NOTE: I'm not asking about Brahman which is attribute less. I'm asking about Saguna Brahman or Ishwara according to the orthodox Advaita Vedanta of Shri Adi Shankaracharya.

Here this blog says

Answer: This is a commentary of Adi Shankara on the Bhagavat Gita verse 11.43, what people do not understand is that Bhagavat Gita is actually elaborating the Upanishad, so the Samskrutam words in 11.43 “न त्वत्समोऽस्त्यभ्यधिकः ” meaning : There is none equal to you or greater than you .

This has been put due to being inspired by the Shvetahshvatara Upanishad, following is the verse from the Shvethashvatara Upanishad

न तस्य कार्यं करणं च विद्यते न तत्समश्चाभ्यधिकश्च दृश्यते।

परास्य शक्तिर्विविधैव श्रूयते स्वाभाविकी ज्ञानबलक्रिया

Translation: Oh him there is no body, nor instruments of action, there is none equal or greater to be seen, his supreme power creates this manifold world which is of the nature of knowledge, power and execution.

Shvetahshvatara Upanishad Chapter 6 verse 8

In fact Adi Shankara quotes this in his Brahma Sutra Bhashya to prove that Ishwara is without any form. Please find the link below which explains this in detail.

So if according to Adviata Ishwara is formless and can assume any form which the devotee desires, are some forms more holier than others, like what is the difference between the forms of Lord Vishnu or Lord Shiva and say a Greek God Zeus or some tribal God or a celebrity film star. Why can't someone worship the form of God Zeus or Lord Indra or some random celebrity as Ishwara? Like is there a preference for Upasya Roopa according to orthodox Advaita?

If all forms of Ishwara is equally valid, then, how are, holy Hindu forms of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, more special and holy than other forms of Greek and Roman gods or popular celebrities?

  • 1
    Why is someone downvoting atelast give some reason. May 24, 2022 at 8:43
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    I really don't get what's wrong with the question? Can someone explain?? May 24, 2022 at 9:15

1 Answer 1


This is a good question.

The answer is that some forms are spiritually more powerful than others.

Universe and gods and goddesses are manifestations of Brahman There are two states of this Brahma; one with, and one without shape; one perishable, and one imperishable; which are inherent in all beings. The imperishable is the supreme being; the perishable is all the world. The blaze of fire burning on one spot diffuses light and heat around; so the world is nothing more than the manifested energy of the supreme Brahma: and inasmuch, Maitreya, as the light and heat are stronger or feebler as we are near to the fire, or far off from it, so the energy of the supreme is more or less intense in the beings that are less or more remote from him. Brahma, Vishńu, and Śiva are the most powerful energies of god; next to them are the inferior deities, then the attendant spirits, then men, then animals, birds, insects, vegetables; each becoming more and more feeble as they are farther from their primitive source. In this way, illustrious Brahman, this whole world, although in essence imperishable and eternal, appears and disappears, as if it was subject to birth and death. The supreme condition of Brahma, which is meditated by the Yogis in the commencement of their abstraction, as invested with form, is Vishńu, composed of all the divine energies, and the essence of Brahma, with whom the mystic union that is sought, and which is accompanied by suitable elements, is effected 7 by the devotee whose whole mind is addressed to that object. This Hari, who is the most immediate of all the energies of Brahma, is his embodied shape, composed entirely of his essence; and in him therefore is the whole world interwoven; and from him, and in him, is the universe; and he, the supreme lord of all, comprising all that is perishable and imperishable, bears upon him all material and spiritual existence, identified in nature with his ornaments and weapons.

Vishnu Purana I.22.55-65

Greek god Zeus or a celebrity film star may also be thought of as a manifestation of Brahman. However, Brahma, Vishnu and Siva are the most powerful manifestations of Brahman according to Hindu scripture. Devi is herself energy of Brahman. It is the amount of spiritual energy that distinguishes inferior deities and ordinary manifestations from the trimurti (trinity) and Devi.

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    Excellent answer Sir🙏 May 24, 2022 at 13:33

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