ because he creates all the worlds, sustains them, protects them, nourishes them, makes them health, helps in their growth and development, and enhances their glories and importance by living in all of them uniformly as he is all-pervading, all-including and all-encompassing. Hence, he is honoured by the epithet ‘Pushti-vardha.
Urwaaruk-miv Bandhanaan-mrityor-mukshi-yeti—Lord Shiva is called ‘Urwaaruk-miv Bandhanaan-mrityor-mukshi-yeti’. Just like the musk-melon is firmly attached to its stalk, a creature is also sternly clasped in the shackle of death. When he breaks free from this vicious grip of the cycle of birth and death, he finds Mukti or final liberation and deliverance.n’.
Mamritaat—Lord Shiva is called ‘Mamritaat’ because the worshipper attains the elixir of life that gives him eternity and imperishability.
Ishaan/Ishan—Lord Shiva is called ‘Ishan’ because he is the greatest, the most wise and exalted amongst the Gods in this creation.
Maheshwar/Maha-deva—Lord Shiva is considered as the most exalted and wisest amongst the Gods, and is therefore honoured with the epithet Maha Deva or the Great God, and Maheshwar or the Great Ishwar as he is regarded as the supreme Lord of the entire creation. ‘Maheshwar’ or ‘Maha-Deva’ are both names of Lord Shiva. The term ‘Maheshwar’ means the ‘Great Ishwar or Lord’, while the term ‘Maha-deva’ means the ‘Great God’. Obviously, they both mean the same.
Shambhu—He is known as Shambhu as he is the one who remains uniform, unruffled and calm even under adverse situations. Shambhu is one who exists or is established in an enlightened state of highest consciousness (i.e. is ‘Bhu’) that is marked by perfect self control, complete neutrality, absolute tranquility, serenity, peacefulness and blissfulness.
Pashupati/Pashupaat—Shiva is called Pashupati or Pashupaat because he is the Lord of lowly living beings who have animal-like instincts—i.e. those who are engrossed in pursuing the urge for self-gratification and pleasures of the sense objects of this gross world without realizing that they getting sucked in the vortex of endless miseries and being pulled away from peace and happiness.
Kamari/Kaamaari—Lord Shiva is also known as Kaamaari or Kamari, literally the one who had reduced to ashes the pride of Kaamdeo, the God of passions and lust. The Lord had vanquished the haughtiness and arrogance of this God of passions and his belief that he is invincible and infallible.
Parmeshwar—The word means the Supreme Ishwar or the Supreme Lord.
Trayambak—The word Trayambak means the Lord who has a most unconventional form with one extra eyes oddly placed in the forehead. Lord Shiva’s behaviour and general bearing are also most unconventional and odd because he is at once an incarnation of the eclectic virtues of peace, renunciation, detachment, tranqulity and blissful, and at another moment he becomes personified form of anger and wrath.
Neelkantha—‘The Lord with a purple or blue-tinged throat’. Lord Shiva is known as ‘Neelkanth’ because he had drunk the horrible poison called Halaahal which emerged as a scorching froth at the time of churning of the ocean by the Gods and the Demons in search of Amrit or the ambrosia of life and eternity. The legend goes that Lord Shiva had drunk the fierce poison that emerged at the time of churning of the celestial ocean in the beginning of creation by the Gods and the Demons in search of Amrit, the nectar of eternity and bliss.
Nataraj—One of mystical forms of Lord Shiva is known as the ‘Nataraj’ (pronounced as ‘Nut-Raaj’). The word ‘Nat’ means to dance, and ‘Raaj’ means a king or an expert who knows the secrets of any kind of art. So, when Lord Shiva performs his cosmic dance he is known as ‘Nataraj’. This mystical form of Lord Shiva is known as the ‘Nataraj’ because it represents the Lord’s cosmic dance that symbolizes both the destruction and the creation of the universe, and it reveals the cycles of death and birth.
Sharav—In his form as the liberator of the soul of the creature by destroying the latter’s gross external body and freeing the soul, he is known as Sharav.
Lord Shiva has many other names also as follows:–
- Aashutosh—meaning one who fulfills all wishes of his devotees instantly.
- 2. Bhairav—meaning the Lord of Terror.
- Bhole-naath—meaning the Lord who is simple-hearted, unpretentious, straight-forward, honest, sincere, and humble inspite of being the Lord God.
- Bhu-Dev—meaning the Lord of the earth.
- Devaa-dhi-dev—meaning the Lord of all the Gods; the supreme God; the primordial God; the first amongst the Gods; the God who was present before the coming into being of all the other Gods.
- Gangaa-dhar—meaning the Lord who holds the mighty river Ganges in the lock of hairs on his head.
- Jagdish—meaning the Lord of the world, the universe.
- Kailash—meaning the Lord who eliminates miseries and torments, restoring peace and
happiness to the creature. It also means the Lord of the sacred mountain with the same name, viz. Mt. Kailash.