In one of the previous posts (here), I shared a few verses from Shiv Sahasranama that described his form. Here, I will try to discuss a few verses which describe his formless aspect, the void, empty nothingness, along with the insights I got.

निरञ्जनो निराधारो निर्लुप्तो निरुपाधिकः

He is spotless, pure and support less. That emptiness, that is all around, doesn’t has any support, the void is ever unstained. He doesn’t gets lost, he doesn’t disappears. That silence, that stillness, is eternal. I have been observing from some time, everything has appeared and disappeared, but it is still as it was earlier, few days ago, few months ago, few years ago, it is completely fresh. Upadhi means a label, a title. He is Nirupadhi, he is devoid of any labels and titles. When I experienced intense silence on few occasions, I literally experienced falling of all labels, he is Nirupadhi but when you encounter him, he makes even you Nirupadhi! Most of the struggle is about some Upadhi, some label, some title, isn’t it? For example, a student wants to score highest to get the title – “Topper”. Everyone is trying best to stick to the label – “good person”, no one wants to be labelled “bad person”. But the problem is that these labels are set by society and are not absolute truths, they are just conditioning, in running after these labels, true meaning of life is left. I don’t mean you should not study hard or should not be kind and compassionate. What I mean is that it should be an expression of your inner beauty, your inner talent and not a craving for label. Be kind, compassionate, not to earn a label of “good person” but just to express your love. Then it becomes beautiful, otherwise even kindness becomes something to satisfy ego like – “I am a kind person and that person is unkind”.

निष्प्रपञ्चो निराकरो निरीहो निरूपद्रव –

प्रपञ्च means diverse manifest world, that void is free of all manifestation. It is formless, indifferent and desire-less. Literally, when you that silence surrounds you, you become indifferent to everything. Indifference and desirelessness are very close. You are not indifferent to something you see, then you desire to possess it, but if you are indifferent, no desire to possess arises. The last name means it is peaceful, secure and harmless.

समस्तजगदाधारः समस्तगुणसागरः

Even though the void is support less, it is itself the support of all universe. That void is ocean of all types of qualities.

समस्तदुःखविध्वंसी समस्तानन्दकारणः

He destroys all sorrows and is the cause of all pleasure. When you will experience that silence, you will realize that it takes away all your petty sorrows, and it is replaced with a feeling of delight. He is the witness, when you encounter him, you become a witness, and witness is unaffected by sorrow and grief, it is ever blissful.

पावनः पावको वामो महाकालो मदापहः

The void is ever pure (पावन), and it makes you pure (पावक). वाम has plethora of meanings. It means beautiful, left hand side, etc at same time. Silence and solitude has it’s own beauty. महाकाल – it is beyond time. In deep stillness, you lose sense of time. मदापह – He removes intoxication. We get intoxicated by world and social interactions. When you spend time in solitude, that stillness, that void removes that intoxication. 


He is devoid of birth, old age and death. The void, stillness is eternal, it has no beginning and no ending. It just exists continuously. Does silence start and end? No it is always there. Words start and end in silence. The play starts and ends on the empty stage. The empty stage is just as it is. That stillness is as it is, unaffected. It is right there, where you are sitting. 

So these were a few names (counted, 18) from Shiv Sahsranama describing formless aspect of Divine. I tried to explain them as I have understood and experienced. All flaws are mine. 

Edit – Forget to mention one thing, Shiva is Shava without Shakti! As Adi Shankaracharya says in 1st verse of Soundarya Lahiri – “Shiva becomes capable of creating the Universe, only when united with Shakthi, but otherwise (when not so joined with Shakti), He is incapable of even a stir.”

नमः शिवाय

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