What You Need to Know About Shiva: Radical Transformation

Manoj Chalam walks us through the basics about the Hindu deity Shiva.

The written component of this piece originally appeared on YOGANONYMOUS

Who is Shiva?

Wikipedia: Shiva, also known as Mahadeva (“Great God”), is one of the main deities of Hinduism. He is the supreme god within Shaivism, one of the three most influential denominations in contemporary Hinduism. He is one of the five primary forms of God in the Smarta tradition, and “the Destroyer” or “the Transformer” among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine.

At the highest level, Shiva is regarded as limitless, transcendent, unchanging and formless. Shiva also has many benevolent and fearsome forms. In benevolent aspects, he is depicted as an omniscient yogi who lives an ascetic life on Mount Kailash, as well as a householder with wife Parvati and his two children, Ganesha and Kartikeya, and in fierce aspects, he is often depicted slaying demons. Shiva is also regarded as the patron god of yoga and arts.

Name Meaning

The most common translation of “Shiva” is the auspicious one. Other popular names associated with Shiva are Mahadev, Mahesh, Maheshwar, Shankar, Shambhu, Rudra, Har, Trilochan, Devendra (meaning chief of the gods) and Trilokinath (meaning lord of three realms).

The Sanskrit word śaiva means “relating to the god Shiva,” and it is the Sanskrit name both for one of the principal sects of Hinduism and for a member of that sect.

Some associate the name with the Tamil word sivappu, which means “red,” noticing that he is linked to the sun.

mitch bio

Mitch Gerbus is an adventure-seeker and lover of nature, and was on the ski slopes from age three. His passion for cinematography led him from the Sierra Nevadas to New York City, where he is known for his unique talent interpreting and capturing the essence of video footage. As Wanderlust Media’s Video Producer and Creative Media Developer, Mitch enjoys applying his video skills to the yoga and wellness practices he has cultivated over the past decade. Get to know Mitch at www.mitchgerbus.com.