One of the Aṣṭottara Sahasranāma (Astottara Sahasranama; Thousand and eight Names) of God Śiva (Siva). Nīlakaṇṭha (Nilakantha), the commentator, argues that the meaning of Āyu(Ayu) is ‘Āyurjīvanakālaḥ’ (Ayurjivanakala; the period of lifetime). Again, the term Āyu is also connotative of life or life-force. God is manifested as both Prāṇa (life-force) and Jīvanakāla (Life-period) because He bestows Life upon the living beings. In this sense Śiva is hailed as Āyu. Śiva-Mahādeva (Siva-Mahadeva) has often been identified with Agni. In the Purāṇas (Purana; Scriptures), we have a mention of Āyu-Agni that is manifested as life-force in animal-bodies. Mahādeva is also conceptualised as a manifestation of the Divine Self of this Agni.