I watched a serial that narrates how Shiva created Vishnu and Brahma to create and save Earth and all the souls. I have not read this in any of the scriptures but could someone point me to the source of this story?

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    This is opinion based question as different sects have different opinions.
    – The Destroyer
    Jul 5, 2018 at 6:31
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    Please stay away from Shiva vs. Vishnu debate and don't create hindusm tag. It is meaningless where the total site is about Hinduism. Jul 5, 2018 at 16:53
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    @sv. Questions are also same. That question s serving as canonical question about creation of Trimurtis. We have been closing any question related to creation as a target to that. There are answers giving how Shiva created others and Vishnu created Shiva and others in the linked question. I think that is a correct target. This isn't a specific question. And Shiva Vs Vishnu Vs any god questions can be manipulated by modifying them like this. We should avoid such questions no matter what. They create debates and discussions. So, leaving closed. Jul 5, 2018 at 17:44
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    @Sarvabhouma 'This isn't a specific question.' - it is, read the body of the original again. We shouldn't be trying to close every other question as dup. of a generic canonical question. As for 'We should avoid such questions no matter what' - we should be teaching users on how to ask objective questions instead of closing everything on that topic. Jul 5, 2018 at 17:59
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    @Sarvabhouma We should stop searching for hidden agenda in objective questions (even if there is one and not reflected in the actual wording of the question). As for this question if OP wanted to prove Shiva created the other two (OP still needs to clarify if this was their intent), my edit removed such wording and made it objective. After the edit is accepted, you shouldn't be making statements such as 'changing an off-topic one to on-topic without really changing intent'. We should stop reading people's minds and second-guessing their intentions. It is the actual wording that matters. Jul 5, 2018 at 19:05

1 Answer 1


Yes, there are plenty of scriptures which tell Lord Shiva created Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu just as there are scriptures which say Lord Vishnu created Lord Brahma and Lord Rudra or Lord Brahma took form as Lord Vishnu or Lord Rudra (some verses which I discuss in my answer here.)

The main place to see for these things would be Puranas which are primarily focussed to Lord Shiva, like the Shiva Purana, Linga Purana and Vayu Purana etc...

The answer discussed here quotes from Shiva Purana:

Shiva thought within Himself like this-" Another being shall be created by me. Let him create everything, protect it and in the end dissolve it. The supreme lord , Shiva , spread liquorice essence of nectar on His left side, on tenth limb, nectar which was the outcome of churning the ocean of His mind wherein thoughts were the waves, Satva Guna was the precious Gem, Rajas being coral and Tama being crocodile. Thereupon a person came into being who was most charming one in the three worlds, who was calm with sattva guna prominent, and appeared to be ocean of immeasurable majesty. Siva said to him-" You will be famous as VISHNU by name as you all pervasive. You will have many other names conferring happiness on devotees. Perform penance highly conducive to achievement of matter in hand. Be firm on it". Saying so lord bestowed Vedas on him through nostrils.

Similarly plenty of similar verses are also found in Linga Purana and Vayu Purana. Even in the Puranas which are not specifically related to Lord Shiva, we may find such verses. For instance like in Padma Purana which I discuss here:

य एकः शाश्वतोदेवोब्रह्मवंद्यः सदाशिवः ।
त्रिलोचनो गुणाधारोगुणातीतोऽक्षरोव्ययः ।।
पृथक्कृत्वात्मनस्तातत्रस्थानंविभयज्यच ।
दक्षिणांगेसृजत्पुरंब्रह्माणंवामतोहरिम् ।।
पृष्ठदेशोमहेशानंत्रीन्पुत्रानसृजद्विभुः ।
जातमात्रास्त्रयोदेवाब्रह्मविष्णुमहेश्वराः।। (Padma Purana Patala Khanda chapter 108)

He who is that eternal god SadaShiva,who is saluted by Brahma, who has three eyes, who is the prop of virtues, who is beyond qualities, who is unchangeable and immutable. O dear one, having divided himself and the region there, he created on his right side the son, viz. Brahma and Hari from his left side. At the back side he created Mahesh; thus the mighty one created three sons. As soon as they were born they became the three gods—Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara.

Similarly in various places of Mahabharata too, like in this chapter:

स एष भगवान्देवः सर्वतत्त्वादिरव्ययः।
सर्वतत्त्वविधानज्ञः प्रधानपुरुषेश्वरः।।
योऽसृजद्दक्षिणादङ्गाद्ब्रह्माणं लोकसंभवम्।
वामपार्श्वात्तथा विष्णुं लोकरक्षार्थमीश्वरः।।
युगान्ते चैव संप्राप्ते रुद्रमङ्गात्सृजत्प्रभुः।
स रुद्रः संहरन्कृत्स्नं जगत्स्थावरजङ्गमम्।।
कालो भूत्वा महातेजाः संवर्तक इवानलः।
एष देवो महादेवो जगत्सृष्ट्वा चराचरम्।।
कल्पान्ते चैव सर्वेषां स्मृतिमाक्षिप्य तिष्ठति।
सर्वगः सर्वभूतात्मा सर्वभूतभवोद्भवः।।
आस्ते सर्वगतो नित्यमदृश्यः सर्वदैवतैः।

O puissant and illustrious one, thee that art the beginning of all the topics, thee that art indestructible and changeless, thee that art conversant with the ordinances which govern all the topics, thee that art the foremost of Purushas, thee that art the highest of the high. Thou art he that hadst created from thy right side the Grandsire Brahma, the Creator of all things. Thou art he that hadst created from thy left side Vishnu for protecting the Creation. Thou art that puissant Lord who didst create Rudra when the end of the Yuga came and when the Creation was once more to be dissolved. That Rudra, who sprang from thee destroyed the Creation with all its mobile and immobile beings, assuming the form of Kāla of great energy, of the cloud Samvartaka (charged with water which myriads of oceans are not capacious enough to bear), and of the all consuming fire. Verily, when the period comes for the dissolution of the universe, that Rudra stands, ready to swallow up the universe. Thou art that Mahadeva, who is the original Creator of the universe with all its mobile and immobile entities. Thou art he, who, at the end of the Kalpa, stands, withdrawing all things into thyself. Thou art he that pervadest all things, that art the Soul of all things, thou art the Creator of the Creator of all entities.

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