Answers to this Quora question say Swami Vivekananda was an incarnation of Shiva. Was Swami Vivekananda mentioned in Hindu scriptures as an avatar of Shiva?

  • I don't think so. Usually vishnu only incarnates.
    – user3986
    Oct 22, 2015 at 7:50
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    Actually in Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa's Gospel, Sri Ramakrishna is said to look at Swami Vivekananda and exclaim (paraphrased) that Swami Vivekananda is Nara Narayana Himself come to be with Him. So Swami Vivekananda could be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This is not from Hindu scripture, however most Advaitins take the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa seriously. All the best
    – Sai
    Oct 22, 2015 at 15:00
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    @Sai What do you mean by "most Advaitins take the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa seriously"? I don't think most Iyers, for instance, believe in Ramakrishna Paramahansa or Vivekananda. They just believe in figures like the Sringeri Shankaracharya, the Kanchi Shankaracharya, etc. I think people who are Advaitin by birth far outnumber the followers of Vivekananda. Nov 2, 2015 at 15:03
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    @KeshavSrinivasan I guess there are two types of advaitins, by birth and by belief. IMHO some the people whom you call 'Advaitins' by birth don't have a clue about the Advaita philosophy. They only pray to Shankaracharya because they want personal favors. To me a serious Advaitin is one who has actually some kind of personal belief about the Oneness of the Atman with Brahman and is serious about that philosophy. I do believe that such advaitins do give due respect to Ramakrishna (I am not saying that they believe in them being Avatars or God, but that they take the words of saints seriously).
    – Sai
    Nov 3, 2015 at 15:42
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    @Sai Yeah, fair enough, a lot of Iyers haven't even heard of the term "Advaita". They just call themselves Shaivites. It's similar to how a lot of Sri Vaishnavas haven't heard of the words "Visistadvaita" or "Pancharatra" or even "Sri Vaishnava"; they just worship Vishnu using the Alwars' poems and call it a day. It's one of the unfortunate aspects of the Kali Yuga. Nov 3, 2015 at 15:49

5 Answers 5


Lord Shiva is never born from A garbh of a pregnant women. This never happened since the beginning of Universe. Lord Shiva just appears and disappears. It is wrong to say human beings which are born are Shiva Avatar. People claiming to be an Avatar of Shiva are misleading people.

Sources: Shiv Mahapuran

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    Welcome to Hinduism.SE! Answers on this site should be backed up with details and sources. So it's not enough just to say Shiva Purana, you should summarize and/or quote the relevant verses from it. Oct 26, 2015 at 20:53
  • Answer is incorrect
    – Akhil
    Apr 20, 2018 at 23:01

Swami Vivekananda said jokingly he was one of Shiva's demons. As a longtime follower of Ramakrishna/Vivekananda, Ramakrishna is seen as an incarnation of Vishnu, Vivekananda is looked upon as one of seven celestial sages. No one says Vivekananda is an incarnation of Shiva.

  • please cite references in your answers. Mar 30, 2017 at 5:31

Yes,Swami Vivekananda was an avatar of Lord Shiva because people were also called him ``Bileshwar Mahadev''. His mother was a devotee of Shiva and she had prayed to Lord Shiva for a son. I live in Kolkata and in my city there is the house of Vivekananda. One day,I went to Swami Vivekananda's house. The guide told us that Lord Shiva himself incarnated as Swami Vivekananda's. I saw the Shiva Linga which Vivekananda's mother was worshipped everyday. Swami Vivekananda was an avatar of Lord Shiva that many people knows.

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    Welcome to Hinduism SE! You should cite sources for your answer. Also, I suggest you to create an account on this site.
    – The Destroyer
    Nov 4, 2015 at 17:26
  • Afaik ,and as said in one of the answers,usually Swami Vivekananda is regarded as an avatar of one of the Saptarshis not Lord Shiva.
    – Rickross
    Oct 31, 2016 at 4:05

Anyone can say whatever they want. A recent phenomena to describe a saint's greatness is to use the word 'avatar' as a glorifying indicator of greatness. This phenomena is outside of orthodoxy, as in orthodoxy, Saivites don't have avatars period, and Vaishnavites have a traditional 10 or 11.

  • 2
    Welcome to Hinduism SE. Answers on this site should be elaborate enough to solve the questioner's doubts and should contain relevant texts from Hindu scriptures, eg, Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, etc to support your answer. Please either edit your answer to provide more details or delete/comment instead.
    – Aby
    Nov 6, 2015 at 13:15
  • Incorrect answer, else back it up with source
    – Akhil
    Apr 20, 2018 at 22:58

Just think of Parliament of Religion , Chicago. What have we heard. It was a divine voice that proclaimed a profound philosophy , that came out of Swamiji. Who else other than Lord Shiva , could have delivered such a profound philosophy. Lord did it through his human form Just like Sri Shanakaracharya ( definitely a Shiva Avatar ) did it several hundreds years ago . He was the symbol of eternal India . People are now gradually realising it

Om Namaha Shivaya , Om Namaha Sri Shankaraya . Om Namah Mahacharya Vivekanandaya .

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    Welcome To Hinduism SE! Pls.provide some sources or links for where your came to know about this in your answer.As answers on this site sould be backed by citing from authentic Hindu Scriptures like Puranas etc. Oct 30, 2016 at 18:05

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