Note: This is the third question in the series of Three questions every spiritual seeker asks.
Who is higher Krishna or Shiva?
In Hinduism, there are so many sects and many people get confused. Some people ask why there are so many gods in Hinduism. Others ask who is the ultimate god. Such questions may be many but they originate from the ignorance that prevail in our society. Followers of different sects even fight sometimes because they believe that their god is the ultimate one. Such people have no understanding of god at all. The god they worship is their own imaginary god, not the real god at all.
While the truth exists and it is consistent in Vedas and other scriptures such as Gita, it has been greatly distorted in our society with the passage of time. The current practice of Hinduism in our society has reached just too far from the truth. That is why “self realization” has been labelled as extremely rare event. We believe that only a very few people, like Buddha, can attain self realization and even those are chosen by the god himself. This is utterly nonsense. The truth is that every human being can attain self realization. That even without reading the scriptures or becoming religious. A human being can attain self realization just by living his life. Unfortunately, people are busy living others’ life everyday moving away and away from the truth. A bird does not need a doctor to live healthily, but we do. A bird does need an engineer to build his nest but we do. It is sad but many people in our society, both “educated” and “religious” ones, have false understanding about god.
The truth is that Shiva and Krishna are the two forms of the same god. In Ramayan, Ram is seen worshipping Shiva in the form of Rameshwor linga. In other instances, Shiva is seen meditating upon Vishnu or Krishna. So in both cases, he is worshiping himself or meditating upon himself. And that is the truth. But these are just the stories. We don’t need to believe them because there is a way to verify this truth. And that is meditation. When we meditate, we meditate upon our own”self”. There is no difference between the self and the god.
So the only truth to know is that god is one. It is also true that he can assume many “physical forms” with his material energy. When we identify him with a name, we are essentially referring to his physical forms. So all the names commonly used in Hinduism are the names of his different forms. Shiva, Krishna, Vishnu, Ganesh, Laxmi, Durga, etc., all are the names of his forms. Because his ultimate nature is essentially formless. He cannot be described because he is the describer. He cannot be seen because he is the seer. He cannot be known because he is the knower. He cannot be perceived because he is the perceiver. Isn’t it true that the eyes cannot see the eyes themselves? Can a knife cut itself?
Experiential truth is that Shiva is the state of “nothingness” and Krishna is the state of “bliss” or paramananda, both of which can be experienced (together) by the practice of meditation. But nobody should believe other’s description about god. Please don’t believe my words either. Because as I try to describe Shiva and Krishna, I move further away from them because I am using my mind in this process. God is beyond mind and its logic; we cannot use mind to understand him. Shiva and Krishna must be understood experientially.