According to the Saraswati Ashtottara Shata Namavali(108 names of Saraswati) found here ,one name of the Goddess is Shivanuja(9th name in the list) which means "One who is the younger sibling of Shiva"

शिवानुजा Shivanuja ॐ शिवानुजायै नमः। Om Shivanujayai Namah। The Goddess Who is the Younger Sibling of Shiva

What can be the possible explanations behind this name (because we usually don't consider Goddess Saraswati as Lord Shiva's sister)?

  • Pair of Siblings are "Shiva and Saraswati, Parvati and Vishnu and Brahma and Lakshmi". Brahmavaivarta Purana says Kali and Krishna were born from same seed. I do not scriptural sources for others.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 7:17
  • 2
    Well, Shiva and Saraswati are both children of Brahma. And Shiva's incarnation Ishana and Saraswati's incarnation Vishwarupa the cow were also siblings; see my answer here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/6794/36 Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 7:32
  • @AnilKumar Where does the Brahmavaivarta Purana mention Kali and Krishna being born from the same seed? I'm surprised that it says Krishna was born at all, considering that it envisions Krishna as the supreme being and is one of the main sources of the Gaudiya Vaishnava worldview. Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 7:34
  • @KeshavSrinivasan I read this from wiki. I don't remember now. Will post here if i find.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 7:40
  • I have also read somewhere that Krishna(Vishnu) & Parvati are the same "Tatva".That is why we see the Manmatha Beeja(Klim) being present in almost all the Devi Mantras.One specific example being the famous "..Chamundayai Vicce" Mantra from the Atharva Veda.
    – Rickross
    Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 7:53

1 Answer 1


The Prâdhânika Rahasya khanda, Devi Mahatmya (Durga-Saptashati) describes that Adi Shakti has three main murtis:

  • Mahalakshmi or Sattvic Shakti with 18 arms
  • Mahasaraswati or Rajasic Shakti with 8 arms and
  • Mahakali with 10 arms who represents Tamasic Shakti.

From Mahalakshmi there came Brahma and Lakshmi both with golden complexion.

From Mahasaraswati there came Vishnu (dark complexioned) and Gauri who was white in complexion.

From Mahakali came Shiva annd Sarasvati with fair complexion.

Thus, Brahma and Lakshmi are siblings, Shiva and Saraswati are siblings so are Vishnu and Kali. Now these sibling pairs married in between like Brahma was paired with Saraswati, Vishnu was paired with Lakshmi and Kali was selected for Shankara.

The following image from the Gita Press Gorakhpur's publication of the Durga Sapatashati, summarizes the above concept neatly -

enter image description here

  • 5
    Welcome To Hinduism SE! Please provide link pointing to the sources "Devi Mahatmya" as mentioned in answer. Commented Oct 2, 2016 at 6:30
  • Thanks for ur answer.Bit late to respond.In the time between when i asked the Q and now i found many Puranic stories describing Rudra and Saraswati as siblings.
    – Rickross
    Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 12:41
  • You have attributed wrong siblings to Mahakali and Mahasaraswati, which made your answer Wrong! I have taken the liberty to correct the error along with linking to an appropriate source from the Gita Press Gorakhpur, and added their image screenshot for better summary of the idea. If you disagree with my edit, feel free to roll it back! @AnuragDeb Thanks!
    – Vivikta
    Commented May 19, 2022 at 9:54
  • Could you kindly cite the exact verse in the Durga Saptashati that you refer to which says that Shiva and Saraswati are siblings born to Chaturbhuja Mahakaali? Thanks. Commented Feb 3, 2023 at 17:06

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