By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Difference between Shiva and Vishnu, Krishna

Madhudvisa: Prabhupāda? What is the position of Lord Shiva?

Prabhupāda: Lord Shiva is a demigod, but he is higher than all other demigods. He’s higher than Lord Brahmā also. But he’s not the Supreme Lord. Just like there are different gradations. That is not difficult to understand. In society also, there are different gradations. Similarly, the living entities, there are different gradations. Some of the living entities are situated in higher planets, some of them are situated in lower planets and some of them are situated in high-grade life and some in low-grade life. So the demigods are also living entities, but they are enjoying better standard of life due to their acts of piety. But Lord Shiva is not amongst the living entities. He’s above the living entities but he is counted as one of the demigods. But his position is better than Lord Brahmā even. Brahmā is said to be the highest living entity within the universe, and Lord Shiva’s position is higher than that of Lord Brahmā.

Madhudvisa: Does Lord Shiva have a wife, like, a consort?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Pārvatī. Satī. Everyone has got wife. Yes. Śakti.

Devotee: Is Lord Shiva a devotee of Lord Krishna?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Everyone is devotee. Only the madmen, they are not devotees. Any sane man is devotee of… Sanity means become devotee. That is sanity. And one who is not a devotee, he is insane. So how can you expect that Lord Shiva is not a devotee? He’s not insane. We, the material, ordinary living entities, who are in the lower grades of life, are all insane.

Dayānanda: Does Lord Shiva have a relationship with Durgā?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Durgā is the material energy. So Lord Shiva is directly connected with the material energy. Therefore he’s less than Lord Vishnu. Vishnu is not directly related with the material energy. The example is given in the Brahma-samhitā. Just like milk, as soon as it comes in touch with something sour, it becomes yogurt. The yogurt is nothing but milk, but in connection with some sour material, it is yogurt. So yogurt is milk, but it is not milk also. Your child requires milk. You cannot give yogurt. Somebody can argue, “Oh, yogurt is milk preparation, why not give?” No. It will be not beneficial for the child. Similarly, if you want release from this material world, you have to take to Vishnu, no other demigod. If you want strength, then you have to drink milk, not yogurt. You can eat yogurt, at times, for some taste or for some particular purpose. But milk is general drinking. Just take the statistics, how many bottles of milk are sold in the store and how many bottles of yogurt are sold. If yogurt and milk is the same thing, why they’ll demand milk and not the yogurt? Is that right? Yes. But nobody can put argument, “Oh, why do you take milk? Take yogurt.”

[An excerpt from the Q&A session of the Bhagavad Gita class held on December 11, 1968 in Los Angeles]









  1. Lord Shiva is a demigod
    “OM NAMO BHAGAVATE RUDRAYA” (Yajurveda, Taitiriya Aranyaka, Sri Rudram, Anuvaka 1)
    “purusho vai rudrah” (Yajurveda, Taittirya Aranyaka 10:24:1)

    Therefore he (Lord Shiva) is less than Lord Vishnu.
    “namo girishaya cha shipivishhtaya cha |” (Sri Rudram Anuvaka 5)

    Salutations to Him who dwells on the mount Kailasha and who is in the form of Shipivista (Vishnu).

    “sá yád dhruva´? dísam ánu vyácalad ví??ur bhutva´nuvyàcalad vira´jam annadi´? kr?tva´ |” (Atharva Veda 15:14:5)
    “He (Vratya/Shiva), when he went away to the steadfast region, went away having become Vishnu”.

    “soma? pavate janita matina? janita divo janita p?thivya? |
    janitaghnerjanita suryasya janitendrasya janitota vi??o? |” (Rig Veda 9:96:5)
    “Father of holy hymns, Soma (Sa+Uma) flows onward the Father of the earth, Father of heaven:
    Father of Agni, Surya’s generator, the Father who begat Indra and Vishnu”.

    if you want release from this material world, you have to take to Vishnu, no other
    “oṁ tryambakaṁ yajāmahe sugandhiṁ puṣṭi-vardhanam ǀ
    urvārukam-iva bandhanān mṛtyormukṣīya māmṛtāt ǁ” (Rig Veda 7.59.12)
    “OM We worship Shiva, the Three-eyed Lord who is fragrant and who nourishes and nurtures all beings. As is the ripened cucumber freed from its bondage May He liberate us from death for the sake of immortality.”

    Do you still believe that Lord Shiva is a demigod and is inferior to Lord Vishnu?


    • Dear Ms. Nilalohita,

      Yes. I still believe that Lord Shiva is a demigod and that Lord Shiva is inferior to Lord Vishnu. The reason being that this is what my Guru Maharaja, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has taught me.

      acaryavan purusu hi veda: It is said that the import of Vedas can be understood only by those, who have taken shelter of a bonafide spiritual master (Acharya). Since I have taken shelter of an exalted Acharya, I know the ultimate truth of the Vedas.

      And what is the ultimate truth of Vedas? That is mentioned by Krishna Himself – “vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo [Bg. 15.15]” Krishna says that “by all the Vedas, I am to be known.”

      But if one does not take the shelter of a bonafide guru, then one cannot understand Krishna even after reading the Vedas. That is what Lord Brahma says in the Brahma Samhita [5.33], “vedesu durlabham” – “If you try to read the Vedas academically then you will not find Krishna therein.”

      “It is not easy to understand Me because I don’t reveal Myself to the foolish and unintelligent,” says Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita: naham prakasah sarvasya [Bg. 7.25]

      Therefore after reading the Vedas, you have arrived at the conclusion that Shiva is greater than Krishna. That is the power of the deluding energy of Krishna. That deluding energy (Durga) is the consort of Lord Shiva. She has cleverly deceived you into believing that her husband, Lord Shiva is the Supreme.

      As far as the verses that you have quoted from the Vedas, none of them categorically mention that Shiva is Superior to Vishnu. The translations provided by you are also concoted and incorrect.

      The Vedanta is the essence of the Vedas. But since the intellectual capacity of the people of the present age is very dull, they cannot understand the Vedanta. Therefore the author of the Vedanta Sutras, Srila Vyasdeva, gave his natural commentary in the form of the Srimad Bhagavatam. Thus the Bhagavatam has been decribed by Srila Vyasdeva as the ripened fruit of the Vedic tree (nigama kalpa taror galitam phalam).

      So if you read the Bhagavatam and the Bhagavad Gita, you will understand who is the Supreme Lord. But first you will have to take shelter of a bonafide spiritual master. That is what the Vedas advise. tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya, upadeksyanti te jnanam jnaninas tattva darshinah[Bg.4.34].

      But the problem is that you have already declared the most exalted scripture, Srimad Bhagavatam, as bogus. The British propaganda has worked on you. The British, in order to rule over India, destroyed the belief of Indians by falsely propagating that the Puranas are bogus. Thus you have fallen pray to their propaganda and have declared the Srimad Bhagavata Purana as bogus.

      So who can help you? “Only Krishna and His bonafide representative, Srila Prabhupada.”

      Keep reading our blog and keep commenting and I am sure you will understand that Lord Shiva is demigod, and that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

      Hare Krishna.
      Yours in the service of Krishna,
      Niraj Bidawatka, Editor – The Hare Krishna Revolution


      • Ah here the Krishna’s foolish servant again .This guy always comes up with such funny ,stupid ideas time to time. What a FUNNY guy! asshole.


      • This guy has nothing else to do other than talking shits about his LORD! Why don’t you go fuck your mother if you’re really bored and have nothing else to do…! that way you can please someone…ASSHOLE!


  2. An excerpt from Vedanta sutra:
    Adhikarana 8 – All Names Are Names of Lord Visnu

    Introduction by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

    Someone may object: Many passages in the scriptures do not support your conclusion at all. This adhikarana is written to dispel this doubt. The Svetasvatara Upanishad explains:

    ksharam pradhanam amritaksharah harah
    “Material nature is in constant flux and the Supreme, Lord Hara is eternal and unchanging.” (1.10)

    eko rudro na dvitiyaya tasthuh
    “Lord Rudra is the Supreme. He has no rival.” (3.2)

    yo devanam prabhavas codbhavas ca
    visvadhiko rudrah sivo maharshih
    “Lord Siva, who is known as Rudra, is the omniscient ruler of the universe. He is the father of all the demigods. He gives the demigods all their powers and opulences.” (3.4)

    yada tamas tan na diva na ratrir
    na san na casac chiva eva kevalah
    “When the final darkness comes and there is no longer day or night, when there is no longer being and non-being, then only Lord Siva exists.” (4.18)

    The scriptures also explain:

    pradhanad idam utpannam
    pradhanam adhigacchati
    pradhane layam abhyeti na hy anyat karanam matam
    “From pradhana this material world was born. This world knows only pradhana. This world merges into pradhana at the time of annihilation. Nothing else is the cause of this world.”

    jivad bhavanti bhutani
    jive tishthanty acancalah
    jive ca layam icchanti
    na jivat karanam param
    “From the jiva all the elements of this world have come. In the jiva they rest without moving, and they finally merge into the jiva. Nothing else is the cause of this world.”

    Samsaya: Should Hara and the other names given in these quotes be understood in their ordinary senses, as names of Lord Siva, pradhana, and jiva, or should they all be understood to be names of the Supreme Brahman?

    Purvapaksha: The names should all be understood in their ordinary senses, as names of Lord Siva, pradhana, and jiva.

    Siddhanta: The conclusion follows.

    Sutra 28

    etena sarve vyakhyata vyakhyatah
    etena -in this way; sarve -all; vyakhyatah -explained; vyakhyatah-explained.

    All (words in the scriptures) should be interpreted to agree with the explanation (that the Supreme Brahman is the original cause).

    Purport by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

    In this sutra the word etena means “according to the explanations already given,” sarve means “Hara and the other names,” and vyakhyatah means “should be understood to be names of the Supreme Brahman because all names are originally names of the Supreme Brahman.”

    The Bhalvaveya-sruti explains:

    namani visvani na santi loke
    yad avirasit purushasya sarvam
    namani sarvani yam avisanti
    tam vai vishnum paramam udaharanti
    “The names of this world are not different from Him. All names in this world are names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. All names refer to Him, Lord Vishnu, whom the wise declare is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

    Vaisampayana Muni explains that all these names are names of Lord Krishna. The Skanda Purana also explains:

    sri-narayanadini namani vinanyani rudradibhyo harir dattavan
    “Except for Narayana and some other names, Lord Hari gave away His names to Lord Siva and the other demigods.”

    This is the rule that should be followed: When the ordinary sense of these names does not contradict the essential teaching of the Vedas, the ordinary meaning should be accepted. When the ordinary sense of these names does contradict the teaching of the Vedas, these names should be understood to be names of Lord Vishnu. The repetition of the last word (vyakyatah) here indicates the end of the chapter.

    sarve vedah paryavasyanti yasmin
    satyanantacintya-saktau parese
    nityam tasmin nas tu krishne matir nah
    On Lord Krishna, who is the final goal taught by all the Vedas, who is the master of unlimited and inconcievable transcendental potencies, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and who in His own pastimes creates, maintains and destroys the material universes, may we always fix our hearts.

    Thus it is clear that all names like siva,indra,vishnu,rudra,prajapati,etc. are also names of Lord Krishna as proved by Vedanta Sutra!


  3. Pingback: What is the Position of Lord Shiva? | The Hare Krishna Movement

  4. Hare Krsna. Aum Namah Sivay.

    To my understanding, Lord Shanker and God Shiva has been mixed up by people as one, due to lack of understanding proper godly knowledge. Therefore they say Shiv Shanker as one. This is due to Lord Shankar meditating to God Siva (Sivling). Also Lord Ram meditated to God Siva (Sivling) and not to Lord Shankar. Since God Siva does not come into life and death cycle, (sivling) and is omnipresent, bodyless, God Krsna becomes Sivas’ (sivaling) purest, perfect, complete divine body, instrument to perform various divine leela to explain to ordinary humans like us on Earth, and speaks and teach us the divine knowledge, i.e.. Gods’ Divine Golden Laws, and to believe The Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna.
    Sri Krsna gave Divine knowledge to Arjun and explained to him everything about Life….How to live life! eg Godly rules and regulations for us to obey and follow. Our merciful GOD has given us total freedom to believe in HIM or choose your own thinking! Choice is yours. Why should anyone debate about what GOD is called? Never try to know who GOD is, just understand what he is telling us to do, and be like him in our thoughts, words, actions., deeds, and see all and everything as divine as HE does!

    Just follow Gods’ teachings to us to be a good souls doing good karmas, not hurting anyone, never misusing all the resources he has provided, respect the nature and 5 elements provided for free! do charitable activities, uplift the fallen souls, meditate and connect with HIM etc. and all this is our divine earnings for our next life! This is Law of Karma, we create our own Destiny so please make effort in this doing what GOD wants us to do and not debating about HIS name, form, and count on his miracles, mercy, blessings. love on US!

    In GODS’ love and remembrance always,
    Best Wishes .


  5. Really how stupid you all are. You Vaishnava, you know that that there are more People who devote to Shiva, so because of your insecurity you always keep on saying, Shiv is bad, Shiv is demigod, or whatever.
    Shiva Bhakta dont go on beating the drum, that Shiva is Supreme, Vishnu is less than him. Because We know that Shiva is Greatest.
    You know I am A Shiv Bhakta, and I always got everything. But one thing I didn’t have. I kept on asking shiv to bless me and give me it, and after only a few days he gave me that. Do you know What that was…? That Was Devotion towards VISHNU. Shiva blessed me with devotion to Vishnu.
    Shiva meditates all the time, on whom, On Vishnu. Vishnu loves the most whom, Shiva. Both Vishnu and Shiva are Bhakta and Eeshwar of each other.
    Stop All this. If you are lover of Vishnu, it means not that you insult Shiva. And Shiva Bhakta love Shiva, so means it not that they hate Vishnu.


    • My dear fellow being, it is always Shiva worshippers who keep telling he is Supreme without knowing the essence and inner meanings of Vedas, puranas, upanishads. Kali yuga is full of asuras. Still sane and wise ppl connect to ultimate supreme energy soul.


  6. shiva devotees are demons ravan is shiva devotee vishnu avtar ram killed ravan, hiranyakashyap is shiva devotee narasimha killed hiranyakashyap, hiranyaksha is shiva devotee varaha killed hiranyaksha, kumbhakarna is shiva devotee rama killed kumbhakarna, our lord vishnu killed so many shiva devotees in his avatars but your shiva never killed single vishnu devotees jarasanda is shiva devotee bhima is vishnu devotee bhima killed jarasanda your shiva failed to save his devotees hahaha thirupathi is world richest vishnu temple even his temple is more powerful than other gods so only lord vishnu is supreme god


    • Om NAMAH SHIVAAY.Krishnam vande Jagatguru my Intention is not to hurt your sentiments, accepting your devotional knowledge I personally feel that one should not raw for supremacy of their devotional Lord because for every devotee their Aaradhya would be supreme…

      #Rama worship Shiva seeking his(Shiva) Blessings,
      #Krishna worship Shiva thrice
      1) to bring kalp vriksh down to earth from heaven
      2) advice Pandavas to worship Shiva by rudrabhishekam and other rituals
      3) when Krishna want a son he Again worship Shiva and obtain the benediction of 10-10 sons.
      # Parshuram incarnation of Shri Hari do penance on Lord Shiva and obtain the weapon called “parshu”
      #Even Shri Hari Vishnu Himself worship Lord Shiva and Offer him 1000 lotus Flower after being tested by Lord Shiva he offer his one eye on shivlingam and that’s why Shri Hari known as Kamal-Nayan Vishnu

      #Even Shri Hari (Vishnu ) classify Himself as “NAR” and “Narayan” and worship Shiva that place today is known As Kedarnath

      #Moreover, at the time when Mother Sati Set up on fire at Prajapati Daksh(VISHNU’S Devottee) Rudra-avatar Veer Bhadra beheaded Daksha after defeating Shri Hari…

      #According to Vidheshwar Samhita Lord Shiva came I between Shri Hari and Lord Bramha in form of iron pillar and both Shri Hari and Lord Bramha wereunable to find origin or end of Shiva that’s the reason Lores Shiva is Worship in form of Lingam


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