List of Lord Shiva (Rudra) avatar names (And other information)

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Just before going to “Lord Shiva (Rudra) avatar names (And other information)“, let us have some brief information.

Dear friends, let us now learn various information related to Lord Shiva including “List of Lord Shiva avatars” one by one as given below:

Lord Shiva has been worshipped since unknown time now. Lord Shiva’s worship is prevailing in Hindu Sanatana Dharma since time immemorial perhaps. 

There are various historical and puranic references are present to the worship of Lord Shiva. We can find several divine personalities having worshiped Lord Shiva on different occasions for various reasons.

Lord Shiva name meaning is as given here : Lord Shiva names means ‘mangalakara‘ (मंगळकर) (maṅgaḷakara) (auspicious), shubha (शुभ) (śubha) (highly propitious).

Lord Shiva who is incredibly and ever holy and thus Lord Shiva’s another name is Sadashiva. Sadashiva means pure, sacred and selfless.

Shambhu or Shambhuh name meaning is as given here : Lord Shiva is called ‘Shambhu or Shumbhuh‘ (शंभु or शंभुः) (śambhu or śambhuḥ).

Lord Shiva is called as Shambhu because he is full of bliss (Satyam-Shivam-Sundaram). This means, someone who bestows peace, prosperity and happiness. 

Rudra name meaning is as given here : As Rudra or Maha Rudra, Lord Shiva is the eliminator of all agonies, sorrows, unhappiness, depression, misery, sadness, dejection, etc.

Lord Shiva different avatars are as given below: 

1. Dakshinamurthy (Dakshnamurti) | 2. Veerabhadra (Virabhadra) | 3. Durvasa Muni (Maharishi Atri son) | 4. Ashwatthama (Dronacharya son) | 5. Shuka Muni (Son of Lord Sri Veda Vyasa Ji | 6. Pippalada | 7. Sharabha | 8. Bhairava | 9. Grihapati

Lord Shiva avatars in Sanskrit script is as given here : दक्षिणमूर्ति (dakṣiṇamūrti) | वीरभद्र (vīrabhadra) | दूर्वास मुनि (dūrvāsa muni) | अश्वत्थामा (aśvat’thāma) | शुक मुनि (śuka muni) | पिप्पलाद (pippalāda) | शरभ (śarabha) | भैरव (bhairava) | गृहपति (gr̥hapati)

1. Dakshinamurthy (Dakshinamurti) : Dakshinamurthy or Dakshnamurti is an aspect of Lord Shiva as a Guru (teacher) of all types of divine knowledge. 

This avatar of Lord Shiva symbolize Lord Shiva as a teacher of wisdom, yoga, music, and also giving explanation about the Hindu Shastras (Hindu Texts)Dakshinamurti in Sanskrit means ‘someone who is facing towards south side (dakṣiṇa)‘.

In many of the Lord Shiva temples, a deity of Dakshinamurthy (Dakshinamurti) is installed, facing towards south direction. Probably of all Hindu Gods, Lord Shiva is the only one sitting facing south.

In Ujjain (Avanti), Lord Shiva is called as ‘Mahakaleshwar (Mahakal) (Mahakaleshwara)’ and this deity is facing towards south direction. Another meaning of Dakshinamurthy (Dakshinamurti) is that, Lord Shiva always has Lord Sri Vishnu on his (Lord Shiva’s) right side.

In Sanskrit Dakshina also means towards right side. In any correct image or painting, we can always see Lord Shiva has Lord Sri Vishnu on his right side.

(This is similar to Pradakshina (Pra + Dakshina). We always do Pradakshina by keeping the deity on our right side. In the same way, Lord Sri Vishnu is on the right side of Lord Shiva.)

2. Veerabhadra (Virabhadra) : Veerabhadra (Virabhadra) is a fierce and fearsome avatar of Lord Shiva. Veerabhadra (Virabhadra) was created by the wrath of Lord Shiva and destroyed the Daksha Prajapati’s Yagna (fire sacrifice).

This happened after Daksha Prajapati’s daughter and Lord Shiva’s consort Goddess Sri Sati Devi self-immolated in the Yagna fireVeerabhadra (Virabhadra) is explained as a warrior who eventually blinded Bhaga, subdued Lord Sri Indra Deva and broke Pushana’s teeth.

Other Devatas (Demigods) fled the battlefield unable to sustain his power of Veerabhadra (Virabhadra). 

Veerabhadra (Virabhadra) had five sons and two grand sons named Pona Bhadra, Jakha Bhadra, Kalhana Bhadra, Brahma Bhadra, Ati Sura Bhadra, Dahi Bhadra and Anjana Jata Shankara.

3. Durvasa Muni : Durvasa Muni is the son of Maharishi Atri (father) and Anasuya Devi (mother). Durvasa Muni’s brothers names are Dattatreya and Chandra.

Dattatreya is an avatar of Lord Sri Vishnu and Chandra is a part (amsha) avatar of Lord Sri Brahma Deva, as he doesn’t has direct avatar on earth.

4. Ashwatthama : In the Great Epic of Mahabharata, Ashwatthama is also called as Drauni as he was the son of Drona (Dronacharya) (father) and Kripi (mother) (She is the sister of Kripacharya). Ashwatthama is the grandson of the Maharishi (Sage) Bharadwaja.

Ashwatthama ruled the northern region of Panchala (Drupada’s place) and also acted as the subordinate ruler of HastinapuraAshwatthama was a Maharathi (महारथी) (mahārathī) who fought on the Kaurava (Duryodhana) side and against the Pandavas in the Mahabharata (Kurukshetra) War.

Ashwatthama became a Chiranjivi (immortal) due to the blessing of his moola (original) form of Lord ShivaSimilarly Ashwattham was cursed by Lord Sri Krishna to suffer in penance after the Kurukshetra war for attacking the womb of Uttara.

5. Shuka Muni (Shukacharya) : Shuka Muni is also called as Shukacharya (Not Shukracharya) or Śuka or Shukadeva or Śuka-Deva. 

Shuka Muni is the son of the Lord (Sage) Sri Vedavyasa Ji (father) and Vatikā (mother) and the main narrator of the Hindu Text Srimad Bhagavata Purana.

Most of the Srimad Bhagavata Purana consists of Shuka reciting the story to the king Parikshita (Parikshit) in his final days. Shuka Muni is a sannyasi (Digambara), that is, someone who has renounced the world in pursuit of moksha (liberation).

6. Pippalada : He is the son of Rishi (Sage) Dadhichi (दधीची) (dadhīcī) (father) and his wife Suvarcas (सूवर्चस्) (sūvarcas) (mother). Pippalada wife name is Padma

After the death of Rishi (Sage) Dadhichi, when Suvarcas was about to ascend the funeral pyre, she heard an invisible celestial voice that informed her that she was pregnant

Suvarcas using a stone removed the foetus from her womb and later placed the foetus near a Peepal tree (Banyan tree), proceeding to end her life.

Thus was the birth of Pippalada. He grew up to become a great Vedic Rishi (Sage). Pippalada was alive as he was offered the amritam by the Peepal tree, furnished by Lord Sri Chandra Deva

Pippalada is best known for being composed the Prashna Upanishad, which is among the ten Mukhya Upanishads (Main Upanishads).

7. Sharabha : Sharabha (शरभ) (śarabha) is a part-lion and part bird-beast incarnation of Lord Shiva. Sharabha incarnation is explained as an eight-legged being and is considered highly powerful than a lion or an elephant, possessing the ability to clear a valley in just one single jump.

This form of Sharabha is famously called as Sharabeshwara (शरबेश्वर) (śarabēśvara) (Lord of all the Sharabha) or also called as Sharabeshwaramurti (शरबेश्वरमूर्ति) (śarabēśvaramūrti).

8. Bhairava : Bhairava (भैरव) (bhairava) is also called as Kala Bhairava (काल भैरव) (kāla bhairava). The Sanskrit word Bhairava derived from another Sanskrit word भीरु (bhīru), which means “highly fearsome“.

Bhairava also means someone who destroys fear or he is someone who is beyond the fearSimilarly, Bhairava is someone who protects his devotees from dreadful enemies, greed, lusty desires, anger, etc.

These types of inner and outer enemies are highly dreadful as they never allow the devotees to seek God.

9. Grihapati : In this Lord Shiva avatar of Grihapati, he is the son of a Brahmin named Vishwanara (father) and Shuchismati (mother). Grihapati learns the Vedas in one year and he became proficient in all the Vedas and other Sanatana Dharma Texts.

It was Lord Sri Brahma Deva who gave the name Grihapati (गृहपति) (gr̥hapati) to this avatar of Lord Shiva. In Sanskrit Grihapati means, Grihapati = Griha + Pati = Household + Head. He is someone who is the head of his family (household).

10. Aghora : Lord Shiva takes this form called as Aghora to kill the Tripurasuras (3 demons) and their cities called as Tripura (3 cities)These 3 demons called as Tripurasuras names are Tarakaksha, Vidyunmāli and Kamalaksha. And their cities were build using gold, silver and iron.

Tarakasura was the father and Shambuki was the mother of these 3 demons, that is, Tripurasuras (Tarakaksha, Vidyunmāli and Kamalaksha).

Lord Sri Brahma Deva becomes the charioteer of the chariot in which Lord Shiva kills these 3 demons Tripurasuras. The story of killing of Tripurasuras is called as रुद्र विजय (rudra vijaya) (Rudra Vijaya).

Those who read this story, listen this story will get “vijaya” (victory) would be blessed by Lord Shiva (Lord Sri Rudra Deva).

Further it is also good to hear the ‘Tripurasura samhara‘ (killing of all the 3 demons) story during Shraddha time as it earns sarva yagna phala (all the fruits of sacrifice). (This is as per Matsya Purana).

Lord Shiva symbolism are as given below:

Even though Lord Shiva is worshiped in ‘Linga form’, Lord Shiva is depicted as the following:

Pure ‘suddha sphatika’ (white crystal clear) in colour | Lord Shiva always will be in meditative position | Lord Shiva has a gigantic form | Lord Shiva will be wearing the skin of a tiger |

Lord Shiva has aynamic and charming personality, that is as ‘Sundara’ | Lord Shiva is having serene looks in a yogic posture | Lord Shiva’s body is smeared with Bhasma (white ash) with mendicant / detached demeanor having | 

Lord Shiva is called as ‘Trinetra’, as he is having three eyes. | Lord Shiva has Lord Sri Surya Deva (Sun God) in his right eye and Lord Sri Chandra Deva (Moon God) in his left eye and Agni in his third eye (middle) in between the eye brows.

Ekadasha (11) Rudras names are as given below: (According to Padma Purana/Srimad Bhagavatam)

Manyu | Manu | Mahanasa | Mahan | Shiva | Rta-Dhvaja | Ugra-Reta | Bhava | Kaala | Vaamadeva | Dhrta-Vrata |

Other famous names of Lord Shiva are as given below:

Chandrasekhara | Viswanatha | Maheshwara | Ishwara | Virupaksha | Nataraja | Dhurjati | Pinaki | Sarangapaani | Tripurari etc.

Sacred granthas / texts information about Lord Shiva are as given below:

Sacred Granthas (Texts) like Shiva Purana, Linga Purana and Skanda Purana which forms part of the ‘Ashtadasha (18) Puranas‘ written by Lord (Sage) Sri Vedavyasa Ji have exclusively covered about Lord Shiva.

Sacred shlokas / hymns of Lord Shiva are as given below:

Shiva Panchakshari (Om! Namah! Shivaya!) | Maha Mrutyunjaya Mantra | Rudram-Namakam-Chamakam

Lord Shiva family member names are as given below:

Lord Shiva | Goddess Sri Parvati Devi is his consort  | Lord Ganesha is his younger son | Lord Kartikeya is his elder son | Nandi is the vehicle of Lord Shiva |

Simha is the vehicle of Parvati Devi | Mushaka is the vehicle of Lord Ganesha | Mayura is the vehicle of Lord Kartikeya (Skanda) | And many Ganas

Information about famous Lord Shiva Kshetras (Divine pilgrimage places) is as given below:

While there are several tirtha sthalas (pilgrimage places) and temples dedicated to Lord Shiva spread across Indian sub continent.

But among them, twelve holy places called a ‘Jyotirlinga Kshethras‘ and five holy places called ‘Pancha Bhoota Linga Kshetras‘ are considered as the most revered places for the worship of Lord Shiva. 

List of the famous Lord Shiva Kshetras (Jyotirlingas) (Divine pilgrimage places) are as given below:

1. Bheemashankar in Maharashtra near Pune (Maharashtra) | 2. Ghrishneswhar (Maharashtra) | 3. Rameshwar at Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu) | 

4. Vaidyanath at Deogarh (Bihar) – According to some versions Vaidyanath is in Parli (Maharashtra) | 5. Nageshwar (Darukavana) near Dwaraka in Gujarat | 6. Tryambakeshwar (Trimbakeshwar) at Nasik (Maharashtra) |

7. Kedarnath in Himalayas (Uttarakhand) | 8. Somnath near Veeraval in Gujarat (Sourashtra) | 9. Mahakal (Mahakaleshwar) at Avanti (Ujjain) Madhya Pradesh | 10. Omkareshwar at Khandwa at Madhya Pradesh |

11. Vishwanath at Kashi (Varanasi), Uttar Pradesh | 12. Somnath (Somanath) (Somanath) at Somnath, Gujarat |

Information about Pancha Bhoota Linga Kshetras is as given below:

Lord Shiva is considered as an embodiment of ‘Pancha Bhootas‘, that is, the five basic elements of nature, i.e., Aakasha (sky / space), Vaayu (air), Prithvi (earth), Jala (water) and Agni (fire). 

Lord Shiva had manifested at the following places which are regarded as the Pancha Bhuta Shiva Kshetras (pilgrimage places):

Chidambaram – Nataraja (Akasha / Space / Sky Linga), in Tamil Nadu | Kanchi – Ekambareswara (Prithvi / Land Linga), in Tamil Nadu | Sri Kalahasti (Vayu / Air Linga) in Andhra Pradesh | Thiruvanaikal – Jambekeswara (Jala Linga) near Trichy (Tamil Nadu) | Tiruvannamalai – Arunachaleshwara (Agni / Fire Linga) in Tamil Nadu

More information will be added to this on regular basis. Please visit this post after some time to get updated information.

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To know more names of Lord Shiva with meaning you can visit this link:

Lord Shiva names with correct meaning

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Lord Shiva, Shivaratri, other significances

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