A question from a reader: “It is known that Lord Shiva is the most loved devotee of Lord Vishnu. In Bhagwat Gita Lord Krishna clearly says that he is the supreme GOD there is no one above or even equal to him. Have u gone nuts. Mention of Sharabha is fiction. This avatar never happened. if it was so why lord Vishnu had to always take avatar and kill the demon in that case even Lord Shiva could have done that. Shiva puran is a fictious puran propagated by Shankaracharya who himself accepted it to be so. Adi guru Shankaracharya was no one else but incarnation of lord Shiva himself… who clearly said on instruction of my Lord Vishnu I have come in this form to spread false knowledge. It is for the purpose of hiding & saving the true knowledge of divine who is none other than Lord Vishnu himself, who is my lord, from unscrupulous undeserving ones. He further said a person purely in search of truth would understand the truth from Ramayan, which is the best example set of my ( Shiva or Hunuman ) relationship with my lord ( Ram or Vishnu ). This whole sharabha propaganda started after the holy war, which broke out between Vaishnavas, Shivaits in Khumb about 500 yrs ago. Thousands of devotees died on both the sides in that Kumbh mela. It was a blood bath the worst this world has seen. The temple pic that you are showing is built just after that war by Shiva followers out of anger and humiliation, which even today can be seen on both the sides even today.”
Answer: If you have a point, make it but constructively and respectfully. There is no reason, especially for a person who is serious about spiritual life, to resort to callous language. In this regard, take counsel from Lord Sri Krishna, whom you consider God, who says,
- “(bear) enmity to no creature” [Uddhava Gita 6:29],
- “…respect others…” [ibid, 6:31],
- “…prostrate…on the ground before every creature, down to a Chandala,a cow, an ass, or a dog.” [ibid 24:16]
(Refer also to Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 11, Chapter 29).
You began by saying “Lord Shiva is the most loved (sic) of Lord Vishnu”. But, of course, vice versa too. The rest of what you said, i.e., Lord is “the supreme GOD (and that) there is no one above or even equal to him”, etc., is arrant bigotry and religious parochialism (or what is called in Sanskrit as ‘ekantibhava’), to say the least.
The same types of proclamations can be found in every authoritative scripture, whose author is none other than Srila Vyasa Dev, the self-same personality who wrote the Srimad Bhagavad Gita where, you said, Lord Krishna has announced that He is the “supreme God”:
- In the Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva has been proclaimed to be the Lord of the Universe whom Lord Vishnu revers.
- In the Ganesha Purana, Sri Vyasa Dev says, Lord Ganesha is the Primaeval Force who has been responsible for the manifestation of even Lord Vishnu and His plenary expansions.
- In the Skanda Purana, Lord Kartikeya is said to be the Creator from whom all other deities, including Lords Vishnu, Shiva and even Krishna had emanated.
- Devi Bhagavatam is abound with the incontrovertible evidence that all other manifestations like Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, Lord Vishnu are subservient to Devi, the mother of the Universe.
- In Kurma Purana, Sri Vysa dev pays obeisance to Lord Shiva as the Lord of the Universe.
- That is why Narada Purana says, “They who do not distinguish between Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, but worship them both equally as ONE- these indeed are the true devotees of God. [1.5.72].
- Narada-Pancharatna, a significant Vaishnava text, further proclaims:
Shivo Harirhariha Shakshatchiva Eva Nirupitaha |
Shivadveshi Haridrohi Vishnum Nityam Bhajanapi
Meaning: 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.
The Kurma Purana (Canto 2, 1-11: Isvaragita), says that those who regard Vishnu/Krishna and Lord Shiva as different will never obtain final emancipation.
- The Matsya and Agni Puranas have shown that both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are but one. No duality.
- Haribhaktivilasa (14, 63) says that Sri Krishna is much pleased with his adorers’ observance of the fast of sivaratri.
And, If you were to look at Vishnu Purana, there is an episode of war concerning Bana, a great devotee of Lord Shiva. At the conclusion of the war, Lord Krishna declares, “We are identical with each other as is the whole world with us. Only because they are stupefied by ignorance, men contemplate distinctions”.
Now, let us deal with your egregious opinion that Lord Sharabha is a fiction. Lord Sharabha’s history is be found in the Shiva Purana, whose author (I need not remind you again) is Srila Vyasa, who is none other than Sri Krishna (Gita 10:37). When the blaze of Sri Narasimha’s fury cannot be quenched, Lord Sharabha manifested. According to the said purana, Sri Narasimha finally becomes a devotee of Lord Shiva after being bound by Sharabha.
It is an unpardonable misconception that only Lord Vishnu has descended as avatars. In Linga Purana, Sri Vyasa Dev says, Lord Ganesha has incarnated to destroy demons. Ganesha Purana and Mudgala Purana have details of His (Ganesha) avatars: Mohotkata, Mayuresvara, Gajanana and Dhumraketu. They incarnated at different yugas to slay demons.
The Shiva Purana and Linga Purana too have many accounts of Lord Shiva’s avatars. Similarly, the Devi Bhagavatam has innumerable accounts of her having incarnated in different forms to vanquish asuras. One such notable asuric personality, I am certain you will recall, is mahishasura, who was destroyed by Maha Durga, an avatar of Sri Devi.
The oft-repeated palaver, the all-time favourite of the Hare Krishnas, that Adi Shankaracharya had incarnated to “spread false knowledge”, scholars of eminence contend, is a mischievious Vaishnavite interpolation. In point of fact, more than three quarters of the anti-Shiva materials in the purana are unadulterated anti-saivism propaganda.
Because you have quoted the Ramayan, I should, then, cite evidence from that scripture and the other Ithihas, i.e., the Mahabarath, to debunk your misconceived notion that Lord Krishna or Lord Vishnu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead:
- In the Mahabarath, Sri Krsna gratifies Lord Shiva at the Tirtha Badari and declares Him to be THE creator of all, including himself. He meditates upon Lord Shiva, and having propitiated Him, obtains His darshan. In the same episode, Sri krishna has been described to be Shiva-intoxicated. Among the many boons that Sri Krishna gets from Lord Shiva, is ‘the close proximity of Lord Shiva”.
- In the Ramayan, Kausalya and Rama, and in fact the brahmins who did the yagna, are described as devotess of Lord Shiva.
- Again in the Mahabarath (3, 82, 16), Lord Vishnu has been said to have offered, every day, a thousand lotus flowers to Lord Shiva’s feet. He had even extracted one of his lotus-like eyes when, one day, he was short of one flower.
I hope that helps.