We often see lot of pictures of Lord Shiva sitting in the snow clad mountain of Kailasa.

Does it represent anything symbolically?

P.S. I'm not interested in the story of how Shiva came to live on Mount Kailasa.

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    No , what Kailash symbolically represents....
    – Kiran RS
    Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 16:48
  • 3
    @KiranRS OK, then you should edit your question to make that clear. Because your question title makes it sound as if you want the mythological story of how Shiva came to live on Mount Kailash. But in any case, the suggestion that Shiva living on mount Kailash is a symbolic thing is somewhat controversial. A lot of traditional Hindus, myself included believe that he literally lives on Mount Kailash. Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 17:28
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    @KiranRS So it's an odd question to ask what his living there symbolizes. It's like asking what Rama being born in Ayodhya symbolizes. Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 17:30
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    @KeshavSrinivasan - it is not a normal thing as any avathar born in some place... Because they live a normal humans life unlike trinities. Trinities didn't move to another place permanently, and never had a normal human beings life including avathars. Got you what i mean? :)
    – Kiran RS
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 13:53
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    One representation sir - The snow clad mountain Kailasha represents the purest Heart. Snow is white, the mountains are known for their pure and serene environment, secluded from the worldly mallice. Lord Shiva, who is Parabrahman, who is God, resides in the purest Heart. The Heart where purity reigns is Kailasha or the Dwelling place of Parameshwar :). All the best!!
    – Sai
    Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 22:33

2 Answers 2


The symbolic meaning behind Kailasa is that it represents celebration. Also, it is interesting to note that Shiva also said to reside in the Smashana:

The abode of Shiva is in Mount Kailasa, and the smashana (the cremation ground). Kailasa means 'where there is only celebration', and smashana is where there is only void. The Divinity dwells in the void as well as in celebration. And in you there is void, in you there is celebration.

An explanation from an article by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:


  • 1
    Good but not satisfactory :}
    – The Destroyer
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 12:24
  • @TheDestroyer: Well, as long as the OP is satisfied :P Also, I could add etymological meanings, that might provide more insights? Commented May 5, 2016 at 14:19
  • What does "Shiva sitting on Kailash" mean? This is what OP wants. So, you may need to edit your answer according to that.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 14:22
  • @TheDestroyer That is what is means : Divinity (Shiva) is found in celebration (Kailasa) Commented May 5, 2016 at 14:23
  • You should mention Divinity and void as Shiva in your answer to make things clear.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 15:20

Lord Shiva is symbolically represented as dwelling in Mount Kailash because he is said to be too iridescent, vivacious and fiery. The mountain's cool and serene environment and the goddess Ganga on his matted locks atone for his fiery nature. (Although Goddess Ganga flows from his locks for an another reason). Being the supreme lord, he is ever absorbed in meditation on himself to regulate the cosmos.

  • 1
    Please cite sources.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 5:37

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