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As per my understanding, according to Dvaita theory the desire of every being is to attain Moksha. And the only way to attain Moksha is to attain Vaikuntha Loka. On the whole according to Dvaita philosophy there are two states of existence: one is Parmatma and another is Jeevatma. The state of Paramatma can not be attained by any Jeevatma. Paramatma is the Supreme. Paramatma is special. Paramatma is absolute God. Paramatma is Vishnu. Krishna is that Paramatma.

However it is said that Krishna (Vishnu) prayed to Shiva. Furthermore, in the Verse 9.23 of Bhagavad Gita Krishna (Vishnu) warns against praying to other demi gods.

Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kuntī, but they do so in a wrong way.

My questions are :

Is Vishnu the only real God?

If yes, then why did he pray as Krishna to another demi god when he himself had warned against it?

Would Dvaitins recommend praying to Shiva?

  • Where is dvaita involved in this case? – Pandya Oct 11 '17 at 14:41
  • As per my understanding,from Advaita point of view the prayer to Shiva would turn out to be prayer to himself therefore the question will not arise. – Dheeraj Verma Oct 11 '17 at 14:52
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    Dvaita philosophy means philosophy propounding duality, God doesn't come in picture just by name Dvaita. There are various types of Dvaita like Dvaita propounded by Bheda Shaiva Aagamas (which hold God/Pashupati is only efficient cause), similarly Dvaita propunded by Madhavacharya (Vishnu and Jeevas are totally different and Jeevas depend upon Vishnu) etc... etc... – Tejaswee Oct 11 '17 at 17:24
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    @TheDestroyer I think the OP is referring to Dvaita Vedanta. – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 13 '17 at 17:19
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I noticed that you asked many questions about what Dvaita teaches. You should know that Dvaita is just one specific system of the philosophy of Vedanta promulgated by the Madhva (Madhvacarya or Anandatirtha) who was the leader of one Vaishnava tradition (sampradaya) in the 13th century. See the Wikipedia article on Madhvacharya.

However if you are interested in Vaishnava systems of Vedanta in general you should ask your questions like "According to Vaishnava philosophy ..."

Is Vishnu the only real God?

All the gods are real, but among them there is one supreme god, it's Lord Krishna.
There are no unreal gods!

If yes, then why did he pray as Krishna to another demi god when he himself had warned against it?

He prayed to gods such as Shiva to show an example that you can pray like that, but in the Gita He explained to Arjuna that only less intelligent people think that they should worship gods in heaven and not paramatma, Lord Krishna, instead.

Bhagavad gita 7.23 — Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet.

And He also said in the verse 9.23 that the devotees of other gods perform worship "in a wrong way", as you have quoted. Some people are not capable to worship paramatma, Lord Krishna, and they are not eligible to get liberation (moksha), and Lord Krishna showed an example to those people to worship some other gods. It is better to worship any god than not worship at all. That is why Lord Vishnu or Krishna sometimes worship some gods, just to show an example to people who are not capable to worship the Supreme God, Lord Krishna.

Would Dvaitins recommend praying to Shiva?

No, they would not recommend worship of anyone except paramatma, the Supreme Absolute, Brahman, Lord Krishna. In the Bhagavad gita Lord Krishna recommends worship of Lord Krishna only as the best and ultimate type of worship.

Update:
Their Parmatma (Vishnu) prays to another Parmatma (Shiva)...There is not one Parmatma but many.

That what you said is contrary to the teaching of Vedanta. The Upanishads say that there is only one paramatma in all the beings:

eko devaḥ sarva-bhūteṣu gūḍhaḥ sarva-vyāpī sarva-bhūtāntarātmā karmādhyakṣaḥ sarva-bhūtādhivāsaḥ sākṣī cetā kevalo nirguṇaś ca

"He is the one God, hidden in all beings, all-pervading, the self within all beings, watching over all works, dwelling in all beings, the witness, the perceiver, the only one, free from qualities." (Svetasvatara Upanishad 6.11)

If you read carefully this verse you should notice that it says there is only "one God" (eko devaḥ) and also "the only one", who is the paramatma hidden in all beings (sarva-bhūteṣu -- in all living entities; gūḍhaḥ -- hidden), and also that He is the self (paramatma) within all beings (sarva-bhūta -- all living entities or jivatmas; antah-atma -- the Supersoul, the Self, Supreme Soul, paramatma). So, there are not many paramatmas, but there is only one paramatma.

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    Krishna says that those who worship other demigods ultimately worship him although indirectly. But prayers to Shiva does not go through Vishnu. Shiva is independent. That is why Vishnu had to pray to Shiva. I think Shiva is not a demi god but a God as real as Vishnu and as important as Vishnu. Therefore Vaishnava philosophy saying that only Vishnu is the Supreme (or the most important) God is wrong. Their Parmatma(Vishnu) prays to another Parmatma(Shiva)...There is not one Parmatma but many. – Dheeraj Verma Oct 12 '17 at 3:05
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    Ok so those devotees that pray other God do not pray To Krishna because They are not eligible for moksha means only Lord krishna can give moksha but mahamrityujna mantra in Rig Veda asks Lord Shiva for moksha and padma puran says a vaishnava is those who treat Shiva and vishnu as equal,if other gods can't give moksha so the devotees are just wasting there time so only Lord Krishna can give moksha not any other God is not true – Karmanya Nanda Oct 12 '17 at 4:50
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    And btw Mahabharata says It was Brahman speaking Bhagavad Gita in form of Krishna – Karmanya Nanda Oct 12 '17 at 4:51
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    @DheerajVerma See above the update in my answer. – brahma jijnasa Oct 12 '17 at 23:36
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    @Sinister Don't bring Puranic references (Narasimha) to Vedas. Every Vedas Samhita mantra has Devata. Vedas should be seen in light of Vedas. Vishnu being only Antaryami of all Devas is Vaishnava interpretation. Not everyone accepts it. Also, both Shiva and Vishnu can give moksha. This is said in many Puranas and Mahamrutyunja Mantra (Veda samhita) explicitly mentions it for Rudra. – The Destroyer Oct 13 '17 at 17:28

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