The question of who was Lord Shiva’s father has intrigued many for centuries. Lord Shiva is considered one of the most revered and powerful gods in Hinduism, and various Puranas have attempted to provide an answer to this question. However, there are conflicting stories in these ancient texts, which make it difficult to determine who Lord Shiva’s father really was.
One of the most popular stories suggests that Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, is Lord Shiva’s father. According to the Vishnu Purana, Lord Brahma created a youth of purple complexion, who he named Rudra. This boy wept seven times, and Brahma gave him seven other names. These eight manifestations are named Rudra, Bhava, Sharabha, Ishana, Pashupati, Bhima, Ugra, and Mahadeva.
Another story suggests that Lord Shiva was born out of the space between the two eyebrows of Maha-Vishnu, as mentioned in the Brahma-Samhita. However, the Shiva Purana narrates the appearance of Lord Shiva through the Lingodbhava story. This story explains that Lord Shiva was born out of an infinite pillar of light that appeared between Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma when they were arguing about who was superior. They could not find the end of the lingam, and Lord Shiva appeared before them, telling them that they were both born out of him.
There is also a story where Lord Shiva himself claims that Brahma is his father and Vishnu is his grandfather, but he is his own great-grandfather. This story is confusing and does not directly answer the question, but it is believed that Lord Shiva said so because Rudra is his incarnation and Rudra was born to Lord Brahma, who was born from the navel of Lord Vishnu.
In conclusion, there are various stories in the Puranas that suggest different fathers for Lord Shiva. However, in general, it is believed that Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are self-manifested and have no father or mother. Lord Brahma was born from the lotus originating from the navel of Lord Vishnu, and he created Lord Shiva. It is essential to understand that these stories are steeped in mythology and are symbolic in nature, representing deeper truths and concepts about life, the universe, and the divine. Therefore, it is essential to interpret these stories in a symbolic sense and not in a literal sense.