By Swami Harshananda
Mahādeva literally means ‘the Great God’.
Mahādeva is one of the several names and aspects of Śiva. He is included among the eight forms, ‘murtyaṣṭaka’, of Śiva or the eleven forms of Rudra. He may be blue or white in complexion. Kṛṣṇamṛga (deer) is the other two showing abhaya and varada mudrās. He has three eyes and his hair is arranged as jaṭāmukuṭa, crown of the matted hair. He may have the usual crown also.
- Rudra is also named as ‘ekādaśarudra’.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore