Lord Shiva, the topmost Vaishnava
What makes Lord Shiva’s grace vital to attain the grace of ShriHari?
The Śrimad Bhāgavata Mahāpurāṇa, which is a devotional Vaiṣnava scripture, definitively states that the topmost devotee of Lord Viṣṇu is none other than Lord Śiva
nimna-gānāṁ yathā gaṅgā
devānām acyuto yathā
vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ
purāṇānām idam tathā
Just as the Gaṅgā is the greatest of all rivers, Lord Acyuta the supreme among deities and Lord Śambhu [Śiva] the greatest of Vaiṣṇavas, so Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the greatest of all Purāṇas.
Is there an Embassy to travel to Vaikuṇṭa?
Indeed, Lord Shiva is considered not only the ideal devotee but also the ‘Embassy who is empowered to issues visas’ for devotees who wish to travel to Lord Viṣṇu’s Divine abode!
Pujya Bhaishri Rameshbhai Oza explains in this short clip-
Trust, the bedrock of Bhakti
Newly anointed King Rāma Himself reveals a confidential Truth with folded hands to His beloved public of Ayodhya- ‘Without first paying reverance to Lord Śiva one cannot achieve Me (Lord Rāma).’
Why is worship of Lord Śiva a pre-requisite?
(1) Of the four-fold mind which consists of the mind (mana); intellect (buddhī); citta (stored impressions); self-consciousness (ahaṁkāra), Lord Śiva is the controlling deity of the ‘ahaṁkāra’, or sense of self.
Until an individual’s limited sense of “I” is not either surrendered to the Lord through the process of devotion, or purified and merged with the cosmic Lord through the process of knowledge, one can not directly realize the Self or experience the bliss of Divine Union with the beloved Lord.
Lord Śiva is the spiritual master of the three worlds by whose grace the individual rises from animalistic thinking which is driven by fear due to the ignorance of ‘me and mine’ and instead prepares one for Self-realisation freed of all fears, explains Pujya Bhaishri (Source: @PPBhaishri on Twitter) .
(2) Lord Śiva is the embodiment of Trust (viśvāsa) and without unwavering confidence there can be no devotion.
binu bisvāsa bhagati nahī
tehi binu dravahī na rāmu |
rāma kṛpā binu sapanehū
jīva na laha biśrāmu ||
Uttarakāṇḍa Dohā 45 90(A)
‘Without faith there can be no Devotion and Śrī Rāma never melts except through Devotion;
and without Śrī Rāma’s grace the human soul can never attain peace even in a dream. ‘
Mutual Respect and Devotion
Just as Lord Śiva is the greatest Vaiṣnava, so too is ShriHari the greatest Śaiva
When you look at Lord Rāma’s exalted character- as exhibited in His noble actions, sentiments and thoughts- there is no other Śaiva (or devotee of Lord Śiva) that compares to Lord Rāma.
The triad of relationships that bind Lord Śiva and Viṣṇu
So who is Master and who is the obedient Servant? Truly speaking, the pair share a deep mutual love and respect which makes their relationship extremely flexible!
(1) Master, svāmī
(2) Servant, sevaka
(3) Friend, sakhā
They are able to equally and easily enjoy this trinity of bonds, as and when the circumstances command. Lord Rudra, as Hanumāna enjoys uninterrupted service of Lord Rāma and as Rameśvara accepts worship and blesses Lord Rāma with supreme success. As friends, they support one another’s causes of sustenance and destruction (for renewed creation).
Reciprocally, Lord Rāma commands Lord Śiva to re-marry Mother Pārvati after the demise of Mother Sati.
The same Lord Rāma had met Mother Sati in the forest of Daṇḍakāraṇya when she came to ‘test’ Him and reverentially asked for the Father of the Universe, Lord Śiva?
Vital announcement in King Rama’s First Public Address
aurau eka guputa mata sabahi kahau kara jori |
saṃkara bhajana binā nara bhagati na pāvai mori ||
Uttarakāṇḍa Dohā 45
‘With joined palms I lay before you all, another secret doctrine:
without adoring Śaṅkarā (Lord Śiva) man cannot attain devotion to Me.’
⚪️ Do-you-know who established the Rāmesvara Jyotirliṅga; which is one of the 12 jyotirliṅgas which are visited by masses of devotees all year round? Submit your answer in the comments below
je rāmesvara darasanu karihahī |
te tanu taki mama sidharihi ||
jo gaṃgājalu āni carhāihi
so sajujya mukti nara paihi ||
Laṅkākāṇḍa Caupāi 1
They who will behold Lord Rāmeśvara will, on quitting the body, go direct to My sphere in heaven.
And a man who takes the water of the Gaṅgā and pours it on the Lord will attain liberation in the form of absorption into My being.
Article by Nimisha Sadhu & Rajesh Purohit