Understanding Shiva and Vishnu
Many times we heard questions, discussions and claims between those who worship Shiva and Vishnu . What is the difference between Vishnu and Shiva?Who is greater? Is Shiva in Tamo Guna? Vaishnavas claim Vishnu is Supreme and Shaivas claim Shiva is Supreme.So who is right and who is wrong?What is the Truth?
The following Veda scriptures speak of Shiva as the supreme Brahman:
1.Atharvashikha 2.Atharvashisha 3.Shetasvataria 4.Mantropanishad 5.Kaivalyopanishad.
The following Veda scriptures speak of Vishnu as the supreme Brahman:
1.Mahanarayanopanishad 2.Narayaropanishad 3.Mahopanishad 4.Shubhalopanishad.
Vishnu Purana glorifies Vishnu and in some places gives a lower position to Shiva. Shiva Purana glorifies Shiva and gives a lower status to Vishnu .To add to this Devi Bhagavata glorifies Devi and gives a lower status to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. This is only to instil and intensify devotion for the respective deity in the hearts of the devotees. In reality, no deity is superior to another. You must understand the heart of the writer.All the four sampradays agrees on the one and that same PARABRAHMA but the upasana (way) may differ .
Narad Pancharatra states:
Shivo Harirhariha Shakshatchiva Eva Nirupitaha
Shivadveshi Haridrohi Vishnum Nityam Bhajanapi
Shiva is Hari and Hari is none other than Shiva. An enemy of Shiva is an enemy of Hari, even though he may daily worship Vishnu.
Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4.2.2) states that Lord Shiva is the spiritual master of the entire world.
God himself has said, “Those who find difference in the two of us fall to the Hells.”
Just as you can not divide water on the same way you can not divide Hari Hara ,Nara Narayan,Ram and Shiva.They can not be separated and they always exhibits their lilas on a mysterious ways.
Shiva devotee who never enters a Vishnu temple, never reads Vishnu Purana , never drinks water from a Vaishnava , never takes food from Vaishnava ,never repeats the name of Lord Vishnu who speaks ill of Lord Vishnu , Vaishnavas, Vishnu Purana and thinks that Lord Shiva is superior to Lord Vishnu is a person who is ignorant and doomed and he has not understood the true nature of Lord Shiva, has no idea of truth. He is a fanatic and extreme sectarian with a very small stone heart. He is like a frog in the pond which thinks his pond is the ocean.
The same applies for Vishnu devotee who never enters a Shiva temple never reads Shiva Purana rather saying Shiva Purana is in Tamo Guna, speaks ill of Lord Shiva and his devotees ,never takes food from Shaiva considering Lord Shiva low and in Tamo Guna. That person is ignorant and doomed and he has not understood the true nature of Lord Vishnu, has no idea of truth. He is a fanatic and extreme sectarian, with a very small stone heart. He is like a frog in the pond which thinks his pond is the ocean.
Vishnu or Shiva devotee should have a large, broad heart. He must see his chosen deity in all aspects of the Lord and in all forms.
The one who offends Lord Shiva (Vaishnavaanaam yatha Shambhu means the best amongst Vaishnavas) to that person certainly Vishnu will not protect : Daksha Prajapati is the perfect example .He was staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu and he considered Vishnu as Supreme but offended Lord Shiva during his Yagna which resulted in his death.Since Lord Shiva is known as merciful one he gave him his life back.Once Daksha Prajapati was revived he started to glorify Lord Shiva on the great scale and he begged for forgiveness.
Naturally question arise in the mind what is the truth and what should be accepted? Both views should be accepted as correct, hence they should be accepted as the one and the same.
The four Vedas sing only the oneness of Shiva and Vishnu.
Shivasya hridayam vishnur-vishnoscha hridayam sivah meaning :
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva and likewise Shiva is the heart of Vishnu.
Shiva and Vishnu are one and the same entity. They are essentially one and the same. They are the names given to the different aspects of the all-pervading Supreme Soul or the Absolute.
Brahma represents the creative aspect , Vishnu the preservative aspect and Shiva, the destructive aspect of Paramatman.