Supremacy of Maha Deva Over Maha Vishnu

King Janamejaya was still unconvinced as to why Sri Krishna had to pray to Maha Deva Siva, as He Himself was a fulfledged Incarnation of Maha Vishnu. Maharshi Vyasa had already explained the position and further clarified as follows: Sri Krishna was an Incarnation of Maha Vishnu but not Maha Vishnu Himself.

Any human ‘Avatara’ was to be considered in the context of a human being and could not, repeat not, be imagined other-wise as human features, qualities and action-reaction pattern or cause and effect syndrome ought to be similar, although perhaps the impact of Maha Maya might be less pronounced in the context of Incarnations as in the case of ordinary human beings.This fact was described and emphasised in the earlier pages.

The subsequent clarification was also explained fairly emphatically that the ‘inter-se’ superiority of Lord Vishnu over Lord Maha Deva was not of such consequence or relevance, since all prayers reach the Eternal Paramatma; [Akaasaat patitam Thoyam Yadha Gacchati Sagaram, Sarva Deva Namaskarah Kesavam Pratigachhati or Just as water falling from the sky converges into the Sea, all the prayers to various Gods finally reach Almighty]. Thus one might infer: ‘Sivaya Vishnu Rupaya, Siva Rupaya Vishnavey, Sivasya Hridayam Vishnuh Vishnyoscha Hridayagum Sivah’ or both Godheads are just the same and their hearts are the same.

However if this explanation sounded nebulous the definite reply would be that the seniority position clearly was: Brahma, Vishnu and Siva signifying ‘Srishti’,‘Sthithi’ and ‘Laya’ in that order or the functions of Creation, Preservation and Destruction. Veda Vyasa further explained that the Word ‘A’ meant Formation, ‘U’meant Protection and ‘M’ meant Demolition, reflecting the Three Characteristics of Satvika Guna, Rajasika Guna and Tamasika Guna. Most importantly, Veda Vyasa stated that the emphatic stress while pronouncing the last word or the Half Word ‘M’ of ‘OM’ stood for Maha Maya Bhagavati Herself. The speciality of the terminating half letter ‘M’was that it was not pronounced as a distinct and separate word, signifying thereby that the Half Word was ‘Maya’ or ‘Maheswari’ which had no Entity yet the ‘Most Distinctive’! [‘Vyakta Avyakta Swarupini’ or ‘Saguna-Nirguna Embodiment].

Sages confirmed that Vishnu was superior to Brahma and Maheswara was superior to Vishnu but in ‘Turiya’ State or of pure consciousness, beyond the three earlier States of ‘Jagrata’ (waking concious-ness), ‘Svapna’ (dreaming) and ‘Sushupti’ (dreamlessness), the finality has no concept of superiority or otherwise)! ‘Moola Prakriti’ created the Trinity, the entire Universe with living or non living entities and most interestingly the feature of ‘Ahamkara’ from Brahma downward to a blade of grass, not realising that Maha Bhagavati was the ‘Karanam-Kaaranam- Kartha’(Performance, Purpose and Performer or Action, Act and Actor) all by Herself!

The role played by ‘Yoga Maya’ was thus unique as human beings upwards to various Devas of multi-levels or potencies experienced the Ego problem or Ahamkara rooted deep down in the inner consciousness whereas the actuality was different. Thus Maharshi Veda Vyasa explained that there had been a thick cover of ignorance ruling the entire Universe and the make-believe world was a typical mirage which continued to confuse humanity as a reality, where as the reality was a hallucination or a mere fantasy!

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at