Bhagvata Purana Canto 3 chapter 12 describes the birth of Lord Rudra. Brahma gives him many names:

(Brahma said) The following are your names: Manyu, Manu, Mahinasa, Mahan, Shiva, Ritudhvaja, Ugra-retas, Bhava, Kala, Vamadeva and Dhritavrata. (SB 3.12.12)

I have two questions:

  1. I have heard that Lord Shiva is unborn. Then what does this chapter mean? Why is one of the names Shiva?
  2. One of his names in Manu. Which Manu is it?
  • 3
    If you see the next verse the name of wife of 'Shiva' is 'Niyut'... and if you see previous verse it says: "your residence: the heart, the senses, the air of life, the sky, the air, the fire, the water, the earth, the sun, the moon and austerity." these include the Ashtamurti form. As you can see there Lord Shiva frequently takes incarnations from Lord Brahma.. also see ths chapter of Shiva Purana wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/shiva-purana-english/d/…
    – Tezz
    Commented Jul 10, 2021 at 16:11
  • 2
    Using hearsay to "disprove" scripture is, in general, a bad idea. Commented Nov 14, 2021 at 17:54

3 Answers 3


According to the texts of Shruti - Shiva is Ishvara himself, and not just a deva born from Brahma (Rig Veda 1.43.4-5, 2.33.9, 6.49.10, 7.46.1-2; Krishna Yajur Veda Taittiriya Samhita 4.5, 4.7; Shatapatha Brahmana 9.1.1, 6; Shvetashvatara Upanishad 1.7-12, 2.15-17, 3.1-21, 4.7-15, 4.21, 5.1-7, 6.1-12, 6.15-21).

  • Could you pls share the actual quote and meaning besides summary of the reference? Thank you.
    – sbharti
    Commented Nov 14, 2021 at 11:19
  1. So let me share two aspects for your question: One from the Same Purana you quoted, second from the Veda, wherein Brahma gives names to Shiva.
  2. Here is a link to help you read Chapter VIII-7 of Bhagavad Purana. I am attaching the image from this chapter that answers your question. I would request that you read this chapter to get a complete idea. ( https://archive.org/details/bhagavatapuranaeng031955ocrmotilalbanasirdass/page/n151/mode/2up)enter image description here

Now coming to the 2nd part of our answer from Vedas:

The birth of Rudra and Gāyatrī Now, let us look at a metaphysical event of Prajāpati’s Yajñá from Sukla Yajur Vedā Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa Kanda 6 Brahmāṇa 3 ( In the beginning, Prajāpati was alone. He desired “may I multiply”. Upon His practicing austerity, there emerged fumes called Tapo:dhuma, from which came water. Water wished to flourish, upon austerity came foam; foam wished to flourish and upon austerity came clay. In this way each desired to be more and so performed austerity in the following order: water > foam > clay > sand > pebbles > stone > metal ore > gold > Akṣarā (imperishable syllables/sounds). Since this bloomed into eight-folds, the 8-syllable Gāyatrī emerge. All these became the foundation for Bhumi, which spread out (prath), hence became Pṛthvī. All continued their austerity for a Sāṃvatsara, meaning one year, and upon its dawn (Uṣas/Auṣasī) arose a child, meaning the union of Sāṃvatsara and Uṣas gave birth to a child. Upon birth, this child cried (arodīt); Prajāpati held this child and said “my son you are Rudra” (the first roar/sound). This is why Rudra is the primordial roar. Hence, please note that Rudra didn’t come as the boy, this boy was called Rudra. This boy could not be contained and wished to encompass everything and so said, “with my name I have to become greater” and asked for another name. Prajāpati said “you are Sarva” and so the water became him, the boy grew in greatness and kept asking for more names. He was named Paśūpati, from him emerged flora/fauna. He was named Ugra (the fierce one), Vayu/Wind/Air became him. He was named Aśani, lightning became him and so did thunder. He was named Bhava, the rain became him and the Divinity of rain is Parjanya. He was named Mahādeva, the highest Divinity, and the moon (Soma) became him; hence He, Mahādeva with a moon on his head. He was named īśhana (the authority/the ruler), the Sun became him.

Please Note: Rudra here is the Agni itself. And Aśani the thunder becomes the power of Indra. Mahabharatam 7.175.96 specifies the weapon/missile of Rudra as “aṣṭacakrāṃ mahāghorāmaśaniṃ rudranirmitām“. The Samhita portion of Atharva Vedā 15th Kanda 18th Prayāya, known as Vrātyas Suktam state 7 of the above title, and the only name missing is Aśani, as if Aśani is centered among the 7. Kṛṣṇa Yajur Vedā Taittirīya Saṃhitā 4.5.5 use the same names except for Aśani, so these titles are not new, nor limited to Brahmāṇa section. When this nameless boy entered all aspects of creation and became creation itself. A much detailed event can be seen in the event of Śatarudrīya of Sukla Yajur Veda. Finally, Manu is not there in this list nor in the list of Śatarudrīya.

In the context of the Yajñá, which was performed for one full year (Sāṃvatsara) and at the end of which arose new dawn (Uṣas), from this fire-altar/Agni came all 8 forms of Rudra. These 8 forms are called the Astamurti Tatva. Together, the Agni/fire-altar, the boy, and the 8 forms of Rudra are the 3-fold state of Agni:homa. These 8 forms are the eight syllables of Gāyatrī. Since Gāyatrī is sung in 3 padas (steps) the meter is 8×3=24. In the prominent Śatarudrīya Yajñá, Prajāpati sings Sāmans like Gāyatra using the Gāyatri meter. He does so while circling around the altar three times (pradakṣiṇa) with the altar being on his right, indicating its highest stature. Among the 70 Svayambhu Liṅgas Mritakeśwara takes the 35th position in the list and is called Gāyatrī. Mahabharatam Dharma Parva Section 285 (Jaya section) concurs with this by saying “Thou art the beginning and thou art the end of the Vedas, thou art the Gāyatri and thou art OM.” If you notice this statement, its also concerns with Bhagavad Puranam slokas in the pic. Now we continue into the next chapter, Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā Brahmāṇa 1. Since the child became free (Swa) and became all (roar/sound, water, wind, living beings, lightning, rain, Soma/moon & Sun), his father the Prajāpati searched for him in Agni and in Paśūs (Puruṣa, horse, bull, ram, he-goat) but the boy was not found (Apaśyat). There was only Agni, so Prajāpati realized that everything was Agnihotra. This event of the Yajñá explains the raw, unmanifested nature of Rudra who can exist in all, the innate self of all. His three eyes are Soma, Agni, and Surya and He wears a crescent moon on His head. He is “Maha” of Devas and He is īśha (the authority) and He is Swa (free/sovereign); hence He is Maheśwara (Maha + īśha + Swa), the highest of names (paranama VS10.2) and “mahó mahī́ṁ ..gr̥ṇīmási tveṣáṁ rudrásya nā́ma” RV2.33.8. For detailed research on Rudra, you can search in Google for "Sanatanadhara Rudra Shiva across Vedas and Itihasa"


No contradiction.:

Shiva Puran says.:

“His (Shiva’s) works are said to be uncanny because he (alone) carries out creation, preservation and destruction. He is the one who cut brahma’s head. He is the father of Brahma as well as his son. Similarly, He is the father of Vishnu as well as his son and he is also the controller of Vishnu. He confers knowledge on these two – Brahma and Vishnu and always showers his grace (upon them)”. (Shiva Purana 7:02:31:121-122).

Which is also in sync with vedas.:

“He (Kāla/Rudra) surely did bring hither all the beings (worlds), he surely did encompass all the beings (worlds). Being their father, he became their son; there is, verily, no other force, higher than he”. (Atharva Veda 19:53:4).


Svetasvatara Upanishad says.:

“He, the omniscient Rudra, the creator of the gods and the bestower of their powers, the support of the universe, He who, in the beginning, gave birth to Hiranyagarbha—may He endow us with clear intellect!" (3:04 svetasvatara upanishad ).

“The Supreme Lord Rudra is higher than Virat, beyond Hiranyagarbha. He is vast and is hidden in the bodies of all living beings. By knowing Him who alone pervades the universe, men become immortal "( 3:07 svetasvathara Upanishad).

The next part of this upanishadic verse is directly copied in Atharvaveda Skhambha Suktam where that Suktam states that Lord Rudra enters into the womb as Prajapati.

"Within the womb Prajapati is moving: he, though unborn, is born in sundry places". (Atharvaveda X:8:13).

"Either the sire or son of these, the eldest or the youngest child.As sole God dwelling in the mind, first born, he still is in the womb." (Atarva Veda X-8-28).

Svetasvatara Upanishad (IV-3) and Atharva veda, Skhambha Suktam (X-8-27).:

"Thou art woman, Thou art man; Thou art youth and maiden too. Thou as an old man totterest along on a staff; it is Thou alone who, when born, assumest diverse forms. "

"Salutations to Him who is senior and who is junior. Salutations to Him who was born before all and who will be born after all". (Yajurveda Sri Rudram Anuvaka-6).

So, After giving birth to Hiyanyagarbha, the Unborn Rudra manifested through Hiranyagarbha. actually, Rudra is unborn. he appears through prajapati. regarding this. The same thing is mentioned in Atharva Veda while describing about ascetic form of Lord Shiva (Vratya). Atharvana veda says.:

"There was Vratya( Ascetic form of Lord shiva) . He roused Prajapati to action. Prajapati beheld gold in himself and engendered it. That became unique, that became distinguished, that became great, that became excellent, that became Brahman, that became Tapas, that became Truth: through that he was born." ( Atharva Veda 15:1:1-3).

"He grew, he became great, he became Mahadeva.He gained the lordship of the Gods. He became Ishana. He became Eka Vratya. He held a bow, even that Bow of Indra. His belly is dark-blue, his back is red( Nila Lohitam) . With dark-blue he envelops a detested rival, with red he pierces the man who hates him: so the theologians say." (Atharva Veda 15:1:4-8).

So, Atharvana Veda makes it clear that Rudra was there even before Prajapati and It was Rudra who created Prajapati and roused him into action. Later, He himself manifested through Prajapati and spread in all directions in form of in-dweller living beings and gods.

I hope this clarifies all your queries. Prd..

  • 1
    At the back of the beyond, even nothingness had a beginning.(°|°)
    – ajitdas
    Commented Sep 9, 2023 at 2:18
  • If u read it carefully at the beginning both nothingness n somethingness was there together its like neti neti. Commented Sep 9, 2023 at 3:09
  • Yes, just like within the atom there is noth nothing and something. Our seers were far sighted.
    – ajitdas
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 7:31
  • Yeah to some extent yes. 😊.. Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 12:27

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