Talk:Shiva/Archive 1

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Making the page encyclopedic

I made some changes to the introduction to make it more encyclopedic. I think that theology and interpretations should belong in the main body of the article. The introduction should give a quick view of Śiva that explains on a very high level who/what Śiva is. The other information is impotant, but should be later in the article where more discussion and alternative views can be enterred.

Accordingly, I moved the Adi Sankara meaning into the body. put it back into the intro. I'd like to remove it again, but I don't want an edit war. Comments? Ziroby 17:00, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

In formulating a professional commentary on yoga asanas, I hoped to reference the Wikipedia entry on Shiva as useful for initial/novice research. Unfortuately the entry appears well summed up by the photograph of the large Shiva statue at a Bangalore shopping mall [ ] used as the lead image .. the article looks pretty but upon closer examination reveals itself as lacking in classical/traditional substance. While there is use of Sanskrit vocabulary, for instance, the illusidation of these terms (of the mythological, historical and philosophical contexts as well) is poorly written and lacking sophisticated acumen.

Please understand this criticism to be constructive in its intent: There is brisk and current global discussion about the worth (particularly academic usefulness and accuracy) of Wikipedia entries at large. As an academic who is (in general) a proponent of the Wikipedia and its guiding principles, I feel it is my obligation to mention such overall weakness of this article. If time allowed I would edit the main entry myself. Perhaps I will return to at least sketch out a specific set of recommended improvements. But there is too much work to be done here. This very quandry alone is among the most significant dogging Wikipedia: some of the most knowledgable and credentialed (potential) contributors to Wikipedia are the ones with the least amount of time to contribute .. these persons are too busy teaching, writing books (and educating wikipedian non-specialists about basic factual content [example: ], etc. I heartfully thank those persons [notable among these Stephen_Hodge ] who can (and do) undertake the authorship of these articles, not only for their raw efforts, but to their practical cultivation of pluralism. Perhaps we might draw in the likes (or at least the works) of Emily Hudson or Parimal Patil from Harvard Divinity School? MatthewStevenCarlos 04:10 GMT 28 August 2006.

Well, I have been studying Shiva for my World Religion's project/presentation and I can honestly say some one needs to just shred this and start again from scratch. I originally came here first and could only make sense of a portion of it. Now that I have read several books on it I feel obligated to make it publicly aware that this indefinetly a very bias article that only covers a single aspect of a diety that is acknowledged by many religions. If some one who is more familiar on making the articles is willing to do so, I would gladly give up some time to help with content of the article in a non-bias matter. 23:50, 7 January 2007 (UTC) Bryan AJ Kennedy

I do not intend this following comment to be unconstructive criticism, just a heartfelt plea. Personally i have very little prior knowledge of this topic. but i can safely say that after reading the first 100 lines or so of this article i came away with even less understanding of Shiva and possibly even written english. Could someone who is informed on this subject please write a short and concise summary of the meanings of Shiva as an introduction for those of us with no prior knowledge or understanding.


Hinduism, rather the ancient Hindu civilization view Ardhanareswarar (Shiva and Shakti - feminine form) as the force that governs the uinverse. Shiva depcits the infinity of being. Shiva had no beginning, no end both in terms of time and space and very well depcits the universe. It would be right to say Shive is the universe.

Shiva is supposed to be anaadi (with no beginning) and ananth (with no end), i.e. without birth or death. Vishnu on the otherhand was born as Parasurama, Rama, Krishna. Where does Ammavaru fit in?

BTW most of the hits at are for the Telugu word (Ammavaru/Ammavari). Amma means mother in many Indian languages. Varu/vari is a Telugu term of respect. Ammavari usually refers to Parvathi or Lakshmi. -- Paddu 09:25 Mar 22, 2003 (UTC)

Note the Page titled Cannabis has a reference that states: History The use of cannabis is thought to go back at least 5000 years. Neolithic archaeology grounds in China include cannabis seeds and plants. The first known mention of cannabis was in a Chinese medical text of 2737 BC. It was used as medicine throughout Asia and the Middle East to treat a variety of conditions. In India particularly, cannabis was associated with Shiva.

Should the Shiva page reflect this surprising connection? zzzz 08:06 21 Jun 2003 (UTC)

i also heard that shiva is commonly presented with cannabis or hashish. i wanted to read more about it in this page, but didn't find any information. Jasminek 10:00, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

For interst, six-headed war god Skanda was son of Shiva. Trekphiler 04:28, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

In the first line, the article states "Shiva (...) is form of God in Hinduism." I assume that this should either be "Shiva is a form of God in Hinduism", or "Shiva is a god in Hinduism." The current version is ungrammatical.
Also, the part in brackets is ungrammatical: "Shiva (also spelt Siva, and referred to as Lord Shiva has many names)...". Either "has many names" should go outside the brackets, or should just be removed entirely. --Asbestos 21:37, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)


"Siva is no more a name for God than the Holy Spirit" ---

Except of course, that a lot of christians do think that 'Holy Spirit' is a name for God.

Indeed. See the entry for the Athanasian Creed for the historical understanding of the Trinity held by Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and many Protestant Christians.. It's not at all clear to me what the author means by saying the Holy Spirit is a 'facet' of God, or by saying that Christ 'developed' Christianity from Judaism.

my goodness. This is an exceptionally inaccurate treatment of Christianity, which makes me wonder how accurate a treatment of Shaivism it can possibly be! 'Facet'-language for the Holy Spirit is modalist, I think the author to mean. In which case it is not a correct presentation of orthodox Christian theology, but some sort of reinterpretation. And by the way history of religion folks are DEEPLY divided on the origins of religion in animism - lots of them (based on study of religion in remaining hunter/gatherer groups) like to talk about a kind of primitive monotheism. Not that I think much of anthropologists in general when they talk about religion before the invention of writing, but it's worth noting that this article asserts something that is not simply accepted by everryone. --MichaelTinkler

These last few sentences are either inaccurate (modalism applied to the Trinity - not accurate Christian theology) or gratuitous (the Buddha bit - what's it doing in a Siva article?):

Siva is no more a name for God than the Holy Spirit--Siva is a facet of atman just as the Spirit is a facet of the HolyTrinity. Buddha developed Buddhism from Hinduism in an analogous fashion to Christ developing Christianity from Judaism.

The Holy Spirit is God, isn't it? Isn't that the whole point of the Trinity? That they are three aspects of God, co-existent? And while we're here, the article says the Trimurti 'is not to be compared to the Trinity in Christianity'. I'd like to know why not? The Trinity and the Trimurti are not the same but it is significant that both religions have at their fountainhead three Avatars of One God, much like the Kaballists' vision of Kether, Binah and Chokmah as the Trinity at the top of the Tree of Life. Peoples' desire to keep the syncretic nature of religion and mysticism apart often amazes me. Just because the word for 'tree' is different in every language doesn't mean we aren't still all talking about a tree! ThePeg 22:29, 13 November 2006 (UTC)


on Labrys, we say that Shiva carries a double-headed axe. Is this at all true? dab () 22:33, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)

''''''== Aghora''' =='''

Why the hell does Aghora redirect to Shiva? Aghora is the Hindu god of evil. He's not even mentioned in this article. JarlaxleArtemis 02:59, May 12, 2005 (UTC)

Looks like the redirect was created by User:TUF-KAT. You could ask him, or, better, create a stub for Aghora. — Asbestos | Talk 07:24, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
Aghora is not necessarily evil, nor is Shiva seen as only good. Especially in views where he is an absolute, Shiva can appear even as Bhutisvara, lord of the nature demons, and so forth. Shiva appears to all creatures, regardless of good or evil in many views, and as such has forms both benign and wrathful. Aghora is listed as one of these. -- Hidoshi 07:32, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

the name

What is the meaning of the statement that the name Shiva "may be interpreted" as "One who purifies everyone by the utterance of His name"? That's completely arbitrary. It can also be interpreted as "One who smiles a lot, and likes yellow butterflies" with the same justification. Shiva means "kind", or "auspicious", and the interpretation of the name ends there (unless the interpretation is attributed to some authority, and explained). I'm not saying "One who purifies everyone by the utterance of His name" is wrong, it's just that it's a theological interpretation of the name and needs some context. I suggest we give "auspicious" as the meaning of the name in the intro, and save the interpretations for the article. dab () 12:37, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

That's not arbitrary. The meaning of the name was explained by the great philospher Sankara in his interpretation of Shiva, the 600th and 27th name in the Vishnu sahasranama. You consistently mock other's interpretations when they are not yours! Raj2004 02:30, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Although he may have been irreverent, it is important to remember that this is an encyclopaedic article, and not a religious tract. Interpretations of the name are significant, but the beginning of an article should be a summary, and therefore the interpretations should be moved. We need to balance having respect for everyone's religions, but at the same time the articles need to be readable to those unfamiliar with the subjects. As this article stands, it's not wikified, and on a personal note, it's indecipherable to me. It needs to look more like Ganesha's.

Yes, I think the interpretation of the names need to move out of the introduction and into the main body of the text. The intro, IMHO, should be a consise summary without interpretations or theological explanations. I'm thinking about creating a section, "Meaning of the name" or some such. Maybe it can go into another main section, along with the current "Names of shiva". Of the current intro, I only see the first sentence and the "Destroyer" sentence as belonging in the intro. I don't want to lose the other info, just move it into the body. In response to Dab, I would actually suggest that we not define the name in the intro at all, because there seems to be too much theological interpretation to it. Ziroby 17:28, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

I moved the interpretation of the name into the intro. See comment above in the (new) section "Making the page encyclopedic" Ziroby 17:00, 15 February 2006 (UTC)


The table of contents for this article occurs remarkably late in the article - perhaps it should be reorganized so that the TOC is after a briefer introduction, and then the current introduction is split into one (or more) sections? Stillnotelf 04:55, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Siva names and origin

I have added a new section called Names of Siva and have added a few names and their significance. To reflect this change, I have moved the single line at the beginning of the article related to Mahadeva to this list and have modified the line to go with this list.

Also have added some more information regarding the birth of Siva and how eight names were given by Brahma because of his crying. The male-female division at the time of Siva's birth indicate the origin of the concept of Ardhanarishvara and have mentioned so, including a link to Ardhanari.

Cleaned up links to Kailash. Several of them were pointing to links which were redirect links. Have cleaned them up to point to the actual Mount Kailash page.

Mrhyde 16:09, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Are there 108 names of Siva like most Hindu deities? If there are then is there someone who can find all of them? It might be better to put it on a separate page linking to this one. DaGizza 22:33, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
Actually there are a 1008 names - as listed in the Shiva Purana. I guess you're right about putting them on a separate page and interlinking the two pages. Anyone who feels otherwise?? Mrhyde 13:55, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Moved section titled Video Games

I have moved the section titled Video Games which talks about Shiva as a Final Fantasy character. The contents of the entire section has been moved to a new article Shiva in Final Fantasy Series. Mrhyde 17:47, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Some Cleanup

I went over just about the entire article and cleaned it up as best I could. If there's anything else I can do or that I might have messed up, let me know. -- Hidoshi 07:30, 26 October 2005 (UTC)


This from the part about Sati:

"The grief stricken Shiva carried Sati's body over the entire universe. Wherever pieces of her body fell,a Shakti Peeth was formed. Her genitals fell in Kamakhya, her eyes at Naini Tal."

I removed this because it doesn't fit with the Sati immolation tale (immolation would reduce the body to ashes, thus logically it would not follow). I think for consistency's sake, a second version of the story should be offered in completion, explaining the falling of body parts and such. Otherwise it becomes a confusing paragraph.


text below moved from article:

The renowned Nepali rationalist Vivek Thapa fled to India in 1968, shortly after completing his work 'A History of the Cult of the Lingam.' In this piece, Thapa drew a direct link between lingam worship and Shiva's castration - Shiva's penis is worshipped in compensation for this sacrifice - and stated that during his later years Shiva obtained sexual gratification from seeing the lingam revered by his male and female followers.

Further controversy was generated by his compilation of excerpts from a number of ancient Indian religious texts in which he claimed Shiva is portrayed as deficient in character and morality. These provided the basis from which he developed his final conclusion: Shiva is unworthy of worship.

In Nepal, a nation in which Hinduism is the state religion, public outrage was considerable, and Thapa fled to India. In India he ran a small but flourishing school of rationalism in Maharashtra, until this was destroyed and he was murdered by self-confessed RSS activists in 1982.

Due to concerns about the notability of these allegations and the accessability of this book or informations regarding it, this section has been removed. Please feel free to provide alternate sources or other informations here. Sam Spade 03:23, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Sam and I am concerned about Wikipedia's lack of credibility. There may be authors, as we know, who merely vandalize; see this article:

Raj2004 00:16, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Agreed on removal here. A few edits passed, someone kept posting castration stuff. This just sounds like a less obvious effort at defacing the article. It's also wholly irrelevant to the main spirit of the article, and really just sounds like trivia at best. - Hidoshi 21:04, 14 December 2005 (UTC)


I vaguely recall the Vivek Thapa murder case. I remember that his presence in my hometown had been very controversial, although I was much too young to understand what all the fuss had been about, merely that he had written something which had offended and incited a lot of people. Now that the contributor specifies what happened things fall into place a little more.

Judging from what has been written I would not be surprised if his book was thoroughly banned and is only found in a few libraries/used bookstores.

Anyway, I think the article does have value and could be legitimately restored. Whomever added it clearly tried to convey incidents and information he had read and it was written in good style.

I agree with you but it has to be a verifiable source. There is no way to verify his source or on the Internet or a respected Indological bookstore, Motilal Barnsidas. Even the controversial Wendy Doniger can be identified.

Raj2004 02:05, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Additionally, context has to be made to communicate that such information is neither authoritative (just as Wendy Doniger cannot be considered such), nor representative of the general and majority beliefs surrounding Shiva. - Hidoshi 03:03, 15 December 2005 (UTC)


There is a problem with the sanskrit. It is just shiva (शिव) but it should be sri shiva (श्रीशिव) which is written as one word. The sri recognises his status as a lord. If it is just shiva alone, it could be a name. I will add the correction saying that it could also be श्रीशिव. --Shell 00:07, 20 December 2005 (UTC)


I don't know if this is important but since shiva is a representation of life, in sanskrit, shava is a dead body which shows the lack of shiva's force in the body.


Sorry if this is a stupid question, but why is Shiva commonly depicted as having four or more arms? Many images show him with more than 2 arms, and many do not, even in this article, but there is not a single mention of it anywhere within the text. It seems like an odd oversight because, IMHO, to a non-Hindu who sees a statue of Shiva for the first time, the many arms are a most distinctive feature.

shiva is directed as having four arms or more in his state which is worshipped by many dancers i do not remember the name of the state but this form is quite famous in the south india where dancers pay respect to god shiva and there they have a statue where they show him with four or more hands i have left you with a SITE WHICH COULD EXPLAIN A TO YOU MORE ABOUT HIS FORU HANDS THANKS

The four arms are a feature of Shiva Nataraja, but they are not really very significant (many Hindu deities are depicted with multiple arms) and He does not have four arms in most other depictions either. In contrast, Vishnu is always depicted with four arms, but I don't think anyone has asked such a question on that page. --Grammatical error 08:15, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Each arm (and what each hand holds) represents an aspect/function of the given deity. For more precise symbolic meaning (yet still general overview) you might consult: 'Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization' by Heinrich Robert Zimmer and Joseph Campbell and/or 'The Mythic Image' by Jospeh Campbell. MatthewStevenCarlos 17:34 GMT 28 August 2006.

alot of jargon

Sounds pretty fancy when another speaks all the isms of of his accepted realizations. Doesn't matter to me how a person worships or calls his creator unless one begins to prepare cases and arguments in defense of his creator. This speaks an uncertanty. One may proclaim great faith without truly knowing the tight binds of it's glorious safety. In defense of one,,,one may venture to bring accusation against another. All men are primal in that. Will a man,,in worship of his lord,,,bring accusation upon the realization of the same LORD by another man. Seems to me that,,,not even the greatest of angels would revile one another. It is only for GOD to make judgements like those. Does a man really have the capacity to defend the GREAT ALL OFor the HOLY HYWYH, or can we only disgrace THEMIGHTYONE in our pomp of flesh.

There is an issue with even calling Shiva a creator. That is not his role in most Hindu sects. Shiva gives consciousness in some, embodies the universe in others, and so forth, but is not synonymous with being the creator of matter and form. That is regulated by Brahma, which in hierarchal trinity is considered subordinate to Shiva, while in the cyclical trinity is seen as creating and recreating after Shiva has destroyed and dissolved the material of creation.
Outside of this, I'm not even going to bother addressing much of what you've said. What you've said is, as the title implies, a lot of jargon coming from a Eurocentric point of view regarding Abrahamic traditions. It doesn't belong here. -- Hidoshi 15:10, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Śiva vs Shiva

Since the article is titles Shiva, I replaced all instances of Śiva with Shiva. (I also removed a number of honorific titles, such as Sri and Lord.) --Benne ['bɛnə] (talk) 01:42, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Inappropriate Focus

I turned to this site expecting an encyclapedic entry on the Hindu divinity, i.e. a brief summary of her origins, her role in the Indian pantheon as well as her significance in the context of the Hindus view e.g. of the creation, the afterlife, ethics, and the role of man. Admittedly some of this can be found scattered about, but finding it is far more tedious than it needs to be. The introduction, especially, reads like a paean to Shiva, and can hardly be expected to be appreciated (in both senses) by someone who approaches this article with little or no prior knowledge of the Hindu religion.

There is nothing surprising in finding that the prime movers of any Wikipedia article are enthusiastic fans of whatever it is the article is concerned with. Enthusiasm is most valuable and often contributes to an informative article. But Wikipedia is a general purpose encyclapedia. Please remember that your target reader is likely to be someone with only the barest acquaintance with the subject, and that his objective is limited to accessing a concise and accurate synopsis.

--Philopedia 19:59, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

"Her"? Shiva is male (there is also the androgynous Ardhanarishvara who appears when Shiva joins with his consort, but that's beside the point). Are there any specifically confusing parts of the article? --Grammatical error 08:11, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

I have to say this is the first time I've heard of Shiva as being male. Granted, I'm no authority, having only glanced through a couple of books on the subject, but Shiva always seems to be female in my experiance. Popular (western) culture seems to have Shiva pinned down as a her. The classic representation that I am familiar with is a blue skinned woman with multiple arms. Am I confusing the deity with another god or other figure? - The BunniRabbi 4:47, 24 Oct. 2006

I think that The BunniRabbi is thinking of Kali.

I have been working on a report about Shiva for my World Religions class and this is the first time I have ever heard of Shiva being a female. Shiva is represented as a four armed man with a three headed spear similar to a trident. He even has a "consort of sort" named Uma. Uma in representation is always a women who is "blessed above". 23:36, 7 January 2007 (UTC) Bryan AJ Kennedy

Brahma Kumaris use of the name Shiva for God.


I'd like to raise the issue of the BKWSU or Brahma Kumaris use of the name Shiva for God and ask whether it should be brought into this topic or their page linked to.

The Brahma Kumaris organize so called Raja Yoga centers internationally and have an increasing high profile due to very adept political associations and public relations.

They have a very unique set of philosophies that do not fit in with orthodox Hinduism. it is not the purpose of my request to debate those here. However, they acknowledge Shiva as the name of God, or their god.

Given that individuals will in, all probability, use the Wiki to research what it is the BKWSU are teaching, would it be acceptable to include some reference to their beliefs?

Queries and objections welcome 22:18, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Role as Destroyer, and Shaivist centrism

I get the impression that most of this article is written from a Shaivist point of view. That's fine, but I wonder if there should also be some discussion of other views of Shiva.

In particular, in popular Western culture and on many Hindu-related web pages, and even elsewhere in Wikipedia, Shiva is specifically referred to as the Destroyer (or sometimes destroyer/changer, or sometimes destroyer/creator), and one of the Trimurti; I get no sense from other sources that Shiva is universally considered the preeminent of the three. My impression is that it's only in Shaivism that Shiva is considered preeminent. The Wikipedia article on Trimurti, for example, says that the three aspects of the Trimurti are Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. This Shiva article, on the other hand, says:

Rudra is one of the Trimurti (i.e "trinity"). In the Trimurti, Rudra is the destroyer, and Brahma is the creator and Vishnu is the preserver. Shiva, according to some Hindu traditions, does everything. All other hindu gods and goddess are lesser than Shiva.

To someone as ignorant as I am of the traditions involved, this is pretty opaque. Is Rudra another name for Shiva in this context? This is the first mention of Rudra in the article; the linked-to Rudra article suggests that Rudra may have been an early form of Shiva. The abovequoted line about Rudra being the destroyer seems to suggest that Rudra is a separate entity from Shiva, rather than just an aspect of Shiva; furthermore, the "does everything" and "all other gods are lesser" lines seem to suggest that Shiva is some superior deity, not part of the Trimurti at all. That appears to be a specifically Shaivist point of view; the abovequoted line does say "according to some Hindu traditions," but it doesn't explain what other Hindu traditions say about this. The subsequent paragraph attempts to explain what other traditions say, but that description is pretty opaque as well; the phrase "within which the cycle of the Trimurti exists" in particular doesn't really make sense to me. Why not explicitly say which deities comprise the Trimurti in other traditions?

So could someone familiar with the relevant traditions clean up the introduction to this article? Here's what I'd like to see:

1. A clarification that in some traditions, Shiva is considered the supreme deity, while in others, Shiva is one of three major deities, or one of three major aspects of the one deity, or one of the Trimurti, or something. (If I knew how to accurately end that sentence, I would put it into the article myself.)

2. A clarification (before the abovequoted first reference) of who Rudra is and what his connection is to Shiva in various contexts/traditions. (There's a sort of clarification in the paragraph after the one I quoted, but the clarification should be before the first reference to Rudra, and the clarification in the article isn't really clear enough anyway.)

3. A description of the Trimurti that matches the descriptions elsewhere in Wikipedia (listing Shiva rather than Rudra), with a note explaining that in some traditions, the destroyer aspect is known as Rudra rather than as Shiva. (If that's true.)

4. A cleanup of this sentence: "Shaivaites, the worshippers of Shiva consider as the Ultimate Reality." There's at least one word missing there, but I have no idea what it is.

5. More generally, a reworking of the opening paragraphs to provide a less Shaivist-centric description. Shaivism should obviously be an important focus of the introduction, but there should also be more of a focus on what other traditions believe.

Thanks! --Elysdir 18:35, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

There are some very strang biases in this page which I'm willing to fix up when I get the time. Om namah shivaya. GizzaChat © 23:31, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

shiva in rigveda?

Shiva is probably referred to in the rigveda (RV II.I.6; 33.9; X.92; Mookerji, POC, VIII, p.452.) Is there a good source on this question? --RF 19:46, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

They call him rudra in the rg veda.--D-Boy 08:03, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Shiva in popular culture

I think the "Shiva in popular culture" section is too long and contains irrelevant articles. Shiva is a popular name for various items, in my opinion partly because of the stereotypical depiction of "the destroyer" and partly because it sounds exotic. As a result, I think that we should confine the list to popular culture items which reference a depiction of Shiva and not just the name. For instance, the Rainbow Six reference should go because it just uses the name. In the Polish book (which I haven't read) the characterisation is apparently that of the god, not just something with the same name, so it could arguably stay.

Alternatively, the whole section could be ripped out, which I would be in favour of. Comments? Orpheus 04:48, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

See the Wiki-policy WP:TRIV and WT:HNB#Shiva where I made comments about the current state of the article. I think pop-culture can go completely. GizzaChat © 23:28, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Ah, I hadn't seen that talk post. Given that and the lack of objections to it, I'll remove the section. Disagreement and reversion (preferably in that order) invited. Orpheus 05:26, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I, for one, disagree. Shiva is used in many ways, and since there are so many, and they don't all warrent their own page, they go here. Hey, I know it isn't the best way to handle this, but this page isn't Shiva (God), it's just Shiva. You can't change it for those reasons, they need to stay. If there are any suggestions on this, I'll gladly heare them. Keyblade Mage 00:39, 29 January 2007 (UTC) Keyblade Mage

The page is Shiva (deity), in content if not in name. If you want to make a disambiguation page then go ahead, but knowing that the virus in Rainbow Six was named after Shiva doesn't add anything to this encyclopaedia article, in my opinion. Orpheus 00:53, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Recent spelling correction

Can someone verify that this anon edit is accurate? I couldn't verify the quotation anywhere. Thanks. -SpuriousQ (talk) 03:23, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

As it's unsourced and no one seems to know about it, I've removed the quotation here. -SpuriousQ (talk) 03:27, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Sons of Shiva

All that follows was removed the article because it merits detail only under Ganesha and Karthikeya:

Ganesha, the elephant-headed God of wisdom, acquired his head by offending Shiva, by refusing to allow him to enter the house while Parvati was bathing. Shiva sent his ganas to subdue Ganesha, but to no avail. As a last resort, he bade Vishnu confuse the stalwart guardian using his powers of maya. Then, at the right moment, Shiva hurled Trishula and cut Ganesha's head from his body. Upon finding her guardian dead, Parvati was enraged and called up the many forms of Shakti to devour Shiva's ganas and wreak havoc in Swargaloka. To pacify her, Shiva brought forth an elephant's head(from North direction) from the forest and set it upon the boy's shoulders, reviving him. Shiva then took Ganesha as his own son and placed him in charge of his ganas. Thus, Ganesha's title is Ganapati, Lord of the Ganas. In another version, Parvati presented her child to Shani (the planet Saturn), whose gaze burned his head to ashes. Brahma bade Shiva to replace with the first head he could find, which happened to be that of an elephant.

Karthikeya is a six-headed god and was conceived to kill the demon Tarakasura, who had proven invincible against other gods. Tarakasura had terrorised the devas of Swargaloka so thoroughly that they came to Shiva pleading for his help. Shiva thus assumed a form with five faces, a divine spark emanating from his third eye. He gave the sparks to Agni and Vayu to carry to Ganga and thereupon release. In Ganga's river, the sparks were washed downstream into a pond and found by the Krittikas, five forest maidens. The sparks transformed into children and were suckled by the Karttikas, When Shiva, Parvati, and the other celestials arrived on the scene, there was a debate of who the child belonged to. Further, Parvati, who was the most likely to care for the child, was puzzled as to how she would suckle five children. Suddenly, the child merged into a single being and Shiva blessed him with five separate names for his five sets of parents to settle the debate. The child, despite having been born from five sparks, had a sixth head, a unifying principle which brought together the five aspects of his father's power into a single being. From here, the campaign in which Karttikeya would vanquish Tarakasura and liberate Swargaloka began.

North Indian views of Shiv vs. South Indian views of Bholenath

Having grown up in North India in a family of Brahmins, I have discovered that a strict distinction does not exist between devotees of Shiv and Vishnu. My family traditionally worships Hanuman who is reportedly an avatar of Shiv. But we also worship Ram, and Krishn. I have seen the same to be true of most North Indians in U.P., Punjab, New Delhi and Bihar.

I do not think this wikipedia article needs to elaborate on the divisions (if any) that exist in the ways Hinduism is practiced. That should be dealt in another article. If your entries are influenced by TV programming like Shiv Mahapuran it will reduce credibility of this article.

Remember also that Shiv Shankar is also known as Bholenath, the innocent god. Please don't dump your religious baggage on him.

Siva or Savi?

The Sanscrit text was edited by some Vandalist Sivam means "eternal" and "Savam" means dead body. Some Vandalist had edited the Sanscrit text from Siva to Savi .


Changed back. The change was made to make sure that Siva displays properly in web browsers which support Devanagari script in Unicode correctly. To fix your browser or operating system to see Devanagari correctly, see Wikipedia:Enabling_complex_text_support_for_Indic_scripts

To be specific, after your change Siva was displayed on a web browser which correctly supports Devanagari as: ि श व (without spaces between the characters.), which is wrong.

For proper display of Devanagari script on Linux, you might want to try finding a copy of the Mozilla webbrowser which supports complex text layout (CTL). Or install libxindic, a library I wrote to transparently add support for the Devanagari, Tamil, Bengali, Gujarati script, Oriya, Gurumukhi, and [[Malayalam script|Malayalam]] scripts, for applications running in X Windows, including Mozilla.

Featured Article Nomination

is this article not ready to become a featured article?


I can see many people trying to advertise their product and their website. Every website was checked and those site that spammed was removed.

Wikipedia is encyclopedia not a selling place.

Please understand

Request again from Stutimandal

Hi Mod: See we are not selling any product. We are just providing a relevant poetry page link and we deliver what we are claiming to. Our website is new and growing, which means we will have more and more Shiv poems in near future. We already have more than 10.

Do you mind reverting the edits by Ashutosh G? it would be great if we get some space at Shiva, Lakshmi, Parvati/Devi/Durga, Ganesh, Hanuman pages -- just like we did in Vishnu's page.

thanks a lot.


Request from Stutimandal

Dear Moderators:

Last time, on our request, you had added the links to Poetry Pages on Siva at Stutimandal. I visited here after sometime and the links have been removed. Kindly help us out. The list of poems on Siva has only increased and now we also have more free-services at our website (pdf and utf).

Kindly assist, Animesh

Time for an overhaul?

This article should represent our very best work. Currently there is quite a bit of unsourced material. Would it be good to do a pass through the article simple to fact-tag (or remove) anything that seems dubious? That at least would be a first step to reducing the bulk of uncited material, and would help draw attention to items that may need to stay, but which need citations. Let us work on this together. ॐ शिवाय नमः Buddhipriya 05:51, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree, and will try and help out where I can - does anyone have any objection to the removal of the below text - or that it be described as an opinion, rather than a documented fact as it is currently. Regards, Gouranga(UK) 08:16, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

However this title of 'destroyer' is often taken from a face value perspective and actually Rudra should be thought of as a perfect spiritual manifestation of Brahman. It is said in Vedic text that Māyā is destroyed by Shiva (or his manifestations) thus allowing absolute truth to be "seen", hence the "destructor" name arose.

Hooray! You will get no complaint from me. Since the statement is unsourced, it is fair game to delete. I plan to gradually add strong references for things that I feel are worth keeping. With a major overhaul like this, personally I do not plan to make too many interventions at once in order to give other editors time to react and revert me if I hit a nerve. If you see something you suspect might be true but is dubious, just fact tag it. That will help focus attention on statements that need work. Buddhipriya 08:26, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

What about external links?

buddhipriya has deleted every external link. Brihas

Hello, I'm sorry that you do not agree with my reading of WP:EL. If think any particular site was deleted inappropriately, I hope you will mention it here so it can be examined more closely. Wikipedia:WikiProject_Spam provides additional guidance on how to cut back on the growing problem of spam links on Wikipedia. Buddhipriya 09:59, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
i should not have made a personal comment. and perhaps it is most encyclopediac not to have any links at all. Brihas
I'm glad that you did ask about the link issue, as getting some agreement by editors here will make for more consistency in edits. There are some situations where external links, and WP:EL has a section for what should be linked. None of the links that were in the article met any of those tests. Because there is a voluminous published literature on Shiva in academic sources it should be possible to cover most of what is likely to come up in this article via book references. Buddhipriya 16:42, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Looking at referencing

As I get into this article I am noticing that there is some existing referencing pointing to non-authoritative web sites and a book by David Frawley, who is not considered to be a WP:RS by most academic Indologists. I would like to begin a general discussion here about what types of sources will be considered fair game for this article. Articles that aspire to FA status must be very strongly sourced. That means using a range of references that each individually meet the tests of WP:RS and which collectively show that a broad survey of scholarship is represented. Fortunately this is easy to do for Shiva, who has exhaustive scholarly literature about him. As we go though, I will try to replace weak references that may exist with strong ones, and in doing so if I remove any existing references please feel free to raise the issue on the talk page so reference quality can be examined closely. The house is only as strong as the foundation upon which it is built, so let each citation be a strong brick rather than sand. Buddhipriya 19:19, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Section on names of Shiva

I have sorted out all of the names (or almost all) that appear in the article and put them into alphabetical order at the bottom of the article. I am unsure what to do with this material next, but I think one approach that might be useful is to go over the list and determine which names are notable based either on known mythology and/or prominence in the sahasranama literature. Names which have some prominence can be cited, and then in some cases the basis for the names can be explained. For example, the name Nilakantha ("Blue Throat") ties into a very old complex of ideas relating back to one of the only Rig Veda texts related to Rudra. In working through the name list I am also seeing that there are issues about organization of content across multiple articles, particularly coordination between Rudra and Shiva but also elsewhere. A large chunk of material was just moved from History of Shaivism to Shaivism as well. I would encourage editors interested in these topics to watchlist all of the articles in this complex and help figure out what should go where. Buddhipriya 20:43, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Capitalization of the word "God"

I see that there was some disagreement about capitalization of the word "God". Seeing it made me realize that I don't really know if the Hinduism project has got any standards on this. Personally I always tend to put it in lower case ("god" for a single male deity), but since we are trying to translate the Sanskrit word deva I more generally use "divinity" which is congnate. Also, Devi is a goddess, so I try to use gender-neutral terms when referring to plurals. On the article for Devas they use lower case. When I see "God" it suggests monotheism, but that is just a personal reaction. How do others feel about this? Buddhipriya 02:28, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

The problem arises because of the clash between those who see Shiva just as a deva and Shaivists. A similar issue occurs at Vishnu and Krishna. If we use "God" anywhere, even in a Shaiva context, it would confusion whenever the smaller-case version appears. Personally, I'll restrict the upper-case for Ishvara, Bhagavan and Brahman only. Even if a particular sect view Vishnu or Shiv as the Supreme, there is no insult in writing god, unless refering to them in a monotheistic sense. In indic scripts, there aren't any capitals so it will be difficult to judge whether we need them here. GizzaChat © 05:04, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
You make a good point that the concept of capitalization itself does not exist in Devanagari and other Indic scripts. When I show Sanskrit romanizations I generally do not capitalize anything for that reason, even though the IAST specifications include capital letter equivalents as a convenience or accomodation for English texts. I might add that not all Shaivites are offended by the capitalization or lack of it for the word God. Buddhipriya 20:35, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Then we might as well use "god" only for the sake of clarification. "supreme god" doesn't look that bad. GizzaChat © 05:14, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
How about "supreme gizza"?  :) No one else has commented on this, so would you like to go ahead and make edits to use lower case? Or should we wait for more comment? Buddhipriya 05:31, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
We can post a message on the Hinduism noticeboard and send it also to the regular Hinduism contributors. Or we can Be Bold! GizzaChat © 07:46, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Supreme God reads much better in bold. Otherwise it makes no sense. gods is fair enough, or Yamaraja, the god of death etc... but surely God in the monotheistic sense should be capitalised the same as in articles dealing with Christianity and Islam. ? Gouranga(UK) 11:42, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
In Smarta tradition, the importance of placing emphasis on a single supreme god is explicitly discouraged. A Smarta Shaivite, for example, would conduct daily puja with main emphasis on Shiva, but also including the other major Smarta deities such as Vishnu in the daily puja. In Smarta practice, any deity can be substituted as the ishtadevata, so you theoretically could place Shiva as the central deity for devotion, and include Jesus in secondary workship. Is your terminology of "Supreme God" a reflection of ISKCON thinking? That epithet is one of several that are applied to Shiva, as is noted in the section on names (e.g., parameshvara) but actual Shaiva devotional practice is quite different from the Vaishnava bhakti sects.
I like Gizza's suggestion about posting this question to the Hinduism noticeboard as I am curious what other points of view are on this. Buddhipriya 17:06, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Why don't say this" Shiva is considered to be the supreme God in Shaivism while in Smartism, He is considered to be one of five forms of God or Saguna Brahman.

Raj2004 10:50, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Sounds good to me Raj. Regards, Gouranga(UK) 11:31, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Great, Gouranaga and Budhapriya?

Raj2004 00:13, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Raj, I think we are improving it, but Devi is not a God, she is a Goddess. That is one of the problems with the word God. I will adjust the text to use more gender-neutral terms and let you adjust them if needed. Buddhipriya 00:38, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Gouranga, could I ask you to do an editing pass over the article specifically to adjust language in ways that you think would help reduce bias or at least clarify where it may exist? Buddhipriya 16:34, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Move of mythological anecdote to talk page

In working with the Ganesha article we ultimately decided to have a separate article for mythological anecdotes. I am moving this one out of the main article because it represents just one variant of a story that comes up in different forms, and the tone is inconsistent with the encyclopedia article on the deity. It is not clear why this particular story, out of many that could be told, is given such emphasis in the article. Buddhipriya 17:47, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Sati is another form of Devi who is the daughter of Daksha, who forbade the union with Lord Shiva. Sati disobeyed her father. Daksha once held a Yajna, but did not invite the Lord. In disgust, Sati self-immolated through yogic meditation (or, in another version, in the same fire Daksha used in his sacrifice) which awoke Lord Shiva from deep meditation.

Different versions of what happened afterwards follow. It is reported that Lord Shiva in his anger, began the cosmic dance of death, Rudra tandav which threatened to destroy the world. Worried, the Gods and priests attending the Yajna decided to scatter Sati's ashes over Lord Shiva which calmed him and in deep anguish over the loss of his wife, he went back into meditation.

Another version of the story says that upon learning of Sati's death, the Lord tore off a lock of his hair and lashed it against the ground. The stalk split in two, one half transforming into the terrifying gana Virabhadra, while the other caused Mahakali to manifest on the scene. The Supreme Lord ordered the pair immediately to annihilate Daksha's Yajna. They destroyed the Yajna as commanded by the Lord. Daksha was decapitated by Virabhadra.

Then, Shiva is said to have carried the body of Sati with him and wandered around aimlessly forgetting all the cosmic duties. When the devas pleaded Lord Vishnu, he used his discus(Chakra) to cut the body into 18 pieces which fell to the earth.The places are now known as the Shakthipeeths and form very sacred places of worship.

Sati was later reborn in the house of Himavat (Himalaya mountain-range personified) and performed great penance (Skt: Tapasya) to win over Shiva's attention. Her penance brought Kamadeva and his consort Rati to the scene, whereupon they attempted to interrupt Shiva's meditation with Kamadeva's arrow of passion. It caused Shiva to break his Samadhi, but he was so infuriated by Kamadeva's assault that he burned the deva of passion to ashes on the spot with his glare. It was only after Rati's pleading that Shiva agreed to reincarnate Kamadeva.

Parvati would try again without Kamadeva's aid to win over Shiva, and this time, through her devotion and the persuasion of other rishis, yogis, and devas, he eventually accepted her.

Buddhipriya 17:47, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Use of primary scriptural references

In support of the following text in the article an IP user added the scriptural reference to Bhagavata Purana 12.6.7, 9-10. In checking the verses I do not see how that reference clearly supports the statements, so I have removed the reference. This is the text involved:

Shuka (or Shukdevji) is the son of the great guru and avatar of Sri Vishnu, Veda Vyasa. He stayed inside mother's womb for sixteen years. He was the first one to say Bhagavata Purana to the great Raja Parikshita in last seven remaining days of king's life. Thus the king attained self-realization.

There is a general issue that needs to be raised regarding mixing scriptural material with analysis of scriptural material by academic sources. These are two different issues and need to be clearly distinguished in an encyclopedia article. For example, in an article on the Bible would might quote the Bible regarding what it says, but it is necessary to quote academic opinion about the Bible to put scriptural claims into perspective. Overall the tone of the article needs to be encyclopedic, and so should clarify when scriptural material is being mentioned. Buddhipriya 18:12, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Moving in material from the article on Shaivism

I am moving the following unsourced raw material to here from the article on Shaivism. These articles need to be cross-checked for forking between each other, and with other related articles. Buddhipriya 21:48, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Another form of Shiva is Rudra who is the destroyer (samhara murthi).[citation needed] A question arises; how can God be a destroyer? But God destroys to relieve people from bondages and pains and give them a new lease on life.

Shaivites believe God transcends form, although devotees will still often worship Śiva in the form of a lingam, symbolizing the entire universe. God Śiva is also revered in Shaivism as the anthropomorphic manifestation of Śiva Nataraja, the Divine Dancer who animates the universe. He is also Dakshinamurti, the silent teacher; HariHara, half-Śiva half-Vishnu; and Bhairava, who wields the trishula, the trident of desire, action and wisdom. He is Vaideeshwarar, the Lord of Healing. In some traditions, Hanuman is believed to be an avatar or form of Shiva. Buddhipriya 21:48, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

regarding the quote from Flood in the lead

I noticed that there was some wordsmithing of the quotation from Flood taking place, so I added the exact text of what is being cited for reference. If the language is raising sensitivities in some way, one approach would be to just cut the quotation entirely, as I am not sure the general issue of how Hindus select their preferred deities is relevant to this article. I don't recall what the original issue was that lead to the text being the way it is now. Do not hesitate to bring up any point here that may be considered POV so we can tackle it head on. Buddhipriya 18:17, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

use of the Flood quote

I wonder if the Flood quote has raised a controversial point. If so, perhaps the quote can simply be deleted as the issue it gets into is tangenial to the main article. The web site that is being used to refute it is non-authoritative as it does not cite any reliable sources. On that basis, I would remove the link to [3] and either jettison the quote from Flood also, or else I would be happy to try to find a better quotation making the point that the non-authoritative web site makes. Can we have some discussion here on what we want the article to say, so I can work on locating references that would support whichever view is not now represented? I am mainly concerned with quality of sources rather than the details of what the point is. By using WP:RS web links we degrade the quality of the article sourcing. Buddhipriya 06:36, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

No one has commented on this, so I went ahead and deleted both of the references. This was mainly because I feel strongly about reference quality, and if web links are creeping in, now is the time to demand strong sourcing. The point being debated was not critical to the article, particularly for the lead. Buddhipriya 04:00, 12 May 2007 (UTC)


In Vaishnava traditions, Shiva is respected as a manifestation of Vishnu Huh? The majority of Vaishnavas don't believe this. I read the reference which led to the Bhagavata Purana, and the Bhagavata Purana merely mentions Brahma comming from Lord Vishnu and there is no mention of Shiva whatsoever. Many Vaishnavas see Shiva as a deva, or demigod. He is lower than Lord Vishnu AKA Brahman, but he is higher than the other devas. 01:24, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the statement is not well-sourced, and any broad statement about Viashnava traditions, which show as much variation as Shaivism, is probably too general. Hopefully more sourcing will happen over the next couple of months as this very weak article improves in quality. Buddhipriya 04:15, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Move of tangential item to talk page

I am moving this sentence to here as it does not seem to have any great relevance to the article and it was sourced by a non-reliable web page that fails tests for WP:EL: "In one legend, the sage Agastya, who is known to Hindus to be a Shaiva is an avatar of Agni." The only connection seems to be the claim that Agastya was a Shaiva. Regarding his parentage, in the Vishnu Purana he is said to have been produced by Mitra and Varuna (for the Vishnu Purana version see: Doniger, Wendy. Purana Perennis, pp. 9, 11). There may be multiple origin stories for him. If some relevance can be shown for this story I suppose better sourcing can be found for it. Buddhipriya 04:40, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Disputed material

I am moving the following material to the talk page because it is sourced only by David Frawley. Material related to connections between Shiva and Indra can be sourced in less questionable ways, and I will make an effort to add some references to WP:RS related to this over the next few weeks. Here is the weak material sourced with a link to a web site:

David Frawley[1] write that the King of Gods, Lord Indra is a manifestation of Lord Shiva.[4]

Buddhipriya 02:47, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Disputed material regarding Nataraja

The following material which gives one interpretation of the symbolism of the Nataraja form [5] should be removed from the article because it is not authoritative. Entire books have been written giving the history of this form and explaining numerous alternative possible interpretations of this material. There is also no single format for many of the iconographic elements which comprise the constellation of traits generally called Nataraja by Westerners. The place for this type of devotee material is in the detail article for the form itself, not here in this overview article. The fact that the source given is in Polish makes it impossible to verify the citation, so I am removing it. Here is the disputed material: [6] Buddhipriya 19:22, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I based the text on a Polish translation of a book originally published in English by Oxford Educational Ltd 2005. Kkrystian 19:41, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Need for sourcing

An IP user added the following unsourced statement:

In the eastern and north eastern part of India Datura or "Dhutra" as it is commonly known, also called moonflower is a prime offering to Lord Shiva on the night of Maha Sivaratri.

Because we are trying to upgrade the citation level on the article I have moved it here pending sourcing. The use of Dhattūra (Datura fastuosa) as an element of Ganesha worship is documented in Martin-Dubost, p. 99, and it is an example either of one of the many links between Shiva and Ganesha attributes, or it is an overgeneralization. Can anyone assist in finding more references to the use of Dhattūra in the worship of either of these deities, or in general ritual use? Buddhipriya 17:51, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Can we remove the NPOV nag tag?

At least we have been able to get the article moved from "totally disputed" to the milder "POV" nag tag: [7] and at this stage I am trying to figure out what is left in the article that is POV. Can anyone say specifically what the POV issue is with any sentence? We currently have quite a lot of references, so please help by identifying any POV issues that remain, or else if someone feels the article is finally OK, please remove the POV nag tag. Buddhipriya 02:19, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Khandoba is Shiva or Skanda??????

I have removed this sourced sentence "by the name Khandoba in Maharashtra,[2]"
Because there are multiple contraditary sources that say Khandoba is Shiva.

Check out Khandoba article. Khandoba is believed to Shiva, also referred as 'Martand Bhairava' in Malhari Mahatmya, the chief source of Khandoba legend, apart from folk songs. Bhairava as u kmow is an aspect of Shiva.'The name Martand, designating in Vedic sources the sun or sun god- The Life and Teachings of Sai Baba of Shirdi By Antonio Rigopoulos pg.111. Also,I am an editer at the Khandoba article. Khandoba is our family deity. Plz trust on the info about Him.

Though as stated in 'Indian Sociology Through Ghurye: Indian Sociology Through Ghurye: A Dictionary By S. Devadas Pillai', Ghurye first tried to identify with Skanda in his 'Men and Gods' on just the fact that 'Champa Shasthi(birthday of Khandoba) coincides with Skanda Shasthi' but then in next book 'Anatomy', he set aside this idea.

In 'Khandoba:Ursprung,Geschiche und Umvelt von Pastoralem Gotheiten in Maharashtra, Wiesbaden 1976(German with English Synopsis)pg. 180-98, "Khandoba is a local deity in Maharashtra and been Sanskritised as an incarnation of Shiva."

Also Khandoba in all his 12 main temples is worshipped as a Lingam(Also as image of God riding horse or bull). Mostly twin lingas one for Him and the other for Mhalsa, his first wife. Ever heard Skanda worshipped as Lingam?

Another problem with 'the Khandoba is Skanda theory' is that Skanda gathers the troops for Martand Bhairav(Shiva as Khandoba) for the latter's fight with demons Mani-Malla.

--Redtigerxyz 13:43, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

I object to the removal of sourced content. Khandoba is a good example of a regional deity who has been assimilated to other deties. His identification with Skanda is discussed at greater length in the book by Gupta than the quote shows, and if the citation is being challenged I will expand the quotation to give more detail on the identification of Khandoba with Skanda. It is also probably true that he may be identified with Shiva directly by some others, as the overlapping traits between the three deities are the basis for the absorption. The process of accumulation of regional deities that took place over time in India is part of what needs to be documented in more detail regarding the composite nature of the deity Shiva. Wikipedia articles are not WP:RS and cannot be used as citations. In order to expand the relationship of Khandoba with Shiva, simply provide a specific and verifiable WP:RS that shows he is also identified in that way. The removal of properly cited references is disruptive. I request that some other editor please comment on this issue so that I can get the benefit of other points of view. Buddhipriya 17:18, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
"In Maharashtra a regional deity named Khandoba.............." does this discussion needs to be there at the Introduction of Lord Shiva??? Can we take that else where?BalanceRestored 06:11, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
I've restored the section, there was lot of important discussion on the topic. I've restored the section at a different location. BalanceRestored 06:29, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
No material was cut, and the section does not stand well alone. It is an example of the assimilationist forces that are discussed in the development section, and well-sourced. Buddhipriya 06:31, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Don't you think it is important that the discussion be at the main article, there is an important sect in Maharashtra that believes in that name Khandoba, It is a request that a small text be referred with the main article. Also there are other popular names for Lord Shiva that has gradually got recognition and is not present in the main epics. It will not be good if they are not at all mentioned. We should consider creating a section that narrates the other popular names of the Lord. Certainly the discussion at the "Introduction" did make the article look very poor.BalanceRestored 06:37, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
If you examine the edit history for the article, and read the discussions on the talk page here, you will see that for weeks we have been working to eliminate the name lists by integrating names with the body of the article. Please read WP:LIST for policy on lists. If you think a name is important, please mention it here and see if you can get agreement that it deserves mention. This is supposed to be a high-level overview article and currently it still contains details that probably need to be cut. If anything, all of the material on Khandoba probably could go, but it is a good example of exactly the syncretic forces that are discussed in the article in the section where it is now placed. Buddhipriya 06:43, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't see Khandoba at all, where did you move it to?BalanceRestored 06:50, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
It is in the section on Historical Development, prominently used as a key example of the issue being discussed in that section, which is syncretism in the formation of the character of Shiva as we know him today. No text was cut. It was moved and integrated to reduce the fragmented nature of the article. Buddhipriya 06:56, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Ok, it looks good. BalanceRestored

Strategy for pruning the name lists

In accord with Wikipedia:List guideline it is time to cut back on some of the non-notable names in the miscellaneous name section. That section contains names which previously failed to meet the test of being in one of the main Shiva Sahasranamas as documented in the Sharma edition of that work. My plan now is to check all of the names in the miscellaneous group to see if they appear in the indexes to three significant souces: 1) the Sivaramamurti edition of the Shatarudriya, 2) Chakravarti's study of the development of Rudra-Shiva Through The Ages, and 3) Kramrisch's The Presence of Shiva. I am going to delete any names which fail to appear in at least one of these sources. Many of the names are generic, shared with other deities, or simply too obscure to merit inclusion. If someone feels that a particular name omitted using this method should be included, please comment, and provide some citation that will help establish why the name is notable. Buddhipriya 06:22, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

One day, that list should be converted into prose which gives a proper analysis about the etymology and reasons for the names. GizzaDiscuss © 06:32, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. In trying to upgrade this article I have trying to gradually toss out the material that is most dubious and slowly add cited material. This name list has been a sort of parking place for ideas. I have completed the citation pass for the three books that I said I would use, and now it is quite clear which names are notable and which are obscure. Some of the ones that have no citations are generic ones shared by multiple deities, while others are descriptive of certain aspects that need to be discussed, but the names themselves are not on target. The association with snakes, for example, is in one of the names that is not notable per se, but the issue itself is, and can be cited separately. I think for now the best thing is just to toss the ones that have no citation because I am trying to get that nag tag about disputed content to go away. Once we have a shorter article that is well-cited, the nag tag perhaps can be deleted. It may take another month or so, but we will get there. Buddhipriya 09:29, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
I have integrated all of the names with the main article, eliminating the lists at the bottom of the article. Buddhipriya 06:17, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Use of Harvnb template

I would like to begin using one specific Harvard template in order to deal with the issue of using multiple works from the same author. Specifically, I would like to make use of the Harvnb book template, but only within Notes, and not as a visible inline citation in the body of the article text. The code of the template looks like this: {{Harvnb|Sharma|1996|p=280}}. While in general I am not a fan of the Harvard templates, this specific one does not get into the same complexity as some of the others. It is used simply to point to a page reference in a work cited in the References section, using author name and date as definitional items. I was about to add a reference to another Sharma work and that is what made me notice that clarification of prior Sharma references would be needed. The benefit of the template in this case is that works by the same author with different publication dates are easy to keep track of. Since most of the recent citations for this article have been done by me, I have taken the liberty of making the Sharma change, which will let other editors see the method I would prefer to use. If there is concern regarding the use of this specific template in this manner, please let us dialog about it now. Buddhipriya 19:01, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

You certainly have my support for this change, because one needs the year of publication along with the first author to disambiguate multiple publications by the same author, and of course one needs page number(s) to nail down the citation. While one can easily provide this information by hand (<ref> Flood (1996), p.7</ref>), using the {{Harvnb}} template ensures that the style and punctuation use is consistent. Abecedare 19:18, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Shiva as Indra

I've looked up the verses in the Rigveda where Indra supposedly refers to himself as Siva, and I find no mention of the word Siva at all. Perhaps I am reading a bad translation? Could someone provide me with a link to a translation they'd recommend? 13:16, 10 August 2007 (UTC)Marc

Personally I recommend: Ravi Prakash Arya and K. L. Joshi. Ṛgveda Saṃhitā: Sanskrit Text, English Translation. Parimal Publications, Delhi, 2001, ISBN 81-7110-138-7 (Set of four volumes). Parimal Sanskrit Series No. 45; 2003 reprint: 81-7020-070-9. I like this edition because it is one of the most current, it is by Indian editors, and contains excellent critical apparatus. The English translation is based on that of H. H. Wilson, but the language has been modernized.
Regarding the specific content point you make, I have not looked up the verses but will do so. The comments about Indra probably should be integrated into the Etymology section because they really are just examples of the fact that adjective śiva is used in a general sense in the RV, and only later came to be used as a proper name for a deity who was identified with the Vedic Rudra. All of that can be sourced via secondary sources, and the citations to scripture are a good example of the inappropriate use of scripture to cite facts. Scripture can be cited to prove what they say, but what they mean is another question and requires the introduction of secondary WP:RS. Buddhipriya 20:41, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I have added the actual text of the verses in notes, and they all contain the term शिव (śiva) in its general sense as "auspicious", "gracious", "kind", etc. As the article explains, that general epithet only came to be used as the proper name of Shiva at a later point, so you would not find it translated as "Shiva" in any competent Rig Veda English translation. If you are reading an English translation, sometimes it can be hard to tell what the actual source text is, which is why I have added the Sanskrit. Buddhipriya 21:17, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Thank you very much Buddhipriya. Your help is greatly appreciated here. 13:16, 10 August 2007 (UTC)Marc


The article has no mention about Shiva's first wife, Sati.--Redtigerxyz 11:08, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I propose to have a different "Family and Consorts" section, discussing Shiva in association with Sati, Parvati, Ganesha and Skanda.--Redtigerxyz 13:31, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Worship and Festivals

Need for section discussing this. --Redtigerxyz 06:16, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Relationships in the pantheon

Relationships in the pantheon should be renamed. As it mostly talks about identification with Agni and Indra and his association with Vishnu. The "relationships" word gave the impression to me , it talks about his wives and sons.--Redtigerxyz 11:06, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I propse shifting of the material about identification with Indra and Agni in "Historical Development".--Redtigerxyz 05:48, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

"God" or "god"

I'm returning to this subject. I think we should use "God" only when it reffers to Brahman, Ishwara etc. and we shouldn't translate deva as "god" because it's misleading. What is your opinion? Kkrystian 10:48, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Capitalization of God

I see that there is still no consensus on capitalization of the word god, or even on use of the word god. We have gotten no real feedback on this on the post made in the Hinduism project. The word "God" does not represent the Hindu concept of devas very well, as it is heavily laded with Western monotheism. It also does not work well for people who prefer to think of the divine as femine (Devi). For these reasons, I generally avoid the word "god" in preference to "the divine" (cognate to deva) or something like that, and I dislike seeing it capitalized in this article. Can we have more discussion on this point? Buddhipriya 00:19, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Let's try to avoid the word "God" altogether. Just use devas or other transliterated words. I personally think that many misconceptions about Hinduism (as well as all Dharmic religions) and other arise when foreign (foreign, in the sense of occidentalism) words are used to describe its concepts. Nirvana is nirvana. It is not "translated". In the same way, Shiva is not God or god. Shiva is Shiva.--0rrAvenger 15:29, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Since this is an English-language Wikipedia, use of cognates such as "deity", "divine", "divinity", etc., seem more appropriate to me. This has been a point of contention in this article, and we asked for opinion on the issue within the Hinduism project previously. Let's see if there are any other opinions expressed now so we can get a better sense if this is still controversial. There is no urgency to make this particular change, as it has triggered reverts in the past. Buddhipriya 04:05, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

I understand that this is the English-language Wikipedia, not the Western Wikipedia. There are many of English-speakers in India and I rarely ever hear them use the words you use.--0rrAvenger 21:53, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Is there a particular sentence in the article where you would like to suggest different wording? It may be helpful to look at specific passages. Buddhipriya 21:58, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Oh, I wasn't suggesting different wording. I was just offering my own opinion. You know, like "if I were to rule the world, things would be like this...". Of course, many established encyclopedias and whatnot use the terms deity and so forth to refer to Shiva. I just don't know. This is a very tricky issue. Maybe there should be an explanatory article like Use of the word Deity in Hinduism or Use of the word God in Hinduism. Because let's say someone who doesn't know much about Hinduism comes and reads this article and see the word deity in the first paragraph. They might think that Hindus view Shiva as the same kind of deity as ancient Greeks viewed Zeus. When we use Deva to describe Shiva, that tells the reader that it is a different concept altogether, unrelated to "deity".--0rrAvenger 22:25, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

The problem that Hindus view Shiva differently according to their sect. Often, Deva is cognate to deity. But Shaivsts don't necessarily view Shiva as just a deva, but a Mahadeva or Ishava/Supreme embodiment of Brahman. GizzaChat © 11:43, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Gizzaji, you are correct that perceptions and use of language vary a good deal, even among Shaivites. The difficulty is that finding language that will both reflect what is used in WP:RS and which will be relatively neutral from a POV perspective is the trick we must perform. The use of the capitalization is a stylistic issue and even in Hindu sources I do not see it consistently used. Most readers of this article will be Westerners for whom the word "God" carries some automatic trigger associations that are not really appropriate for Hinduism. Personally, I find the use of capitalization offensive in some Hinduism articles because it may unconsciously activate divisive thinking in readers. It triggers monotheistic thinking. According to the article on God (which I am not citing as a WP:RS) "The capitalized form 'God' was first used in Ulfilas' Gothic translation of the New Testament, to represent the Greek Theos. In the English language the capitalization continues to represent a distinction between monotheistic 'God' and the 'gods' of polytheism. The name 'God' now typically refers to the Abrahamic God of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Though there are significant cultural divergences that are implied by these different names, 'God' remains the common English translation for all." I do not think that this formulation really captures the range of ideas which we have in Hinduism. The comment you make regarding "Supreme embodiment of Brahman", for example, assumes some advaita POV as its basis. Not all Hindus actually follow advaita ways of thinking. Even among Shaivites, it is possible to be a non-advaita Smarta Shaivite, giving primary worship to Shiva while maintaining a dvaita perspective on other divinities and giving them worship and respect within the orthodox Smarta forms of worship. Buddhipriya 18:23, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Grammically when refering to the word god as a proper noun it is capitalised, like the christian God as it is commonly named, also as it refers to only one deity. But as a common noun it is not capitalised as in, a god or in the plural form, the god's. Enlil Ninlil 19:07, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree with this point of grammar. It looks like currently the only capitalization errors are in the lead. I will adjust them. Buddhipriya 07:50, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Or you could just put in the word Lord which is also an common English translation ("the Lord Jesus Christ", "the Lord Our God") of the Hindi er San um...Tamil word. That way everyone would know what they were talking about without pushing Christian ideas into Hindu living religions. I'm strong on this.

Nice work on the language translations guys. I have no idea if they're correct but they a nice authentic look to the page, don't you think? I wish we had more pictures, like a really splendid glowing Nataraja of polished bronze. Let me look around here and see if I have one on my drive, I think I do. ~ Otterpops 21:01, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

  1. ^ Elst, Koenraad (1999). Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate. Aditya Prakashan. ISBN 81-86471-77-4. ; Frawley, David: Gods, Sages and Kings, 1991. Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, p.224-225 and Frawley, David: Arise Arjuna, p.170-181
  2. ^ For use of the name Khandoba as a name for Karttikeya in Maharashtra, see: Gupta, p. 40.