Śiva across Vedās & Upanishad

Author/compiler: Ayush Singh Visen (आयुष सिंह विसेन) Bharuch, Gujarat, India (11/24/2020)

Lord Shiva is the actual power source of everyone including Narayana and Bramha too though being the same. He is also called as Bhairava !!!!!!!!

I decided to answer this question because I have seen many questions till now who were questioning or challenging the supremacy of Lord Shiva. So seeing a good question, I am answering it. Let us read it with our full patience as the answer is somewhat long but the answer is in detail so lets enjoying reading……..

When I saw this question, firstly I became Vichaar Shunya !!!!!! I was not able to think only that in what ways should I describe him. All the sages and saints have described him only that much how they have understood him. For knowing the reality or the true existence i.e. Shiva, one must become Shunya. When you close your eyes, the thing which you see is Shiva and when you open it, the light you see is also Shiva. Each and everything is Shiva and Shiva is the Lord of the Power (Shakti) which controls everything.

Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya in Shri Vedasaar SivaSattvah Stotram have truly described Shiva in right way :-

न भूमिर्न चापो न वह्निर्न वायुर् न चाकाश आस्ते न तन्द्रा न निद्रा ।
न ग्रीष्मो न शीतो न देशो न वेषो न यस्यास्ति मूर्तिस्त्रिमूर्ति तमीडे ॥६॥

Na bhoomir Na chaapo Na vahanir Na vaayur, Na chaakash aaste Na tandra Na nidra,
Na grishmo Na shite, Na desho Na vesho, Na yasyaasti murti, trimurtim tamide !!!!!!

He who is not Earth, who is not Fire, who is not Air, who is not Sky, who is not Sleep who is not Awakening too, who is not Heat, who is not Coldness, who has no Country, who has no particular Wearings and even who don’t have Figure, I bow to that supreme who is Trimurti (Trinity) himself. This actually means he is the Lord of these and hence called as Pancha Bhooteshwara or Boothnath Mahadeva (Lord of Pancha Booth (elements -Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Sky).

So basically Shiva is something above all these qualities and is also above all the dualistic qualities like Truth and Lie, Good and Bad, etc. He is something above everything. He in reality is Pati. We Shaivas call him Shaktipati and Pahshupati. Shaktipati means who is Shaktimaan and who have Shakti as his wife. Shakti of the whole universe is Maa Uma Jagadambika Bhavani Durga. Kena Upanishad of Sama Veda glorifies Maa Uma as the supreme being or supreme reality and wife of Lord Shiva !!!!!!

We all know how powerful she is……She killed Mahisasur, She killed Sumbh-Nisumbh, She killed Durgamasur, Daruk, and many more demons who threatened the whole Universe and even Devtas. She is the Yogic slumber of Lord Maha Vishnu, she warned kansa and kansa who thought that he had conquered fear, Maa frightened him again ! She being Prakriti is whole Universe herself………She is power herself !

Now see, that how powerful is Maa Shakti and Shiva is Shaktipati !

That’s why Vedas, Upanishads, Agamas, Itihaasas, Puranas, etc all glorify him too much. No one exists except Shiva…….How can I say this ?

Simply because this is said by Shvetashvatara Upanishad of Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda :-

एको ही रुद्र, द्वितीयो नास्ति, न भूतो न भविष्यति

Eko hi Rudra, dwitiyo naasti, naa bhuto naa bhavishyati

There exists only Rudra (Shiva) and no other, neither in past nor is future.

:- Shvetashvatara Upanishad, Yajur Veda

What more it says :-

विश्वस्यैकं परिवेष्टितारं ज्ञात्वा शिवं शान्तिमत्यन्तमेति
घृतात्परं मण्डमिवातिसूक्ष्मं ज्ञात्वा शिवं सर्वभूतेषु गूढम्

Vishvasayakam Pariveshitaran Gyatva Shivam Shantimatyamanthamati

Ghritatparman mandamivatisuksham jyotva shiva sarvabhuteshu gudham

The one embracer of the universe, by knowing Him as “kind, benign” (Shivam), one attains peace forever.
By knowing as “kind, benign” (
Shivam) Him, who is hidden in all things, like subtle cream inside fine butter.

Hence, see I am proved !!!!!! So basically Shiva is the reason for all the reasons and is also reason for all the powers among all the Devas and Devis.

यत्परं ब्रह्म सर्वात्मा विश्वस्यायतनं महत् |
सूक्ष्मात्सूक्ष्मतरं नित्यं तत्त्वमेव त्वमेव तत्

Yatparam bramha sarvatma vishwasyaaytanam mahat

sukshmatsukshmantarnm nityam tattvamev tat

Brahman, the supreme soul of all, the great resting place of universe,
The subtlest of the subtle, eternal, you yourself are it, and it’s you

:- Kaivalya Upanishad, Yajur Veda

So even you are Shiva or basically the reason of your power is also Shiva !!!!!!!

Here Brahman is Shiva as Kaivalya Upanishad says it starting only that in verse 7 that the eternal Rudra who is companion or husband of Maa Uma, is the supreme Brahman on whom all devas meditate. It says to worship only Rudra and Uma and all the other deities will be automatically get worshiped.

In Yajur Veda itself. these things about Lord Shiva is said :-

ईशान सर्वविद्यां, ईश्वर सर्व भूतानाम् ब्रह्म आदिपति ब्राह्मणोआदिपति ब्रह्मा शिवोम अस्थु सदाशिव ओम !!!!!

Ishaan sarva vidyaanaam, Ishwara sarva bhootaanam, Bramhadi pati, Brahmanoadipati Bramha Shivo me astu SadaShiva !!!!!!!!

As Ishana is present in the form of all the Vidyas or knowledge & As Ishvara is present in all the things of this Universe & he the supreme lord Shiva is the head of Bramha and all as SadaShiva.

:- Sadyojadham, Yajur Veda

ओम नमस्ते अस्तु भगवने विश्वेश्वराय महादेव्य त्रयम्बकाय त्रिपुरान्तकाय त्रिकाल अग्निकालाय काल्लग्निरुद्राय नीलकण्ठाय श्री मृत्युंजयाय सर्वेश्वराय सदाशिवाय श्रीमन महादेवाय नमः

Om Namaste astu Bhagavan Vishveshvaraya Mahadevaya Triambakaya Tripurantakaya Trikaalagni kaalaya kalagnirudraya Neelakanthaya Mrutyunjayaya Sarveshvaraya Sadashivaya Shriman Mahadevaya Namah

Oh Lord , salutations to you !!!!!!

Oh Lord of the Universe (Vishwesaraya) , Greatest of them all (Mahadevaya) He who has three eyes ( Triambakaya) (eye of omniscience), he who gives enlightenment which is beyond three (Astral, Physical & Causal) worlds (Tripurantakaya) ,

He who like fire, devours all three times (Past, Present, Future) within himself (Trikaalagni kaalaya) Like Time, he who ends everything, The one who has blue throat ( Neelakanthaya) , He who has conquered Yama the Lord of Death and Time (Mrutyunjayaya)

Lord of all beings and everything ( Sarveshvaraya), Consciousness which is untouched by the Universe yet everything in the Universe is because of him (Sadashivaya) .Oh great Lord, salutations to you (Shriman Mahadevaya Namah)

:- Shri Rudram, Yajur Veda

Now if you ask Who is Rudra to Atharvirash Upanishad of Athrava Veda, It will say :-

He is introduced at first only When a question is asked to Lord Rudra by Devas, Who are you ? the answer is –

which existed at first, exists now and shall exist in future”, the eternal and the non-eternal, the visible and the invisible, the Brahman and the non-Brahman, the east and west and north and south and above and below, the masculine and feminine and neuter, the Savitri and Gayatri, the appearance and the reality, the water and the fire, the cow and the buffalo, the lotus flower and the soma filter, the within and the without, the inner essence of everything and I am in everything !

Thus it proclaims that Shiva is sarva kaaran kaaranam i.e. reason of all reasons as well as ever existing supreme in everyone !

यो वै रुद्रः स भगवान्यश्च ब्रह्मा तस्मै वै नमोनमः

Yo vai Rudra, sa bhagwaanyascha bramhan tasmai vai namo namah !

Rudra is the exalted one, he is alone Brahman, to him the salutations and all the salutations !

:- Atharvirash Upanishad, Atharva Veda (2.1)

Atharvirash Upanishad independently says that That Lord Shiva who is the supreme Rudra, he alone being Maheshwara can give salvation because it states that Rudra is Vishnu, Uma, Skanda, Indra, Vaayu, Agni…….Everything and supreme reality. Yess, the Lord who saved the world by drinking Kaalakut Poison i.e. Halaahal Vish is glorified as supreme personality of Godhead !

Atharvashikha Upanishad of Atharva Veda directly says that Lord Shiva is Atman and Brahman. He is Vishnu, he is Bramha and he is everything !

Now let us see the Rudrahridaya Upanishad of Yajur Veda………My most favorite…..and here is my most favorite verses………. It concludes my Uma Maheshwara as the supreme personality of Godhead and all Devtas and Devis are they themselves only !!!!!!

रुद्रो नर उमा नारी तस्मै तस्यै नमो नमः

रुद्रो ब्रह्मा उमा वाणी तस्मै तस्यै नमो नमः
रुद्रो विष्णुरुमा लक्ष्मीस्तस्मै तस्यै नमो नमः

रुद्रः सूर्य उमा छाया तस्मै तस्यै नमो नमः
रुद्रः सोम उमा तारा तस्मै तस्यै नमो नमः

रुद्रो दिवा उमा रात्रिस्तस्मै तस्यै नमो नमः
रुद्रो यज्ञ उमा वेदिस्तस्मै तस्यै नमो नमः

रुद्रो वह्निरुमा स्वाहा तस्मै तस्यै नमो नमः
रुद्रो वेद उमा शास्तं तस्मै तस्यै नमो नमः

रुद्रो वृक्ष उमा वल्ली तस्मै तस्यै नमो नमः
रुद्रो गन्ध उमा पुष्पं तस्मै तस्यै नमो नमः

रुद्रोऽर्थ अक्षरः सोमा तस्मै तस्यै नमो नमः
रुद्रो लिङ्गमुमा पीठं तस्मै तस्यै नमो नमः

Rudra is man, Uma is woman.
Rudra is Brahma, Uma is Sarasvati.
Rudra is Vishnu, Uma is Lakshmi.
Rudra is the Sun, Uma is shadow.
Rudra is the Moon, Uma is star.
Rudra is day, Uma is night.
Rudra is Yajna, Uma is Vedi.
Rudra is Agni, Uma is Svaha.
Rudra is Veda, Uma is Shastra.
Rudra is scent, Uma is flower.
Rudra is meaning, Uma is word.
Prostrations to Him and Her.

:- Rudrahridaya Upanishad, Yajur Veda

See what Sarabha Upanishad of Athrva Veda says about Lord Shiva :-

परात्परतरं ब्रह्म यत्परात्परतो हरिः ।

परात्परतरो हीशस्तस्मात्तुल्योऽधिको न हि ॥ २९॥

एक एव शिवो नित्यस्ततोऽन्यत्सकलं मृषा ।

तस्मात्सर्वान्परित्यज्य ध्येयान्विष्ण्वादिकान्सुरान् ॥ ३०॥

शिव एव सदा ध्येयः सर्वसंसारमोचकः ।

तस्मै महाग्रासाय महेश्वराय नमः

Brahma is above Para (the world); above him is Vishnu; above him is, indeed, Ishana (Shiva). Equal or superior to him, there is none.

There is only one Shiva, eternal: Except Him all else is false. Therefore, giving up all other worshipful gods, Siva alone is to be meditated upon forever, who is the remover of all the samsaras.

To Him, adoration, who is the great consumer, the Mahesvara.

:- Sarabha Upanishad , Atharva Veda

Hence Lord Shiva is even glorified exclusively in Sarabha Upanishad of Atharva Veda and hence it proclaimed Lord Shiva as the supreme personality of Godhead and even recites the tales of Lord Narayana worshiping Lord Shiva for Sudarshana Chakra, Lord Shiva drinking Halaal Vish (Kaalakut Poison), etc !

See Pancha Bramha Upanishad of Yajur Veda it too glorifies Lord Shiva so brilliantly and according to it, the only true and real Pancha Bramha exists is Lord Shiva himself and even contradicts itself by rejecting the theologies of different Pancha Bramha theories of different sects !!!!!!!!

The Para Brahma Shiva took shape in stages of Sathyojatha, Aghora, Vamadeva, Thathpurusha and Ishana.

Sathyojatha is the aspect of earth and is the Sun, Goddess Lakshmi, Brahma, the letter Aum, Rig Veda, Garhapathyagni (Household fire), mantras, Saptha Swaras (seven notes) and yellow colour. It gives all that is wished for.

Aghora is the aspect of water and is moon, Goddess Parvathy, Yajur Veda, blue colour of the cloud, Dakshinagni (the fire of the south) and fifty letters. It drives away all sins, destroys all that is evil and grants riches.

Vamadeva gives great knowledge and destroys all sins. It is the aspect of fire, is lights of crores of suns, Sama Veda, eight type of songs, courageous tone, Ahwaneeyagni, power of knowledge, power to destroy and slightly blackish white colour. It gives full consciousness, rules over all the three worlds, spread over all the three worlds and grants all sort of luck and results for the action performed.

Thathpurusha is with eight letters (Aa, Ka, Cha, Ta, Tha, Pa, Ya, Sa) and is in the eight petal lotus and is normally surrounded by air. It has five fires, protects effects of mantras, personification of the fifty consonants, has the form of Atharva Veda, is the chief of several crores of Ganas, has the shape which is extremely big, red coloured, gives whatever is asked for, medicine for worry and diseases and the root of Srishti (creation), Sthithi (upkeep) and Laya(merging). It is the basis of all strengths. It is the Thureeya which is beyond the three common states and is the thing called Brahman. It is worshipped by Brahma and Vishnu. It is the philosophy from which all others originate.

:- Pancha Bramha Upanishad, Yajur Veda

So basically there are many many references where Lord Shiva is called as Supreme personality of God head and hence is called a Para-Brahman !!!!!!!!

Lord Shiva is limitless, Lord Shiva is supreme and cannot be compared with anyone else……He is the more powerful and hence called as Sarva Shaktimaan !!!!!

So I would like to end my answer by reciting a beautiful prayer of Bhairava Stotram by Shaivacharya Abhinava Gupta :-

अन्तक मां प्रति मा दृशमेनां
क्रोधकरालतमां विनिधेहि
भीषण भैरव शक्तिमयोऽस्मि

त्वन्मयचित्ततया हृदि वन्दे |

Anthakam maam prathi maa drusyamenaa

Krodha karala thamam vinidhohi,

Shankara sevana chinthano dheero,

Bheeshana Bhairava sakthi mayosmi !!!!!!!

Bhairavanaatham, anaatha sharanyam
tanmaya citta, dayaa hridi vande !!!!!!!!

Oh lord of death do not see me,

Do not give me that very black angry look ,

Oh courageous one who always thinks of serving and serves Lord Shiva Shankar,

Oh fearsome Bhairava , make me filled up with strength.

Ohh Lord Bhairava, who is protector and helper of helpless and orphans,

your heart is infinitely filled with love and kindness for us.

Hope it helps !!!!!!!!

Sambho Mahadeva deva, Shiva Sambho Mahadeva devesh Sambho, Sambho Mahadev deva !!!!!!!!

Jay Uma Maheshwara !!!!!!!!!!!