From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Maheśvara literally means ‘the Great Lord’.

Maheśvara, an Apect of Śiva[edit]

‘Maheśvara’ is one of the names and aspects of Śiva. Iconographical works describe him as:

  • Wearing a jaṭāmukuṭa, crown of matted hair
  • Fair in complexion
  • Adorned with the crescent moon on the head and having four arms
  • Holding paraśu (axe) or taṅka (hammer) and mṛga (deer)
  • Other two arms assuming the gestures of abhaya (protection) and varada (bestowal of boons)
  • may be shown as having triśula (trident) ḍamaru (hand-drum), kapāla (skull-cup) and nāga (a serpent)
  • has three eyes
  • may also be shown as riding his bull along with his spouse Pārvatī and the two sons Gaṇeśa and Kārttikeya

Maheśvara, an Author[edit]

Maheśvara is also the name of a Dharmaśāstra writer who lived around CE 1550. He is the author of a commentary on the dāyabhāga system of dividing property.


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