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What Is The Difference Between Shiva and Shankar?

By July 26, 2023December 15th, 2023No Comments

Before starting this blog, let’s quiz you with a simple question. Can you answer the different names of Lord Shiva? That seems too easy, right? Without wasting too much time, you would answer different names of Lord Shiva: Mahadev, Rudra, Shankar, Neelkantha, Bholenath, etc. But what if we say that Lord Shiva and Shankar aren’t the same? This statement might seem surprising to some of you, as never in all your life have you heard of it. Now you are recalling the image of Lord Shiv in your mind and thinking that how can they both not be the same? But to your surprise, let us tell you that Shiva and Shankar are both different yet connected in their own way together. 

As per mythological beliefs, Shiva is formless, and Shankar is a god with a human-like appearance.  What secrets lie behind Shiva’s mysterious form and his connection with the universe? And how does Shankar, with his human-like appearance, have the power to create and destroy the world? So, join us on this exciting journey where we discover the world of Shiv vs Shankar. Are you excited to uncover ancient secrets? Let’s jump in and uncover the magic together. 

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What is Shiva? 

Before jumping straight into the difference between Shiv and Shankar, you must first understand who Lord Shiva is. In Hindu mythology, Shiva is the creator of this whole universe. Interestingly, Lord Shiva is free from the cycle of life and death and has no age, gender or shape. Not only this, several tales reveal that Lord Vishnu (the preserver) and Lord Brahma (the creator) were created by Ardhanarishvara, a form of Lord Shiva that is half-male and half-female.

In Sanskrit, the meaning of Shivalinga is the ‘symbol of Lord Shiva’.  This is why we worship Shiva in the form of Shiva Linga. But folks, now you must be wondering, if Lord Shiva is formless, why do we worship Lord Shiva in an oval-shaped structure? This is because the oval-shaped Shiva Linga depicts the formlessness of Lord Shiva. Unlike other gods and deities, this ultimate power has no body and is incorporeal in nature. 

The Origin of Shiva 

Your mind must be juggling with the questions such as how did Shiva come into existence? Let us take you back in time and discover how Lord Shiva was formed. Once, the question of superiority became the reason for the rift between Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. Right in the middle of the fight, suddenly, an oracle appeared and said that whoever would find the start or end of the light would be considered powerful and superior. In the quest to prove their strength and power, Lord Brahma went to find the start of the light and flew upwards, while Lord Vishnu chose to find the end of the light. 

Despite looking for hours, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu failed to locate the origin of the fire. It did not take them long to understand that the energy they were longing for was Lord Shiva, the supreme soul. He wanted to make them realise that Lord Shiva is the one behind the creation of this whole universe, has no end or beginning, and is omnipresent. 

Also Read: The Ultimate Power & The God Of Gods: Lord Shiva

What is the Meaning of Shankara? 

If Shiva is the supreme soul and formless, then who Lord Shankar is? Give us a minute to explain. Lord Shankar is the creation of Shiva and is a god with a human-like appearance. So, the one who resides on Kailash Parvat with his wife, Parvati and children, Kartik and Ganesha, is Lord Shankar. Shiv Purana, one of the significant texts of Hinduism, even mentions certain characteristics of Lord Shankar that describe his identity. He can be seen with long black matted hair carrying the holy river Ganga. Living the life of a yogi, he is always seen meditating, thinking of the power higher and above him, Shiva. 

Lord Shankar wears animal skin and carries a damru with him. On his forehead, you can spot a third eye that showcases his power to destroy the universe. Known as the ‘master of poison and medicine’, a snake can be found wrapped around his neck, which also tells us that he is free from fear and terror. Lord Shankar has been given the role of the destroyer. But here comes the exciting factor, he not only destroys the universe but also has the power over the impurities or sins of the soul. 

Difference Between Shiva and Shankar 

Now that you have understood the meaning of Lord Shiva and Shankar. Let us dig deep into the mystery of the difference between Shiva and Shankar. Are they the same? If not, then what are the factors that differentiate both? Let’s find out! Lord Shiva is formless and free of age, shape, and gender. He could be depicted as the originator of this whole universe and the reason for our existence. Whereas Lord Shankar is one of the creations of Lord Shiv and lives in human form.

Just like Lord Shankar, Shiva has no physical existence; instead, he is omnipresent. Lord Shiva’s incorporeal nature is the reason why we do not worship him in any form of idol. Shiva is the ultimate truth, and everything is Shiva. Through Lord Shankar, Shiva, the ultimate power, gets the work done that no other god or deity can do. Since both gods are different, this is why we do celebrate ‘Shivratri’ rather than ‘Shankar-ratri’. 

We hope that we have made you understand the difference between Shiva and Shankar. Now you know the secret behind Shiva’s mysterious form and his connection with the universe. If topics like these interest you, then head towards InstaAstro for more such information about astrology, horoscopes, mythology and so on. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

1. Are Shankar and Shiva the same?

As per mythological beliefs, we see two different forms of Lord Shiva. The one who is formless, who created the whole universe, and the one who is in a human form resides on Kailash Parvat with his wife and children, Lord Shankar. They both are different yet connected in ways.

2. Why is God Sankar called Mahadev?

The Bhagvat Purana mentions the reason why God Sankar is called Mahadev. It mentions that only God Sankar is the one who is worshipped by both demons and deities. Another reason is that Lord Shankar is said to be the greatest of all the gods in Hindu mythology.

3. Why is Lord Shiva called Shankar?

Not many of us know that Lord Shankar is one of the creations of Lord Shiva. Where Lord Shankar is a god with a human-like appearance, Lord Shiva, on the other hand, is omnipresent with no physical existence.

4. What is the highest form of Shiva?

If several tales and stories are to be believed, that there is also a power or energy above Lord Shiva called Sadashiv. It is believed that Sadashiv is the ultimate soul and the highest manifestation of Lord Shiva.

5. Why is Shiva known as the destroyer?

Lord Vishnu has been given the role of the preserver of the universe, whereas Lord Brahma is seen as the creator of it. However, as per Hindu mythological beliefs, only Lord Shiva has the power to destroy this whole universe and re-create it. Not only this, but Lord Shiva has the power to destroy the impurities or evil present in the human soul.

6. What are the different Bhagwan Shankar names?

In Hinduism, Lord Shiva is known to have different names, such as Bholenath, Neelkantha, Rudra, Devendra, Mahesha, Mahadev and much more. However, the Shiva Purana mentions 1008 different names of Lord Shiva. Each name represents his different forms.

Also Read: What Are the Benefits Of Wearing a Rudraksha?

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Kasak Shirotriya

About Kasak Shirotriya

A content writer passionate about creating informative, entertaining and engaging content that captivates the readers from the first sentence to the last. When not tapping away at laptop, you can find me binging sitcoms on Netflix.