Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Shaivism Mean?

Within Hinduism, Shaivism is one the largest sects that believe Shiva — worshiped as a creator and destroyer of worlds — is the supreme god over all. Those that revere Shiva as supreme are called Shaivas (or Saivas) and are known to adhere to self-purification rituals as well as worship Shiva in a temple.

From Sanskrit, Shiva (or Siva) means “Auspicious One” in English.


Yogapedia Explains Shaivism

Shaivism is one of the four largest Hindu sects. Shiva is included as one of the deities in the Hindu Trinity and is considered fierce, limitless, unchanging, omniscient and to represent the universal Consciousness. Shaivas often mark themselves with ash on the forehead or body as a symbol of devotion to Shiva.

Shiva is often represented in artwork as an all-knowing yogi. Followers practice yoga as worship to Shiva who is considered to be the deity of yoga.

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