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1 An honorific or title given to the supreme deity in the context of bhakti, and theistic Hinduism in general. The term is perhaps most frequently applied to Śiva.

2 In Patañjali's Yoga-Sūtra (1.24), and so in the Sāṃkhya-Yoga tradition, Ῑśvara is described as a‘special puruṣa’, an omniscient being, eternally untouched by defilements (kleśas), such as ignorance (avidyā), or by the workings of karma. He is viewed as an object of meditation, expressed by the syllable oṃ, but not as an active creator. For Śaṅkara, Ῑśvara is saguṇa brahman.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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