From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Īśvara literally means ‘one who rules,’ ‘the Lord’.

Īśvara, General Meaning[edit]

The word ‘īśvara’ has been used in the scriptural works both in general and particular sense. In a general sense, it means ‘God’. In the particular sense, it stands for Śiva, the last deity of the Trinity.

Īśvara, As per Advaita Vedānta[edit]

In Advaita Vedānta, the word is used to indicate Brahman, the Absolute. It is used for the Brahman who is conscious of his powers of māyā reflecting on the process of creation. Sometimes the other names used for him are:

  1. Avyakta - the Unmanifested
  2. Jagatkāraṇa - the cause of the world
  3. Antaryāmin - the inner controller

are also used.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore