My question is that Lord Shiva is also Vaishnava (Devotee of Lord Vishnu). Because I read this fact before from one scripture, so anybody can attach that scripture which claimed that Siva is greatest Vaishnav.

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    I dont think it is wise to indulge in such comparative ventures. Jun 2 '16 at 14:41
  • @AmitSaxena : Yes it is true,brother and answer already given by ram look out the answer.. Jun 2 '16 at 14:46
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    Yes, there are many scriptural statements about Shiva being the greatest Vaishnava. So that's pretty much a universal belief among Vaishnavas. But the notion that Shiva is the "first" Vaishnava is something that's unique to Vallabhacharya and his followers. That's because they trace their origin to the Rudra Sampadayam. You see, Vishnu is said to have taught the principles of Vaishnavism to four disciples: Brahma, Lakshmi, Shiva, and Sanat Kumara. Sri Vaishnavism traces its origin to Lakshmi, which is why we're called "Sri" Vaishnavas. Vallabacharya's sect traces its origins to Shiva. Jun 3 '16 at 1:25
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    @KeshavSrinivasan : exactly, Keshav ,now days Everybody interrupt the scriptures as per their own speculation, and not understand from the actual scriptures and accept the truth, anyway good comment. Jun 3 '16 at 5:56
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    yes shiva & vishnu r each other's greatest devotee & each other's guru & each other's deity & even that's why shiva being tamasik lord he is white & vishnu being satvic is dark...but yet parvati is dark like ma kaali & is sister of vishnu so white r shiva & saraswati who r bro sis & so r lakshmi & brahma yellow...:)
    – Shivam Ner
    Jun 13 '16 at 11:20

Srimad Bhagavatam 12.13.16

nimna-gānāṁ yathā gaṅgā
devānām acyuto yathā
vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ
purāṇānām idam tathā

Just as Ganga among rivers, Achyuta among gods, Shambu among Vaishnavas, This (Bhagavatam) is the same among Puranas.


Whether Lord Shiva is greatest Vaishnava or greatest Shaivite or greatest Shakta or greatest any other, depends on scripture which you read.

As per Shiva Purana:

In Koti Rudra Samhita Shiva Purana chapter 42, Suta states:

सर्वे रुद्रं भजन्त्येव रुद्रः कंचिद् भजेन्न हि ।
स्वात्मना भक्तवात्सल्याद् भजत्येव कदाचन ।।

All worship Rudra but Rudra worships none. But for the sake of devotees sometimes he worships/meditates upon Himself.

Thus as per this Lord Shiva is neither greatest Vaishnava nor Shakta nor Iskcon.. etc.. But he is Shaivite himself.

As per Srimad Bhagvatam:

Srimad Bhagvat Purana in 12.13.16 states:

निम्न-गानां यथा गङ्गा देवानाम् अच्युतो यथा ।
वैष्णवानां यथा शम्भुः पुराणानाम् इदम् तथा ।।

Just as Ganga among rivers, Achyuta among gods, Shambu among Vaishnavas, This (Bhagavatam) is the same among Puranas.

So, as per this Lord Shiva is greatest Vaishnava here.

As per Devi Bhagvatam:

Devi Bhagvatam in 3.5.22-23 states:

Brahmâ said :-- When Shiva of wonderful fire and energy, said this, the Devî Ambikâ clearly uttered the nine lettered mantra. Mahâdeva accepted the mantra and became very glad. He fell down at the feet of the Devî, and then and there began to repeat the nine-lettered mantra together with Vîja (seed) that yields desires and liberation and can be easily pronounced.

So, here we see Lord Shiva is a greatest Shakta here.


I haven't read Brahma Vaivarta Purana yet, but I'm sure there **Lord Shiva is a greatest Gaudiya. Similarly in Padma Purana Uttara Khanda (and also in Ramcharitmanas) Lord Shiva is greatest Ramanandi. Similarly in some chapters of Uttara khanda of Padma Purana, Lord Shiva is greatest deceiver also ... and so on.. the list continues.


Srimad Bhagvatam is best among Puranas and summary of Vedas itself. What it says is always true and other are false.

We Reply:

If we see towards end part of each Purana we find every Purana say that Purana is best among the Purana. And every Purana repeat many many times they are expanding Shrutis.

Possible Solutions:

Here are possible solutions to solve this matter:

1) As every Purana are sectarian in literature so each of them try to make deities devotee of their Supreme Lord.

2) Every God worship all Gods and oneself too. And thus every Purana only keep part of this truth in it. Eg. Lord Shiva is greatest Shaivite, Vaishnava, Shakta, Gaudiya etc.. and all. But Puranas only keep part of truth in needed segments.

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    Why so many downvotes to such an correct answer???
    – Rickross
    Oct 22 '16 at 16:11
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    # 1-i think this question is asked with "the same ulterior motive",because ,it can not be that a vaishnava(who knows many other similar verses)isn't aware of this rather famous verse given in the selected answer.Now,if a devotee of a Ugra Devata gets fanatic or extremist in his behavior that can still be understood(however that does not even actually happens), but how can by worshiping the most benign(Soumya) of all Gods one get so much of fanaticism and hatred??When i used to do ekadashi fasts i did not have hatred even for my enemies.
    – Rickross
    Oct 23 '16 at 14:51
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    #2 I don't think that this "downvoting" serves any purpose unless the user is made to post his reasons alongwith.Only then the system becomes constructive.And,that's mainly y i have stopped downvoting entirely.
    – Rickross
    Oct 23 '16 at 14:51
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    @Tezz does Brahma vaivarta purana and RamCharitmanas call SHiva greatest Gaudiya nd Ramanandi resp.? If so pls attach some reference. Oct 26 '16 at 12:47
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    Is other part needed? Bhagavatam explicitly says Shiva is a greatest vaishnava. But no other text claim that he is a greatest shakta or something like that. There are only incidents worshipping devi and meditating on himself. Please do not add your opinions like greatest Ramanandi, gaudiya etc., You should not give speculations. You already know that. Apr 6 '17 at 18:14

Yes, Shiva & Vishnu are each other's greatest devotee & each other's guru & each other's deity.

That's why Shiva despite representing tamasic guna, is white in complexion while Vishnu representing the sattvic guna is dark in complexion. Moreover, despite that, Deví Parvatí is dark complexioned in her form of Mata Kaali & she is also the sister of Vishnu. Furthermore, Shiva & Saraswatí, who are siblings are white complexioned, & Lakshmi & Brahma are yellow in complexion.

  • From Durga Saptashati ( Murti & Vaikritika Rahasyam)

But we have Veda Vyasa saying in the Mahabharata:

तस्मिन्हि पूज्यमाने वै देवदेवे महेश्वरे।

संपूजितो भवेत्पार्थ देवो नारायणः प्रभुः ॥ (MB.12.328.20)

Krishna continues: If Śiva, the devadeva, maheśvara, is worshiped, Lord Nārāyaṇa stands well worshiped.

अहमात्मा हि लोकानां विश्वानां पाण्डुनन्दन। (MB.328.21a)

तस्मादात्मानमेवाग्रे रुद्रं संपूजयाम्यहम् ॥ (MB.328.21c)

I am the Self of all the worlds (beings), O Arjuna. Therefore, I worship My Self that is Rudra,first.

यद्यहं नार्चयेयं वै ईशानं वरदं शिवम्। (MB.12.328.22a)

आत्मानं नार्चयेत्कश्चिदिति मे भावितं मनः॥ (MB.12.328.22c)

If I do not worship Śiva, the Lord, the bestower of boons, no one will worship the Self. Such is my conviction.

मया प्रमाणं हि कृतं लोकः समनुवर्तते। (MB.12.328.22e)

प्रमाणानि हि पूज्यानि ततस्तं पूजयाम्यहम्॥ (MB.12.328.23a)

That which I place as a role model for people, they follow suit. Those which are the ideals are to be worshiped and hence I worship Śiva (who is such an ideal).

यस्तं वेत्ति स मां वेत्ति योऽनु तं स हि मामनु। (MB.12.328.23c)

रुद्रो नारायणश्चैव सत्त्वमेकं द्विधाकृतम् ॥ (MB.12.328.24a)

He who realizes Śiva, knows Me and he who realizes Me, realizes Śiva as well. For, Rudra and Nārāyaṇa are one Principle, manifesting as two.

And Sridhara Swamin, says:

माधवोमाधवावीशौ सर्वसिद्धिविधा यिनौ।

वन्दे परस्परात्मानौ परस्परनुतिप्रियौ॥

[invocation to the commentary to the Srimadbhāgavatam]

I bow to Mādhava and Umādhava (Shiva) who are both 'Isha-s' Supreme Lords. They are capable of bestowing all accomplishments (to their devotees). They are both the selves of each other and both love to engage in the stuti of each other.

And the Skandopanishad/ Sanda purana says:

शिवाय विष्णुरूपाय शिवरूपाय विष्णवे ।
शिवस्य हृदयं विष्णुः विष्णोश्च हृदयं शिवः ॥८॥
यथा शिवमयो विष्णुरेवं विष्णुमयः शिवः ।
यथान्तरं न पश्यामि तथा मे स्वस्तिरायुषि ॥९॥ यथान्तरं न भेदाः स्युः शिवकेशवयोस्तथा । [Skandopaniṣat]

Obeisance to Śiva who is of the form of Viḷṣṇu, and to Viṣṇu of the form of Śiva. Śiva's heart (self) is Viṣṇu and Viṣṇu's self is Śiva. Just as Viṣṇu is fully verily Śiva, so too Śiva is fully verily Viṣṇu. As I do not see any difference between them, let me be prosperous and long-lived. Let there be no difference between Śiva and Keśava.

(Sri Upaniṣad Brahma Yogin, an advaita Acharya, has written the commentary for this Upaniṣad as well along with the entire 108 Upaniṣads)

दक्षयज्ञविनाशाय हरिरूपाय ते नमः।

3.39.76 (हरिरुद्राय)

[These are the words of Arjuna to Lord Śiva.]

In the Harivamśa, an extension of the Mahabharata, we have Markandeya's words:

मार्कण्डेय उवाच -

शिवाय विष्णुरूपाय विष्णवे शिवरूपिणे।

अथान्तरं न पश्यामि तेन ते दिशतः शिवम् ॥

Shiva is the form of Vishnu & Vishnu is the form of Shiva. Those who do not see any difference between these two, they become one one with the Supreme Auspiciousness.

Says the Mahabharata:

रुद्रो नारायणश्चैव सत्त्वमेकं द्विधा कृतम्।

लोके चरति कौन्तेय व्यक्तिस्थं सर्वकर्मसु।।

O Kaunteya, Rudra and Narayana are one principle manifesting as two going about in the world

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    Welcome to Hinduism.SE. Please format your answer, some links are broken. Please check this: How do I format my posts using Markdown or HTML? and this: How do I write a good answer?. Aug 3 '17 at 8:24
  • Very good answer. Can you please provide the list of Mahabharata chapters which you mentioned?
    – user22667
    Jan 8 at 17:57
  • The verses from the Mahabharata have this notation at the beginning: 12328023c For example, here, 12 refers to the Parva/Canto. 328 refers to the Chapter there and 023 is the verse number. C is the part of the verse. Mar 15 at 10:00

It is often seen that Ram worshipping Shiva is referred to as Shiva is great, but the fact is in the avtara of Ram NY Vishnu, never ever shows he was great in whole Ramayana, hence Worshipping Shiva won't make him the great amoungst both. Further as per Bhagvata Vaishnavas (Madhwacharya ) Vishnu from his nabhi raised a lotus in which Bramha was created, once Bramha was very angry n he pinched his lalata (part between eyebrows where anger is represented) there Shiva was born. Hence as per us there is no surprise that Shiva was great Vaishnava, But he comes after Bramha, Madwa/Hanuma/Bhima, Vadiraja. N then SHIVA.

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    You should cite sources.
    – The Destroyer
    Apr 6 '17 at 18:25
  • 1
    Please register. Improve formatting to make your post easy for reading. Here is the editing help. Also cite sources for your claims Apr 7 '17 at 6:03
  • Here is an article where Rudra creating Brahmaa (the Four Faced) and imparting him the Vedic knowledge is explained on the authority of the Shvetashvataropanishat: adbhutam.wordpress.com/2021/03/09/… Mar 15 at 10:03

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