Why is Shiva also called the Adi Guru? Is it because he propagated the concept of Rama who resides in our hearts?

Shiva does meditation on Lord Vishnu. This is a well known fact.

  • He is called Adi Guru because He taught Yoga to the man Kind for the first time. It has nothing to do with Rama or Vishnu.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 8:58
  • See Is Shiva really Adi Guru of Yoga?
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 9:33
  • "Adi guru" is an epithet given to Shiva by Jaggi Vasudev. Don't get carried away by what he says
    – user1195
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 10:59

2 Answers 2


First of all questions like " Why Shiva is the destroyer?" OR "Why Vishnu is the preserver?" OR "Why Saraswati is considered as the Goddess of Knowledge ?" can't be answered.

We can at most cite from scriptures that declare them as so but probably can't answer the WHY part.

Quoting from this page:

There came a time after creation when the Rishis, whose task it was to guide the people as gurus, needed further guidance themselves. So Lord Shiva came as their guru to guide them. This incarnation of of Shiva is known as Dakshinamurti as He sat facing the “Dakshina”, i.e., south.

Hence,in the Guru Sishya lineage(Paramapara) Lord Shiva(as Dakshinamurti) is considered the first Guru(Adi Guru).It has nothing to do with propagation of RAM(whatever that means) as you have mentioned in the question.

Nidhaye sarvavidyanam bhishaje bhavaroginam | Gurave sarvalokanam daxinamurtaye namah ||

Meaning of the bold line -My salutations to Dakshinamurti who is the Guru of the entire universe.This is from the Dakshinamurti Stotram found on the same page.

That is why it is said that, those who don't have personal Guru yet can pray to Dakshinamurti who will help them in finding their Guru in case they are worthy of having one.

Also, refer to the 6th verse of the Shiva Shadakshara Stotram found in the Rudrayamala which i quote here.

Yatra Yatra stitho Devah Sarva Vyapi Maheswarah

Yo Guruh Sarva Devaanaam YA Karaya Namo Namaha.

Meaning of the bold words-Who is the Guru of all Devas(Gods).

Now coming to Shiva meditating on Vishnu:It has been mentioned in many scriptures that those who differentiate bwtween HARI and HARA are not considered true devotees & go to hells despite all their devotion and good deeds in life.

Shiva & Vishnu stay in each others' hearts;

Shivaaya Vishnu Roopaaya Shiva Roopaaya Vishanave | Shivasya Hrudayam Vishnur Vishnuscha Hrudayam Shivaha || Yatha Shivamayo Vishnuhu Yevam Vishnu Mayaha Shivaha | Yathaantharam Na Paschyaami Thatha Me Swasthi Ra Yushi ||

Edit-I'm adding another source to my answer.This one is a prayer done by Sri Rama to Lord Shiva and is found in the Padma Purana.It praises Lord Shiva as "Jagat Guru"(the Guru of the entire universe).

Quoting from this page:

Ye twam Surottama Gurum Purushaa vimudhaa, Jaananti nasya Jagatah Sacharaa –charasya, Ishwaryamaana nigamaanushyena/ Paschaathey yatanaam twanubhavantya vishuddhichitthaah/

(Maha Deva! Those impure hearted persons who take pride in their wealth, egotism and so-called knowledge and not realise who Jagadguru/ the Greatest Master really is shall regret after Mrityu and on reaching Naraka, but then too late!).

This is the last verse of the stotram.


Shiva(Sivam) is the Paramaathma - The one soul who is always reside irrespective to the time. The shiva is the one who maintains the Kaala chakra - Time Wheel in English. He has capability to stop the rotation of the globe using opening the third eye.So he's called as Adhi Yogi, Parama Yogi, Jeeva Yogi,Amar Yogi etc., If you have time come and see Chidambram Nataraj temple , has a unique way of statues inside the temple and gives us huge inner peace.

  • Welcome to the site. Please visit the guide on 'how to answer questions'. It is expected that the answers site sources from the ancient / modern texts. Else the answer is treated as a comment. Please edit your answer accordingly. Wishing you a happy satisfactory time in the site. Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 6:00
  • Oh...I understand @SureshRamaswamy Thanks for your guidance! Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 14:53

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