Monday, 28 January 2013

The god Shiva - in the Vedas?

"Namah Sivaya is the most holy name of God Siva, recorded at the very center of the Vedas" writes one of our sages in a text written possibly ages ago but received by me today.

Unfortunately, the facts contradict him.

There is no reference to Shiva in the Vedas at all.

However, it is believed by many that Shiva has a sort of "hidden presence" in the Vedas in the form of Rudra.

Shiva is a much later god, who was, even later, retrospectively identified with Rudra.

If you have an emotional preference for reading Shiva back into Rudra, it is worth keeping the following fact in mind: even Rudra is not "at the very centre of the Vedas".

The earliest mention of Rudra occurs in the Rig Veda, where only three hymns are devoted to him, out of the more than 1000 hymns contained there.

Altogether, there are merely about seventy-five references to Rudra, usually within a long list of gods who are addressed - and that's just 75 references in the more than 10,000 verses of the Rigveda.

If one wants to work out how important a god Rudra is in the Rigveda, you can work out a mathematical representation of that by dividing 10,000 by 75.

1 comment:

  1. In Sanskrit the word 'shiva' means "that which is nothing".That's why they say "Every thing comes from nothing and goes to nothing"..:-)