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Title: Vamadeva  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Shaivism, Rishi, Rigveda, Kedarnath, Agni
Collection: Aspects of Shiva, Forms of Shiva
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In Hinduism, Vamadeva (Sanskrit: वामदेव) is the name of the preserving aspect of the God Siva, one of five aspects of the universe he embodies. On a panchamukha (five-faced) Sivalingam, Vamadeva appears on the right hand side. This face/aspect of Śiva is considered the peaceful, graceful and poetic one — the lord of the female aspect of it is associated with water.

The Brahman splits into male (Parashiva) and female (Parasakti) and manifests as the universe. The parashiva has five aspects:

  1. Sadyojata — west-aspect that propagates manifest Brahman; associated with Brahma; represents earth.
  2. Vamadeva — north-aspect that sustains manifest Brahman; associated with Vishnu; represents water.
  3. Aghora — south-aspect that rejuvenates manifest Brahman; associated with Rudra; represents fire.
  4. Tatpurusha — east-aspect that reveals; associated with Rishi, Muni, Jnani, yogi; represents air.
  5. Isana — internal-aspect that conceals; associated with all that exist; represents ether(space).


  • Etymology 1
  • Origin 2
  • Vamadeva Rishi in Buddhism 3
  • See also 4
  • Further reading 5
  • References 6


The name comes from Sanskrit vāma = "left", which is the seat of the Śakti and normally associated with beauty and the female, and deva = "God".

As a God's name it is a karmadharaya and means "beautiful God".

As a man's name it is probably a bahuvrihi and means "he whose God is beautiful".


Brahma created Vamadevas, after he saw,that manasputras (the 10 sages), created by him, are not focused on creation and instead focused on meditation and ascese. Vamadeva (Rudras) created lightning, thunderbolt, clouds, rainbows, varieties of medicines all of which are immortals. They are also known as Rudras as they created immortals. Brahma then request Rudras (Vamadeva) to only create the mortals and not the immortals. Rudra (Vamdeva) saying that they could only create the immortals, stopped the work of creation.[1][2]

Eleven Rudras(Vamadeva) were created by Brahma,each carry Trishula in their hand. The eleven Vamadeva(Rudras) are Ajaykapada, Ahirbudhanya, Virukapsa, Raivata, Hara, Bahurupa, Triambaka, Savitra, Jayanta, Pinaki and Aparajita.[3][4]

The name Rudra literally means immortal is generally associated with Shiva. Unlike Sadyojata, Vamadeva is considered as the embodiment of power over elements of creation and further expansion of that which is created.

Vamadeva is also the name of a rishi, credited with most of Mandala 4 of the Rigveda. He is mentioned prominently in the Upanishads as well, particularly the Brihadaranyaka and Aitareya. His father was Gautama Maharishi, said to be one of the Saptarishi or seven great sages, and his brother Nodhas also has hymns in the Rigveda.

'Represents Citta rūpa and Citta rūpiṇi of Śiva. This is Turīya, attained by getting acquainted with primordial energy of the sun. This face of Śiva has special powers to heal both mentally and physically of any creature. Represents Parāliṅga. Two billion (200,00,000) mantras are trying to describe this face of Śiva. Blood red in color it represents unmatched force that is capable of transforming all elements of the cosmos. Uplifts the element of Tejasa. Direction is North. Predominates the energy of vital life force. It represents indescribable amount of brightness of light. Only those established in yoga can contain it within their physical forms, otherwise the mortal frame sheds itself immediately resulting in union with Vamadeva. The adepts contain the energy of creation of elements within themselves. (Rig Veda Samhita, Chaturtha Mandala, Vamadeva)''

Vamadeva Rishi in Buddhism

In the Buddhist Vinaya Pitaka of the Mahavagga (I.245)[5] section the Buddha pays respect to Vishwamitra by declaring that the Veda in its true form was declared to the Vedic rishis "Atthako, Vâmako, Vâmadevo, Vessâmitto, Yamataggi, Angiraso, Bhâradvâjo, Vâsettho, Kassapo, and Bhagu"[6] and because that true Veda was altered by some priests he refused to pay homage to the altered version.[7]

See also

Further reading

  • Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dallapiccola


  1. ^ Matsya Purana (Sanskrit) - Ch#4 Slokas 26-30
  2. ^ The Matsya Puranam (I) (B.D. Basu) - English Transliteration - Ch #4. P 14
  3. ^ Matsya Purana (Sanskrit) - Ch #5. Slokas 29-32
  4. ^ The Matsya Puranam (I) (B.D. Basu) - English Transliteration - Ch #5. P 18
  5. ^ P. 494 The Pali-English dictionary By Thomas William Rhys Davids, William Stede
  6. ^ P. 245 The Vinaya piṭakaṃ: one of the principle Buddhist holy scriptures ..., Volume 1 edited by Hermann Oldenberg
  7. ^ The Vinaya Pitaka's section Anguttara Nikaya: Panchaka Nipata, P. 44 The legends and theories of the Buddhists, compared with history and science By Robert Spence Hardy
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