Are Shiva and Vishnu, both of them, free from Maya, and do all or almost all schools of Hindu theology believe they are?

2 Answers 2


It depends on the literature one is reading. If you browse through Devi Bhagavatam it's clear that all Trimurtis are under the maya of Shakti (Bhuvaneshwari). There are many stories that show how the Trimurtis fall victim to Maya (Ego = Ahamkara and delusion). So it's best one focuses their efforts on that which might help them uplift their consciousness rather than trying to treat the Sanatana Literature as a Singular Religions Entity/literature. It's an encyclopedia of traditions and spiritual doctrine.

  • Do most texts disagree and claim that Shiva and Visnu are free from Maya?
    – user28653
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 12:07
  • @KeoBelur Vedas say Rudra is a Conscious Knower. They also say Vishu resides in the highest stride where sages wish to go. Hence, based on the literature one Aspect of Divinity take the front seat, and the remaining play the role of seating in the back seat. They take turns so that beings with different temperaments can attain the aspect of divinity that appeals to them most. At the end, the goal is the upliftment of consciousness and not put Divinity and their aspect in a ring-match with each other. Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 19:56

The Vaishnavite philosophers hold that Shiva is under the influence of Vaishnavi Māyā of Vishnu while The Saivite School holds Vishnu to be under the influence of ShAmbhavi Māyā of Shiva. This is also seen in their respective texts. E.g. the Mohini-Shiva anecdote and the vrishabha-vishnu anecdote from bhagavata and Shiva Puranas respectively.

Similarly, Shaktas believe Vishnu and Shiva to be under the Maya of Adi Shakti.

So to answer the question, most scholars don't believe both of them to be free of Maya at the same time

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