In Padma Purana, Uttara Khanda, Lord Vishnu tells Lord Shiva-

'O powerful Rudra,in every age in My different incarnations I too shall worship you to delude the demons. Following these doctrines,they(demons and theists) will undoubtedly fall down.' (Reference :https://iskcondesiretree.com/forum/topics/krishna-vs-durga-1)

Is this sloka applicable to the worship of Lord Shiva by Lord Rama or some other Incarnations also? If not, what are the other scriptural reasons worship of Lord Shiva by Lord Vishnu's Incarnations?

  • 7
    Going by Valmiki Ramayana, Rama did not worship Shiva.
    – user16581
    Commented Apr 6, 2019 at 15:14
  • 1
    I personally think this verse is an interpolation. In fact many contents of the Uttarakhanda of the Padma Purana are highly doubtful by scholars.
    – user9969
    Commented Apr 6, 2019 at 15:16
  • 2
    That particular verse is not present in the critical edition of Valmiki Ramayana. In the critical edition, nowhere is it mentioned that Rama worshipped Shiva.
    – user16581
    Commented Apr 6, 2019 at 15:20
  • 3
    Related or duplicate of Why doesn't Shiva worship anybody where as Vishnu worships him in all his incarnations?
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 17:36
  • 2
    @Wikash_hindu Yes, very sure.
    – user16581
    Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 19:32

6 Answers 6


One reason is given in Shiva Purāna: Rudra saṃhitā: Satī-khaṇḍa: Chapter 25. As per this chapter, once Lord Shiva made Lord Viṣṇu sit on the magnificent throne and eulogised him:

  1. So saying, Rudra, Himself bowed to Garuḍa-bannered Viṣṇu. The bestower of boons, He who is favourably disposed to His devotees, felt delighted by his devotion to Viṣṇu.
  1. Then Viṣṇu was duly revered by Brahmā followed by devas, sages, Siddhas and others.

And in one verse Lord Shiva said:

  1. O Viṣṇu, I shall certainly see the various incarnations of yours on the earth and shall be delighted by your devotion to me.


Why doesn't Shiva worship anybody where as Vishnu worships him in all his incarnations?


yes !!! there is a promise by Him in the B.Gita and other authentic shastras that He accepts and reciprocates accordingly, the devotion of all His devotees either Radha or Shiva or any other.

Krishna as a devotee of Radha, however never reaches the level of Her devotion. Krishna in transcendental devotion of Radha can go upto "MODAN" Bhava/Rasa. Radha in devotion for Krishna reaches "MAADAN", higher than Krishna's "Modan" Bhava. Here one point is notable that Krishna reciprocates any devotee's "Bhava" with His "Rasa". So, the Vedic mantra is "Raso Vai Sah.". And, here at this point Radha becomes the supreme in devotion. Perhaps, Krishna has no Rasa to reciprocate for Radha's Maadan Bhava in devotion. Radha is considered to be at the top most level of devotion and servitude, "yatha braj-gopikanaam"- also declared by Lord Narada.

Nevertheless, in the seventh canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, He Himself says that His (marginal) devotees like Prahlad are more dear to Him than His transcendental and eternal devotees like Radha (His own soul) and Shiva (the topmost Vaishnava, the Rudra). There are infinite trillion universes, all of them have one brahma, one vishnu, one shiva, respectively. At this level of eternity all of them have equal importance in their respective universe. This is what Srimad Bhagvat Mahapuran has to say about krishna, as the supreme at chapter 14 of the eleventh canto in the " Udhava-Krishna" Samvad!!

Guru Nanak devji says in the Japji Saheb, "eka mayi jagat vyaayi teen chele parvan; ek sansari ek bhandari, ek laye divan." .

In the Bhagvatam tenth skand (canto) lord bramha visited dwarkadheesh where krishna resided expanding Himself with all His 16,108 wives. For the enlightenment of lord brahma krishna manifested before him all the brahmas of all the other universes. Our universe has brahma who has four heads and our lord shiva has five heads. The other universes have differently headed lord brahmas and lord shivas.

Lord shiva and lord vishnu have least difference in divinity at mundane level. Sri Brahma-Samahita says that if vishnu is the divine milk then shiva is a divine yogurt. They are supplementing each other at this level of divinity.

Gosvami Tuslipandit says in the Ayodhya-Kand thru the Valmiki-Ram samvad, "jag pekhan tum dekhanihare, hari-bidhi-sambhu nachavanihare."

The C.c.(Chaitanya charitamrit, madhya-lila, specially ch#20) by sril krishnadas kaviraj has all the answers. Vishnu is a divine medium which Krishna uses for different avatars for limited mundane pastimes, however, Krishna Himself is the avataree and not an avatar. Jayadev Pandit of the Geet-Govind fame, in his "Dashavatar-Stotram" has also revealed this eternal truth almost eight centuries back, at the beginning of the Bhakti-era.

All the three types of vishnus/mahavishnus (kaaran, garbhas, kshiras) are the personality expansions or purushavataras of Krishna, a.k.a. the Parmatama, the All-indwelling, the role reversible, "Prerak-Brahman" form of the "Bhokta-Brahman". During His different incarnations He takes use of His own expansions to descend to the mundane pastimes from eternal pastimes. If we study the C.C. we will accept this divine truth, there would be no room for sectarianism left on our material minds. yes, the c.c. is all about convincing and concluding the spiritual information/knowledge which we have acquired reading (ascendingly) different scripture.

lord shiva and lord vishnu have least difference in divinity at mundane level. Sri Brahma-Samahita says that if vishnu is divine milk then shiva is divine yogurt. "kshiram yatha dadhi vikar viseshyogat, sanjayate nahi tatah prithak asti hetoh; yah shambhutamapi tatha samupaiti karayad, govindam adipurusham tam aham bhajami." (S.B.S ch#5, ver#45).


  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 14:03
  • Bhagvatam vol#10, ch#88. ver# 3-5.
    – user30612
    Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 15:23
  • 3
    You shouldn't post multiple answers to same question.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 15:48
  • "Krishna as a devotee of Radha" this a Guadiya Vaishnava idea and not supported by a large group of hindus.
    – Wikash_
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 14:23
  • the universal truth. yes. but the so-known-hindus also use dictionaries sometimes to find the meaning of Rama and Krishna as seventh and eighth incarnation of vishnu respectively. Nevertheless, Srimad Bhagvatam says that Krishna has to follow the prime Gopi (Radha) when He has been trying to reciprocate Her love and devotion for Krishna. (Tenth Canto)
    – user30612
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 10:03
  1. Because Supreme lord Vishnu had given a boon to Shiva that his Avataras will worship him -

“Taking to their doctrine all the ancient demons will be averse to me in a moment. There is no doubt (about it). O very powerful Rudra, in my incarnations I too shall worship you in every age to delude the vicious ones. Having upheld this doctrine, they will undoubtedly fall.”

Chapter 235, Uttara Khanda, Padma Purana

  1. This is furthur confirmed by Varaha Purana -

For the sake of the gods, I will take incarnations and then I will worship you and you will give me boons

Varaha Purana, Rudra Gita, chapter 73, Shloka 45


The reason as to why Lord Vishnu's incarnations worship Shiva would vary depending on scripture to scripture. I Shall be giving the answer primarily based on Devi Bhagavata Purana.

Devi Bhagavata, Book 5, Chapter 1

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Sri Hari himself had also Asked Shiva for the boon to remain eternally devoted to him in the very beginning of creation itself which is why this devotion is expressed through his avataras as well.

Śiva said:

  1. O illustrious one, ask for a boon which you desire with (i.e. have in) your mind.

Having then heard the words of Śiva, Viṣṇu chose an excellent boon. Viṣṇu said: 236-239. O Śambhu, let me always have devotion for the couple of your feet. Then having granted the boon Śambhu said these (words) to Viṣṇu: “Being happy with the application of the sacred ash, you will be my devotee.”

~ Padma Purana, Patala Khanda, Chapter 105

This is backed up by the Brahmanda Purana too.

[Lord Mahadeva Said:-]

59-60. I am pleased well with both of you. I shall give unto you the boon as you please”.

Then, delighted in our minds we (Brahma and Vishnu) bowed down at the feet of the lord. We said to Mahādeva who was standing in front of us with grace. “O lord of the Devas, you are delighted; if a boon has to be bestowed by you, let us be devoted to you for ever.” The Lord of gods said:“O highly fortunate ones, let it be so. Create subjects extensively”.

~ Brahmanda Purana, Anusanga Pada, Chapter 26


Out of the nine avatars already took place, only God Rama and Parasurama worshipped Shiva. Remaining seven avatars there is no citation of the incarnations worshipped Shiva. Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana,Krishna, Balarama incarnations has not worshipped shiva. Vushnu Purana is the source for this.


The Mahabharata, an Itihasa, gives the answer perfectly.

The Shanti Parva (Chapter 342) of the Mahabharata.:

“ahamAtmA hi lokAnAM vishvAnAM pANDunandana tasmAdAtmAnamevAgre rudraM sampUjayAmyaham yadyahaM nArchayeyaM vai IshAnaM varadaM shivam AtmAnaM nArchayetkashchiditi me bhAvitaM manaH”

I am the Soul, O son of Pandu, of all the worlds, of all the universe. Rudra, again, is my Soul. It is for this that I always adore him. If I do not adore that auspicious Shiva, the boon-giving Isana nobody would then adore my own self.

Srimad Devi Bhagwatam Mahā Puranam 5:1:12-54. says thus.:

12-54. Vyāsa said :-...Again the Ṛṣi Nārāyaṇa is the part incarnate of Viṣṇu, and Vāsudeva is the part incarnate of the Ṛṣi Nārāyaṇa; hence what wonder is there, if Vāsudeva be seen to adore and propitiate Śiva? Śiva is the God of gods; and He is the Lord of all the causal bodies that exist; in the state of Suṣupti (deep sleep). In this respect, Śiva is the creator of Viṣṇu and Viṣṇu worships Him in this light. Rāma, Kṛṣṇa and others are all part incarnations of Viṣṇu; so there is no wonder if they worship Śiva......."

Atharvashika Upanishad 2:1.:

“The pranava (the sound of Om) makes all the souls to bow before it. It is the one and only one which has to be meditated upon as the four Vedas and the birth place of all devas. One who meditates like that goes away from all sorrows and fears and gets the power to protect all others who approach him. It is because of this meditation only that Lord Vishnu who is spread every where, wins over all others. It is because Lord Brahma controlled all his organs and meditated upon it, he attained the position of the creator. Even Lord Vishnu , parks his mind in the sound (Om) of the place of Paramathma (ultimate soul) and meditates upon Îsâna. , who is most proper to be worshipped. All this is only proper in case of Îsâna. ”.

The Main reason.:

Mahābhārat — Anūśāsan Parva- Chapter —18 , Verse-64.:

Vasudeva said., "...If Rudra be gratified with a person, he can confer upon him the states of eIther Brahma or of Kesava or of Sakra with all the deities under him, or the sovereignty of the three worlds. Those men, O sire, who worship Bhava even mentally, succeed in freeing themselves from all sins and attain to a residence in heaven with all the gods..."

~ Mahābhārata Anushāsana Parva Sec. XVIII.

Sathapatha Brahmana 13:6:1:1.:

"Purusha Narayana desired, 'Would that I overpassed all beings ! would that I alone were everything- here (this universe) !' He beheld this 'five days' sacrificial performance, the Purushamedha and took it and performed offering therewith ; and having performed offering therewith, he overpassed all beings, and became everything here. And, verily, he who, knowing this, performs the Purushamedha, or who even knows this, overpasses all beings, and becomes everything here."

Taittiriya Aranyaka 10:24:1.:

"Lord Rudra is the (Veda) Purusha."

Mahabharata 7 : 172: verse No. 74,78.:

By the grace of me (Rudra) you will become Nārāyaṇa with unending strength among the deities, humans and Gandharvas.

“Through my grace, none shall ever be able to cause thee pain by the weapon of thunderbolt or with any object that is wet or dry, or with any mobile or immobile thing. Thou shalt be superior to myself if thou ever goest to battle against me.'”

MBH 13:14:10-11.:

"The Krishna, due to his devotion to Supreme Lord Rudra, Has spread all over the universe (jagat vyaptham mahathmana viz became all pervasive Vishnu), Oh Bharatha, Oh king of kings, After making Lord Shiva pleased by his penance in Bhadrinath, He has attained the state of being more dear, Than all the worlds and all aspects of knowledge."

MBH 13:14:13.:

“In every new Yuga has Krishna (by such penances) gratified Mahadeva. In every Yuga has Mahadeva been gratified with the great devotion of the high-souled Krishna“.

MBH 7:172:89-90.:

“Kesava is that devoted worshipper of Rudra who has sprung from Rudra himself. Kesava always worship the Lord Siva, regarding his Phallic emblem to be the origin of the universe. In Kesava is always present that knowledge, in consequence of which he views the identity of Brahman with the: universe and that other knowledge by which the Past, the Present and the Future, the near and the remote, are all seen, as if the whole are before his eyes. The gods, the Siddhas and the great Rishis, adore Kesava for obtaining that highest object in the universe, viz., Mahadeva. The Lord Kesava always worshippeth Siva in the Phallic emblem as the origin of all creatures. The God having the bull for his mark cherisheth greater regard for Kesava”.

Nandi to Visnu: अस्य प्रसादलेशस्य लवलेशलवेन तु । ईदं विष्णुपदं लब्धम् त्वया नान्येन हेतुना ।।

By a smallest part of Śiva's grace you have attained this Viṣṇu position not otherwise.

(Sūta Saṃhitā ŚivaMahātmya Khaṃḍa —3:14). This is citied in Skanda Purāṇam and also cited by Vidyaranya Swami in his Sūta Saṃhitā Commentary!!

MBH 10.07.61.:

"With truth, purity, sincerity, resignation, ascetic austerities, vows, forgiveness, devotion, patience, thought, and word, I (Rudra) have been duly adored by Krishna of pure deeds. For this there is none dearer to me than Krishna".

I hope this clarifies all your queries. Prd..

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