Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Maheshvara Mean?

Maheshvara is an alternate name for Shiva, one of the principle deities of Hinduism and the supreme god in Shaivism. The name comes from the Sanskrit, maha, meaning “great,” and isvara, which means “lord,” “supreme being” and “god.”

In some Hindu traditions, Maheshvara is part of the Hindu trinity (trimurti) along with Brahma and Vishnu, representing the three aspects of Brahman, the supreme spirit and Absolute: Maheshvara the transformer/destroyer, Brahma the creator and Vishnu the preserver.


Yogapedia Explains Maheshvara

In Shaivism, Maheshvara/Shiva is the Absolute and serves as creator, preserver and destroyer. He is said to have more than a thousand names, although he is most often referred to as Shiva, which means “auspicious.” Maheshvara, Mahadeva (great god) and Paramesvara (supreme lord) are epithets often used to indicate his superior position in relation to other Hindu gods.

Shiva is also well-known for his role as Nataraja, lord of the cosmic dance, popularly depicted in art as a dancer surrounded by a ring of fire. Nataraja is believed to control the movement of the universe. He is also called Yogeshwara (lord of Yoga) as the first yoga teacher and guru. He is thought to have created the science of yoga and passed it on to mankind through the ancient rishis.

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