I don't know that why Lord Shiva is considered as the destroyer of the world? Please somebody answer my question!

Every Hindu in the history of the world today knows the following:

Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwar (Every Hindu repeats this exactly in this order, but few know why). "Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwar." Let's take a closer look at what this means:

Brahma: The Creator Vishnu: The Preserver and Protector Shiva (Maheshwar): The Destroyer

Brahma is tasked with Creating a Universe Vishnu is tasked with Preserviing and Protecting, the Universe Shiva (Maheshwar) is tasked with destroying the Physical/Material Universe during end times

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  • Brahma is the manifestation of Rajo guna, Vishnu - sattvic guna and Rudra is the manifestation of Tamo guna :-)
    – Shashaank
    Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 4:44

3 Answers 3


Shiva is not the destroyer. This confusion springs up because of adopting a lens of Judeo-Christian religion into Sanatana Dharma.

“Shiva is often mistranslated as 'the destroyer' and assumed to be the antithesis of Brahma, the 'creator' and Vishnu, the 'preserver'. We have seen that Brahma is not a Creator-God in the Judeo-Christian sense, nor is Shiva a destroyer-God as many writers today think. Shiva might perhaps best be described as a transformer who moves humanity and the universe forward in the evolution of consciousness. This evolution entails dissolution of the falsely constructed mental frame of reference (nama-rupa) and is different from destruction. The transformation brought by Shiva is a deconstruction process that has been misconstrued as destruction. The physical and material dissolution may also be seen as the end of a cycle – making room for fresh manifestation in the same way as one season gives way to another. The tradition emphasizes continuity, making “every apparent destruction, in fact, a transformation. Shiva is therefore also described as the lord of dance and of yoga, enlightenment and mysticism, and this is why he inspires so much more devotion than he would if he were thought of simply as 'destroyer'.”

The above is an excerpt from the book 'Being Different' by Rajiv Malhotra.

Also, I would like to mention the translation done by Monier Williams (a professor of Sanskrit in Oxford University) in his Sanskrit-English dictionary.

He gives 'in whom all things lie' as the primary meaning of Shiva, derived from the root śi. Other important meanings of the word are 'auspicious', 'kind', and so on. Shiva is also 'a-kala', i.e., beyond time, and 'sada-shiva', the eternal who stays on despite and beyond destruction.


Śiva is often translated as the destroyer, this is a linguistic error during translation. Destruction and dissolution are separate concepts, where destruction means to damage the composition of an object, resulting in remnants. For example, if we destroy an apple, the apple loses its shape but the parts or pieces of the apple are thrown apart or burnt to ash; hence destruction always has a byproduct or a leftover. Dissolution means, the product merges into something else and loses its independent existence. This is very similar to the conservation of Quantum Information. Say an apple is destroyed beyond visible recognition; whatever information that consists of, the quantum properties that make up the apple are never destroyed. Hence, the word “destroyer” creates a vague interpretation as if Śiva attacks people or things and distorts them. In fact, Śiva as Rudra is Pralaya Karaka, what does that mean? In the case of Pralaya (the closest word is dissolution), the object merges into the source as one (the concept of laya) and distribution is a part of the process and not the whole. This is done in 3 ways (complete article on laya): Swalpakalika Laya, Aatyantica Laya, pra:laya / mahapra:laya. At the highest level, the throbbing within the Singularity just subsides. (Source:Swami Venkatesananda. 1993, TED-Ed Quantum Information. 2019)

Let’s now look at how Rishi Yājnavalkya explains the dissolution process in Mahabharatam Itihasa:

Yājnavalkya said: Listen to me how Brahman, who is eternal and undecaying, and who is without beginning and without end, repeatedly creates and destroys all created objects. When his day expires and night comes (metaphorical), he becomes desirous of sleep (inertness). At such a time the unmanifest and holy one urges the Being called Maharudra, who is conscious of his great powers, (for destroying the world). Urged by the unmanifest, that Being assuming the form of Surya of hundreds of thousands of rays, divides himself into a dozen portions each resembling a blazing fire. He then consumes with his energy, O King, without any loss of time, the four kinds of created beings, Viz., viviparous, oviparous, fifth-born, and vegetable. Within the twinkling of the eye all mobile and immobile creatures being thus destroyed, the Earth becomes on every side as bare as a tortoise shell. Having burnt everything on the face of the Earth, Rudra, of immeasurable might, then quickly fills the bare Earth with Water possessed of great force. He then creates the Yuga-fire which dries up the Water (into which the bare Earth has been dissolved). The Water disappears, and the great element of Fire continues to blaze fiercely. Then comes the mighty Wind of immeasurable force, in his eight forms (astamurti tatva), who swallows up quickly that blazing fire of transcendent force, possessed by seven flames, and identifiable with the heat existing in every creature. Having swallowed up that fire, the Wind courses in every direction, upwards, downwards, and transversely. The space of immeasurable existence swallowed up that Wind of transcendent energy. Then Mind (awareness) cheerfully swallows up that immeasurable Space. Then that Lord of all creatures, viz., Consciousness, who is the Soul of everything, swallows up the Mind. Consciousness, in his turn, is swallowed up by the Mahat-soul who is conversant with the Past, the Present, and the Future. The incomparable Mahat-soul or Universe is then swallowed up by Sambhu, that Lord of all things, to whom the Yoga attributes of Anima, Laghima, Prapti, &c., naturally inhere, who is regarded as the Supreme and pure Effulgence that is Immutable. His hands and feet extend over every part; his eyes and head and face are everywhere, his ears reach every place, and he exists overwhelming all things. He is the heart of all creatures; His measure is of a digit of the thumb. That Infinite and supreme Soul, that Lord of all, thus swallows up the Universe, After this, what remains is the Undecaying and the Immutable One who is without defect of any kind, who is the Creator of the Past, the Present, and the Future; and who is perfectly faultless, I have thus O king, duly told thee of Destruction.

~Mahabharatam Itihasa Shanti Parva 313 non-Jaya Section

Article source: LINK


Bhagawān Shiva is not the destroyer. It's Bhagawān Kālāgni Rudra, who is the destroyer.

Mahabharata, Anusashana Parva.:

“yo ‘sṛjad dakṣiṇād aṅgād brahmāṇaṃ lokasaṃbhavam | vāmapārśvāt tathā viṣṇuṃ lokarakṣārtham īśvaraḥ | yugānte caiva saṃprāpte rudram aṅgāt sṛjat prabhuḥ |” (MBH 13:14:183).

"Thou (Shiva) art he that hadst created from thy right side the Grandsire Brahma, the Creator of all things. Thou art he that hadst created from thy left side Vishnu for protecting the Creation. Thou art that puissant Lord who didst create Rudra (the destroyer deity Kalagni-Rudra) when the end of the Yuga came and when the Creation was once more to be dissolved”.

They are being created to perform different activities.

Padma Purana Patala Khanda Chapter 108.

So, Bhagawan Shiva creates Lord Brahma from his Right, Lord Vishnu from his left and Lord Rudra from his heart to perform Creation, Preservation and Destruction respectively.

According to Ishwara Gita Chapter 4.:

अहं हि सर्वशक्तीनां प्रवर्त्तकनिवर्त्तकः । आधारभूतः सर्वासां निधानममृतस्य च ॥ ४.२०॥

Meaning: - know me alone to be enforcer as well as withdrawer of all the potency, besides being support of all (potencies) I am the abode of immortality in the form of nectar.

एका सर्वान्तरा शक्तिः करोति विविधं जगत् । आस्थाय ब्रह्माणो रूपं मन्मयी मदधिष्ठिता ॥ ४.२१॥

Meaning: - One of my potency, established in me and formulation of mine, situated in innerself of all beings, assumes the form of four-faced Bramha and creates various types of worlds.

अन्या च शक्तिर्विपुला संस्थापयति मे जगत् । भूत्वा नारायणोऽनन्तो जगन्नाथो जगन्मयः ॥ ४.२२॥

Meaning: - My other potency, known as Anant (Infinite), Jagganath (Lord of Universe), assumes the form of Narayana for nurturing and sustaining the worlds.

तृतीया महती शक्तिर्निहन्ति सकलं जगत् । तामसी मे समाख्याता कालाख्या रुद्ररूपिणी ॥ ४.२३॥

Meaning: - My third potency, which is formation of Rudra, by the name of Kala, is tamasi and it annihilates the entire creation.

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

Meaning: - 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॥

Meaning: - who is refered as Yoga, Yogi and Maya by people well-versed in scriptures, is none other than Maha-Yogeshwar Lord Mahadeva.

For more you can see this answer of mine.

I hope this clarifies all your queries. Prd..

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