Lord Krishna is the supreme Being according to the Bhagavad Gita and is the giver of moksha. Also, can all the avatars of Vishnu give moksha? Like Lord Govinda, Lord Rama, Lord Lakshmi Narasimha, Lord Anantha Padmanaba, etc. And what about Lord Shiva? He gave moksha to the great Bhakta Kannappa and of course many others.

What about Lord Brahma and mother Parvathi Devi?

What about other gods like Lord Ganesha, Lord Ayyappa, etc.?

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    What does Moksha mean? Does moksha mean that we are reborn in a 'heaven' where we can get all our desires fullfilled? Does moksha mean that we are reborn in a 'loka' (goloka, kailash, etc.) where we spend time with our Beloved God in one particular form to eternity? Does moksha mean that we realize the true Self in us, or that God resides in our heart, thereby liberating us in all worlds (such moksha does not require us to be born in any world, but rather is the end of the birth-death cycle of misery)? Does moksha mean that we realize God resides in all forms, thereby filling us with Divinity?
    – Sai
    Oct 29, 2014 at 15:18
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    Regardless of these above definitions, one thing is certain. The path to Moksha is not easy. It is like going through a forest filled with various dangers such as traps, lions, tigers, etc. But the way is made instantly easy if we travel with a guide, knows d way. This guide is our Guru, or our Ishta Deva, it may be Sri Krishna, Lord Shiva, Sriman Narayana, Sri Krishna Chaitanya or Swami Vivekananda. All who have reached the destination, come down to Earth to help others to reach the destination. One who hold on fast to their teachings and their faith shall surely be liberated in due course!!
    – Sai
    Oct 29, 2014 at 15:19
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    Lord Krishna has other name Govinda they are not different persons.
    – Yogi
    Oct 30, 2014 at 7:36

12 Answers 12


Various sects would have own views regarding this. Vaishnavas might tell moksha is not possible without grace of Lord Vishnu, similarly Shaivites might tell it is not possible without grace of Lord Shiva and similar for other sects like Shaktas, Ganapatyas, etc..

However we can take help of Shruti verses or eternal Veda sentences in such cases:

1) Lord Shiva:

There are various answers here which state Lord Shiva can't grant moksha. However this is not statement of Vedas, it's their own imaginations.

Lord Shiva is the only God in Samhitas of Vedas from whom the revealed mantras during meditations ask for Moksha. RigVeda 7.59.12, Taittariya Samhita of YajurVeda in 1.8.6.i, Vajasena Samhita of YajurVeda in 3.60 declare the same statement as:

त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम्
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान्मृत्योर्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात् ।।

We worship the Three-eyed Lord who is fragrant and who nourishes and nurtures all beings. As is the ripened cucumber freed from its bondage (to the creeper), may He liberate us from death for the sake of immortality.

मृत्योर्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात् = मृत्यु + मोक्ष + मम अमृतात् ie. Moksha through death for immortality.

And also 10.17 of Taittariya Aranyaka of YajurVeda clearly declares:

सद्योजातं प्रपद्यामि सद्योजाताय वै नमो नमः।
भवे भवे नाति भवे भवस्व मां भवोद्भवाय नमः॥

I take refuge in Sadyojata. Verily I salute Sadyojata again and again. O Sadyojata, do not consign me to repeated birth; lead me beyond birth, into the state of bliss and liberation. I bow down to Him who is the source of transmigratory existence.

So, it is purely imagination of persons who think Lord Shiva can't grant Moksha.

The same fact is repeated again and again in Smriti passages like:

For eg. In Anushasana Parva of Mahabharata Devas pray Lord Shiva as:

शक्रोऽसि मरुतां देव पितृणां धर्मराजसि ।
ब्रह्मलोकश्च लोकानां गतीनां मोक्ष उच्यसे ।।

You are Shakra among the Marut Devas, Dharma among the Pitris, Brahma Loka among the Lokas and Moksha among the paths (gati).

As Lord Shiva is also known by the name Bholenath, he readily grants Moksha out of compassion of beings. One of the such place is Kashi. Thats why even the Srimad Bhagvatam tells Kashi as best among the holy places.

क्षेत्राणां चैव सर्वेषां यथा काशी अनुत्तमा ।
तथा पुराणव्रातानां श्रीमद्भागवतं द्विज ।।

Just as Kashi is the best among the holy places, in the Similar way Srimad Bhagvatam is best among the Puranas. [S.B. 12.13.17]

Srimad Bhagvatam tells Kashi as best among the holy places because it is that place where Lord Shiva readily grants Moksha. Kailash Samhita of Shiva Purana in 3.2 states:

अतस्तदेव जानीयात्प्रणव सर्वकारणम् ।
निर्विकारी मुमुक्षुर्मां निर्गुणं परमेश्वरम् ।।
एनमेव हि देवेशि सर्वमन्त्रशि रोमणिम् ।
काश्यामहं प्रदास्यामि जीवानां मुक्तिहतवे ।।

Hence he who aspires for salvation and is free from aberration shall understand the Pranava as the cause of all, and Me as the Nirguna Parameshwara. I give this crest-jewel of mantras at Kashi for the liberation of all individual souls.

So, it is clear from both Shruti and Smritis that Lord Shiva grants Moksha. Moreover in the Shiva Purana and Skandha Purana and in many other Puranas there are many stories and events where Lord Shiva provides moksha and it is not that Vyasa fakely claimed in Puranas that they attained Moksha.

2) Lord Vishnu:

I am not aware of any Vedic Samhita mantras that ask for Moksha from Lord Vishnu. Maybe there are in Brahmanas and Upanishads (one can inform me if he/she knows).

However this doesn't mean that Lord Vishnu can't provide Moksha. Moksha provider of Vedas ie. Lord Shiva himself states that Lord Vishnu is the God who grants moksha.

In the Harivamsha Parva, Lord Shiva tells to Ghantakarna:

मुक्ति प्रदाता सर्वेषां विष्णुर्वे न संशय ।।
There is no doubt that Viṣṇu is the deliverer of liberation for everyone.

Lord Shiva himself didn't gave Moksha to Ghantakarna because he used to severly hate Lord Vishnu. He used to tie bells in ear so that he may not be able to hear name of Lord Vishnu and thus his name became GhantaKarna. Due to extreme hatredness towards Lord Vishnu (Virodhi Bhakti) he became eligible to get moksha through Lord Vishnu and later Lord Krishna gives him a boon that he would attain Sayujya with Vishnu after period of present Indra is over as I discuss in my answer here.

Also in Bhagvad Gita 18.66 Lord Krishna states:

सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज |
अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुच: ।।

Abandon all varieties of dharmas and simply surrender unto me alone. I shall liberate you from all sinful reactions; do not fear.

And also from various stories of Vishnu Purana, Padma Purana and Harivamsha and other Puranas we can know Lord Vishnu provided Moksha to various persons.

3) Advaita type:

And in the Advaita type moksha, even if a person reaches Parampadam of Vishnu or Sadashiva Loka of Lord Shiva, still he may not be Jeevan mukta. However he won't return from there as Lord Krishna tells in Gita " those who have attained my place do not return." and hence their Jnana is granted. However as they are still under Nama-Rupa they maynot be JeevanMukta. They still need Jnana to realize oneself as the Supreme Nirguna Brahman without any forms and attributes.

So, in Advaita God doesn't directly give moksha, or devotion doesn't directly provide moksha. God provides Jnana which will finally make one Jeevan Mukta. And Jnana can also be provided by Guru.


ekam sat vipra buhudha vadanti

Truth is One, men call it by various names - The One Brahman is called by various names. Rig Veda

Krishna says (Gita VIII, 5-6) "And whoso, at the time of death, leaves his body remembering me alone and goes forth - he attains My being; concerning this there is no doubt. For whatever object a man thinks of at the final moment, when he leaves his body - that alone does he attain, O son of Kunti, being ever absorbed in the thought thereof."

If Moksha were the result of Knowledge and were therefore endowed with a beginning, it would then come to an end. It would not be eternal. Arising from non-existence, it would again dissolve into nothingness. "Moksha cannot have a beginning and be eternal" (Mandukya Upanishad, Gaudapada Karika, IV. 30.) Liberation is therefore not something which is created, but is the realization of THAT which has existed from eternity but has hitherto been concealed from us. "All jivas are ever free from bondage and pure by nature. They are ever illumined and liberated from the very beginning." (Mandukya Upansihad, Gaudapada Karika, IV. 98.)

He who knows the Self is liberated, even the gods cannot prevent his being so, because he has realized himself to be the very Atman of the gods (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad I. iv. 10.)

"A man who thinks he is free becomes free; a man who thinks he is bound remains bound. This popular saying is quite true - 'as you think, so you become.'" (Astavakra Samhita, I. 11.)

You are free already. You only have to realize it. No one grants it to you.

  • So if anyone thinks about Lord Siva before their death, then he gets Moksha?
    – user12458
    Nov 6, 2014 at 13:54
  • Yes. It is said to one who repeats God's name 3 times at the time of death gains liberation. Krishna says (Gita 8.5) "And whoso at the time of death, leaves his body thinking of Me alone and goes forth--he attains My being; concerning this there is no doubt." Nov 7, 2014 at 5:04
  • What about Ganesha, Mother Parvathi, Mother Lakshmi, karthikeya etc? Whose names when repeated give moksha?
    – user12458
    Nov 14, 2014 at 16:38
  • Do you have a scriptural reference? Nov 15, 2014 at 12:05
  • No, I am not actually talking that they will give moksha. But I am asking instead, will they?
    – user12458
    Nov 15, 2014 at 15:04

I want to add the followig from Sri Sri Chandi (Chapter 1, sloka 50)

तया विसृज्यते विश्वं जगदेतच्चराचरम्।सैषा प्रसन्ना वरदा नृणां भबति मुक्तये।।

Meaning : She creates this whole static and dynamic world. When She becomes pleased, She gives boon of Mukti to men.

Devi says that She alone exists without any second (chapter 10, mantra 5).

This makes it clear again that God is one and it is He or She who gives Mukti to devotees.

But I think there is a difference between Moksha which means merging with the Supreme Self and Mukti which means liberation. There are different types of Mukti like Sarupya, Salokya, Sayujya etc. But Moksha comes from Brahmajnana alone. Jnanis want Moksha whereas some bhaktas want Mukti. Many devotees dont even want Mukti but want to be born again and again and serve God.


Basically it is Lord Vishnu who awards moksha. Moksha and mukti are used interchangeably most of the times which basically means liberation from material mode of existence (but not in mimansa school of thought, for them moksha is attainmnet of heaven). So mukti is generally of five kinds (Sārūpya, Sālokya, Sārṣṭi, Sāmīpya, Sāyujya) of which Sāyujya mukti is equivalent to moksha where a jiva merges into the absolute. But other than this the other four are said to be obtained by a devotee in Vaikuntha, the abode of Vishnu. So awarding liberation is basically the act of Vishnu or any of His avataras as we know from many incidents from the scriptures.

However, other deities like Lord Shiva can also award liberation, but they do it with the power of Vishnu's name:

जासु नाम बल संकर कासी। देत सबहि सम गति अविनासी।। [RCM - 4.9]
-By the power of whose name Shankara of Kashi awards everyone moksha (It is said that whoever dies in Kashi, one of Lord Shiva's favorite places, gets moksha)

Practically speaking, anyone who has the ability and power to do so can award someone liberation and any of the five primary deities (pancha deva, viz. Vishnu, Shiva, Durga, Ganesha, Surya) of the sects like Vaishnava, Shaiva, Shakta, etc. and their variants can award bhukti and mukti (enjoyment and liberation). I don't know some of the gods you have mentioned but demigods or gods of heaven or upper planes of existence cannot award liberation because it is not in their power. If it were, they would have liberated themselves at the first place and attained mokhsa, the highest of all objectives.

Another thing I would like to add is that, apart from a deity awarding moksha (which basically happens as a result of worship or devotion), there exist other schools of thought like advaita which state that one can attain moksha by himself through jnana (knowledge).

  • Do you have any sources other than the Ramcharitmanas for the claim that other gods can grant Moksha using the power of Vishnu? As a fellow Vaishnava, I certainly agree that if any other god grants Moksha, it can only be through Vishnu, but it would be better if there were a more authoritative source for that. Oct 30, 2014 at 3:13
  • Also, on a seperate note I think it's wrong to call the Panchayatana the five primary deities of Hinduism. They're the five primary deities of the Smartha sect founded by Adi Shankaracharya, but non-Smarthas don't make the same kind of categorization. Oct 30, 2014 at 3:15
  • @KeshavSrinivasan sorry, i don't recall any other such verses where a god grants boon by the power of lord's name (but i believe there must be others). I know it from other sources but to give a quotation only this one came to my mind. And regarding the Pancha deva (don't know if they are Panchayatana cause the meaning seems different) you are right that these are primary deities of the different sects and hence it would be inappropriate to say them as the primary deities of Hinduism. I'll update it, thanks.
    – Be Happy
    Oct 30, 2014 at 4:11
  • What you wrote is still not correct. Most Vaishnava sampradayas don't follow that categorization of five gods, and the same can be said of Shaktas. That categorization is primarily used by the Smartha sect. Oct 30, 2014 at 14:37
  • @KeshavSrinivasan Please feel free to edit it whatever you know as correct. As per my little knowledge I know this categorization of five gods is an important one in sakara upasana of God. Certainly you must be knowing the views of Vaishnavas more than me as I don't belong to any sampradaya. But I don't want to indulge in an argument regarding this as I know this from a reliable source. So kindly edit it as you think its correct, i am fine with it.
    – Be Happy
    Oct 31, 2014 at 12:44

There are good answers here. I am adding what the Upanishads say about this matter. Basically both self-effort and divine grace are needed to attain moksha whether of the Advaita type or dvaita type.

This Atman cannot be attained by the study of the Vedas, or by intelligence, or by much hearing of sacred books. It is attained by him alone whom It chooses. To such a one Atman reveals Its own form.

Katha Upanishad I.ii.23

It Chooses:

According to Dualistic interpreters, the words mean "whom the Supreme Lord chooses." Obviously this emphasizes the divine grace. But according to the Non-dualist Sankara, it is the self, that is to say, the lower phenomenal self, that seeks and worships the Supreme Self, or Brahman. There is, however, no real contradiction between the two interpretations. Both self reliance and divine grace are necessary for the realization of Atman. Through self-effort the seeker removes obstacles and prepares the ground; next there is the spontaneous revelation of Atman. Self-effort is compared to the wind that removes the cloud. When the cloud is removed, the resplendent sun, of itself, reveals its own glory.

The Upanishad here makes a very bold statement. An aspirant cannot realize the Self by mere study of the scriptures. The grace of the Supreme Lord, who dwells in the heart as the Self, or Atman, is necessary. It is this Lord alone whom he seeks to realize as one with himself through study, discrimination, and meditation. Being gratified with his devotion, the Lord manifests to the seeker His Spirit-Form. In other words, Atman, which is the seeker's own self, reveals Its real nature to him, being pleased with his earnestness and devotion. As long as a man remains egoistic and desires to know Atman through such external means as scriptural knowledge or erudition, he fails in his quest. When all external disciplines are proved inadequate, the earnest seeker then realizes the futility of the ego and develops self-surrender, which makes possible the descent of the divine grace, resulting in his realization of the Truth. But self-effort is not useless; without it the seeker would not recognize the Truth when It revealed Itself to him.

Commentary on Katha II.ii.23 in The Upanishads by Swami Nikhilananda


Dear friends i am neither a vaishnavite nor shaivite, i am a hindu, god is one, god is genderless he/she may be shiva,vishnu,krishna,bramha,ganesh or devi etc its the choice of devotee, if vishnu only grants moksha then shaivites or shaktas are wasting their time no no..for shaivites god is shiva he can grants moksha he is supreme for shaktas god is devi/durga/parvati..

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    Welcome to Hinduism SE! You should cite sources for your answer.
    – The Destroyer
    Nov 5, 2015 at 14:12
  • Downvoted. Your answer has no added value at all.
    – Wikash_
    Jan 19, 2019 at 11:24

Actually truth is entirely opposite of what some people think, In fact Shiva is only Giver of Moksha is declared in Vedas Puarans, Tantras etc, quite many times, and specifically The Four Mokshas granted By Hari, are not right ones and who dare say it, Shree Hari himself, in Muktika Upnishad. And this is not belief it is simple to understand truth if one learns Shastra unbiasedly, How.

Lord Vishnu in his geetas and Purans talks about Four Mokshas which he can give to his believers, They are Sameepya, Salokya, Sarupya and Sayujya, Sayujya being highest among four where one become like the god he worships. Now Shiva in His Puran Vedas Geetas has always maintained to give Five mokshas The four Mokshas and the greatest and only True one Kaivalya Moksha. And that can only be granted by Shiva.

And as per Vedas Kaivalya is greatest and only true moksha, In other maya and duality are still there hence dream, as all Lokas are Dream, The Real one is Kaivalya and that can only be granted by Shiva, in this answer you will find citation from Vedas and Purans you can cross check.

And also those who are indian anyways if do not know about greatness of Kashi than they are most ignorant and biased ones in darkness. Kashi is only teertha which guarantees sures unconditional Moksha, None other Gods or Teertha can do that, and that said Vedas too, even many Vaisnav Jagadgurus Tulsi das etc stayed at Kashi for sure moksha instead of any other teertha . Because surely they are great teerthas yet Moksha Guarantee gave none but Kashi.

Even what mokshas Hari can Give is only because of Shiva only all Gods power and authority is because of Shiva, Mahabharat says that and the authority of Moksha is totally vested in Shiva Mahadev. Now where it is mentioned that Shiva is the One and Only Giver of Moksha, well many places in Shastras but let me cite one where Shree Hari himself is Talking about some real truth of Mokshas. Read your self in words of Lord Hari.

Skanda puran , Yagya Vaibhav khand 25th Adhyaya,,

Krishna is telling his Bhakta who wanted true Moksha from him

Naham sansar magnannam sakshat sansar mochkah

Bramha didevashchanyepinaiva sansar mockah

Aham bramhadidevasch prasadat tasya shulinah

Pranaddyaiv hi sansarmochkah natra sanshayah

naamatashcharth ashchapi mahadevo maheshwrah

tadanye kevalam deva mahadeva n teanagh

mahadevam bina yo mam bhajate shradhya sah

nasti tasya vinirmokshah sansarajjanm kotibhih,

i Krishna can not give salvation to worldly people directly, in same manner Bramha Mahavishnu etc are not true liberator, or Moksha Granters, I or Mamavishnu or Bramha and others i Krishna can not give salvation to worldly people directly, in same manner Bramha Mahavishnu etc are not true liberator, or Moksha Granters, I or Mamavishnu or Bramha and others can only give Moksha by order and power or Shiva called SHIVAPRANAADI, By Shivas Grace and power Only WE CAN BE SANSAR MOCHKAH, giver of mokshas ,without shivas grace surely we can not grant Moksha.

O Dear actually Only Shiva is greatest as his name Mahadev is and that is entirely true, he is god of myself Vishnu Mahavishnu Bramha etc , as we Gods Mahavishnu etc are called Devas and only shiva is Mahadeva by name and truth, no god is equivalent or second to him we (krishna mahavishnu bramha) all gods are Subservient to Shakti Shiva.

The one who worships me only leaving Mahadev can not get moksha in crores of lives, because true moksha or any of them can only be given by mahadev, though i become his messenger only to deliver what he orders me to.

It is not once he said such, in Vedas Muktika Upnishad Rama says same thing to Hanuman, that real Moksha can only be given by Mahadev or in Kashi. He also said to hanuman The other four Moksha i can give to deservers are not true ones, The truest Moksha is Kaivalya and Kaivalya can only be given by Mahadev by acquiring Barmha Gyan,.

अन्ये वेदान्तवाक्यार्थविचारात्परमर्षयः । सालोक्यादिविभागेन चतुर्धा मुक्तिरीरिता ॥ १७॥ सहोवाच श्रीरामः । कैवल्यमुक्तिरेकैव परमार्थिकरूपिणी

And he reiterates that to get Kaivalya moksha is the way of Bramha Dharna as in Mandukya Upnishad which describes worship of Nirakar Sadashiva whose one human second dhyan or worship is worth crores of worships and Yagnas daan daskhina, bhoj, great Purashchran, etc done continuously for aeons.

Now here also once again he is saying that Only kashi and Mahadev can guarantee Moksha to all beings, upon his discretion otherwise one has to deserve it first than we can liberate them, but in kashi Mahadev can grant Moksha to any one without any qualification. Or otherwise also Shiva can grant Moksha to any one, as per his will, no other can do that, as all gods give Moksha by Agya and Power of Shiva.

Now here other option than kashi, is Bramha Gyan of ShivaTattva, and for that for gyani a pious man Mandukya will be able to liberate him. Let us see what is in Mandukya Upnishad What is that greatest Tattva greater than all four mokshas and trinity. Mandukya Upnishad talks about worship and Sadhna of Om to get on to state of greatest Realization greater than Bramhan, Shiva Chinmaya Pad.

Sadhna of Om, and its vyahritis, epithets of each sound vibe in pranav. Like A U M Bindu and Naad. And that is what constitutes the whole Universe to get the Ultimate greatest state of being of Atman the greatest Bliss unending ever present ever increasing inexplicable bliss.

Prapancho pashmah shiva madwaitam chaturtham manyante.

प्रपञ्चोपशमं शान्तं शिवमद्वैतं चतुर्थं मन्यन्ते स आत्मा स विज्ञेयः

Here the Shloka is telling that what is that One, on whose grace Kaivalya Satya Gyan depends on

एष सर्वेश्वरः एष सर्वज्ञ एषोऽन्तर्याम्येष योनिः सर्वस्य प्रभवाप्ययौ हि भूतानाम्

Sarveshwar Vishweshwar are Shivas Name, and again in 12 th Shloka the final one,

अमात्रश्चतुर्थोऽव्यवहार्यः प्रपञ्चोपशमः शिवोऽद्वैत एवमोङ्कार आत्मैव संविशत्यात्मनाऽऽत्मानं य एवं वेद

The Only one who is real and existent Shiva shall be Realized at Fourth State of Pranava. That Shiva roop is spread around universe as Atman. This is greatest truth this is Veda.

Now who is considered or say witnessed by Gyan Yogis who were neutral to all Gods see Finality the one to whom all worships shall be to, Just like Mandukya these Rishis witnessed the same entity,


Omkar Rath Marumhya Vishnum Kritwarth Sarthim

Bramha Lok Padanweshi Rudra Radhan Tatparah.

Making chariot of Prnava making Vishnu your Sarthee the guide or Guru Those who want Greater states than that of Bramha Pada (Aham Bramhasmi and Four Mokshas) shall unceasingly without delay shall always worship Lord Rudra.

This Upnishad would talk about Yog Niyam Pratyahar prnayam Dharna samdhi etc, Here the distinction is also cleared,. Vishnu is great Sarhtee one who shows right way that is what Krishna became Guru and Sarthee of Arjun, and the Guru tells about right way to worship that greatest Avyakta Entity Shiva.

So here is what Vedas Purans tantras all Unanimously said, about Moskha and that Shiva is greatest God on whose authority Gods grant moksha yet the greatest and truest only come directly through him only.

This confirms Shastras, among them i quote Shiva Puran. That there are three Main powers of God sristi sthiti and lay and among trinity all three are capable of doing all three. Now Rudra has a Greater Power That is Tirobhav, This is where the Realm of Four Moskha Is. and the greatest power of God is Anugrah which no one has other than him, and that is to truly liberate the being. Those having Sayujya already being in there planet or Loka at Once they also get beyond it, and go to Mahakali Loka or Divya Kailasa to get Kaivalya Moksha. Millions of Trnities are there meditating on Nirakar Jyotirroopa SadaShiva in heart to reach the ultimate destination all being take form for, The unending Shiva Bliis of SadaShiva , there is nothing like it, It is completion The Kaivalya.

And same great opportunity which Great souls who have sayujya and tridevs have, is available for all of us, to meditate and worship that Parbramha Parmatman for whose worship best is heart shiva linga and before that outer shivalinga shall always be worshiped, it is not about just belief but Shivas worship and his gyan via true shaiva guru can give inexhaustible rocket engines to ones ship to enlightenment.

For any true unbiased seeker enquirer, this is enough to establish truth, you want more, i have plenty of examples, i am not a sycophant and find it worthy and Dharma Yukta to call a spade a spade.

In fact, in Truth there are not two different Gods, The trinity is the form of one Parmatman One can choose what suits him yet don't compare or degrade to boast your insecurities, and ask such derogating questions with no shastra basis but just hateful malice for other than your favourite god.

One shall be dedicated to one Form all moksha can be reached by devotion to any one ultimately, Like Ramana reached Him directly by Shiva, RamaKrishna Prm Hansa got via worship of Mahakali divine mother, she send him for gyan of Kaivalya Shiva awastha,. Another Bramha Gyani Shisya of Shree Ramana , Shree Poonjaji known as Papaji, was Krishna Bhakta, a dualist, and quite adamant in his approach as he was Krishna Bhakta since several lives.

Now As by Grace of Shree Ramana he got Darshan of Shree Krishna, Maharishi Ramna thorugh Shaktipat let his realized his one ness with Krishna, as he said that once i was Krishna or Bramhan (he saw krishna as Bramhan) bhakta now have become Bramhan self as know to Jeevan Mukta Rishis as Ek Shivam Shantam Adwaitam Chaturtham Tureeya Manyate alone is reality, There is no you and I, Only Shiva exists, This is reality which is ever present and even known to many but Realized by fewest of few Siddhas Gyanis Rishis.

From Shiva Purana chapter 2.,section 2,.15.couplet :55

प्रत्यग्द्रष्ट्रैऽविकाराय परमैश्वर्य धारिणे । यं भजन्ति चतुर्वर्गे कामयंतीष्टसद्गतिम् । सोऽभूदकरुणस्त्वं नः प्रसन्नो भव ते नमः ॥ ५५ ॥

pratyagdraṣṭrai'vikārāya paramaiśvarya dhāriṇe | yaṃ bhajanti caturvarge kāmayaṃtīṣṭasadgatim | so'bhūdakaruṇastvaṃ naḥ prasanno bhava te namaḥ || 55 ||

Translation :

Obeisance to Thee, the self-contemplator, the unchanging, the holder of great suzerainty and glory. Never be ruthless unto them who resort to the four aims of life (Dharma, Artha Kama Moksha) and desire the cherished final goal. Obeisance to Thee O Shiva.

(Lord Krishna on Shiva)

As Purusha, the rays of your power are in all hearts You are the obtaining of anima and laghima. You are Ishana, the resplendent and undecaying one. The worlds resort to your understanding and intelligence and seek you out as a refuge. Those who have conquered their senses and are devoted to the truth always use yoga to meditate on you. There are those who know you as the eternal one, the lord who is the deep refuge, the Purusha who is everywhere in the universe, the one who is golden in complexion, the one who is supremely intelligent and is the supreme destination. These intelligent ones based themselves on what transcends intelligence.

In Anushasana Parva of Mahabharata Devas pray Lord Shiva as:

शक्रोऽसि मरुतां देव पितृणां धर्मराजसि । ब्रह्मलोकश्च लोकानां गतीनां मोक्ष उच्यसे ।।

You are Shakra among the Marut Devas, Dharma among the Pitris, Brahma Loka among the Lokas and Moksha among the paths (gati).

“umaasahaayaM parameshvaraM prabhuM trilochanaM niilakaNThaM prashaantam.h | dhyaatvaa munirgachchhati bhuutayoniM samastasaakShiM tamasaH parastaat.h |” (Kaivalya Upanishad 7) sa eva sarvaM yadbhuutaM yachcha bhavyaM sanaatanam.h | j~naatvaa taM mR^ityumatyeti naanyaH panthaa vimuktaye | (Kaivalya Upanishad 9) “Meditating on the highest Lord, allied to Uma, powerful, three-eyed, blue-necked, and tranquil, the holy man reaches Him (Shiva) who is the source of all, the witness of all and is beyond darkness (i.e. Avidya). He alone is all that was, and all that will be, the Eternal; knowing Him, one transcends death; there is no other way to freedom”.

“aya.n hR^idi sthitaH saakshii sarveshhaamavisheshhataH | tenaaya.n hR^idayaM proktaH shivaH sa.nsaaramochakaH |” (Panchabrahmopanishat 36) “Lord Shiva, who grants salvation to one, from this day- to-day life of the world, exists as witness without differentiation in the heart of all beings and is called Hrudayam (That which exists within)”.

The world is a maya of Lord Shiva only and only Shiv-Shakti can liberate us from this maya.

“chhandaa.nsi yaGYaaH kratavo vrataani bhuutaM bhavya.n yachcha vedaa vadanti | asmaan.h maayii sR^ijate vishvameta-ttasmi.nshchaanyo maayayaa sanniruddhaH |” (Swetasvatara Upanishad 4:09) “The Lord of Maya projects the Vedas, sacrifices, spiritual practices, past and future, religious observances, all that the Vedas declare, and the whole world including ourselves. The lord of Maya, again, is bound by Maya in this [in the form of Jiva].”

The same Shve Upanishad explains further and informs us that the Lord of Maya is Maheshwara as follows.

“maayaa.n tu prakR^iti.n vidyaanmaayina.n cha maheshvaram.h | tasyavayavabhuutaistu vyaapta.n sarvamida.n jagat.h |” (Swetasvatara Upanishad 4:10) “Know then Prakriti (nature) is Mâyâ (art), and the Maheshwara the Mâyin (maker); the whole world is filled with what are his members (forms)”.

Shiv Gita Padma Purana Chapter 7.

I am the very Pra?ava (Omkara) consiting of three morae (a, u, m) whose head is the north, feet the south and the middle is all that is in between. ||29||

I am truly the Pra?ava (Omkara), one, eternal and ancient because I lead (pious souls) upwards (to heaven) and send them down (when their merit is exhausted). ||30||

I am called Pra?ava because in the act of sacrifice I am Brahma (directing the sacrifice) make (the Rtviks) render obeisance to the brahma?as (or Rg, Yajus and Sama Vedas). ||31||

Just as ghee pervades a piece of meat and makes the body (of the eater) grow, I (pervade) similarly all the worlds; therefore, the Pervader of all am I. ||32||

Because Brahma and Vi??u, and other Deities did not see the beginning or end to My form (Jyotirli?ga), I am called the Infinite. ||33||

Since I save My devotee from the ocean of dread of being born in a womb, old age, death and the cycle of births and deaths, I am called the Savior. ||34||

I dwell as the soul in the four kinds of bodies (born of womb, of egg, of sweat and of the earth). Taking a subtle form I live in the heart. Hence, I am called subtle. ||35||

I illuminate the devotees immersed in the primeval darkness (of ignorance) with my incomparable light, like a flash of lightening. Therefore, I am known as lightening. ||36||

Since I alone create and dissolve the worlds, make (the souls) go from one world to another and bestow grace, I am the only supreme Lord. ||37||

Since there is no second to that transcendent Brahman, which withdraws all the beings into itself, I (that Brahman) alone exist as Rudra. ||38||

Since I rule all the worlds with My wondrous powers, I am the Isana (Ruler) of this world, the Lord and the witnessing eye. ||39||

(The scriptures extol Me) as Isana, as Indra, as Brahma and the Lord of all at all times, and the Lord of disciplines and knowledge. Hence, I am called Isana. ||40||

Kashi is that place where Lord Shiva readily grants Moksha. Kailash Samhita of Shiva Purana in 3.2 states:

अतस्तदेव जानीयात्प्रणव सर्वकारणम् । निर्विकारी मुमुक्षुर्मां निर्गुणं परमेश्वरम् ।। एनमेव हि देवेशि सर्वमन्त्रशि रोमणिम् । काश्यामहं प्रदास्यामि जीवानां मुक्तिहतवे ।।

Hence he who aspires for salvation and is free from aberration shall understand the Pranava as the cause of all, and Me as the Nirguna Parameshwara. I give this crest-jewel of mantras at Kashi for the liberation of all individual souls

“ajaata ityeva.n kashchidbhiiruH prapadyate | rudra yatte daxiNaM mukha.n tena maaM paahi nityam.h |”(Svetaswatara Upanishad 4:21) “It is because Thou, O Lord, art birthless, that some rare souls, frightened by birth and death, take refuge in Thee. O Rudra, may Thy benign face protect me for ever!”

"mokshamantraH trayyaiva.n vadet.h . etadbrahmaitadupaasitavyam.h . evamevaitadbhagavanniti vai yaaj~navalkyaH " (Jabala Upanishad 4:04) "The mantra of liberation (namely ‘Om’) is (the essence of) the three Vedas; this he shall realize. It is Brahman and It is to be worshipped. Indeed, so it is, O revered Yajnavalkya (said Janaka)".

Now from the below verses it becomes clear that Lord Rudra alone is the Mantra of liberation - OM.

"nama staraya cha" (Yajurveda Sri Rudram Anuvaka-8) "Salutations to Him (Rudra) who is the TARAKA (Pravana mantra - Om)".

"namah paryaya chavaryaya cha namah prataAranaya chottaranaya cha "" (Yajurveda Sri Rudram - Anuvaka:8) "Salutations to Him who ferries men over the sins and evils of Samsara (the Illusions of the world), and who by the grant of knowledge ferries them over the Samsara altogether".

"atha kasmAduchyata o~NkAro yasmAduchchAryamANa eva prANAnUrdhvamutkrAmayati tasmAduchyate o~NkAraH " (Atharvasiras Upanishad 3:07) "Rudra is called the personification of Pranva because he sends the souls towards heaven, at the time of death (dissolution)".

"atha kasmAduchyate praNavaH yasmAduchchAryamANa eva R^igyajuHsAmAtharvA~Ngirasa.n brahma brAhmaNebhyaH praNAmayati nAmayati cha tasmAduchyate praNavaH " (Atharvasiras Upanishad 3:08) "He is called the “one who has the shape of Pranava“, because the Brahmins read and propagate the Rik, Yajur, Sama and Atharva Vedas only after reading 'OM'".

The below verse is another proof that Rudra is alone the TARAKA.

"atha kasmAduchyate tAra.n yasmAduchchAramANa eva garbhajanmavyAdhijarAmaraNasa.nsAramahAbhayAttArayati trAyate cha tasmAduchyate tAram.h " (Atharvasiras Upanishad 3:10) "He is called “Tara (Taraka - Liberator)” because he protects one from the fear of life which consists of the fear of staying in the womb, fear at time of birth, fear from diseases, fear from old age and fear from death".

"sa eva sarvaM yadbhuutaM yachcha bhavyaM sanaatanam.h j~naatvaa taM mR^ityumatyeti naanyaH panthaa vimuktaye "(Kaivalya Upanishad 9) "He (Rudra) alone is all that was, and all that will be, the Eternal; knowing Him (Rudra), one transcends death; there is no other way to liberation".

"atra hi jantoH praaNeshhuutkramamaaNeshhu rudrastaarakaM brahma vyaachashhTe yenaasaavamR^itii bhuutvaa mokshii bhavati tasmaadavimuktameva nishheveta avimukta.n na vimu~nchedevamevaitadyaaj~navalkyaH " (Jabala Upanishad 1.1) "This is the spot where, when the vital airs depart from the living person, Rudra imparts the mantra (Taraka Brahman) to him by which, becoming immortal, he attains liberation".

So from these references it is clear that TARAKA mantram is OM (Pranava) which is lord Rudra (Shiva) in mantra form. And Shiva whisphers this OM mantra in Kashi and liberates the dying person.

So, According to Vedas, Only Lord Shiva can grant the moksha and was asked for it.

RigVeda 7.59.12, Taittariya Samhita of YajurVeda in 1.8.6.i, Vajasena Samhita of YajurVeda in 3.60 declare the same statement as:

त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम् उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान्मृत्योर्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात् ।।

We worship the Three-eyed Lord who is fragrant and who nourishes and nurtures all beings. As is the ripened cucumber freed from its bondage (to the creeper), may He liberate us from death for the sake of immortality.

मृत्योर्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात् = मृत्यु + मोक्ष + मम अमृतात् ie. Moksha through death for immortality.

And also 10.17 of Taittariya Aranyaka of YajurVeda clearly declares:

सद्योजातं प्रपद्यामि सद्योजाताय वै नमो नमः। भवे भवे नाति भवे भवस्व मां भवोद्भवाय नमः॥

I take refuge in Sadyojata. Verily I salute Sadyojata again and again. O Sadyojata, do not consign me to repeated birth; lead me beyond birth, into the state of bliss and liberation. I bow down to Him who is the source of transmigratory existence.

Sadyojata is one of the 5 forms of lord shiva (viz Sadyojata, Aghora, Ishana, Vamdeva, Tatpurusha).

As for other diety like Vishnu, Brahma, Sona, Agni, Vayu, Varuna, Indra, etc they can also grant moksha by the grace of Shiva but that moksha is limited till that person's/soul's good karmic bank bslance is full but kaivalyam the real moksha can only be granted by lord Shiva as declared by vedas and Upanishads only.

“eko rudro na dvitIyAya tasmai ya imA.nllokAnIshata IshanIbhiH | pratya~NjanAstiShThati sa.nchukochAntakAle sa.nsR^ijya vishvA bhuvanAni goptA | (Svet. Upa 3.02 & Atharvasiras Upanishad 5.2) “Rudra is truly one. For the knowers of Brahman do not admit the existence of a second. He rules all worlds by his power. He dwells as the inner Self (Atman) of every living being. After having created all the worlds, He, their Protector, takes them back into Himself at the end of time”.


Mukti, liberation can be given only by Lord Krishna and His various manifestations of Vishnu tattva or avataras that you included in the first part of your question

Lord Siva himself says mukti-pradātā sarveṣāṁ viṣṇur eva na saṁśayaḥ: “There is no doubt that Viṣṇu is the deliverer of liberation for everyone.”

Liberation is not attained just by thinking we are liberated. It happens by surrendering to Lord Krishna and serving Him in devotion as He Himself says in the Gita 7.14:

daivi hy esa guna-mayi

mama maya duratyaya

mam eva ye prapadyante

mayam etam taranti te

This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.

However Lord Siva can help us in attaining liberation by connecting us with Vishnu/Krishna as we see in the case of Pracetas in Srimad Bhagavatam 4th canto chapter 24. The same can apply to gurus and other devi-devatas.

  • 3
    I feel both Vishnu and Siva are one and the same. Both are considered to be the Supreme Beings who grant moksha. But why does most saints put Siva Namam on their forehead?
    – user12458
    Nov 14, 2014 at 16:43
  • Lord Siva is certainly not a jiva like us, but lord of jivas. At the same time he is a special expansion of Krishna but not Vishnutattva or completely Krishna. One reference can be found here: vedabase.com/en/bs/5/45 Nov 14, 2014 at 17:16
  • Can ONLY be given by Krishna???WRONG answer...The Kanchi Mahaperiyava once stated..Its Parameswara who only can give moksha and no other.Without knowing Siva moksha is impossible(stated in Sruti).and it is impossible to realise Him without the grace of Adi Shakti.This is an empirical truth.Thats y ALL the Yogis who seek, for nothing else than Moksha, always meditates upon Parameswara.
    – Rickross
    Nov 6, 2016 at 7:46
  • No this of course not true. Downvoted. Siva can also give moksha. The other answers also refer to this.
    – Wikash_
    Jan 19, 2019 at 11:25
  • please add references for "Lord Siva himself says mukti-pradātā sarveṣāṁ viṣṇur eva na saṁśayaḥ: “There is no doubt that Viṣṇu is the deliverer of liberation for everyone.”"
    – The Destroyer
    Jun 7, 2021 at 9:48

I think moksha is given only by all Trimurthis together. Any of them can 'grant' moksha, but for it to be given 'all' of the Trimurthis must work together.

Moksha means simply not getting reborn. Which means that, to get moksha one's body must die first and without Lord Shiva death cannot take place. In a similar way, he must not re-born, so Bramha must not create a body for him again and foremost for anyone to get moksha, their Karma must be nullified which is only done when he is living with his body and he lives only because of Lord Vishnu. We cannot say that moksha will only be given by Lord Vishnu or Lord Shiva or Lord Bramha alone.

But they combined, grant the moksha.


Moksha is a state which goes beyond Mind. Its inappropriate to think who gives moksha because that question itself will not arise since seer and seen is one here(Advaita). Moreover as scriptures say by remembering God at the time of death, you will get Moksha(Whichever God it may be.) But fundamental question here is, will you be able to remember God in that dying state? We dont know what our mind thinks next moment. Its so flickering. Hence we must prepare NOW itself by thinking about god in all our work. Best way is the chant holy names all the time(atleast try in Mind when you you are working in office outside).

  • 2
    Welcome to Hinduism.SE! You should cite sources. May 12, 2015 at 12:46

Immortality/Liberation as per Vedas:

Please note: Mukti and Moksha and Kailvalya and Samadhi are not interchangeable though it's commonly done. People who know Sanskrit as part of family lineage (Vedic Shakas) are very specific when they use "word-constructs" and so don't generalize vocabulary or play word games. We can also buy Sanskrit Lexicon and see for ourselves if needed. Moksha = Moha (compulsions in Swabhava) + Ksheya (to Deplete). Mukthi = To be released/liberated. Mukti again has two derivations, Jivan-Mukti and Videha-Mukti which further have 5 types Sayujya, Salokya, Sarupya, Sarshit, and Samipya. But Yoga and Advita primarily rely on Jivan-Mukti and Videha-Mukti. When we go to Vedas it gets even specific and crystal. Let's see in detail. So, if there is liberation then one can't comprehend without understanding SOMA.

Soma is a unique concept in the Vedās addressed with many variations. As we have discussed in the beginning, the Vedic concepts and titles used by Rishis are of 3 categories, the material, the divine and the Yogic plane. Sometimes Soma is a Deva and a king, sometimes it is the home of ṛta RV1.43, sometimes it is the juice of a plant used in Yagna as a substitute for Amṛta. The Soma herb as explained in Atharva Veda is the foremost and pure AV11.6.15 and is the divine energy of all flora/vegetation AV5.24.7. At times, Soma is the celestial Moon described in Atharva Veda 11.6.9 which says “Soma; whom the learned men call Chandrama the Moon making all delight” and Atharva Veda Chapter 10 specifies that “The Supreme Being keeps making Soma, the eternal delight” which is empirical to the expression of amṛta dripping from the crescent moon on Śiva’s head, but before we make this conclusion let’s explore further. Sometimes Soma is the full moon belonging to the Tiṣya/Pusya month, on this day oblations are given to Rudra. Monday is called Somavara and is the day of Śiva TS2.2.10. Similar to Rudra, the concept of Soma enters into various aspects of the Yajñá (Yagna). In this way, Soma enters into the offering of the Soma juice, into clarified butter called ghee used in Yagna, or the full moon, into medicines, into amṛta, and is the very ṛta. In other places, Somapavamana, meaning the purified/clarified/refined version of Soma, gave rise to both Indra and Viṣṇu during Yajñá RV9.96.5. This does not mean Viṣṇu takes physical birth because various divine concepts (Devas) emerge during various states of Yajñá performed by Prajapati. Soma is also addressed as an additive to milk or ghee used during Medha or Yajñá. Soma is also used as a synonym for amṛta and it is this Soma that the Devas compete RV1.108 for – Indra more than others, as his strength comes from the divine Soma through which He and other Devas conquered all the worlds RV8.92. It is this Soma that gives them health, immortality, and strength to fight off Vṛtra, allowing room for ṛta and for Viṣṇu to expand. To this, the Maruts provide their support. Many dualities are paired among various divine concepts in the Vedas, like Mitra-Varuna, similarly, across Vedas Rudra and Soma are paired together as a dual divinity and are treated as one. Atharva Veda also pairs Bhava and Rudra as dual divinity AV11.2.15, similarly, all 8 aspects of Rudras become one concept.

The term amṛta means immortality – not of physicality but of endless existence – which is the state of consciousness and eternal bliss/truth. Sri Aurobindo explains it profoundly as:

amṛta: The truth, satya, of endless existence and eternal consciousness evident in the highest world of Heaven, sat-cit-tapas, and latent here, in worlds of the Earth. It can be ours due to a change of the Law of works (vrata) of the Earth in the course of its divine transformation.

Soma: is the lord of the immortalizing nectar, he is the god of Ananda, the divine bliss which belongs to the Amrita or divine nature of Sacchidananda and is its foundation. The highest seat of the truth, Mahas, the pure ideal principle which links the kingdom of Immortality to our mortal worlds, is peopled with the children of Immortality — we recall at once the phrase of the Upanishad, visve amritasya putrāh, all ye children of immortality — and the lord of Ananda is to take them into his being through knowledge, the head, through enjoyment, the navel. By Ritam, the ideal Truth, the Rishi ascends through the gates of Ananda, divine beatitude, out of this death into the kingdom of Immortality, “mrityum tīrtwā amritam asnute”.

This amṛta significantly applies to Soma and Rudra, later to Agni and the Maruts; but in a few instances, it applies to Mitra-Varuna as they are the deliverers of Soma. Soma and amṛta signify truth, medicines, knowledge, health, and immortality which are the same as Rudra. But let's analyze each of them in detail. Rudra is *pra-jāḥ amṛtasya “immortals family possessing the amṛta” and parasmin dhāman ṛtasya “home to the highest truth (ṛtasya)”*RV1.43. Rudras are also called “the physician among physiciansRV2.33.4” or “the Divine Physician VS16.5” as He possesses thousands of well-needed medicines “सहस्रं ते स्वपिवात भेष॒जा”RV7.46.3 and “Soma & Rudra, the giver of medicines TS1.8.22/4.5.10“. Hence, the hymns “Our homage to the Immortal One, to that Rudra of the thousand eyes”AV11.2.3 as they possess the amṛtaRV10.93.4, and they specifically declare that there are no young or elderly in their gana (group) RV2.33,5.58/59. We have also seen that the Maruts are addressed as the children of Pṛśni (Vedic cow of knowledge). Three profound titles describe them as vidatheṣu ā-bhuvaḥ (born in knowledge), mahiṣāsaḥ māyinaḥ:citra-bhānavaḥ (the makers of māyā and of clear vision/light), and pra-cetasaḥ viśva-vedasaḥ (conscious and omniscient) RV1.64.6-10. Like all Devas is Rudra also offered Soma? It is in very rare occasions that Rudra is offered Soma, in those rare occasions its in a metaphorical sense because Soma is already conjoined with Rudra, why? Because Soma-Rudra becomes conceptually one entity in many hymns and the very first homage to Rudra is conjoined with Soma RV1.43, but this duality soon becomes one in Rig Vedā 6.74, by the time of Śrī Rudram of Kṛṣṇa Yajur Vedā Anuvakam 7, it dawns even more clearly with its primary declaration “nama somāya ca rudrāya ca KYV 7.1“ and “Lord of Soma KYV5.4” and in contract, He is also the “Lord of removing darkness” hence the title Andhasaspati. A much clearer description is given in Brahmana 1 of Sukla Yajur Vedā Chapter 3, called Śatarudrīya, in an Anuvākam given to Drāpa “the remover/dispeller”. So, who is this dispeller? It is Andhasah, meaning Soma, and Rudra is Andhasaspati “अन्धसस्पते”TS4.5.10, meaning the “Lord of Soma”. So, now we understand why Mukti= to release/liberate from the darkness. Hence, in the Itihasa and Puráńic realm, Śiva is iconified as Somnath – with a crescent moon on the forehead dripping amṛta. Many derivatives then emerged – like Somashekhara in Peringottukara Kerala, Somadeva, Somaskanda, and even Somavāra (a day of Śiva) and Someshwara in Kolar and Somanath in Gujrat. Please note that Rudra is not a person or an individual. Rudra is always a concept that emerges based on the situation.

Let's do some speculation: There are various names given to the three-eyed Siva, like trayambakam and Virūpākṣa, but there exists a celebrated title “Soma:suragni Lochana“, meaning the one with Soma, Surya and Agni as His three eyes. This reference can be found in Atharva Vedā 15th Kanda 18th Prayāya, famously known as Vrātyas Suktam, which says “oh Vrātya, as for this right eye is the distant Sun/Āditaya, so for the left eye is the Moon/Soma”. But what about the Agni of the 3rd eye which burnt Kamadeva? There is no direct declaration in the Vedas, but Śrī Rudram of the YajurVedā urges Rudra’s missiles not to hit us, the same Vedā urges Agni – heat of those missiles – not to harm us, but to be auspicious for us TS 4.61. Finally, there also exists a unique aspect wherein Soma is described as a conjoined expression that is called bahuvrihi in Sanskrit grammar. “Soma” = “sa” (along with) + “uma” (Parvati). This conjoined expression is not by accident or oversight; many Vedic gurus and acharyas concurred with this aspect. “Sa” means to come along or to accompany (for example Sa:hodari meaning one who comes along with you as your sibling), and the divinity that accompanies Rudra is Soma2. Ganas/Maruts also accompany Rudra, but they are clearly stated as children. One reference can be found in Sukla Yajur Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā 4.20-36, wherein Soma is addressed as the Mother and as the Goddess to Gods and says “Rudra to return safely with Soma as your companion”. Hence Soma is also addressed as Rudrā (emphasis on the ā denotes feminine spouse, similar to Śivā, Ādityā and Chandrā).

Path of Yama : there is a unique hymn that defines the word immortal on a different plane, the “Path of Yama“, and the home to the Supreme Truth (ṛta). Liberation is not an act or a goal, it is to realize the true nature of the self that is superimposed with a cloud of misinformation called Avidya. Andhasah is the “remover/dispeller of A:vid” through knowledge (Vid). But knowledge of what? It is the knowledge of the true nature of the self.

यद्यू॒यं पृ॑श्निमातरो॒ मर्ता॑सः॒ स्यात॑न ।स्तो॒ता वो॑ अ॒मृतः॑ स्यात् ॥ 1.38.4 Though you (यद्यू॒यं), who were born to Prishni (पृ॑श्नि :मातरो॒ = cow of knowledge), are mortal (मर्ता॑सः॒), those who sing your hymns become immortal (not physical immortality, but a state of eternal consciousness: satyam. This hymn is explained in detail in Satarudriya Yagna later in Sukla Yajur Veda)

मा वो॑ मृ॒गो न यव॑से जरि॒ता भू॒दजो॑ष्यः । प॒था य॒मस्य॑ गा॒दुप॑ ॥1.38.5 For you (वो॑) one will not (मा ) become (भू॒द) negligible (अजो॑ष्यः) like a wild beast (मृ॒गो) or a pasturage cattle (यव॑से) Those who invoke you (जरि॒ता) attain (गा॒दु) the path (प॒था) of Yama (य॒मस्य॑). Note: Yama here is not the Puráńic identity of physical death, but the guardian of highest truth (satyam)

pra-jāḥ amrtasya = immortals possessing the elixir (amṛta); parasmin dhāman ṛtasya = home to the highest truth || 1.43

एवा बभ्रो वृषभ चेकितान यथा देव न हृणीषे न हंसि । हवनश्रुन्नो रुद्रेह बोधि बृहद्वदेम विदथे सुवीराः ॥ Certainly (एवा ), oh mighty chief/overlord (वृषभ ) with tawny/reddish hue (बभ्रो ), henceforth we proclaim (यथा ) the all-knowing/omniscient Divine (चेकितान देव) , forgive us/not punish us (न हृणी), be not angry (न हंसि ), hear our oblation (हवनश्रुन्न) and direct us on this occasion (विदथ), oh powerful (बृहद्व) Rudra of perfect wisdom/speech (बोधि), bless us with noble and heroic successors (सुवीरा) || 2.33.15

Rig Vedā 1.38/43, 2.33

Is there any reference to Rudra and Yama other than the Rig Vedā? Yes, Sukla Yajur Vedā Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā 16.33 says “Homage to the one allied to Yama”. Further, Mahābhāratam Itihasa, Drona Parva – Narayanastra-mokshana Parva Section 203 calls Rudra “You are Yama”. Now that we know the Path-of-Yama (of Truth) and the abode of the Supreme Truth (Rudra), how does one ask Rudra for liberation? Well, the hymn present in both Rig Vedā 7.56 and Kṛṣṇa Yajur Vedā Taittirīya Saṃhitā 1.8, famously known as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra, is not about protecting us from just physical death, but about liberation beyond the cycle of birth and death and into the forever state of immortals’ truth – amṛta. Please note the word “Sugandhim”, which usually means fragrance, but here it means the nostalgia one feels upon experiencing a certain sound or fragrance or taste. It is this nostalgia that surfaces during the final moments before death, and it is in these moments that one’s core compulsions – rooted deep into the conditioned mind – arise, and it is this nostalgia and thoughts that define the next life (upadhi). Through the path of Yoga, one has to condition their mind towards Ishwara or remove the cloud of Avidya, and through detachment from compulsions (Vairāgya), one’s true self can come forth. One must note the title “Trayambakam“, which we discussed earlier, is also found in Kṛṣṇa Yajur Vedā Śrī Rudram 4.5, and in Sukla Yajur Vedā Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā Kanda 3.56 and also in Śatapatha Brahmāṇa Kanda 2, Adhyaya 6, Brahmana 2 which explains a Yajñá dedicated to Rudra as Tryambaka performed towards the safety and prosperity after war. This mantra is chanted while circling around the Yajñá vedi and seeing oneself to be separated from the death and enter into the immortal truth.

त्र्यंबकं यजामहे सुगंधिं पुष्टिवर्धनं । उर्वारुकमिव बंधनान्मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात् ॥ 7.59.12 Oh Triambaka (3 eyes/seasons), we offer our oblation (यजाम), nourish us (पुष्टि) and bestow us (वर्ध) into the trance of fragrance (सुगंधिं) | May you untie our bonds (बंधना) like a ripened gourd fruit (उर्वारु) unties itself from the stem, and take us beyond death (न्मृत्यो) and deplete (क्षीय) our compulsions (र्मु) and take us (मा) into the immortal state (अ॒मृत॑) Please note: सुगंधिं does not mean physical perfume, but the nostalgia one feels upon experiencing a certain sound or fragrance or taste. So it means to bestow us into the sweetness of imagining Thy Divinity during the transcendental states of dhyana/dharana. र्क्षीय: means to deplete, and र्मुक्षीय means to deplete our moha/compulsions arising out of Avidya.

Rig Vedā 7.59 Let’s see how Atharva Veda 7.42.2 addresses Soma-Rudra, with hymns also found in Rig Veda 2.74:

सोमारुद्रा वि वृहतं विषूचीम् अमीवा या नो गयम् आविवेश । बाधेथां दूरं निरृतिम् पराचैः॒ कृतं चिद् एनः प्र मुमुक्तम् अस्मत् ॥१॥ Cast away (वृह), and separate us (विषूची) from all bondages/sicknesses (अमीवा) from us and our families (गय) O Soma and Rudra (सोमारुद्रा ), drive away (पराचै) afar ( दूरं) our pain/suffering (बाध) and death/destruction (निरृति) liberate us ( मुक्त ) from those (अस्मत्) even if (चिद्) they are committed (कृत) sins/papa ( एनः) 7.42.1

सोमारुद्रा यु॒वमेतान्यस्मे विश्वा तनूषु भेषजानि धत्तम् |अव स्यतं मु॒ञ्चतं यन्नो अस्ति तनूषु बद्धं कृ॒तमेनो अस्मत् ॥२॥ O Soma and Rudra (सोमारुद्रा ) always bestow (ध – धत) upon us (यु॒वम +एतानि +अन्य्) the cure, with all (विश्वा) your medicines (भेषजानि) tied to our bodily realm (तनू) | liberate us/untie us (मुञ्चति) from those (अस्मत्) we have (अस्ति) done(कृ॒त) , which (य) are connected (बद्ध) with our physical/bodily realm (तनू) 7.42.2. Please note: (यु॒वम +एतानि +अन्य्) means all these for us, used as 2nd person pronoun.

Atharva Veda 7.42.1-2 The synopsis of immortality and liberation and knowledge ended in the Upaniṣhad as:

या ते रुद्र शिवा तनूरघोराऽपापकाशिनी।तया नस्तनुवा शंतमया गिरिशन्ताभिचाकशीहि॥3.5 You (या) Rudra of Auspicious (शिवा) body (तनू), and of fierce form (अघोरा) resident of highest place (गिरिशन्त) with your brilliant design/thought (अभिचा +काश्) which removes our avidya and karmic cycle of pāpa (अ-पापकाशिनी ) make us (नः) realize our blissful clam self(शंतमया + तनू +तया ) ततः परं ब्रह्मपरं बृहन्तं यथानिकायं सर्वभूतेषु गूढम्‌।विश्वस्यैकं परिवेष्टितारमीशं तं ज्ञात्वाऽमृता भवन्ति॥3.7 Henceforth/moreover, further than (ततः परं) Greatness known to us/our personal God (बृहन्त) is Brahman/infinite that is further/superior (ब्रह्म+परं ) thought each enjoyed their own bodies/individuality (यथानिकायम्) He is the indweller hidden in all (सर्व+भूतेषु+गूढम् ) he along encompassess all entierity and is its authority (विश्वस्य+ एकं+ परिवेष्टितारम + ईशाम् ) knowing/realizing that one becomes amṛta/immortal (ज्ञात्वा+अमृताः ).

Svetasvatara Upaniṣhad 3.5, 3.7 Similarly, Śrī Adi Śankaracharya said:

अन्नपूर्णे सदापूर्णे शङ्करप्राणवल्लभे । ज्ञानवैराग्यसिद्ध्यर्थं भिक्षां देहि च पार्वति ॥ ११॥ Devi Annapurnae, you are forever whole/full, oh beloved eternal companion of Sankara. Bestow upon me as alms the Jnana (wisdom/core essence) that leads to the meaningful outcome of Vairāgya (detachment from desires and compulsions), oh daughter of mountains, Pārvatī.

Annapurāstakam by Śrī Adi Śankaracharya

In continuation to liberation let us understand another celebrated title Dakshina Murthi. Many interpret the word dakshina as “South”. In Sanskrit, dahkshina means “to be on the right side” or “correct/highest position”, another meaning is “that which is linked through Yajñá (sacrificial process)”. Hence, the word Pra:dakshina, meaning to circle around the deity towards our right, signifies the stature of the deity. Since He (Śiva) is medha-patim “the resort of Yajñá/Sacrifice” RV1.43 TS1.3.14 and is seated at the top (pinnacle) of the Himalayan mountains with the daughter of the mountains, He overlooks everything below. Hence the title Dakshina Murthi. The term Highest Position doesn’t mean just North or limited to one specific direction, because He is “dishām ca pataye“TS4.5.2,VS16.17, meaning the abode/lord of all Celestial Quarters (directions), hence the famous title digambara (Digeva:ambaram:asya), meaning the one who is clad/clothed with space and all directions. Atharva Veda 11.2.14-15 says to Bhava-Rudra “नमो यतमस्यां दिशीतः” meaning “our salutations to you in whatever directions you are” and it continues by saying “salutations to you while coming or going, which seated or standing”. While Indra, Surya, Visnu, and other solar deities are associated with East, Śatapatha Brahmāṇa extensively associates Rudra, Soma, Varuna and Mitras with the Northern quarter of the Yajñá Vedi AV3.7 TS2.6.6, or the topmost position. But a top position of what? This can be found when Maruts, the children of Rudra, are addressed with the three titles vidatheṣu ā-bhuvaḥ (born in knowledge), mahiṣāsaḥ māyinaḥ:citra-bhānavaḥ (the makers of māyā and of clear vision/light) and pra-cetasaḥ viśva-vedasaḥ (conscious & omniscient) RV1.64.6-10 . Sukla Yajur Vedā Kanda 7.2 Brahmāṇa 1 narrates the story of the dual divinities Soma-Rudra who are the dispellers of darkness because Soma is Andhaḥ, meaning remover/dispeller RV1.122,2.33.7 and Rudra becomes Andhasaspati (the lord of Soma). They destroyed the asura Svarbhānu, who created darkness by obstructing the Sun. Similarly, they dispel the darkness in people and allow the brilliance to shine forthTS4.5.10. Now, let us look at how Rig Vedā sings:

ईळे अग्निं सववसं नमोभिर इह परसत्तो वि चयत कर्तं नः |रथैर इव पर भरे वाजयद्भिः परदक्षिणिन मरुतां सतोमम रध्याम || 5.60 īḷe aghniṃ svavasaṃ namobhir iha prasatto vi cayat kṛtaṃ naḥ |rathair iva pra bhare vājayadbhiḥ par-dakṣiṇin marutāṃ stomam ṛdhyām || 5.60 We send (ईळे) our oblations through Agni (अग्निं) as you are the transmitter of Yajñá (कर्तं नः), accept our praise (नमो) now (इह) oh Agni as we hand over our oblations (परसत्तो)| o those rides of Chariots (रथैर), supreme in battels (पर भरे), we urge to you (वाजयद्भिः) who is on the furthermost(पर) rightward/prestigious position as a councilor/teacher (दक्षिणिन), oh Maruts, you are equally supreme of our praise and songs (रध्याम).

अच्छा॑ वदा॒ तना॑ गि॒रा ज॒रायै॒ ब्रह्म॑ण॒स्पतिं॑ ।अ॒ग्निं मि॒त्रं न द॑र्श॒तं ॥ 1.38.13 With the chant (अच्छा॑ वदा॒) of this hymn may thy Agni embody/manifest (तना॑), and by these words (गि॒रा) of invocation (ज॒रायै॒) of the Lord/resort of Wisdom (ब्रह्म॑ण॒स्पतिं॑) || May Agni (अ॒ग्निं) show us that friend (मि॒त्रं) with your brilliance. please note: अच्छा॑ = voice, but here it means the chant of this mantra. And Agni’s friends are the Maruts. ~Rig Vedā 5.60, 1.38.13

या ते रुद्र शिवा तनूरघो॒रापापकाशिनी ॥ 4.5.1 You (या) Rudra of Auspicious (शि॒वा) body (तनूः), and of fierce form (अघोरा) is the dispeller of our darkness and karmic remnants (अ-पापकाशिनी ) या ते रुद्र शिवा तनूः शि॒वा वि॒श्वाह॑भेषजी । शि॒वा रु॒द्रस्य॑ भेष॒जी तया॑ नो मृड जी॒वसे᳚ ॥ You (या) Rudra of Auspicious (शिवा) body (तनूः), that auspiciousness it the medicine/cure (भेष॒जी) to worldly ailments (वि॒श्वाहभेषजी ), that auspiciousness is the cure to our crying/suffering (रुद्रस्य॑)(samsara/avidya), give our (नो ) lives (जीवसे᳚) comfort/solace (मृड) ~ Yajur Vedā Taittirīya Saṃhitā

In the climax of a Yajñá the remaining water he (Adhvaryu) offers to Agnidhra Fire. This residual water is excess and Agnidhra is excess. The Havis are combusted in Garhapatya Fire and the oblations are made in the Ahavaniya Fire. This Agnidhra is receiving what is declared in excess. That is why this is offered to the Divine Rudra, and this northern quarter where the Agnidhra resides is the quarter of the God. He offers saying “Oh Rudra! that name of yours is effective in inflicting pain to the evil/enemies and which is Supreme, to that name we offer this water!”

Sukla Yajur Vedā Kanda7.3.3.4 Brahmāṇa 2 Hope this help. Pranam


Brahma (The Creator of Universe ) having rajasik Guna. It is not in the domain to give Moksha. Hence , there are no temples of Brahma barring one or two. Similarly , Lord Siva (Destroyer) having Tamasik Guna can give reward of Bhoga (Enjoyments) ,but still it takes great effort ( as it is out of their domain) to give Moksha to His devotees , like Banasur , Kannapa etc. Moreover, Lord Vishnu (Sustainer) having Satvik Guna is giver of Moksha , it takes great great effort to give Bhoga (enjoyments) to his devotees like Sudama. The comments, which are given by me as a Sadhaka , not to hurt anyone.

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