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Parashiva, Paramashiva, Sadashiva, Rudra and Shiva are names referring to Mahadeva. What do these names signify and mean?

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    I don't think there is any thumb rule like thing to distinguish forms of Shiva by these names. Name Shiva can be used to denote any form of Shiva (including ParaShiva and SadaShiva), SadaShiva is generally used to denote 5 headed form of Shiva, ParaShiva is generally used to denote highest formless aspect of Shiva. – Tejaswee Jul 22 '17 at 18:33
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According to the Trikmata, Parama Shiva or Parashiva is the Supreme God, who is always Poorna, is one with this world of sixtythree tattwas. Parama Shiva gets this world refected outward by five Shaktis: Chit or Consciousness, Ananda or Bliss, Ichchha or Will, Jnana or Wisdom and Kriya or activity.

In Shiva, only Aham or the sense of " I "is predominant. He is primarily expressed with Chit.

In Sadashiva, Idam or the sense of " It " is only marginally present with Aham. He is primarily expressed with Ichchha.

In Ishwara, Aham is projected in Idam. He is primarily expressed with Jnana.

(Reference: Shastramulak Bharatiya Shaktisadhana, Upendrakumar Das, Vol 1, pages 275-6

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You can read tantra 2 from Thirumandiram, by Siddhar Thirumoolar - verses from 381 to 410 and later 431-440 (this is Saiva Siddhantam from south India, actually north going south with SundararNath becoming Thirumoolar),

http://www.himalayanacademy.com/view/tirumantiram

In resume, everything happen in ParaShiva who is beyond everything (something similar to Parabrahman, or Paramatman) - verse 399

399: Creation the Play of the Ultimate

Out of Ichcha of the Saktis three arose Maya; And Maya in union with Bindu yielded The rest of Mayas three (Suddha, Asuddha and Prakriti) (The Bindu was of Nada born) And Nada was of Parai born; And all this in the Creative play of Parasiva, the Unltimate

And from ParaShiva evolve Shiva, but in between there are more: Paraparam, paraparai, param, parai, nada, bindu, and finally Shiva and Shakti Shiva seems to be a "beyond all" God, but not so far, He is some kind of very subtle manifestation, so is not so much beyond as ParaShiva who is beyond-beyond (Paraparam) - verses 381, 382

381: Act of Creation by the Primal One

Paraparam that has neither Beginning nor End, In pure Consciousness consorted with Paraparai And in that Light Pure arose Param; And from union of Param with Parai immaculate Was Nada born.

382: Creation Continues

Nada united with Bindu From the union of Nada-Bindu Was Siva and Sakti born; From them evoluted the threeJnana, Kriya and Iccha; Iccha then sought union with Bindu.

(Parashiva is even beyond duality of Shiva-Shakti, but Shiva-Shakti are beyond duality of creation)

Shiva is the essence of every God - verse 386, 391

386: Sadasiva is the Source of Creation

Sada-Siva, the He-She, creates universe all, He has sons five The Holy One that creates universe all Himself as lotus-seated Brahma The Creator became.

391: The Primal One is Narayana and Brahma as Well

He is the First Cause, All-pervasive in love; He is Vishnu; He is Brahma, He is Veda, the Cosmos, the Abiding One.

While He pervades Rudra, He acts as destructor, while pervading Vishnu He acts as protector, pervading Brahma He acts as creator, pervading Sadashiva He acts as obscurator, and pervading Maheshvara He acts as redemptor - verses 397, 398

397: The Three Gods Enter Within Us and Know All

The Lord of universe vast enters within and cognises So does Hari that wields the Chakra; And so too Brahma on the lotus flower seated; They Three stood within As treasure-heap of cognition all.

398: The Five Gods Were Born of Anava Sakti

Out of the union of Anava Sakti with Bindu The Five Gods were born. Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Sadasiva and Maheswara. For the five acts to performCreation, preservation, destruction, obscuration and redemptionAs One from the other in causative succession; Born as they were of the Anava Sakti, Of Anava they were not rid.

Sadashiva, as a function of Shiva, is a kind of vedic-Maya, He obfuscates the consciousness (while as Maheshvara gives redemption of that obscuration itself) - verses 431-440

Is more easy to understand Sadashiva function as maya reading verse 432. It is because of this function that we were confused about our connection with the Divine, and become born on here

432: The Lord Gave This Life

The Lord who gave life so sweet Imprisoned me in pasas miseries; A skeletal frame He fashioned, With flesh and skin He clothed it; Lighting then the spark of life To annihilation He hastened me

Look at verse 398, while Sadashiva (and Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Maheshvara) was born from Anava Shakti (Anava is Egoism, meaning personal identity), they not rid of Anava, while Shiva is beyond Anava of course. And in verse 400 Sadashiva is the first born of this Primal Family (meaning the 5 primordial functions of the manifested universe)

400: The Five Gods Were the Primal Family for Five Duties to Perform

From out of Anava Sakti Arose the Primal Family; Sadasiva was the First Born; With Him came the brothers Maheswara, Rudra, Vishnu and BrahmaEach to perform on heaven and earth His allotted function- Creation, Preservation and the rest

But at the same time, Sadashiva is Shiva himself - verses 403, 404 (specially compare verses 382 and 384), wich is confuse

403 One Sadasiva Became Five

Sadsiva that stood as One Animated Maheswara; And then Hara, Hari and Brahma, Thus did the One become the familial Five.

404: Sadasiva Alone Performs the Five Functions

The One alone created the worlds seven; The One alone spanned the worlds seven; The One alone survived the worlds seven; The One alone pervaded body and life.

382: Creation Continues

Nada united with Bindu From the union of Nada-Bindu Was Siva and Sakti born; From them evoluted the threeJnana, Kriya and Iccha; Iccha then sought union with Bindu.

384: Evolution of Maan Sakti- the Substratum of Matter

Away in the far distance of Time Paraparam and Paraparai conjoined Then did Nada with Bindu; And further on Sadasiva with Sakti; Thus was Maan born The finite support of elements five

I recommend you to read all this verses from 381 to 410 because it explains the full creation from ParaShiva-absolute-beyond-reality to all manifestation and lakhs of species. If you keep reading nexte verses from 410 until 450, you will have a full understanding of the 5 functions (Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, SadaShiva, Maheshvara)

http://www.himalayanacademy.com/view/tirumantiram

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In the Sri Brahma Samhita 5.8, Lord Brahma explains( by the way Lord Brahma is the highest Vedic authority in this universe) tal lingam bhagavan shambhur Shambhu or Lord Shiva is an iconic masculine aspect of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna who engages with His mundane creation vide his various plenary expansions beginning with Balaram and Lord Shiva is his last expansion in form of a twilight halo of His masculine organ (the original lingam). The Shiva lingam that we all worship is a mundane replica of this original spiritual lingam. THAT IS AUTHORITATIVE OPINION OF LORD BRAHMA THE COMPILER OF THE VEDAS.

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