Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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(3,893 words)

Over a long history, Hindu understanding and worship of the invisible divine sensed around and within them developed from early praise and sacrifice offered to a network of radiant beings or devas, to a more focused devotion to a single, supreme, personal deva, praised as Īśvara (“The Lord”). The term īśvara (from the Sanskrit root īś-, “to rule,” “own,” “be powerful”) ca…

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Pflueger, Lloyd, “Īśvara”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 09 June 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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