Which Sages are described in the scriptures(Vedas,Upanishads,Puranas) to be Shaivas (Devotees of Shiva)? Please provide a list of Shaiva sages as long as possible.

3 Answers 3


The Vamana Purana Gives us a list of four Primary Shaiva sects.

---- Vamana Purana 6.87 ----

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It then Goes on to list various Eminent sages that have been affiliated with these Shaiva sampradayas.

Sage Vasistha's son, Rishi Sakti is stated to be A shaiva. Similarly, Bharadvaja Muni is also stated to be a Mahapasupata.

---- Vamana Purana 6.88 ----

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Similarly, Sage Apastamba was affiliated to the Kalabadana Shaiva sect.

---- Vamana Purana 6.89 ----

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The Famous Shaiva Acharya From Nath Sampradaya - Matsyendranatha is also mentioned in the Skanda Purana.

----- Skanda Purana, Nagar Khanda, Chapter 263----

43-44. In the meantime a great fish, hitherto unknown rose up from the centre of the Milk Ocean on the top of an aerial chariot. It had a mass of refulgence. Making movements with its chest and arms (fins?) it came near the presence (of Lord Śiva). He was without any egotism or pride.

  1. While making a hissing sound, Lord Maheśvara saw that fish and benumbed it through his refulgence. He then spoke these words:

  2. “Who are you stationed will in the belly of a fish? A Deva, Yakṣa or man? How do you live within the body? O Lord, tell me”. Matsya said:

  3. I have been hurled into the belly of a fish in the Milk Ocean by my mother at the instance of my father: “This boy is unworthy of my family.”

  4. He was afraid of the destruction of the whole family. I was a child born in the Yoga (astronomical combination) named Gaṇḍānta. “Such a child cannot perform domestic duties. It will be the destroyer of its own family.”

  5. Thus I was cast off by my sorrowing mother. Though I am of the same family, I was seized by a fish. A great deal of time since then elapsed.

  6. Thanks to your nectar-like words, the great Jñānayoga became known to me. Though you are Amūrta (incorporeal), I know you entirely as being corporeal as well.

  7. O Lord of Devas, grant me permission to come out. O Lord, let me be seen by Bhavānī as Pitṛpa (Protector of Pitṛs?). Hara said:

  8. You are a Brāhmaṇa. You are in the form of my son. You are worthy of being worshipped by this one who speaks. You have been benumbed, O great fish. Come out quickly.

  9. Thereupon, the fish that was undergoing suffering emerged headlong. He came out instantly with a distortion of his face.

  10. He acquired beauty and intellect. His lustre now resembled that of the moon. Once stinking like, a fish, he now possessed divine fragrance.

  11. When the son bowed down, Umā took him on her lap. Hara who was extremely delighted gave him a name.

56-58. “This most excellent one among Yogins was born from the belly of a fish. Hence, he will become well-known in the world as Matsyanātha.

He shall be endowed with human body which will never be split or cut. He will master Jñānayoga. He shall be devoid of rivalry, Dvandvas (mutually opposed pairs) and ambitions and hopes (Nirāśa). He will be a server of Brāhmaṇas. He will be a living liberated soul in all the fourteen worlds.”

Rishi Dadhichi can also be counted as a Saiva for he directly states that he sees no diety above Shiva.

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---- Mahabharata, Santi Parva chapter 284 (Gitapress)----

This is reiterated in Brahma Purana too.

Dadhīci said:

This is the warning I shall give you all. My lord has not been invited. Just as I am sure that I do not see a deity above Śaṅkara so also I am sure that this elaborate sacrifice of Dakṣa will not attain completion.

---Brahma Purana Chapter 37---


Here is A List of Yogacharyas from the Linga Purana who were all devotees of Shiva and conversant with Pasupata Yoga.

In every Dvāpara age, there are Vyāsas in the same manner. The following are the recurring disciples of these Yogeśvaras, each of whom had four disciples.

37-51. They are:—(1) Śveta, (2) Śvetaśikhaṇḍin (3) Śvetāśva, (4) Śvetalohita, (5) Dundubhi, (6) Śatarūpa, (7) Ṛcīka, (8) Ketumān, (9) Viśoka, (10) Vikeśa, (11) Vipāśa, (12) Pāśanāśana, (13) Sumukha, (14) Durmukha, (15) Durdama, (16) Duratikrama, (17) Sanaka, (18) Sananda, (19) Sanātana, (20) Ṛbhu, (21) Sanat, (22) Sudāman, (23) Virajas, (24) Śaṅkhapāda,

(25) Vairajas, (26) Megha, (27) Sārasvata, (28) Suvāhana, (29) Meghavāha, (30) Kapila, (31) Āsuri, (32) Pañcaśikha, (33) Vālkala, (34) Parāśara, (35) Garga, (36) Bhārgava (37) Aṅgiras, (38) Balabandhu, (39) Nirāmitra, (40) Ketuśṛṅga (41) Lambodara, (42) Lamba, (43) Lambākṣa, (44) Lambakeśaka, (45) Sarvajña, (46) Samabuddhi, (47) Sādhya, (48) Sarva, (49) Sudhāman, (50) Kāśyapa, (51) Vāsiṣṭha, (52) Virajas, (53) Atri, (54), Devasada, (55) Śravaṇa, (56) Śraviṣṭhaka, (57) Kuṇi, (58) Kuṇibāhu, (59) Kuśarīra, (60) Kunetraka, (61) Kaśyapa, (62) Uśanas, (63) Cyavana, (64) Bṛhaspati, (65) Utathya, (66) Vāmadeva, (67) Mahāyoga, (68) Mahābala, (69) Vācaśravas, (70) Sudhīka, (71) Śyāvāśva, (72) Yatīśvara, (73) Hiraṇyanābha, (74) Kauśalya, (75) Logākṣi, (76), Kuthumi, (77) Sumantu, (78) Barbarī, (79) Kabandha, (80) Kuśikandhara, (81) Plakṣa, (82) Dālbhyāyani, (83) Ketumān, (84) Gopana, (85), Bhallāvin, (86) Madhupiṅga, (87) Śvetaketu, (88) Taponidhi, (89) Uśika, (90) Bṛhadaśva, (91) Devala, (92) Kavi, (93) Śālihotra, (94) Agniveśa, (95) Yuvanāśva, (96) Śaradvasu, (97) Chagala, (98) Kuṇḍakarṇa, (99) Kumbha, (100) Pravāhaka, (101), Ulūka, (102) Vidyuta, (103) Maṇḍūka, (104) Āśvalāyana, (105) Akṣapāda, (106) Kumāra, (107) Ulūka, (108) Vatsa, (109) Kuśika, (110) Garbha, (111) Mitra, (112) Kauruṣya. These noble souls are the disciples of the yogins in all cycles of four yugas.

52-55. They are all devoid of impurities, almost identical with Brahman, and engaged in the path of knowledge. They are devotees of Paśupati, great Siddhas and have ashes smeared on their bodies. There are hundreds and thousands of disciples and their disciples. They attain the Pāśupata yoga and Rudra’s world. All beings from Devas to Piśācas are said to be Paśus. Since Lord Rudra is their overlord he is called Paśupati.

Skanda Purana mentions a Shaiva sage, Vāmadeva.

अस्त्येको वामदेवाख्यः शिवयोगी महा तपाः ।। निर्द्वंद्वो निर्गुणः शांतो निःसंगः समदर्शनः ।। ३ ।। आत्मारामो जितक्रोधो गृहदारविवर्जितः ।। अतर्कितगतिर्मौनी संतुष्टो निष्प रिग्रहः ।। ४ ।। भस्मोद्धूलितसर्वांगो जटामंडलमंडितः ।। वल्कलाजिनसंवीतो भिक्षामात्रपरिग्रहः ।। ५ ।। स एकदा चरंल्लोके सर्वानुग्रहतत्परः ।। क्रौंचारण्यं महाघोरं प्रविवेश यदृच्छया ।। ६ ।।

There was a Śivayogin named Vāmadeva. He had performed great austerities. He was free from the mutually opposing pairs (like pleasure-pain). He was free from the adverse effects of the Guṇas. He was quiescent, free from contaminating contacts and impartial (in viewing things and persons).

He took delight in his own soul. He had subdued anger. He was devoid of wives and household. His movements used to be unpremeditated. He used to observe silence. He was contented. He had no possessions of his own.

He used to apply ash all over his body. He was adorned with matted hair. He wore bark garments or deerskin. He used to accept only alms.

~ स्कन्दपुराणम्/खण्डः ३ (ब्रह्मखण्डः)/ब्रह्मोत्तर खण्डः/अध्यायः १५


As, a detailed answer is already given. Let me give an answer from advaitik point of view.

Rig-Veda 1:164:46.:

Truth (Bhagawan) is only One, wise and sages calls him by many, different and various names.

YajurVeda, Taittariya Samhita 1.8.6.:

'There is only one Rudra and no second.'

Svetasvatara Upanishad 3.1.:

Lord Rudra is the one, who is without second.

So, every one worships that One only.

Sri Shiv Mahimna Stotram.:

Just as different Rivers merge into the ocean, Similiarly various paths (of ultimate realization) arc enjoined by the three Vedas, by Sankhya, Yoga, Pashupata (Shaiva) doctrine and Vaishnava Shastras. People follow different paths, straight or crooked, according to their temperament, depending on which they consider best, or most appropriate--and reach(merge into) You (Shiva) alone. (7).

A great Sloka.:

“As pouring of water at the root of a tree nourishes all the branches, by pleasing sri Rudra, through Rudra japa (chanting of Sri Rudramhymn), all devatas are pleased. One attains Bhukti (enjoyments of life) and Mukti (freedom from the bondage of births-deaths cycle) by chanting Sri Rudram with devotion”.)

Same is mentioned here also.

Rudra Hridayopanishad 1:14.:

This whole creation of Svarga, Martya and Patala Lokas is a big tree. Vishnu is the top portion (branches) of this tree. Brahma is the stem. The root is Lord Maheshwara”.

Lord Shiva is root of Tree. So whenever water(Prayer/ Worship) is done to Branches or Steam(other deities) it actually goes to Root of Tree(Lord Shiva). Moreover there is pratyaksh PramAn (Physical Evidence) which supports the above Ved-Vakya. As Lord Shiva alone is the World tree and this World tree is also his abode.

Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣhad III:9.:

The whole universe is filled by the Purusha (Rudra), to whom there is nothing superior, from whom there is nothing different, than whom there is nothing either smaller or greater; who stands alone, motionless as a (world) tree, established in His own glory.

According to Nirvana Upanishad, how a yogi achieves Nirvana aka Moksha is given.:

The (worship of) gods named Vishnu, Brahma and a hundred others culminates (in Brahman). (Verse 29).

And Who is that Brahman after oneness with whom a yogi gets nirvana.:

Liberated while alive, as they are freed from denial of the highest (Brahman). The oneness with Siva is their sleep. (Verse 24-25).

Sri Madhusudana Saraswati in the his gUDhArtha dIpikA says.:

I am that Tattva, the Supreme Shiva alone, in which (tattva) all these – Shaivas, Suryopasakas, Ganesha worshipers, Vaishnavas and Shakti – meditators are absorbed in.

And, the greatest witness of this Supreme Advaitik Truth is none other than Arjuna himself.

Mahabharata, Book 7, Section LXXXI.:

Sanjaya said, ‘Then Partha, with a cheerful soul and joined hands and eyes expanded (in wonder), gazed at the god having the bull for his mark and who was the receptacle of every energy. And he beheld the offerings he made every night to Vasudeva lying by the side of the (Lotus feets of the) Three-eyed deity”.

I hope this helps and clarifies all your queries. Prd..

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