Note: This is the third question in the series of Three questions every spiritual seeker asks.
Who is higher Krishna or Shiva?
This question is seriously flawed. Why do you want to know? If I justify that one of them is higher, will you stop worshiping the other? Otherwise, why are you asking this question?
Right now, you are thinking ‘Krishna’ and ‘Shiva’ as persons. Your understanding of Krishna and Shiva is totally incorrect. I don’t blame you because this is how it was presented, when you first knew about them. In the scriptures they were indeed described as persons. But you didn’t look at the pointing of those great stories. Scriptures such as Mahabharat, were written for a purpose, but you missed that whole purpose. Those personal forms were used to describe the impersonal reality because your mind is not capable of understanding the reality. So those stories were written in such a way that you would be able to ‘realize’ the truth within yourself when you read them. But you were focused on the story so much that you missed the whole point.
Shiva and Krishna have been described in lengths in several Hindu scriptures. In Ramayan, Ram is seen worshipping Shiva in the form of Rameshwor linga. In other instances, Shiva is seen meditating upon Vishnu or Krishna. We have to understand that Shiva and Krishna are not separate. In a movie, one person can play two different roles right? It is just like that. Ultimate god is one. There are no two gods. Shiva and Krishna are two forms of the same god.
Rather than asking such mundane questions, you should seek to know the ‘truth’.
So what is the truth?
First you should know that truth really exists. There is one ultimate truth that is the basis of all creation. There is one truth that can explain everything. That one truth can answer all the questions of your mind.
Also know that the explanation of truth is consistent in all the scriptures of Hinduism including Vedas and Gita. Not only within Hindu scriptures, the explanation of truth is consistent in all the scriptures, of all the religions on this planet. Those scriptures are not contradictory. They all point to the same direction. Only the paths are different. The final destination is the same.
Are you capable of knowing the truth?
The truth is that every human being is capable of realizing the ‘truth’. Human life is designed for liberation, to merge with the truth. There is no higher being than human being. So after death, either you must get liberated from the cycles of birth and death or you have to circle in the cycle again. You have the choice. Human beings are given the choice. Every human being living on this planet has this choice, whether rich or poor, educated or uneducated.
Who exactly are Shiva and Krishna?
Experiential truth is that Shiva is the state of “nothingness”. That is why Shiva is also called शुन्य, meaning emptiness or nothingness. When your mind is still, you attain this state. The purpose of meditation is to attain this state of nothingness. This is the ultimate point of the physical nature, or the mind. Shiva is related to the physical and so it is still perceived by the mind.
Krishna is the state of supreme consciousness or “awareness”. Krishna represents our awareness or ‘consciousness through which we perceive the physical world. That is why he is called चैतन्य which is derived from the word चेतना। Awareness and bliss are attained together, that is why Krishna is also called परमानन्द।