The character and position of the Vedic god Rudra—called Shiva, “the Auspicious One,” when this aspect of his ambivalent nature is emphasized—remain clearly evident in some of the important features of the great god Shiva, who together with Vishnu came to dominate Hinduism. Major groups such as the Lingayats of southern India and the Kashmiri Shaivas contributed the theological principles of Shaivism, and Shaiva worship became a complex amalgam of pan-Indian Shaiva philosophy and local or folk worship. In the minds of the ancient Hindus, Shiva was the divine representative of the uncultivated, dangerous, and unpredictable aspects of nature. Shiva’s character lent itself to being split into partial manifestations—each said to represent only an aspect of him—as well as to assimilating powers from other deities. Already in the Rigveda, appeals to him for help in case of disaster—of which he might be the originator—were combined with the confirmation of his great power. In the course of the Vedic period, Shiva—originally a ritual and conceptual outsider, yet a mighty god whose benevolent aspects were readily emphasized—gradually gained access to the circle of prominent gods who preside over various spheres of human interest. Many characteristics of the Vedic Prajapati, the creator; of Indra, the god of rain and of the thunderbolt; and of Agni, the Vedic god of fire, have been integrated into the figure of Shiva.