pazupati

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pazupati

[पशुपति] Syn. pashupati. "Lord of cattle/livestock", name of Rudra-Shiva in the Atharvaveda (the Rigveda has the related pashupa "protector of cattle" as a name of Pushan).

Lord Shiva is widely known as Pashupati in contemporary Hinduism. The name has also been interpreted as meaning as "lord of creatures" more generally, compare the biblical "good shepherd" metaphor of e.g. Psalm 23, "The Lord is my shepherd".

The name has also been applied to a figure, probably a god, depicted as sitting among animals, discovered in the context of the Indus Valley Civilization. This god has been suggested as an earlier form of Rudra. Parallels have also been drawn with the Celtic Cernunnos.