The Shiva in Kushan coins is referred to as Oesho of unclear etymology and origins, but the simultaneous presence of Indra and Shiva in the Kushan era artwork suggest that they were revered deities by the start of the Kushan Empire.

For example, in the Jain caves at Ellora, extensive carvings show dancing Indra next to the images of Tirthankaras in a manner similar to Shiva Nataraja.

Shaivas believe that Shiva is All and in all, the creator, preserver, destroyer, revealer and concealer of all that is.

He is not only the creator in Shaivism, he is the creation that results from him, he is everything and everywhere.

In the Rig Veda the term The earliest iconic artworks of Shiva may be from Gandhara and northwest parts of ancient India.

There is some uncertainty as the artwork that has survived is damaged and they show some overlap with meditative Buddha-related artwork, but the presence of Shiva's trident and phallic symbolism in this art suggests it was likely Shiva.

The Vedic texts do not mention bull or any animal as the transport vehicle (vahana) of Rudra or other deities.

However, post-Vedic texts such as the Mahabharata and the Puranas state the Nandi bull, the Indian zebu, in particular, as the vehicle of Rudra and of Shiva, thereby unmistakably linking them as same. Both are associated with mountains, rivers, male fertility, fierceness, fearlessness, warfare, transgression of established mores, the Aum sound, the Supreme Self.

The latter were either taken to represent the multiple facets of the same god or else were supposed to denote different forms and appellations by which the god came to be known and worshipped.

[...] Siva became identified with countless local cults by the sheer suffixing of Isa or Isvara to the name of the local deity, e.g., Bhutesvara, Hatakesvara, Chandesvara." Lingodbhava is a Shaiva sectarian icon where Shiva is depicted rising from the Lingam (an infinite fiery pillar) that narrates how Shiva is the foremost of the Trimurti; Brahma and Vishnu are depicted bowing to Lingodbhava Shiva in the centre.

Shaivism is one of the four major sects of Hinduism, the others being Vaishnavism, Shaktism and the Smarta Tradition.

Followers of Shaivism, called "Shaivas", revere Shiva as the Supreme Being.

The Vedic literature refers to a minor atmospheric deity, with fearsome powers called Rudra.