The meaning of the term Ātmasambhava (Atmasamhava) is ‘the One who can be born out of One’s own self’. Parameśvara (Parameswara; the Absolute Divinity) can emanate Himself through his own Māya (Maya; the illusion of empirical reality) from His fundamental and eternal state of Being; hence we call Him Svyambhūta (Swyambhuta; Self-emerged). Matsyapurāṇa(Matsyapurana) has mentioned this term as an attribute of God Viṣṇu(Vishnu) only, but in Indian theology God Brahmā (Brahma) and Śiva(Siva) are also known as the Self-emerged — Svayambhū (Swyambhu).

In Mahābhārata (Mahabharata), it is also one of Śivasahasranāma (Sivasahasranama; Thousand Names of Siva)