Q: Proto-Siva

Mon Nov 25 01:33:40 UTC 1996

Ganesan wrote:
ng> ..that Siva is a late-comer to the Hindu Pantheon and was not invited to
the yagnas...
and Witzel wrote    ;
mw> ..the earliest vedic evidence on the relative lateness and the grudging
mw> acceptance of Shivais the following:
mw> the gods did not recognize Rudra who had gone to Heaven and Walked about..
However, these represent a particular point of view and I would like to add the

InIndra, the most prominent devata in RgVeda, is addressed by the epithet Shiva
many many times in RgVeda (for example, RV 2, 20.3).  In the context in which
it is used, the epithet carries the same significance as that of Shiva in the
Puranas.  It also carries the attached significance of destroyer of evil and
imparter of welfare and affluence. Indra is also referred to as Aghora more
than a hundred times and together with Ugra, which are names of Shiva. He is
also referred to as Abhayankara and Kaalaatmaka (RV 10.55.5) In fact, we have
the Shiva of Puranas in Indra. When one considers the following:
"sa brahma sa shivaha sa harihi sendraha....",it is clear that aspects of Shiva
of the Puranas are not new or late in coming, but are there in Indra in the
Vedas already.
RgVeda proclaims "ekam sadvipraa bahudha vadanti..", " yo devaanaam naamadha
eka eva.."
As to the incident referred to by MW in Katha Aranyaka, one may point to a
similar incident described in Kena Upanishad:  the allegory of the
gods'ignorance of Brahman when he appears as a yaksha. In the words of
Renou, ".. in the doings of gods there are several levels of significance.
Abstract ideas lie behind many instances of hypostatization..".
To say that Shiva is a late-comer might actually do what Renou refers to as
"..violence to vedic terminology". Sadaashivom iti- Narahari Achar 

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