Sign up ×
Hinduism Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for followers of the Hindu religion and those interested in learning more about Hinduism. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is the meaning of the word "Shiva"? Does all GOD names have meanings?

share|improve this question
I recommend that you focus your question just on what the meaning of Shiva's name is. Save all the other gods for other questions. – senshin Jul 8 '14 at 13:06
Shiva means sum of 3 things -> auspicious + pure + beneficer(Kalyankari) to all. Shiva is GOD, allah, bhagwan, Parmeshwara, Parmatman, Khuda, Maheshwara. Om Namah Shivaya. – Parth Trivedi Aug 15 '14 at 18:19

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted


shiva the name of the Lord is a mantra. It is a part of the very holy mantra of shaivam The Holy Five Letters. mantra means powerful word. The mantras are revealed to and through the sages in their matured spiritual state to the entire world. These mantras may or may not be associated directly to one particular language. At times they get interpreted in the languages. The name shiva and The Holy Five Letters are accepted as they are in different languages.

In samskritam, the word shiva means auspicious, prosperous (mangalam). The Lord who is called pashupati, Asutosha being the Supreme that can not be measured by the thoughts, appears to the one who worships as the God graceful, blissful and nurturing. Its auspicious and graceful forms and names are invoked by the worshiper for the upliftment of oneself.

In Tamil, it refers to shiva - civappu - chemporul, meaning the Perfect Being. The God staying in a state blissful, enjoying in Its Own Self eternally, without any flaws is the Supreme Lord shiva. The Perfection is the completeness - there is nothing external that is required to make the Self blissful. In this context it would be worthwhile to contemplate on the mantra shivatarAya.

The other sources also supports the above explanation.

share|improve this answer

You may be interested in how Shiva got his name. This is discussed in the Shatapatha Brahmana of the Yajur Veda, in the story of the birth of Shiva:

[Brahma] said to him, 'My boy, why criest thou, when thou art born out of labour and trouble?' He said, 'Nay, but I am not freed from (guarded against) evil; I have no name given me: give me a name!' Hence one should give a name to the boy that is born, for thereby one frees him from evil;--even a second, even a third (name), for thereby one frees him from evil time after time.

He said to him, 'Thou art Rudra' And because he gave him that name, Agni became suchlike (or, that form), for Rudra is Agni: because he cried (rud) therefore he is Rudra. He said, 'Surely, I am mightier than that: give me yet a name!'

He said to him, 'Thou art Sarva.' And because he gave the him that name, the waters became suchlike, for Sarva is the waters, inasmuch as from the water everything (sarva) here is produced. He said, 'Surely, I am mightier than that: give me yet a name!'

He said to him, 'Thou art Pasupati.' And because he gave him that name, the plants became suchlike, for Pasupati is the plants: hence when cattle (pasu) get plants, then they play the master 3 (patîy). He said, 'Surely, I am mightier than that: give me yet a name!'

He said to him, 'Thou art Ugra.' And because he gave him that name, Vâyu (the wind) became suchlike, for Ugra is Vâyu: hence when it blows strongly, they say 'Ugra is blowing.' He said, 'Surely, I am mightier than that: give me yet a name!'

He said to him, 'Thou art Asani.' And because he gave him that name, the lightning became suchlike, for Asani is the lightning: hence they say of him whom the lightning strikes, 'Asani has smitten him.' He said, 'Surely, I am mightier than that: give me yet a name!'

He said to him, 'Thou art Bhava.' And because he gave him that name, Parganya (the rain-god) became suchlike; for Bhava is Parganya, since everything here comes (bhavati) from the rain-cloud. He said, 'Surely, I am mightier than that: give me yet a name!'.

He said to him, 'Thou art Mahân Devah (the Great God).' And because he gave him that name, the moon became suchlike, for the moon is Pragâpati, and Pragâpati is the Great God. He said, 'Surely, I am mightier than that: give me yet a name!'

He said to him, 'Thou art Îsâna (the Ruler).' And because he gave him that name, the Sun became suchlike, for Îsâna is the Sun, since the Sun rules over this All. He said, 'So great indeed I am: give me no other name after that!'

Now this doesn't mention the name Shiva, but when the same story is told in the Srimad Bhagavatam, the name Shiva is included:

There was much anger generated in the mind of Brahmā, which he tried to control and not express. Although he tried to curb his anger, it came out from between his eyebrows, and a child mixed blue and red was immediately generated. After his birth he began to cry: O destiny maker, teacher of the universe, kindly designate my name and place. The all-powerful Brahmā, who was born from the lotus flower, pacified the boy with gentle words, accepting his request, and said: Do not cry. I shall certainly do as you desire. Thereafter Brahmā said: O chief of the demigods, you shall be called by the name Rudra by all people because you have so anxiously cried. My dear boy, I have already selected the following places for your residence: the heart, the senses, the air of life, the sky, the air, the fire, the water, the earth, the sun, the moon and austerity.... My dear boy Rudra, you have eleven other names: Manyu, Manu, Mahinasa, Mahān, Śiva, Ṛtadhvaja, Ugraretā, Bhava, Kāla, Vāmadeva and Dhṛtavrata.

share|improve this answer
Is Rudra the same as Lord Shiva of the Trimurthis? Meaning one Trimurthi Brahma gave birth to another Trimurthi - Shiva? If so, why is Shiva addressed as Jagat Pita? – Naveen Apr 23 at 12:49
@Naveen Yeah, the various members of the Triumurthi did give birth to each other. See my answer here: – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 23 at 13:42

The meaning of the name Shiva is "Auspicious, Pure"

Shiva is a male Sanskrit name that refers to the third aspect of god, called in the Vedas.

If pronounced with a long final vowel "a", Shiva is a female name; a name of the goddess Parvati, Uma and Lakshmi.

It can also be described as "The god staying in a state blissful, enjoying in its own self eternally, without any flaws."

share|improve this answer
Does all other GOD names have meanings too? – MaxTechnoware Jul 8 '14 at 13:08
@Kiran If possible, try to add some more detail to your answer, e.g. etymology and whatnot. – senshin Jul 8 '14 at 13:08
@MaxTechnoware - yes , every name has its meaning... – Kiran RS Jul 8 '14 at 13:10
@kiran please add some more interesting details about the meaning. – MaxTechnoware Jul 8 '14 at 13:11
@MaxTechnoware - i added some more details, please consider editing my answer by formating because i am using mobile i cant edit my answer.... – Kiran RS Jul 8 '14 at 13:23

Meditation is not a kind of activity it is a quality.

Prayer means you are talking to god, and meditation means you are willing to listen to GOD.

enter image description here

Shiva : Means yogi

Third Eye: shiva always been referred to as TRIAMBAKA because of 3rd eye. it means another dimension of perception has opened up. Your energy evolve and enhance itself in such a way that your perception is enhanced and 3rd eye opens.

Nandi: Nandi is a symbolism of eternal waiting. Nandi in a temple simply sitting and waiting to come out shiva. He will wait forever.

Trishul: 3 fundamental aspect of life : Ida,pingala and sushumna Moon : Moon means SOM or somasundara means inebriation or intoxication. He is intoxicated all the time with great alertness. these intoxication is due to internal body produces and can define in word ANANDA or BLISS.

Snake : snake is not just symbolic out of 114 chakra one is VISHUDDHI chakra is located in your throat. vishudhdhi is about stopping poison (NEELKANTHA) and snake carries poison. All these things are connected.

share|improve this answer
Welcome to Hinduism.SE! You should cite sources. – Keshav Srinivasan Sep 21 at 14:59

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.