The Shiva-Shakti Pattern

an unfinished manuscript which proposes a language pattern based on basic elements found in Shaivism, which is the worship of the Hindu god Shiva.
This is the result of 6 + years’ research.

However, it has come to a standstill due to lack of further information. What I need now is the fifty names of Shiva’s shakti, as mentioned by a particular sect of Shaivism. Some are Gomukhi’, Vartula^kshi’, Guno^dari’, etc. but there are still 35+ shakti remaining. So if you can obtain the names, please contact me. It is important to note that the pattern is not etymological in nature in the usual sense. It is more associative in nature.

I believe that the pattern detailed herein to be valid because I have used it to predict in advance certain associative aspects of Shiva.

So I will now predict some of the meanings of the unknown shaktis’ names (not the names themselves): "horse"; "bushel"; "target"; "honeycomb"; "money paid as a tribute"; "pane of glass/mirror"; "knife/razor/stab";"goat"; "thin cork"; "quoit"; "kneecap"; "blade of grass/chaff"; "slice (of bread)"; "keyhole scutcheon"; "fragment/piece/split"; "hemp"; "move a boat backwards"; "bundle/tie". These meanings are in addition to any others already presented in the manuscript.

--Shiva’s Dance as the basis for "Ring a-round a Rosy".

Contact me at


Shiva-Shakti Pattern

by Richard Stoney

(Note: With regards to diacritical marks, transliterated letters usually written with marks above the letters are followed by apostrophes: a’, s’ [=sh])

The subject at hand deals with a language pattern based on Hindu principles, involving the Hindu god, Shiva (Auspicious"), and various goddesses known collectively as the shakti of Shiva. This pattern, the Shiva-Shakti Pattern, has two elements to it. The first element is a constant factor in which words will be very similar, sound-wise, to the name of Shiva (=Shiba in `Bengalese and Assamese, Indian languages which have no v-sound. Bengal and Assam were areas of major influence in Shaktism.) or one of his inflected forms: SHAIVA, SHAIVYA, or SHAIBYA., The last two are Hindu names meaning "cult of Shiva, auspicious" and "belonging to Shiva", respectively (THE PENGUIN BOOK OF HINDU NAMES, Maneka Gandhi, pp. 330, 329). In an identical vein, A DICTIONARY OF URDU, CLASSICAL HINDI AND ENGLISH mentions that the modern form of Shiva’s name is sometimes written as SHIV or SHIB, often in compound-form: SHIV-PURI’, "Shiva’s city."

These are called "Shiva-words". All forms are to be considered the same as the word SHIVAH, exactly in the same way that English BRING, BRANG and BROUGHT are basically the same words. It is also important to note the resulting interchangeability between B and V. Such an occurrence is already well established in linguistics. There are bound to be slight deviations due to the passage of time and regional tendencies. One such distortion will occur from French which uses CH to create the sound of SH. Also, there appears to be a possible influence from Tamil in which Shiva’s name, I understand, is written "CHIVA(N)", but pronounced "SHIVA(N)" due to its Sanskrit source.

The second factor is a variable one, involving the shaktis. The definitions of individual names of the shaktis will join with the Shiva-words. This occurrence is possible since A SANSKRIT-ENGLISH DICTIONARY states that the word SHAKTI has a secondary definition/usage: "signification of words" (p. 1044, under "S’AKTI’"). The end-result is a hybrid, a union, in which the shakti of Shiva are also meanings of Shiva-words. Admittedly, in the cases of some shakti, there will also be a corresponding counterpart, male form of the word, which is a reference to Shiva. But in all cases, there will definitely be a female shakti represented.

The following graphic illustrates the Shiva-Shakti Pattern:

Shiva-word (join)-- --(join) Definition of shakti’s name (reject) "Auspicious" Shakti’s name (reject)

My major etymological sources are OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY, covering English, French and Germanic languages; ETYMOLOGISCHES WO"RTERBUCH DER DEUTSCHEN SPRACHE by Friedrich Kluge; DEUTSCHES WO"RTERBUCH by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm; and A SANSKRIT-ENGLISH DICTIONARY by Monier Monier-Williams. Most of the remaining words in this paper come from dictionaries of modern languages, so more etymological research regarding them is necessary.

It is inevitable what I be asked how I came up with the Pattern, so I will start at the beginning. Let it suffice to say that one thing led to another, and I ended up studying Hinduism and Sanskrit informally (1992?). One of the first things I learned was that a U-shaped figure was a symbol of Shiva. I later learned about lingas being signs of Shiva. It was then that I noted the similarity between LIN’GA and Latin LINGUA, "tongue". I also noted that the u-shaped symbol above looks like a tongue, so I theorized that Shiva had something to do with languages. At some point, I wondered if the word SHIVAH had migrated into other languages, so I got out my Swahili dictionary. The word closest to SHIVAH was SHIBA from Arabic S[H]IBA. I considered this a close match to SHIVAH, considering that Arabic has no V-sound in its alphabet. But it was the definitions of the words that confused me. After 3 weeks, I figured out that the definitions, "full of/satisfied with/plenty of food" and ‘that which satisfies hunger’ were the same definition belonging to Annapu’rna’. I then theorized that the word SHAKTIH, somehow, had something to do with definitions. Finally in 1997, I confirmed that fact. One problem remained, though: how to justify the B-V interchangeability. I finally found out about SHAIBYA, and it was then that I formulated the Pattern. It was not until 1998 that I found out that Shiba is a dialectical version of his name.

Interestingly enough, there is a story depicting the above information: Shiva goes out begging for food, but is unable to procure any, so he goes home. His wife, Pa’rvati’, then starts leaving with the kids in disgust, but the sage Narada urges that she beg for food. She does so and returns with food, and it is for this reason that she is also known as Annapu’rna’. Shiva is so grateful that he violently hugs her and they merge into one entity, Ardhana’ri’shvara, "Androgynous Lord"(Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, ASCETICISM AND EROTICISM IN THE MYTHOLOGY OF SIVA, p. 234-5). .The result is half-Shiva, half-shakti," that is, "half-Shiva/SHIBA, half-full-of-Food".

Kundalini’ is a shakti of Shiva from KUNDALA, "coil of rope" (THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION, Mircea Eliade, editor, vol. 8, p. 402), and there is a union of ecstasy between her and the supreme god (IBID, p. 403). (cf. Eng. SHEAVE, "layer of a coil of rope". Akin to SHIVE and SHIVER < Old Saxon SCIVA, OHG. SCIBA, Ger. SCHEIBE.

This graphic explains the relationship:

SCIVA (join)--&#61664;&#61663;--(join) "coil of rope"(from KUNDALINI’) SCIVA means "coil of rope"

Kundalini’ is associated with creation and viewed as a thin thread (THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION, p. 403), perhaps related to the following: "In the southern school [of Shaivism], the workings of Shiva and the shakti are figuratively illustrated by the analogy of the reproductive organism of a lotus, where the stamens of the lotus are compared to the lord and pistil to the shakti-tattva." (ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION AND ETHICS, vol. XI, James Hastings, ed. , p. 94). (cf. Eng. CHIVE/SHIVE/CHIEVE/CHYVE, ‘threadlike stamens and pistils, sometimes of the saffron crocus"; J. SHIBE, "stamens and pistils". Japanese has no V-sound.).

Vartula^kshi’ is a shakti (ASED, p. 1044, under S’AKTI): VARTULA, "round" (THE PENGUIN BOOK OF HINDU NAMES, p.444) + AKSHA, which means:
  1. "wheel" (cf. Eng. SHEAVE/SHIVE/SHIVER, ‘wheel having a groove in circumference to receive a cord passing over it; also a wheel with a groove in the circumference to enable it to run on a bar or rail; pulley" < AS. SCIVA, OHG. SCIBA, Ger. SCHEIBE, same as for Kundalini’. Also: Russian SHAIBA, "wheel").
  2. "axle, axis" ( Ger. SCHEIBEN, "spin on an axis").
  3. "car, cart" (Ger. SHIEB[E]KARREN, "wheelbarrow"; Eng. SHEBANG, "vehicle"
  4. "beam of a balance" (Eng. SHEAVEBLOCK)
  5. "string which holds the pivot of a beam" (possibly a combination of #1 and #4).

Shiva is known as Yogeshvara, "Yoga Lord", and is to be respected to the highest. People who practice yoga lead fuller lives, are in better health and live longer. Yoga, "Union", attempts to join oneself with the forces of Creation and Life.

Bhava’ni’ is wife and shakti of Shiva and goddess of fertility. Her name is a direct form of BHAVA, "coming into existence, birth, production, origin, being, state of being, LIFE". Bhava is also a name of Shiva.

Compare the Slavic goddess Siva/Z^iva/Zhiva ("living"), a diety of life, fertility and fecundity ("production of offspring"). She is also known as Z^ywie of the Polish-Czech tribe called the Polabi (< PO LABE^, "along the Laba/Elbe River" [W.F. Reddaway, editor, CAMBRIDGE HISTORY OF POLAND, vol. 1, p. 8]). A picture of her shows her with a sun-disk behind her head (MYTHOLOGY OF ALL RACES series, vol. 3, opposite p. 288). Of probable relevance is Siwa/Syuna, a goddess of the Polabi and Podaga, whose image is seen at Pluna (James Hastings, ed., ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION AND ETHICS, vol. 11, p. 594) (Consider Skt. SYU’NA, "ray of light, sun). If the name of Siwa were pronounced in modern Polish, it would be "sheeva". The following deals with Zhiva: "..…There persisted another religious rite more closely related to Procopius’s account of the veneration of nymphs. This…religion…appears to have had no organized priesthood. It revolved around the goddess called Zhiva … by the Elbe Slavs…The ceremonies were performed by the whole community in the depths of the forests [like the Baiga’ and Savara’s of Northern India, who believe fully in forest spirits. {Hastings, vol. 2, p. 333; vol. 7, p. 214}] and in places where land and water met" (Joanna Hubbs, MOTHER RUSSIA, pp.12-13). "Chroniclers, who confirm Procopius’s earlier observations, refer to the river, lake, and forest nymphs as BEREGINY" (from BEREGINA, "earth, shore"). BEREGINY represent the fertility goddesses (IBID, pp.14-15).

Shiva-Bhava is the "presiding diety of the waters" (Shakti M. Gupta, FROM DAITYAS TO DEVATAS IN HINDU MYTHOLOGY, p.15). Bana’ras/Benares, known as Shiva’s City, is referred to as the center of Earth,"this shore," on the Ganges River and is an embodiment of the goddess Ka’shi’ ("shining, sun"), who is a shakti of Shiva (Diana Eck, BANARAS CITY OF LIGHTS, pp.159, 418). Ka’shi’ is said to sit above the earth as a "crossing place" between earth and the "far shore" of the transcendant Brahman (Eck, pp. 6, 35). Compare Slavic SHIVAYA/ZHIVAYA VODA (various sources give different spellings), "living water", which brings dead people back to life, and MERTVAYA VODA, "dying water", which makes a living person dead (Professor A. Babyonyshev, email). Also consider Hebrew names Ziva/Zivah, "shining, radiant" There is a tale in which Zhiva falls in love with Dazhdbog ("the god who gives well-being" [Irina Gutkin, UCLA professor]), who is god of life, prosperity and sunshine (Gertrude Jobes, DICTIONARY OF MYTHOLOGY, FOLKLORE AND SYMBOLS, vol. 1, p. 420). Shiva is also the Lord of Wealth (David smith, THE DANCE OF S’IVA, p.158). In the end, they "accept the gold wreath and get married. So that is how Russians appeared, and that’s why they are called his grandchildren" (Sergei Naoumov, on DAZHDBOG’S GRANDCHILDREN, "In the Chhatti’sgarh District, the Baiga worship centers around the Du’lha’ Deo, the deified bridegroom god and Devi’, the Mother-Goddess, in her manifestation as Bhava’ni’" (Hastings, vol. 2, p. 333).

There is another similarity between Zhiva and Bhava’ni’: "In pagan worship…Friday was sacred to the goddess Zhiva of the Western Slavs." (Hubbs, p. 117). There are stories of the twelve Fridays, which "provided protection from some specific evil—fire, sickness, flood, and so forth" (IBID). In the case of Bhava’ni’, she is known as Sankata’ Devi’, "Goddess of Dangers", for she is the one who vanquishes dangers for her devotees with celebrations taking place on Fridays in Benares (Eck, pp. 168-9).

In Slovakia, the equivalent to Siva/Zhiva is life-goddess Zivena, who is counterposed with chief god Praboh (Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick, A HISTORY OF PAGAN EUROPE, p. 187). His name means "’(original) primitive god’", akin to PRABYTNY, "primordial" (Jozef J. Konus^, SLOVAK-ENGLISH PHRASEOLOGICAL DICTIONARY, p. 906). Compare these Sanskrit words:


And in the Kanjar tribe, Bhava’ni’ is worshipped along with the goddess Prabha’, "light" (Hastings, vol. 7, p.653). This word is associated with a sun-disk (A SANSKRIT-ENGLISH DICTIONARY, p. 683). The Kanjar use a protector-exorcist called a SYA’NA’ ("wise one") to propitiate bad spirits (Hastings, vol. 7, p. 653).

The role of diety of guardianship/family/ household is shared by Bhava’ni’, Prabha’ and the BEREGINY (David Kinsley, HINDU GODDESSES, pp. 109 and 110; Ann and Imel. p. 291; Hubbs, p. 13).

"Scholars describe the religion of the ancient Slavs as animistic, lacking a divine hierarchy characteristic of the cults of ruling elites." Neither they nor the Kanjar had any formal priesthood (Hubbs, p.14; Hastings, vol. 7, p. 652).

Also, the Kanjar wandered around in gangs, supporting themselves by the usual Gypsy industries, but especially by theft and highway robbery (Hastings, vol. 7, p. 652). Bhava’ni’ was also worshipped by The Thugs of India. The thugs were assassins and robbers, whose victims were "always taken unawares from behind". They formed their own organizations and held responsible positions in government (THE HINDU WORLD, vol. 2, pp.501-2). (cf. Slang SHIEVER, "double-crosser". Quote: "The worst thing you can call a crook is a shiever"; Ger. SCHIEBERTUM and SCHIEBUNG, "corruption, graft, dirty politicians"; Ger. SCHIEBEN, "act corruptly"; Anglo-Irish SHEBEEN/SHIBBEEN, "illegal house of liquor"; slang SHEEBING, "German racketeering", post-1945; CHIVE-FENCER, "murder-protector" (DICT. OF AMERICAN SLANG, Wentworth and Flexner, p. 466) or "criminal-protector" (Eric Partridge, A DICT OF SLANG AND UNCONVENTIONAL ENGLISH, P. 149); CHIVING-LAY, "robbing the rear of a coach by cutting" (this final word may actually derived from CHIV/SHIV, "knife.")

Mukta-Keshi’, shakti of Shiva, "dishevelled hair" (cf. Eng. SHEVELLED/ SHIEVELD, old forms of DISHEVELLED < Fr. DESCHEVELER, "disarrange the hair". Compare Croatian SHIVETA, "mat, hassock, plaited hair" (Shiva has matted hair);

Ukrainian SHEVELYURA, "thick hair, chevelure". Wigs of olden days were made of densely matted material.


Vikrita-mukhi’ is a shakti: VIKRITA, "deformed, distorted, misshapen" + MUKHI’, "mouth, face" (cf. Eng. SHEVEL-MOUTH and Sc. SHAIVLEMOOT, "distorted mouth". Perhaps: J. SHIBUZURU/SHIBUZURA, "wry mouth, grimace".

Truth is, I use the Pattern to predict certain aspects of Shiva. Observe:

  1. Modern German SCHIEFE, "crookedness", akin to such earlier, related words SCHEVE, SCHEWE, SCHEIWE, SCHEIV, SCHEIB, and SCHIEB < roots *SKAIBA and *SKAIFA (Antje Casaretto of Institut Fur Sprachwissenschaft of Cologne University; Kluge and Jacob Grimm).
  2. Anglo-Saxon SCEA’F-FOT, "twisted, curved, bent, warped foot" and "splay-foot", a medical condition marked by having the foot turned outward, not straight. Shiva’s foot is described as being curved in the middle with the toes bent down. (< Sans. KUN~CITA, "bent, curved, crooked"). His heel is also raised. Consider Ger. SCHIEF, which can also be used to imply "slant"; Turkish S[H]IV/S[H]EV, "bevel"; Eng. SHEVELING-HEELED, "twisted, distorted, downtrodden heel". Shiva also walks with a swagger, literally with the leg turned out. Cf. Eng. SHEVEL, "walk crookedly"; Ukr. SHEVERNOGII*, "bowlegged", that is, with the leg turned outward. See THE DANCE OF SIVA by David Smith on pp. 8 and 164 for a description of his feet.

Antje also mentions names of people circa 1300: Joh. Schefvot, Willeke Scheve and Schevenacke. And towns like Scheweling and Scheveling. Finally, Antje says that the ‘crooked" words originally denoted a person with a distorted or twisted body: Der SCHIEFGEWACHSENE.

Ka’meshvari’: "Goddess of love and sex" (Cf. SHEVA, "coitus" < some Slavic language. I lost that info in a computer malfunction; Eng. Slang CHIVALRY/CHIVARL[E]Y, "coitus"; and perhaps Bulg. SHAI*BA, which means many things, including "(screw) nut" and "(female) screw." One source says the last example may pertain to sex, perhaps, but is not certain. Also: Uzbekistani and Adzerbaijani SEV, "(non-sexual) love".

Of relevance is QUOIT < COITE (=Eng. SHIVE < OS. SCIVA). One form of the word involves a coil of rope (See Kundalini’) or metal and throwing it over a stake, like the American game of horseshoes. This mimics a pole like linga (penis) surrounded a YONI’ (vulva) at the base, an obvious sexual connection. OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY admits uncertainty as to etymology except to say there is a French connection. I would suggest French COI"T, "coitus". This concept is backed up by the fact that QUOIT later means "buttocks" (cf. "piece of ass")


THE SHIVERS, "horror". (Bhairavi’, Bhairava, the Bhairavas). Quote: "Bhairavi, terror or the power to cause terror".


Modern Finnish SIEVA", "pretty" (=Sundari’). Finnish has no SH-sound.

Modern Finnish SIVEA, "chaste" (=Sati’). She immolated herself in protest because her father Daksha hated Shiva.

Uma’, daughter of Daksha, is a reincarnation of Sati’. A SANSKRIT DICTIONARY says her name may mean "Oh, don’t" but seems not totally certain. Primary definition offered is "flax". (cf. Eng. SHEAVE, "part of flax", and SHIVE, "refuse of flax". Also: Ger. SCHEBE (Ox. Eng. Dict, vol. 15, col 1 p. 209). I remember that Uma’ was described as being thin, an apt description of the scrawny flax plant.

Va’ch ("speech") is a daughter of Daksha and identified with Uma’. (cf. Turkish S[H]IVE, "pronunciation, accent" and S[H]IFAH-EN, "verbally"; Japanese SHIWA, "lip language"; Ukrainian SHEVELGTI (SP?), "lisp". Eng. SHIVAREE, "greet [talk to?] with a shivaree", can be dissected into SHIVER-REE:

  1. a) RI, ‘interjection of laughter’. SHIVAREE is associated with celebration. B) "sound reiterated in stammer". Quote: "The musicians letting off at each repetition of the demand peals of shiver-ree" ) (Cf. J. SHIBA, "repitition").
  2. #2 RI’, "interjection of terror"; #3 RI’, "Bhairava". See section of THE SHIVERS. "She turned on all the horrors of ‘The Battle of Prague’, that venerable shivaree and waded chin-deep into the blood of the dead". Another quote mentions ‘the dreaded old man’.
  3. #1 RI or RI’, "dissolve" and #2 RI, "property". Quote about SHIVAREE, "much official talk": "Next came the usual ‘shivaree’ about such and such case [legal] and what would be taken and so on." (A DICT. OF SLANG. AND UNCONVENTIONAL ENGLISH, 7th ed. P. 759).
Va’ch does not seem to be involved in all cases. Perhaps Bhairavi’? Quotes are found under SHIVAREE in OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY.


Lalita ("amorous, playing, wished for, desired"): Turk. S(H)EVK, "longing desire"; J. SHIBO’ (and SHIBOU, according to a different source), "anticipation, desire". Secondary definitions:

  1. "trembling" (cf. Eng. SHIVER < CHYVER, "tremble due to emotions". I have run into examples when she is distraught, but have none of trembling.
  2. "tremulous" (cf. Eng. SHIVERING, "tremulous" [of sound and music]. She is associated with music and metres. (A SANSKRIT DICTIONARY). Quote: "16.. [year] And closing up his layes, like a full quire, a shivering consort plays" (OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY).
Does this quote refer to her?

Hindu philosophy accepts all the world’s religions as viable substitutes to Hinduism. They understand that some people need to follow different paths. They, therefore, accept all cultures.

Rudrani’ < RUDRA or Raudri’, "pertaining to Rudra," who is known as the Howler, Roarer: ". Cf. Hung. S[H]IVALKODIK, "scream" (various sources give various spellings); Slovak S’(H)IBAVEC, "stentor".

RA’GINI’, "red", is a possible shakti. Quote: An alternate derivation from postulated root *RUD, meaning ‘be red’, can be connected with a proposed derivation for the name SHIVA with a Dravidian word meaning ‘red’". (ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION, Mircea Eliade, p. 8, vol. 13).

Pa’rvati’, "She-of-the-mountains": PA’RVATI’ appears to be the feminine form of PA’RVATA < PARVATA, "knotty, rugged (of mountains); mountain range, rock fragment, the number 7." (CF. Heb. SHIVAH, "seven"; Eng. SHIVER, "rock fragment").

Si’ta’ is best known for her part in RA’MA’YANA, which is actually of Vishnu/Krishna mythology. But according to other mythologies, she is Uma’, a shakti of Shiva (q.v.). SI’TA’ means "furrow". Compare Polish SKIBA, "furrow". However, it is pronounced "skeeba", so I may be stretching things too much. But it is important to note that SKIBA also means "slice", which has cognates Nor. SKIVE, Ger. SCHEIBE, Eng SHEAVE/SHIVE, "slice (of bread" < O.S. SCIVA, OHG. SCIBA.

From a passage about the lin’ga: "Sex symbolism has long been associated with husbandry and the implements connected with it. The Sanskrit word for plough is LA’N’GULA (LA’N’GALA from another source), derived from LAK, denoting both a digging implement and phallus. The female pudenda is similarly associated with ploughing and identified with the furrow as personified linguistically by Si’ta’" (less correctly written S’[H]I’TA’). Si’ta’ is represented by a plowshare (HARPER’S DICTIONARY OF HINDUISM, Margaret and James Stutley, p. 278). She was created when her father Janaka was plowing a field. (IBID, p. 162). He emblazoned a plow on his standard in her honor (THE HINDU WORLD, vol. 1, Benjamin Walker, p. 497).

The reasons for these associations stem from Hindus’ views of the Mother Earth as a womb which is impregnated by the male sun/sky using rain as sperm. The furrow/vagina represents the opening/parting into the womb. Compare English SHIVER, "breastplate of a plow," akin to SHEAVE and SHIVE < OS. SCIVA; Eng. SHEAT(H), "plow bar connecting the beam and sole in front". Quote: "According to the position of the sheath, the earth of the furrow is turned over more suddenly" (OED, vol. XV, p. 207).

The words SI’TA’ and SHI’TA’ change into SAITA and SHAITA, "worshipper of Si’ta’". SI’TA’ can also used to denote a parting of the hair or vagina (Cornelia Dimmitt, "Si’ta’: Fertility Goddess and S’akti’, in THE DIVINE CONSORT, J.S. Hawley and D.M. Wulff, eds., p. 211 ). Consider German SCHEITELN, "to part (hair)"; SCHEITEL, "parting of hair"; SCHEIDE, parting, vagina", akin to M.E. SCHEDE/SCHETE < O.E. SCEATH, Also "vagina". Another possibility is J. SHIWA, "wrinkle , furrow", both of the face. However, I am unable to point to any actual relationship in this one particular case.

Mohini’, "confusing", may be a shakti. She joined sexually with Shiva in the story about Churning of the Waters/Ocean. CF. Ukrainian SHE’VPATISYA, "become confused".

Vi-raja’, "free of dust, cleansed from sin" (cf. Finnish SIIVO, "decent" and SIIVOTA, "clean"; Estonian SIIVUS/SIIVSA, "clean, decent"). Finnish has no SH-sound.

1. SARA, "fluid, liquid".
2. SA’RASVATA’, "relating to Sarasvati’ (note change in the first A; cf. Germ. UMLAUT, "modification").
3. SARASA (fr. SARAS) "pertaining to lake, water".
4. SARAS, "anything fluid, flowing, lake, SHEET OF WATER; speech (a meaning given to account for SARAS-VATI’".
5. SARASVAT, "full of lakes, juicy, sapid".
(cf. Pol. SZYBA, "sheet of water; Port. SEIVA, "sap, blood"; Rom. SEVA, "sap".

Hinduism believes the world is in a state of metamorphosis toward the obtainment of complete harmony.

Canda’, "wrathful, cruel". (cf. Port. SEVO/SEVA, "cruel"). Portuguese has no SH-sound.
She is definitely a shakti.
Munda’, "shaved", is a shakti. Shiva fought Canda’ and Munda’ and joined them into one creature, Camunda’ (no definition). Cf. Eng. SHAVE < OE. SCEAFA/SCEABA/SCAEBA; Eng./Nor. SKIVE, "shave (leather)", of Scandinavian origin.


CHHINNA-MASTA : CHHINNA’, "cut off, divided" + MASTA, "head". (cf. It. SCEVERARE, "to cut off, sever" or SHIVER, "split, " and Fr.-Eng. CHEVAGE/CHIEVAGE/CHIEF, "head"; Perhaps: J. SHIBARI-KUBI, "behead": SHIBARI, "cut off"[?] + KUBI, "head". Perhaps: Bulg. SHAIBA, "head" (source is not yet determined as being reliable).

Shiva himself represents "fortunate, lucky, welfare, kind, benevolent, final emancipation". Compare definitions of Fr.-Eng. CHEVE/CHIEVE or Fr.-Eng. CHEVAGE/CHIEVAGE, CHIVALRY. All deal with welfare, luck, prosperity, kindness, success, reaching an end. The names of a few shakti also have this definition.

Representing the Ganges River, Gan’ga’ means "swift-goer". Compare Hung. S[H]EBES[H], "rapid"; and Slovak S’[H]IBAT’, "speed by" (train) and Estonian SIVA, "quickly". Conceivably, the first two could derive from Sans. SHI’BHYA, "rapid", a name for Shiva, but SIVA is closer to Eng. CHIVAN/CHIVEN (from French), as in PLAY THE CHIVAN, "run away quickly" This is derived from the action of the chub, a shy fish which runs away quickly and hides in holes. Perhaps it is more than coincidence that the only ‘fish’ phrase mentioned in A SANSKRIT DICTIONARY in regards to GAN’GA’is GAN’GA’-TEYA, "going in the Ganges", a reference to shrimp. While not related to the chub by modern taxonomy standards, shrimp will make violent,quick movements, sometimes jumping out of the water, then burying themselves in the sand. (cf. Eng. CHEVY/CHIVVY, "run fast").

Kali’, "black" (cf. Armenian SEAV/SEV)


Shanti, "peace, alleviation of pain". Cf. Turk. S[H]IFA, "restoraton of health"; J. SHIBU, "quietness".

  Miscellaneous concepts

SHIVA JYOTIS, "Shiva-light", the fire, is considered a linga. JYOTI’ can also refer to sunlight, so consider ENG. SHIVELIGHT, a "sliver of light". For the sake of this paper, the word SLIVER is interpreted as a small part of a whole:
There is " a story of ascendancy that is very important in Ka’shi’ [Benares] lore: the Famous myth in which Shiva’s linga splits open the earth as a fiery column of light. The [resulting] shaft is flanked by… Brahma’ on the one side, and Lord Vishnu
On the other, both kneeling in reverence upon their divine lotus blossoms. The shaft, with flames shooting from its sides, has been broken…" (Eck, p. 70). There are "twelve places where the linga…shone forth in a fiery column of light [all in Ka’shi’/Benares]; the sixty-eight places where Shiva’s lingas are said to have emerged from the earth" (IBID, p. 38). There are several temples in Benares, one of which is three feet underground with only enough room for one worshipper and a stone linga (IBID, p. 114).
The light linga is the supreme "partless" reality, out of which Shiva may sometimes appear in bodily form as a "partial" reality (IBID, p. 107). At one point, "Shiva vowed that this [large] unfathomable linga would become small so that the people might have it as an emblem for their worship"

Garlic is considered an auspicious sign, a form of SVASTIKA (A SANSKRIT DICTIONARY). Cf. CHIVE/SHIVE and CHIBE < N. Fr. CHIVE, also known as CIBOULETTE. CHIVE, like garlic, is a member of the Allium genus and also known as Wild Garlic (OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY). In some countries, red string or thread were tied around garlic and seems similar to Hindu thread ceremonies involving the tying of red thread around the wrist.


When one of Brahma’s five heads insulted Sarasvati’, Shiva cut it off. Since he was guilty of murder, the resulting skull stuck fast to Shiva’s hand, and he was forced to wander around for 12 years as the naked/half-naked beggar, Bhikshatana, "Wandering-for-Alms". "). There is some mythology in which Pa’rvati’says to Shiva, "You went naked into the Pine Forest and seduced the wives of the sages on the pretext of begging. And when you had gone, they gave you great honor. The sages there caused your loincloth to fall…." (ASCETICISM AND EROTICISM IN THE MYTHOLOGY OF SIVA, Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, p. 174).` (Cf. Eng. SHIVERING JEMMY, "the name given by street folk to any cadger who exposes himself half-naked on a cold day to obtain alms". Could this term be divided thus: Shiva + Hindi-Urdu JIM or JIMI=JEM-, "like", (adverb, conjunction), that is, "like Shiva"?

SHIVERING JEMMY is similar to the name of Jemmy Twitcher (cf. SHIVER, TWITCH, Skt. TVISH, all "tremble"), a character in BEGGAR’S OPERA, circa 1728. Two of the opera’s characters are: -Betty Doxy: Skt BETI, "prostitute" + DOXY, "prostitute". -Suky Tawdry: 1) Skt. S’[H]UKI, "bright", female form of Skt. S’[H]UKA, name of a Brahman ascetic (among other applications); akin to Skt. S’[H]UKRA, "bright, resplendent". 2) TAWDRY, "of gaudy appearance, flash".

Names of other characters of BEGGAR’S OPERA are similarly contrived, but using English words.


Guno^dari’, "tied, string"? Cf. Eng. SHEAVE/SHEAF/SCEABAS, "harvest/tied bundle of grain". Cf. perhaps J. SHIBARU, "tie with cords." It is perhaps important to note that a picture of Z^iva/Siva (THE MYTHOLOGY OF ALL RACES, vol. 3, opposite p. 288) shows her holding a bundle of grain, a sheaf. Compare the above with the Nordic-Danish (perhaps mythical) figure known as Scef/Sceaf and, according to AN ANGLO-SAXON DICTIONARY, Sceafa, "sheaf". This word is akin to such Anglo-Germanic words as SCEAFAS, SCEABAS, SCHEIFF, SHEIVE and SHEVE. He, too, is equated with fertility (Gertrude Jobes, DICTIONARY OF MYTHOLOGY, FOLKLORE AND SYMBOLS, p. 149).

Ardha-Keshi’, "half/halved/split-hair? (cf. Finnish SAIVARRELLA", defined as "split-hair; however, this refers to petty arguing and not the condition of hair. Sources from Finnish universities say the base-word is SAIVAR, "nit", so the implication is ‘nit-picking’. Ardha-Keshi’ may also refer to parting of the hair. More information on the mythology is needed to understand any relationships


Lola^kshi, "woman with a rolling eye": LOLA, "moving, rolling hither and thither, back and forth, inconstant". (cf. Ger, SCHIEBER, "slide-bolt"; It. SCIVOLO and Nor. SKYVE, both "slide". Perhaps: J. SHIBORI-BEN, "throttle valve": BEN means "valve", so I am assuming that we have something which goes back and forth like a carbeuretor slide. Perhaps of relevance are German SCHIEBEN and Nor. SKIBBE, "shift", so Eng. consider Eng.SHIFT, SHIFTY-EYED, SHIFT-GOT [?] ). Also: AS. SCEA’WIAN, "observe, eye"?

DI’RGHA-GHONA’: "extended nose"? GHONA’ can also refer to a plant that makes people sneeze. I understand that in a dialect of India, the name of Shiva actually means "he sneezed". Also: Ukrainian SHIBA’TI V NIS (SP?), "to induce sneezing by tickling the nose".


>From Mon Aug 31 17:26:22 1998

To: "richard stoney" <>

From: Atul Narkhede <>

"richard stoney" writes:

Namaste. Please pardon the intrusion. If it is no trouble could

you tell me if the word/name SHIVA is sometimes spelled SHIBA in some

Hindu dialects? I ran across the name Shiba Chatterjee in a book on

Indian history.

Yes, Bengali (and Assamese) languages substitute 'ba'

vyanjan in place of 'va'. There is no sound such as 'va' in

these languages.

Hope this helps, Atul



> I am writing to ask whether the name "Shiva" is sometimes

>written as "Shiba" in some Hindu dialects. The reason I ask is because


>saw mention of a book on the history of India by someone whose name is

>Shiba Chatterjee. Aum.

Richard Stoney

Dear Richard,

How are you?

Yes, the Hindu Gad Shiva is known as Shiba in Japan. ( $B%7%P?@!K (J

But still I don't know "tatatakai"

Does this help you?

Ryutaro Higashi


I am wondering if anyone has noted the linguistical similarity between

the words "Shri' Lanka" and "Lanca-shire". Feel free to make comments"

#3 SHRI'(Monier-Williams) SHIRE (Oxford English Dictionary)

-"light, radiance, lustre" "bright, shining"

-"power, might" "mightily, with


-"sacred, holy" "morally,

spiritually pure"

-"speech" "utter,

tell, declare"

-"place of power"(< other sources) Shire=county, gov't. place

-"(people of)rank, royalty" "rulers, sheriffs,



their offices)

-"honorific title, veneration" "shire=sir[e]"

-"wealth" the shires

represented it

cf. -SHIREVE and SHREEVE, old forms of SHERIFF; SHRI' is also written



Many of the various forms of SHIRE may actually be one word.


The following words and phrases are added solely to be recognized and

picked up by search engines: Siva, Saiva, Shivaism, Sivaism, Saivism,

Shaivism, Sakti, Shaktism, Saktism, Sakta, Shakta, English language,

German language, Slavic language, Slavic languages, Sanskrit language,

Hinduism, Hindu religion, language pattern, etymology, philology,

anthropology, language of India, languages of India, Indian languages,

Indian language, Hindi, Bengalese, Assamese, Urdu, comparative religion,

Parvati, Kundalini, Kali, Ganga, Ganges, Sarasvati, Saraswati, Bhavani,

Annapurna, Sita, Durga, Bhairavi, Bhairava, Uma, Sati, Vac, Vach,

Tandava, Dance of Bliss,


10/1/98 Second Edition

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Shiva and "Ring-around a Rosy"

by Richard Stoney,

I am writing to give reasons why I believe that some versions of "Ring a-round a Rosy" are based on mythology of the Hindu god Shiva, who is best known to westerners as the god of Destruction. But describing Shiva is a much more complex matter than that, so I will concentrate on his similar roles as Natara’ja ("Dance King") and Kapa’lin ("Adorned with Skulls"). In these roles, his Dance re-energizes life and the cosmos represents the inseparability between life and death, and therefore, reincarnation.

Observe the following poem about Shiva:
"….thrilled to the depths of their being
possessed by the [essence] of Shiva’s bliss,
[Shiva’s ascetics) danced, reddening the forest
with the shakening of their matted locks.
Praising Him, the gods SURROUNDED THE GREAT LORD,
crushing some with the tips of their crowns
as they BOWED at His feet.
Na’rada and other skilled musicians,
their hands adorned with [lutes],
STOOD STOCK-STILL, not singing,
Then all His [ghouls] there in front of Him
Performed a weird and wonderful DANCE AT SPEED.
All the [devotees], overexcited,
Performed all sorts of dance routines,
--Cidambara Ma’ha’tmya
(David Smith, DANCE OF S’IVA, p. 183)

The above mythology parallels the following:
"Ring-a-ring o’ roses
(or "Ring a-round a Rosy" or "Round a ring of roses")
A pocket full of posies
Ashes! Ashes!
(or "Ash-a! Ash-a!" Cf. Skt. A’SA or AS, "ashes")
We all fall down"
(or "stand still" or "bow down").

When I asked my niece, Kathi Miller, what she knew about this poem, she offered this description, which has been reconfirmed by others: "A group of kids gets into a circle with hands clasped with children on both sides of them. Everyone starts out walking in a circle chanting [the lyrics of "Rosy"]. [After falling down], then we would get up and do it again, each time a little faster until the chant came out as one big [indistinguishable] word."

It turns out that modern-day kids who play the "Rosy" game are doing the same thing as Shiva’s devotees are doing. David Smith writes the following in DANCE OF S’IVA: "In their most important appearance for us, at the time of S’iva’s first performance of the [Dance of Bliss], it is their childlike quality that is most apparent; along with their ability to join in with S’iva rather than merely watch." (Smith, p. 222). In essence these two different groups are both mimicking a certain aspect of his dance:

"Then [Shiva],
His charming burden of matted hair swaying,
Concentrated on his Dance
Beginning gently,
For He is an ocean of compassion.
Then those sages who in their delusion
Had sent fires and mantras, exhausted,
Were briefly filled with alarm
Feeling themselves weaponless.
Then in a flash of great speed
["in the speed of His circular movements/faster than I could see", Smith, p. 182]
Of his [Dance] they lost conciousness
And fell down on the ground…
. When the daughter of the Himalaya
Came beside him, then the gods in heaven
In delight rained down flowers" (Smith, p. 181).

Vertigo has been documented as an integral part of "Rosy" (Sierra and Kaminski, CHILDREN’S TRADITIONAL GAMES, p. 4). By inducing unconciousness upon the sages who reviled him earlier, Shiva gives them the ‘eye of wisdom’, whereupon they are possessed by Shiva’s bliss and join the dancing (Smith, p. 224). Satisfied by the outcome of events, the gods in heaven rain down flowers. And the devotees’ repeated actions of falling down and rising again reaffirm his role in reincarnation.

The poem’s initial line, "Ring-a-ring o’ Roses" (also "Round a ring of Roses"), can be interpreted as having a ring around another ring (of roses): In the beginning of his Twilight Dance, Shiva is painted as having a forest of hands encircling him, aglow with the hue of JAPA’KUSUMA ("rose flowers") at the wane of day. The [rose-colored] hands not only cluster around Shiva encircling him, but there is also a circle of flames formed against the dark elephant hide background, with Shiva’s immaculate white form set off against this (C. S’ivaramamurti, NATARA’JA IN ART, THOUGHT AND LITERATURE, p. 103).

"Ashes! Ashes!" refers to the time when "there is such a stir in hastening the decoration of Shiva that the [devotees] cannot refrain from creating a scene. In their hurry, they rush and scramble, run and call, hoping thereby to achieve their purpose quicker. As Shiva is anxious to commence his dance, the shouts of the [devotees] are heard, asking for the ornaments…to be brought and made available quickly. ‘Bones and skulls please’, cries one, ‘elephant hide’, says another, ‘ashes, oh! Please ashes to smear…" (S’ivaramamurti, p. 95). This is a reference to the use of ashes as a panacea against disease by the ash-covered Shiva and his ascetic followers, who also wear loincloths of animal skin with skull ornaments (Mircea Eliade, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION, vol. 13, p. 19).

In the British version of "Rosy", "Ashes! Ashes!" is replaced by "A-tishoo! A-tishoo!" or "Atchoo! Atchoo!". According to predominant theories, this refers to sneezing. I suggest that in, reality, it is coughing as a result of his violent dance actions during which mountains are flattened and the cosmos themselves are destroyed: "Enjoying this dance, choking in this whirlwind,/into the domain of ecstasy, He takes swift flight" (Ananda Coomaraswamy, THE DANCE OF SHIVA: 14 INDIAN ESSAYS [1948], p. 91).

Yet another alteration of the two above paragraphs comes from a German version:
"Circle, circle, form a circle
There are three children
Sitting under the lilac-bush (German HOLDERBUSCH)
Husch! Husch!"
(perhaps of relevance is Skt. HUSS, an exclamation, the exact usage of which is not specified by A SANSKRIT DICTIONARY).

At an Internet address, Helge Moulding recalls her experiences with the German version. She says that HUSCH means "hush, quiet", perhaps referring to those who "stood stock-still, not singing/not knowing what to do." However, she also points out that, as a child, she also understood HUSCH to mean "scurry, hurry", as we saw in the case of the anxious devotees. I am aware that my interpretation of the German section is vague, but I found the use of HOLDERBUSCH (HOLDER, "elder, lilac" + BUSCH, "bush") very significant (that is, more than mere coincidence?), since the German word HOLD, "kindly, favorable" (related to the Anglo-Saxon name HOLDEN, "friendly, gracious") is synonymous with the name/word of Shiva, "Auspicious". In other words, HOLDERBUSCH is close to "auspicious bush".

The predominant interpretations that attempt to explain the origins of "Rosy" involve either the Great Plague of London (1665) or the Black Death of the 1300’s. As proof of this idea, some people point to rashes ("roses"), spices and herbs ("posies") along with sneezing and dying ("all fall down") as indications of any plagues. However, this idea falls apart since the first appearance of any form of "Rosy" does not occur until about 1790 (Gloria Delamar, MOTHER GOOSE FROM NURSERY TO LITERATURE, pp. 38-9). (I was unable to correlate the 1790 version with Shiva’s Dance. The versions I quote from first appeared about 100 years later). Another factor weakening the "plague" theory is that the participants return to life by getting up repeatedly, an occurrence foreign to western, Christian concepts about death. However, it makes sense when one takes into consideration Hindu concepts of reincarnation. Finally, how could a "fun" game like "Rosy" come from a dreary event such as a plague? "Rosy" is just a celebration of life full of the actions that are enticing to kids.

There are other radically different versions which contain only one element or another in common with the best-known versions. "The early patterns of the words show no real resemblance to the Black Death or plague [versions]" (DelaMar, p. 40). Perhaps there is not any such actual relationship between all of them, or perhaps someday someone will find one.

Final note: "Rosy" first appeared in Europe and America during time of British occupation of India.

Feel free to e-mail me.

Richard Stoney

More Links to "Rosy"

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