Lord Shiva as Pashupati

Pashupati or Pashupatinath is one among the thousand and eight names of Lord Shiva and is mentioned in the Vedas. ‘Pashu’ in Sanskrit means animal and ‘pati’ means lord. Therefore Lord Shiva as Pashupati is the ‘lord of the animals.’ The most ancient representation of Pashupati is traced back to the Indus Valley civilization - a seal depicting a seated horned deity surrounded by animals.

Pashupati is applied mainly to Lord Shiva as he is the guardian of cattle, important wealth during the vedic and pre-vedic period. Pashupati is also the keeper of souls. He gives life and takes life.

One of the most important Pashupati temples is the Pashupatinath temple in Nepal.

The weapon of Pashupati is the Pashupata Astra.