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Shiva's position

Jay.Bharadwaj_at_nrecatao.nreca.org
Date: Thu Oct 12 1995 - 10:19:11 PDT

How a Vaishnava treats Lord Shiva depends upon the Sampradaya that
one belongs to.  Vedanta Deshikar states that Brahma and Rudra are
products of Karma and therefore unfit for worship.  Madhva Vaishnavas
generally begin a discourse by chanting a shloka imploring Ganesha to
remove obstacles, then paying respects to Guru(s) and afterwards to
Shiva and Parvati before chanting shlokas on Bhagavan.  The
Bhagavatam itself has a story of the male members of Nanda Maharaja's
clan going to another place to observe Shiva Ratri where Nanda
Maharaj was swallowed by a snake.  But observance of this Shiva Ratri
ritual took place AFTER Krishna stopped Indra puja and replaced it
with the worship of Govardhana Hill.  Krishna was also present at
this Shiva Ratri observance.  Some scholars dispute the entire story
of Lord Rama establishing a Shiva temple at Rameshwaram saying that
there is no reference to this in Valmiki Ramayan.  If one accepts the
Gaudiya Vaishnava view that Lord Chaitanya was Krishna Himself, then
His going to Srisailam or His visit to another place where He entered
a temple of Durga can be explained in the light of (1)the Lord
visiting His devotee and (2) the rules of worship apply to Jivatmas
and not to Bhagavan.  Other Gaudiya Vaishnava scriptures say that
Shiva is almost equal to Bhagavan but even these scriptures
discourage his worship because of Shiva being in contact with Tamo
Guna.
I have heard lectures where the Padma Purana has been quoted as
saying that when one worships Shiva for seven lives in succession,
the Shiva will instruct that Jivatma to worship Narayana and attain
Moksha.

Jaganath.