I have heard that Lord Shiva is the source of Yoga, the one who taught it to Mother Parvati, and then later on to others, and hence is called Adiyogi.

But Wikipedia says that Lord Krishna is Yogeshwara, the Lord Of Yogis/The Supreme Yogi.

Can someone please clarify with scripture reference?

  • Shiva and Vishnu are two opposite forces, one is destroyer and other sustainer of illusive Maya hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/46464/22687 . Shiva, Vishnu are Puranic names, actual Vedic name of Shiva is Rudra en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudra who was born out of anger of Brahma and was the first Adi yogi or first one to attain enlightenment/Self-realization to become calm Shiva. Vishnu are maintainer Gods of the cosmic ocean universe collectively called en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visvedevas or Devas.
    – user22687
    Jun 5, 2021 at 5:56
  • and why can't be both?
    – YDS
    Jun 5, 2021 at 7:10
  • @YDS Yes ,why not?Since both are essentially the same entity,in different expression.It seems viable,but I’m not speculating it for now.
    – Amethyst
    Jun 5, 2021 at 7:54
  • @Manu Kumar,check the comment section of “Maya and Lord Shiva”(wielder of Maya is Lord Shiva)
    – Amethyst
    Jun 5, 2021 at 15:22
  • All these Gods are in Atman and its manifestation, better to spend time in Self-realization than wasting time on Shiva vs Vishnu vs Durga superiority based on interpolated biased Puranic smritis. Eventually Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma etc., are all forms of Purusha and Durga, Laxmi, Saraswati etc., are all forms of Prakriti. In reality, Purusha/Brahman is wielder of Prakriti/Maya.
    – user22687
    Jun 5, 2021 at 16:45

3 Answers 3


- Lord Shiva:

In Atharvaveda Parishista 36.9.3 we can find a mantra which addresses Lord Shiva as Yogeshwara:

.... विश्वेश्वर योगेश्वर महेश्वर नमस्तेऽस्तु...
...Salutations to Vishweswara, Yogeshwara, Maheswara...

From the above mantra, it is clear that Lord Shiva is addressed as Yogeshwara.

- Lord Krishna:

In Mahabharata (Bhagvad Gita 18.78), Sanjaya addresses Lord Krishna as Yogeshwara:

यत्र योगेश्वर: कृष्णो यत्र पार्थो धनुर्धर: |
तत्र श्रीर्विजयो भूतिध्रुवा नीतिर्मतिर्मम ॥78॥

Where there is Yogeshwara Krishna and where there is Partha, the wielder of the bow, there are fortune, victory, prosperity and unfailing prudence. Such is my conviction.

Thus, we can find various scriptures where both Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna are addressed as Yogeshwara.


This is a partial answer, addressing the second part of the question, based on Adi Shankara's commentary on the Bhagavad Gita. The word Yogeswara is used for Krishna in the Gita.

The word Yogeswara has multiple meanings and any person who is a master of yoga can also be called Yogeswara. But to understand in what sense Krishna is called Yogeswara, the commentary of Adi Shankara can be useful.

Bhagavad Gita and bhAshya 11.4

Krishna is called as Yogeswara in the moola sloka and Shankara explains its meaning.

मूल श्लोकः मन्यसे यदि तच्छक्यं मया द्रष्टुमिति प्रभो। योगेश्वर ततो मे त्वं दर्शयाऽत्मानमव्ययम्।।11.4।।

Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya ।।11.4।। --,मन्यसे चिन्तयसि यदि मया अर्जुनेन तत् शक्यं द्रष्टुम् इति प्रभो? स्वामिन्? योगेश्वर योगिनो योगाः तेषां ईश्वरः योगेश्वरः हे योगेश्वर। यस्मात् अहम् अतीव अर्थी द्रष्टुम्? ततः तस्मात् मे मदर्थं दर्शय त्वम् आत्मानम् अव्ययम्।।एवं चोदितः अर्जुनेन श्री भगवान् उवाच --,

English Translation Of Sri Shankaracharya's Sanskrit Commentary By Swami Gambirananda 11.4 Prabho, O Lord, Master; yadi, if; manyase, You think; iti, that; tat sakyam, it is possible; drastum, to be see; maya, by me, by Arjuna; tatah, then, since I am very eager to see, therefore; yogeswara, O Lord of Yoga, of yogis-Yoga stands for yogis; their Lord is yogeswara; tvam, You; darsaya, show; me, me, for my sake; atmanam avyayam, Your eternal Self. Being thus implored by Arjuna.

So here, the meaning of Yogeswara, as applied to Krishna, is Lord or Master of all yogis.

Bhagavad Gita and bhAshya 11.9

Krishna is called as mahAyogeswara in the moola sloka.

मूल श्लोकः सञ्जय उवाच एवमुक्त्वा ततो राजन्महायोगेश्वरो हरिः। दर्शयामास पार्थाय परमं रूपमैश्वरम्।।11.9।।

Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya ।।11.9।। --,एवं यथोक्तप्रकारेण उक्त्वा ततः अनन्तरं राजन् धृतराष्ट्र महायोगेश्वरः महांश्च असौ योगेश्वरश्च हरिः नारायणः दर्शयामास दर्शितवान् पार्थाय पृथासुताय परमं रूपं विश्वरूपम् ऐश्वरम्।।

English Translation Of Sri Shankaracharya's Sanskrit Commentary By Swami Gambirananda 11.9 Rajan, O King, Dhrtarastra; uktva, having spoken evam, thus, in the manner stated above; tatah, thereafter; harih, Hari, Narayana; maha-yogeswarah, the great Master of Yoga-who is great (mahan) and also the master (isvara) of Yoga; darasyamasa showed; parthaya, to the son of Prtha; the paramam, supreme; aisvaram, divine; rupam, form, the Cosmic form:

Here, Yogeswara is not explained in detail by Shankara but Swami Gambhirananda translates it as Master of yoga. Shankara's explanation of mahAyogeswara splits it as mahAn and yogeswara.

Bhagavad Gita and bhAshya 12.2

The moola sloka does not use the word yogeswara, but Shankara uses it. We will see why he does this.

मूल श्लोकः श्री भगवानुवाच मय्यावेश्य मनो ये मां नित्ययुक्ता उपासते। श्रद्धया परयोपेतास्ते मे युक्ततमा मताः।।12.2।।

English Translation By Swami Gambirananda 12.2 The Blessed Lord said Those who meditate on Me by fixing their minds on Me with steadfast devotion (and) being endowed with supreme faith-they are considered to be the most perfect yogis according to Me.

yuktatamAH refers to perfect yogis. So Shankara also explains how Bhagavan Krishna is related to the perfect yogis and in this context Shankara uses the word Yogeshwara.

Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya ।।12.2।। --,मयि विश्वरूपे परमेश्वरे आवेश्य समाधाय मनः ये भक्ताः सन्तः मां सर्वयोगेश्वराणाम् अधीश्वरं सर्वज्ञं विमुक्तरागादिक्लेशतिमिरदृष्टिम् नित्ययुक्ताः अतीतानन्तराध्यायान्तोक्तश्लोकार्थन्यायेन सततयुक्ताः सन्तः उपासते श्रद्धया परया प्रकृष्टया उपेताः? ते मे मम मताः अभिप्रेताः युक्ततमाः इति। नैरन्तर्येण हि ते मच्चित्ततया अहोरात्रम् अतिवाहयन्ति। अतः युक्तं तान् प्रति युक्ततमाः इति वक्तुम्।।किमितरे युक्ततमाः न भवन्ति न किंतु तान् प्रति यत् वक्तव्यम्? तत् श्रृणु --,

English Translation Of Sri Shankaracharya's Sanskrit Commentary By Swami Gambirananda 12.2 Ye, those who, being devotees; upasate, meditate; mam, on Me, the supreme Lord of all the masters of yoga, the Omniscient One whose vision is free from purblindness caused by such defects as attachment etc.; avesya,by fixing, concentrating; their manah, minds; mayi, on Me, on God in His Cosmic form; nitya-yuktah, with steadfast devotion, by being ever-dedicated in accordance with the idea expressed in the last verse of the preceding chapter; and being upetah, endowed; paraya, with supreme; sraddhaya faith;-te, they; matah, are considered; to be yukta-tamah, most perfect yogis; me, according to Me, for they spend days and nights with their minds constantly fixed on Me. Therefore, it is proper to say with regard to them that they are the best yogis. 'Is it that the others do not become the best yogis?' No, but listen to what has to be said as regards them:'

Here, Shankara calls Krishna as the adhIshwara (Supreme Lord) of all Yogeswaras (सर्वयोगेश्वराणाम् अधीश्वरं).

Bhagavad Gita 18.75

Krishna is called Yogeswara in the moola sloka, Shankara does not explain the term, so the bhAshya will be skipped here.

मूल श्लोकः व्यासप्रसादाच्छ्रुतवानेतद्गुह्यमहं परम्। योगं योगेश्वरात्कृष्णात्साक्षात्कथयतः स्वयम्।।18.75।।

Bhagavad Gita and bhAshya 18.78

This is the famous last sloka of the Gita and Krishna is called Yogeswara and Shankara gives another meaning for the term.

मूल श्लोकः यत्र योगेश्वरः कृष्णो यत्र पार्थो धनुर्धरः। तत्र श्रीर्विजयो भूतिर्ध्रुवा नीतिर्मतिर्मम।।18.78।

Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya ।।18.78।। --,यत्र यस्मिन् पक्षे योगेश्वरः सर्वयोगानाम् ईश्वरः तत्प्रभवत्वात् सर्वयोगबीजस्य कृष्णः यत्र पार्थः यस्मिन् पक्षे धनुर्धरः गाण्डीवधन्वा? तत्र श्रीः तस्मिन् पाण्डवानां पक्षे श्रीः विजयः? तत्रैव भूतिः श्रियो विशेषः विस्तारः भूतिः? ध्रुवा अव्यभिचारिणी नीतिः नयः? इत्येवं मतिः मम इति।।इति श्रीमत्परमहंसपरिव्राजकाचार्यस्य श्रीगोविन्दभगवत्पूज्यपादशिष्यस्य,श्रीमच्छंकरभगवतः कृतौ श्रीमद्भगवद्गीताभाष्ये

English Translation Of Sri Shankaracharya's Sanskrit Commentary By Swami Gambirananda 18.78 To be brief, yatra, where, the side on which; there is Krsna, yogeswarah, the Lord of yogas-who is the Lord of all the yogas and the source of all the yogas, since they originate from Him; and yatra, where, the side on which; there is Partha, dhanurdharah, the wielder of the bow, of the bow called Gandiva; tatra, there, on that side of the Pandavas; are srih, fortune; vijayah, victory; and there itself is bhutih, prosperity, great abundance of fortune; and dhruva, unfailing; nitih, prudence. Such is me, my ; matih, conviction.

Thus, here Shankara says that Krishna, as Yogeswara, is the Lord of all yogas and also the Source of all the yogas.


Shankara explains that Krishna is -

  1. Master of all yogis
  2. Lord of yoga or Lord of all yogas
  3. Supreme Lord of all Yogeswaras
  4. Source of all yogas
  • 1
    "any person who is a master of yoga can also be called Yogeswara" -- yeah, good point.. Vishnu Putana uses Yogeshwara for JadaBharata too..
    – YDS
    Jun 10, 2021 at 7:39
  • Can I say that LordShiva is on equal footing with Lord Krishna,as Lord Shiva also taught Yoga to Parvathi and then to rishis?
    – Amethyst
    Jun 10, 2021 at 11:02

Bhagawan Shiva.:

Sri Ishwara Gita.:

पश्याम्यशेषमेवेदं वर्त्तमानं स्वभावतः । करोति कालो भगवान् महायोगेश्वरः स्वयम् ॥ ४.२९॥

Restrained to my own nature, I am witness of entire world. Mahayogeshwar Bhagawaan Kala creates the entire Creation.

योगः सम्प्रोच्यते योगी मायी शास्त्रेषु सूरिभिः । योगेश्वरोऽसौ भगवान् महादेवो महान् प्रभुः ॥ ४.३०॥

Who is refered as Yoga, Yogi and Maya by people well-versed in scriptures, is none other than Maha-Yogeshwar Bhagawan Mahadeva Maha Prabhu.

Lord Krishna.:

Srimad Bhagavad Gita.:

यत्र योगेश्वर: कृष्णो यत्र पार्थो धनुर्धर: । तत्र श्रीर्विजयो भूतिर्ध्रुवा नीतिर्मतिर्मम ॥ १८.७८ ॥

Wherever there is Kṛṣṇa, the master of all mystics, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be opulence, victory, extraordinary power, and morality. That is my opinion.

I hope this clarifies all your queries. Prd..

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