Canto 8: Withdrawal of the Cosmic CreationsChapter 7: Lord Śiva Saves the Universe by Drinking Poison

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 8.7.29

mukhāni pañcopaniṣadas taveśa

yais triḿśad-aṣṭottara-mantra-vargaḥ

yat tac chivākhyaḿ paramātma-tattvaḿ

deva svayaḿ-jyotir avasthitis te


mukhāni — faces; pañca — five; upaniṣadaḥ — Vedic literatures; tava — your; īśaO lord; yaiḥ — by which; triḿśat-aṣṭa-uttara-mantra-vargaḥin the category of thirty-eight important Vedic mantras; yat — that; tatas it is; śiva-ākhyam — celebrated by the name Śiva; paramātma-tattvam — which ascertain the truth about Paramātmā; devaO lord; svayam-jyotiḥ — self-illuminated; avasthitiḥ — situation; te — of Your Lordship.


O lord, the five important Vedic mantras are represented by your five faces, from which the thirty-eight most celebrated Vedic mantras have been generated. Your Lordship, being celebrated as Lord Śiva, is self-illuminated. You are directly situated as the supreme truth, known as Paramātmā.


The five mantras mentioned in this connection are as follows: (1) Puruṣa, (2) Aghora, (3) Sadyojāta, (4) Vāmadeva, and (5) Īśāna. These five mantras are within the category of thirty-eight special Vedic mantras chanted by Lord Śiva, who is therefore celebrated as Śiva or Mahādeva. Another reason why Lord Śiva is called Śiva, which means "all-auspicious," is that he is self-illuminated, exactly like Lord Viṣṇu, who is the Paramātmā. Because Lord Śiva is directly an incarnation of Lord Viṣṇu, he is situated as Lord Viṣṇu's direct representative. This fact is corroborated by a Vedic mantra: patiḿ viśvasyātmeśvaraḿ śāśvatam. śivam acyutam. The Supersoul is called by many names, of which Maheśvara, Śiva and Acyuta are especially mentioned.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness