Ishvara Gita: Lord Shiva’s Song

Ishvara Gita: Lord Shiva’s Song

The Ishvara Gita is an ancient Hindu philosophical text originating from the Kurma Purana. It aligns with the Vedic mahapashupata school and predates the reformed Lakulish pashupata, emerging around 3000 BCE according to the chronology in the Vayu Purana.

Meaning of Pashupata

“Pashupata” signifies “the way to Pashupati,” a name for Lord Shiva, meaning “Lord of all creatures” in the Yajurveda.

Content Overview

The Ishvara Gita, with 11 chapters and over 768 verses, delves into various topics, including Shiva Advaita metaphysics, the worship of Siva Lingam, Omni-Potence of the Shiva Lingam, Bhakti, the significance of OM, theophany of Shiva, forms of Shiva (Asta Murtis), and more.

Unique Themes

Unlike The Bhagavad Gita, the Ishvara Gita introduces distinctive themes such as the worship of the Shiva Lingam and the concept of Shiva as the ultimate God. It equates Shiva with brahman (absolute) and the linga, emphasizing Shiva’s presence in the form of a Linga, signifying a “mark” of God’s presence. Importantly, its philosophy remains rooted in the Vedic Puranic tradition without tantric connotations.

Philosophical Teachings

The Ishvara Gita imparts the highest 8-fold yoga of brahman, bearing resemblance to Patanjali’s later 8-fold yoga (Ashtanga Yoga). It serves as a textbook for the pashupata school of Shaivism. Various manuscripts, including a 16th-century commentary by Hindu polymath Vijnanabhiksu, provide insights into this text.

Translations and Accessibility

The Ishvara Gita has been translated into English, French, and Italian as a standalone text. Additionally, it features in English translations as part of The Kurma Purana, contributing to its broader accessibility.


To sum up, the Ishvara Gita, an ancient Hindu text from the Kurma Purana, dates back to 3000 BCE. Rooted in Vedic tradition, it explores Shiva metaphysics, Lingam worship, and unique themes. Unlike the Bhagavad Gita, it highlights Shiva as the ultimate God without tantric elements. With 11 chapters, it imparts profound teachings on brahman’s 8-fold yoga, contributing to Hindu philosophy. Translated into various languages, it enriches the understanding of spirituality.

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