Paśupati

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Pasupati, PaZupati, Pashupati


Significance of Paśupati

Paśupati is one of the names of Lord Śiva. A jīva who is bound by the pāśa or bondage of ignorance and sees himself as the body-mind complex is called ‘paśu’. Śiva being the lord of all such paśus or jīvas, can rightly be called as ‘Paśupati’.

Aspect of Paśupati

Paśupati is one of the eight aspects or forms of Rudra-Śiva. In this aspect, he is a deity of the plants and has Svāhā as his divine consort. He is also the lord of quadrupeds and bipeds.[1] Iconographically, he is shown like Śiva with four hands, carrying a sword and a shield in the two upper hands, the lower two hands showing the mudras or abhaya[2] and varada[3] poses. Paśupatinātha is the presiding deity of Nepal.


References

  1. Taittiriya Samhitā 3.1.4.11 and 12
  2. Abhaya means protection.
  3. Varada means giving boons.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore