Siva-viShNu-abheda


[under construction]

|| Hari OM ||

praNAm-s

SAstra-s proclaim Siva-viShNu abheda. They both are same as brahman. vaiShNava purANa-s praise viShNu as the supreme, while Saiva purANa-s praise Siva as supreme. They also proclaim that Siva and viShNu are different aspects of same brahman. Whenever they are praised as the supreme, the one who is the creator, preserver and destroyer, then it is meant to glorify the supreme brahman. The forms of viShNu and Siva are the most close to that of brahman and hence they are the best ones to meditate on. nirAkAra cannot be meditated. Beginners need a form to meditate and focus. Hence we are given forms of brahman as saguNa brahman, which are always rooted in brahman.

In this site, verses related to Siva-viShNu abheda are spread among many articles and pages. This page is an attempt to collect them all and put them in one place. WE will also try to add a few more verses from SAstra-s as and when time permits.

Adi Sankara believed in Siva-viShNu abheda. This is evident from the commentary on viShNu sahasranAma. This can be known by studying padaceda (beginning verses, setting pUrva bhumikA for sahasranAma), explanation of different names / attributes of viShNu bhagavAn like in 27 Siva and 114 rudra. in padaceda, Adi Sankara makes a clear point that

By using the word deva, bhagavAn, paramAtmA, mahAtmA, etc only one tatva is meant and this is AtmA / brahman. Whenever we read verses instructing us to meditate on GYAnasvarUpa or AtmasvarUpa bhagavAn, then it is not a personal deity, but only nirguNa brahman and nirAkAra brahman.

In order to establish Siva-viShNu-abheda, we will try to answer some obvious doubts that superficially look contradictory. We will also try to find a common factor.

Lets collect some objections that make us think that Siva and viShNu are not same.

1. purANa-s are classified as sAttvika, rAjasika and tAmasika. Hence not all purANa-s are authentic
2. Adi Sankara didnt consider Siva and viShNu as equal
3. There are verses in which we find that viShNu is superior than Siva

Lets take these objections one by one

1. purANa-s are classified as sAttvika, rAjasika and tAmasika. Hence not all purANa-s are authentic.

A page is dedicated to explaining that Adi Sankara and so non of the advaitins consider any purANa as unauthentic. Please visit Authenticity of Puranas, Up-puranas and Sthala Puranas. We will only list main points in brief.

  1. Verses in padma purANa classification in padma purana are interpolated / fabricated by vested interest group.
  2. Another classification exists in padma purANa, svarga khaNDa, wihch says that all the purANa-s being manifestation of different parts of Sri Hari's body are very sacred and capable of bestowing salvation.
  3. None of advaita AcArya-s consider any purANa as sAttvika, rAjasik or tAmasik
  4. No veda or upanishad or Mahabharata is classified as sAttvika, rAjasik or tAmasik.
  5. No purana says that Siva is born. rudra, is an aspect of Siva.

There are verses in padma purANa that contradict controversial verses clasifying purANa-s in various categories.

There are some verses in Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda, 236.18–21 which categorize each of 18 major purANa-s into sAttvika, rAjasika and tamasika. Lets analyse them.

Satvika Puranas:

वैष्णवं नारदीयं च तथा भागवतं शुभम् ।
गारुडं च तथा पाद्मं वाराहं शुभदर्शने ।
सात्विकानि पुराणानि विज्ञेयानि शुभानि वै ।।

Vishnu Purana, Naradiya Puran, Padma Purana, Garuda Purana, Varaha Purana, Srimad Bhagavata Purana (236.18)

Rajasa Puranas:

ब्रह्माण्डं ब्रह्मवैवर्तं मार्कण्डेयं तथैव च ।
भविष्यं वामनं ब्राह्मं राजसानि निबोधत ।।

Brahmanda Purana, Brahmavaivarta, Markandeya Purana, Bhavishya Purana, Vamana Purana, Brahma Purana (236.19)

Tamasa Puranas :

मात्सयं कौर्मं तथा लैङ्गम् शैवं स्कान्दं तथैव च ।
आग्नेयं च षडेतानि तामसानि निबोधत ।।

Matsya Purana, Kurma Purana, Linga Purana, Shiva Purana, Skanda Purana, Agni Purana (236.20)

सात्विका मोक्षदाः प्रोक्ताः राजसा सर्वदा अशुभाः ।
तथैव तामसा देवि निरयप्राप्तिहेतवः ।।

प.पु. उत्तर 236.21

Among these puranas Satvika Puranas lead one to liberation, Rajasa do not cause good and tamasa puranas lead one to hell. (236.21)

These verses are contradicted by following verses which show that all purANa-s are parts of Sri hari

According to Maharshi Suta, all the Puranas are nothing but the mediums through which Sri Hari manifests himself

एकं पुराण रुप वै तत्र पाद्मं परं महत् । ब्रह्मं मूर्धा हरेरेव ह्रदयं पद्मसंज्ञकम्॥ 
वैष्णवं दक्षिणो बाहुः शैव वामो महेशितुः । उरु भागवतं प्रोक्तं नाभिः स्यान्नारदीयकम्॥ 
मार्कण्डेयं च दक्षांग्रिर्वामो ह्याग्रेयमुच्यते । भविष्यं दक्षिणो जानुर्विष्णोरेव महात्मन: ॥ 
ब्रह्मवैवर्तसंज्ञं तु वामज्जानुस्नदाहृतः । लैऽगैं तु गुल्फकं दर्क्ष वाराहं वामगुल्फकम् ॥ 
स्कान्दं पुराण लोमानित्वगस्य वामनं स्मृतम् । कौर्म पृष्ठं समाख्यातं मात्स्यं मेदः प्रकी्र्तितम् ॥ 
मज्जा तु गारुडं प्रोक्तं ब्रह्माण्डमस्थि गीयते । एवमेवाभवद्विष्णुः पुराणाव्यवो हरिः ॥ 

पद्म पुराण, स्वर्ग खण्ड (६२।२-७)

  1. Brahma Purana is said to be the 'forehead' of Sri Hari,
  2. Padma Purana is said to be the 'heart' of Sri Hari,
  3. Vishnu Purana is said to be the 'right arm' of Sri Hari.
  4. Shiva Purana is said to be the 'left arm' of Sri Hari.
  5. Srimad Bhagawat is said to be his 'thigh',
  6. Narada Purana is said to be his 'navel',
  7. Markendeya Purana is said to be his 'right-foot'.
  8. Agni Purana is said to be his 'left foot',
  9. Bhavishya Purana is said to be his 'right-knee',
  10. Brahma Vaivrata Purana is said to be his 'left-knee'.
  11. Linga Purana is said to be his 'right ankle',
  12. Varaha Purana is said to be his 'left ankle',
  13. Skanda Purana is said to be the hair on the body of 'Sri Hari'.
  14. Vamana Purana is said to be his 'skin'.
  15. Kurma Purana is said to be his 'back'.
  16. Matsya Purana is said to be his 'stomach'.
  17. Garuda Purana is said to be his 'bone-marrow'.
  18. Brahmanda Purana is said to be his 'bone'.
Padma Purana, svarga khaNDa (62.2-7)

Note: These versies are found on both version of padma purana - south Indian with 5 khanda-s and bengali with 7 khanda-s.

We can conclude that, all the Puranas being manifestation of different parts of Sri Hari's body are very sacred and capable of bestowing salvation.  

For a body to function properly, all parts are important.

Source: Padma Puarana, Swarga Khand, International Gita Society / sankshipta Padma Purana

According to Padma Purana, there was just one purana, which was split into 18 by Bhagavan Veda Vyasa. Considering the above logic that no veda or upanishad or Mahabharata is classified as sAttvika, rAjasik or tAmasik, the original one purANa cannot have classifications as sAttvika, rAjasika or tAmasika. Since they are split in 18 by bhagavAn veda vyAsa, hence it is unwise to say that he messed various kalpa-s and so there are contradictions in purANa-s. These is no point to write something and then say that, 'it's worthless, dont practice it'.

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Hari-Hara aikyavAda in the Harivamsa


na cha tau pashyate kechidyoginau yogamAgatau |
eko brahma tathA kR^itvA pashya.NllokAnpitAmahaH ||2-125-23
No one else could realize that both kR^iShNa and shiva are one with yoga.
Only the grandfather brahma who has seen the world has made them so,
realized them as one.

uvAchaitatsamuddishya mArkaNDeyaM sanAradam |
pArshvasthaM paripaprachCha j~nAtvA vai dIrghadarshinam ||2-125-24
Immediately brahmA spoke about this to mArkaNDeya and nArada, who were
nearby, knowing that they are endowed with a vision for future.

pitAmaha uvAcha
mandarasya gireH pArshve nalinyAM bhavakeshavau |
rAtrau svapnAntare brahmanmayA dR^iShTau harAchyutau ||2-125-25
grandfather (brahmA) said:
O those with the soul of brahman (O mArkaNDeya and nArada)! I saw both
bhava (shiva) and keshava (kR^iShNa), hara (shiva) and the one not having
any decline (kR^iShNa), in a dream, in the night near a lake by the side of
mountain mandara.

haraM cha harirUpeNa hariM cha hararUpiNam |
sha~NkhachakragadApANiM pItAmbaradharaM haram ||2-125-26
I saw hara (shiva) in the form of hari (kR^iShNa - viShNu) and hari
(kR^iShNa - viShNu) in the form of hara (shiva). hara (shiva) was seen as
holding the conch, chakra, mace and wearing a yellow garment (like viShNu).

trishUlapaTTishadharaM vyAghracharmadharaM harim |
garuDasthaM chApi haraM hariM cha vR^iShabhadhvajam ||2-125-27
I saw hari (kR^iShNa - viShNu) holding the trident, three point spear and
wearing the tiger skin. hara (shiva) was mounted on garuDa and hari
(kR^iShNa - viShNu) was having the flag of the bull.

vismayo me mahAnbrahmandR^iShTvA tatparamAdbhutam |
etadAchakShva bhagavanyAthAtathyena suvrata ||2-125-28
O those with the soul of brahman (O mArkaNDeya and nArada)! Seeing that
most superior wonder, I was wonderstruck. O lord! O the one who observes
good penances! Please describe the secret of this in the proper way.
mArkaNDeya uvAcha
shivAya viShNurUpAya viShNave shivarUpiNe |
yathAntaraM na pashyAmi tena tau dishataH shivam ||2-125-29
mArkaNDeya said:
I do not see any difference between shiva in the form of viShNu and viShNu
in the form of shiva. They provide auspiciousness to the world.

anAdimadhyanidhanametadakShara
mavyayam |
tadeva te pravakShyAmi rUpaM hariharAtmakam ||2-125-30
I proclaim that the form with the soul of hari (viShNu) and hara (shiva)
has no beginning, middle and end (destruction). This form is imperishable
and having no decline.

yo viShNuH sa tu vai rudro yo rudraH sa pitAmahaH |
ekA mUrtistrayo devA rudraviShNupitAmahAH ||2-125-31
The one who is viShNu is shiva himself. The one who is shiva is the
grandfather. The manifestation is one for the three lords, rudra (shiva),
viShNu (kR^iShNa) and the grandfather (brahmA).

varadA lokakartAro lokanAthAH svayaMbhuvaH |
ardhanArIshvarAste tu vrataM tIvraM samAsthitAH ||2-125-32
They provide boons, they are the creators of the world, they are lords of
the world, they are born from themselves, they are the half woman-man lord,
observing severe penances.

yathA jale jalaM kShiptaM jalameva tu tadbhavet |
rudraM viShNuH praviShTastu tathA rudramayo bhavet ||2-125-33
As water that falls on water becomes water, when viShNu enters rudra
(shiva), he (viShNu) will become full of rudra (shiva).

agnimagniH praviShTastu agnireva yathA bhavet |
tathA viShNuM praviShTastu rudro viShNumayo bhavet ||2-125-34
As fire that enters fire becomes fire, when rudra (shiva) enters viShNu, he
(rudra, shiva) will become full of viShNu.

rudramagnimayaM vidyAdviShNuH somAtmakaH smR^itaH |
agnIShomAtmakaM chaiva jagatsthAvaraja~Ngamam ||2-125-35
Remember that rudra (shiva) has the soul of fire and viShNu has the soul of
soma (nectar, moon). All the world including the fixed and movable beings
have the combined souls of fire and soma (shiva and viShNu).

kartArau chApahartArau sthAvarasya charasya tu |
jagataH shubhakartArau prabhaviShNU maheshvarau ||2-125-36
Splendorous viShNu and the great lord (shiva) - both do good for the world.
They are the creators as well as the destroyers of the fixed and moving
beings.

kartR^ikAraNakartArau kartR^ikAraNakArakau |
bhUtabhavyabhavau devau nArAyaNamaheshvarau ||2-125-37
Both the lords, nArAyaNa (viShNu) and the great lord (shiva) are the
creators of the creation and reason. They are the creators of all beings.
Both of them are the past, future and the present.

[jagataH pAlakAvetAvetau sR^iShTikarau smR^itau] |
[They are remembered as the sustainers and the creators of the world.]
ete chaiva pravarShanti bhAnti vAnti sR^ijanti cha |
etatparataraM guhyaM kathitaM te pitAmaha ||2-125-38
They alone cause the rain in the world , light up the world (as sun), move
in the world (as wind) and create the world. O grandfather! I have
described the highest secret to you.

yashchainaM paThate nityaM yashchainaM shR^iNuyAnnaraH |
prApnoti paramaM sthAnaM viShNurudraprasAdajam ||2-125-39
The man who studies this daily and the one who hears it (daily) will
ultimately attain the highest place due to the pleasure of viShNu and rudra.

devau hariharau stoShye brahmanA saha sa~Ngatau |
etau cha paramau devau jagataH prabhavApyayau ||2-125-40
I worship the lords hari (viShNu) and hara (shiva) along with brahmA. They
are the supreme lords, responsible for the creation and destruction of the
world.

rudrasya paramo viShNurviShNoshcha paramaH shivaH |
eka eva dvidhA bhUto loke charati nityashaH ||2-125-41
The supreme lord of rudra (shiva) is viShNu and the supreme lord of viShNu
is shiva (rudra). The same lord is moving in the world always in two forms.

na vinA sha~NkaraM viShNurna vinA keshavaM shivaH |
tasmAdekatvamAyAtau rudropendrau tu tau purA |
viShNu does not exist without sha~Nkara (shiva) and shiva does not exist
without keshava (viShNu). Hence, rudra (shiva) and upendra (kR^iShNa -
viShNu) have attained oneness, since long before.

namo rudrAya kR^iShNAya namaH saMhatachAriNe ||2-125-42
I bow to rudra (shiva). I bow to kR^iShNa. I bow to the one moving in the
combined form.

namaH ShaDardhanetrAya sadvinetrAya vai namaH |
namaH pi~NgalanetrAya padmanetrAya vai namaH ||2-125-43
I bow to the one having half of six (three) eyes (shiva). I bow to the one
having two eyes (viShNu). I bow to the one having reddish brown eyes
(shiva). I bow to the one having eyes as beautiful as the lotus flower
(viShNu).

namaH kumAragurave pradyumnagurave namaH |
namo dharaNIdharAya ga~NgAdharAya vai namaH ||2-125-44
I bow to the preceptor (shiva) of kumara (subrahmaNya). I bow to the
preceptor of pradyumna (kR^iShNa - viShNu). I bow to the one who holds the
earth (viShNu). I bow to the one who carries ga~Nga (shiva).

namo mayUrapichChAya namaH keyUradhAriNe |
namaH kapAlamAlAya vanamAlAya vai namaH ||2-125-45
I bow to the one who wears peacock feather (kR^iShNa - viShNu). I bow to
the one having bracelets of serpents (shiva). I bow to the one wearing a
garland of skulls (shiva). I bow to the one wearing a garland of forest
flowers (viShNu).

namastrishUlahastAya chakrahastAya vai namaH |
namaH kanakadaNDAya namaste brahmadaNDine ||2-125-46
I bow to the one holding the trident (shiva). I bow to the one holding the
chakra (viShNu). I bow to the one holding the golden staff (viShNu). I bow
to the one holding the staff of brahma (shiva).

namashcharmanivAsAya namaste pItavAsase |
namo.astu lakShmIpataye umAyAH pataye namaH ||2-125-47
I bow to the one wearing the tiger skin (shiva). I bow to the one wearing
the yellow dress. I bow to the husband of lakShmI (viShNu). I bow to the
husband of umA (shiva).

namaH khaTvA~NgadhArAya namo musaladhAriNe |
namo bhasmA~NgarAgAya namaH kR^iShNA~NgadhAriNe ||2-125-48
I bow to the one holding a staff with skull on top (khaTvA~Nga) (shiva). I
bow to the one holding the mace (balarAma - viShNu). I bow to the one who
smears ashes on the body (shiva). I bow to the one having a dark body
(kR^iShNa - viShNu).

namaH shmashAnavAsAya namaH sAgaravAsine |
namo vR^iShabhavAhAya namo garuDavAhine ||2-125-49
I bow to the one who lives in the burial places (shiva). I bow to the one
who lives in the ocean (viShNu). I bow to the one having the bull as his
vehicle (shiva). I bow to the one having garuDa as his vehicle (viShNu).

namastvanekarUpAya bahurUpAya vai namaH |
namaH pralayakartre cha namastrailokyadhAriNe ||2-125-50
I bow to the one having not one (many) form (viShNu). I bow to the one
having numerous forms (shiva). I bow to the creator of deluge (shiva). I
bow to the one who holds the three worlds (viShNu).

namo.astu saumyarUpAya namo bhairavarUpiNe |
virUpAkShAya devAya namaH saumyekShaNAya cha ||2-125-51
I bow to the one having a gentle form (viShNu). I bow to the one having a
terrible form (shiva). I bow to the lord who is diversely eyed (shiva). I
bow to the one having a gentle look.

dakShayaj~navinAshAya balerniyamanAya cha |
namaH parvatavAsAya namaH sAgaravAsine ||2-125-52
I bow to the destroyer of the sacrifice of dakSha (shiva). I bow to the one
who bound bali (vAmana - viShNu). I bow to the one who resides on the
mountain (shiva). I bow to the one who resides in the ocean (vishNu).

namaH suraripughnAya tripuraghnAya vai namaH |
namo.astu narakaghnAya namaH kAmA~NganAshine ||2-125-53
I bow to the slayer of the enemies of deva-s (viShNu). I bow to the slayer
of tripura-s (shiva). I bow to the slayer of naraka (kR^iShNa - viShNu). I
bow to the one who destroyed the limbs (and body) of kAma (shiva).

namastvandhakanAshAya namaH kaiTabhanAshine |
namaH sahasrahastAya namo.asa~NkhyeyabAhave ||2-125-54
I bow to the slayer of andhaka (shiva). I bow to the slayer of kaiTabha
(viShNu). I bow to the one having thousand arms (viShNu). I bow to the one
having many arms (shiva).

namaH sahasrashIrShAya bahushIrShAya vai namaH |
dAmodarAya devAya mu~njamekhaline namaH ||2-125-55
I bow to the one having thousand heads (viShNu). I bow to the one having
many heads (shiva). I bow to lord dAmodara (kR^iShNa - viShNu). I bow to
the lord wearing garland of grass on his waist.

namaste bhagavanviShNo namaste bhagava~nChiva |
namaste bhagavandeva namaste devapUjita ||2-125-56
O lord viShNu! I bow to you. O lord shiva! I bow to you. O lord! I bow to
you. O lord who is worshipped by the gods! I bow to you.

namaste sAmabhirgIta namaste yajubhiH saha |
namaste surashatrughna namaste surapUjita |
O lord who is praised by the verses of sAma! I bow to you. O lord who is
praised by the verses of yajus! I bow to you. I bow to you! O slayer of the
enemies of deva-s! O the one who is worshipped by deva-s! I bow to you.

namaste karmiNAM karma namo.amitaparAkrama |
hR^iShIkesha namaste.astu svarNakesha namo.astu te ||2-125-57
I bow to the lord who is the action of the performers. I bow to the one
having unlimited valiance! O the lord of senses (viShNu)! I bow to you. O
the one with golden hair (shiva)! I bow to you.

imam stavaM yo rudrasya viShNoshchaiva mahAtmanaH |
sametya R^iShibhiH sarvaiH stutau stauti maharShibhiH ||2-125-58
This hymn of the great souls, rudra (shiva) and viShNu is recited by all
sages. This hymn is sung by all the great sages such as,

vyAsena vedaviduShA nAradena cha dhImatA |
bhAradvAjena gargeNa vishvAmitreNa vai tathA ||2-125-59
vyAsa, the expert of veda-s, nArada having intellect, bhAradvAja, garga as
well as vishvAmitra,

agastyena pulastyena dhaumyena cha mahAtmanA |
and also the great souls agastya, pulastya and dhaumya.
ya idaM paThate nityaM stotraM hariharAtmakam ||2-125-60
arogA balavAMshchaiva jAyate nAtra saMshayaH |

Those who study this hymn of hari (viShNu) and hara (shiva) daily will
become free of any disease and also will become strong. There is no doubt.

shriyaM cha labhate nityaM na cha svargAnnivartate ||2-125-61
aputro labhate putram kanyA vindati satpatim |
They will always obtain prosperity. They will never be turned away from
heaven. The childless will get children and maiden will get a good husband.

gurviNI shR^iNute yA tu varaM putraM prasUyate ||2-125-62
If a pregnant woman hears this hymn, she will deliver a best son.

rAkShasAshcha pishAchAshcha vighnAni cha vinAyakaH |
bhayaM tatra na kurvanti yatrAyaM paThyate stavaH ||2-125-63
Demons, imps, obstacles and also vinAyaka will not create any fear where
this hymn is recited.

iti shrImahAbhArate khileShu harivaMshe viShNuparvaNi hariharAtmakastavo
nAma pa~nchaviMshatyadhikashatatamo.adhyAyaH
Thus this is the one hundred and twenty fifth chapter of viShNuparva,
harivaMsha, khila of mahabhArata, fighting stops between rudra and KR^iShNa
and Hymn to harihara

Note 1: brahmA is referring to shiva's words to bANa:

dhvajasyAsya yadA bha~Ngastava tAta bhaviShyati |
svasthAne sthApitasyAtha tadA yuddhaM bhaviShyati ||2-116-31
O son! When your flagstaff, installed at its place, is broken, then there
will be a battle.

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