Chapter

Śiva

Arvind Sharma

in Modern Hindu Thought

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780195676389
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081974 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195676389.003.0009
Śiva

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Śiva is a popular god in both classical and modern Hinduism–but for perhaps slightly different reasons. The name Śiva is widely believed to be ‘only euphemistic’ and was used in an apotropaic manner. According to Klaus K. Klostermaier, while the popularity of Śaivism in India could never be questioned, the intense interest in Śaivism among Western scholars may have to do with the more liberal attitude towards sexuality that developed in the West in the past two decades. The popularity of Śiva can also be attributed to a new development in modern Hinduism that led to the abolition of the devadāsī system. In contrast to the evocative quality of his role as Natarāja, the West also described Śiva as a phallic symbol. The Śivaliṅga could very well take the blame for the recent controversy about the role of psychoanalysis in the study of Hinduism.

Keywords: Śiva; Hinduism; Śivaliṅga; devadāsī; Klaus K. Klostermaier; phallic symbol; India; psychoanalysis; Śaivism

Chapter.  1726 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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