The greatest devotee of lord shiva

The greatest devotee of lord shiva

Santosh Gairola   By   santosh |  updated :   5 April 2018
Who was the greatest devotee of Lord Shiva, Ravana, Nandi or Lord Vishnu?

This post is really a long post.

On devotion point of view, we will explore the bond of affection between Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.

On this post will help you to understand why Lord Vishnu has immense reverence for Shiva that Shiva is known as Vishnu Vallabha.

(Vishnu Vallabha means the one who is most dear to Lord Vishnu).

Meantime we will also discuss who is the biggest devotee of Shiva?

This is a very important question for us which must be answered, So we have defined it in detail.

We request you to read the whole article for better understanding of this topic.

Let's get started to find out Who is the biggest devotee of Shiva?

For understanding the answer regarding this question, people need to understand that there is the various hidden aspect of this question.

Firstly, Let's summarize Shiva and Vishnu at one glance.

Then we will explore who is the greatest devotee of Shiva? is it Ravana, Nandi, Lord Vishnu or somebody else?

Understanding Lord Shiva First - Who is Shiva?

The one who is supple hearted Yogeshwara distinct from the world formalities always Dhyanyuktam.

Mount Kailash is his abodewhere he lives an unconventional way of yogic lifestyle and looks after each and everyone.

Shiva the Lord of Lords, Only God who is known for living on the earth close to his devotees.

Hence Kailash is pious in Sanatana Dharma. But Kailash influence is not limited to particular beliefs system.

Sanatana Dharma, Buddhism, Bon, and Jainism also find themselves associated with sacred Mount Kailash.

There are various interesting facts and stories associated with Shiva's Kailash Parvat.

Now talking about Shiva, How can an ordinary person like you and me could define him.

A Supreme Vairagi who is still tied with a thin thread of devotion by his devotees.

Shiva is regarded as Adiyogi. The founder of the yogic culture and Yogis see Shiva inside and outside of their thought process.

Hence Yogis follows the scientific Teachings of Shiva, open heartily and lead their lives towards blissfulness and enlightenment.

Shiva is a shapeless supremacy who has a form so that his devotees can have an image of him on their mind.

Masculine physique smeared with cremation ground ashes, Astonishingly strong with Tripund on his body, Stylish matted hairs which are coiled.

Holy River Ganga resides on those matted hair locks.

A man with a blue throat and king of snake kingdom Vasuki around his necks which signifies that he is master of Kundalini Power.

The most handsome form of Shiva is known as Chandrashekara, whose charm could not be described in words.

Sarveshwara is Known for his simplicity and worshipped all around the globe as Bholenath .

Every those section of civilized society who suffered the immense agony, sorrows and social boycott takes refugee to him.

Shiva gives safeguard to all who so ever calls him with a true heart and puts faith in him. He never let down his devotees.

Entire sage community includingsapt Rishis Markande, sage Dadhici and Sapta rishis - Bhrigu, Atri, Angirasa, Vasistha, Pulastya, Pulaha, and Kratu are the first 7 disciples of Shiva.

Shiva, The master of the universe still he owns no house to live.

Hence no one in this cosmos is eligible to make you understand who is Lord Shiva?

Due to his shapeless form, he is beyond human consciousness.

Vedas, Puranas, and Upanishads defined him as Adideva.

Hence Shiva has known as Mahadev now a question comes, if Shiva is Maheswara [ Maha Iswara ] then Who is Narayana or Lord Vishnu?
For understand Lord Vishnu's devotion towards Shiva, it becomes crucial to understand who is Lord Vishnu?

Who is Lord Vishnu?

Lotus-eyed, Lord Vishnu whose shine is brighter than millions of the sun. Lord Vishnu handles the responsibility of universal laws preservation.

Time to time Lord Vishnu incarnated himself for the protection of Dharma from the atrocities of demons and evils.

Ravana was one of those extremely powerful demons who meditated upon Shiva and received the Chandrahasa glaive in the boon.

Lord Vishnu manifested himself as Son of Dasaratha & Kausalya Lord Rama to kill the demon king Ravana and make mother earth free from his atrocities.

Rudra avatar of Lord Shiva, Maruti played a crucial role by helping Rama in the fierce battle between Rama and Ravana.

Without the help of Lord Hanuman, it wouldn't be easy for Rama to win the battle against demon king Ravana.

Hanuman regarded as a selfless devotee of Lord Rama. Therefore qualities of Lord Hanuman are praised and admired all over the world.

Similarly, Lord Vishnu admire Qualities of Lord Shiva and worship him as his Aradhya.

After killing of Ravana Lord Rama worshipped Shiva to get freedom from the sin of killing a Vedic scholar.

Shiva shares a sweet bond of affection and love with Lord Rama. Shambhoo Nath likes to recite and chant the glory of Ram Naam.

In the Rudra avatar of Lord Hanuman, Shiva extols the benefit of chanting Ram Naam all over the world.

Understanding Vishnu is equivalent to understanding Shiva. There is no difference between Shiva and Vishnu.

Both collectively known as Harihar worshipping one means worshipping both.

In fact, Shiva is the third manifestation of the ultimate Vibration Omkara. This might sound surprising to some people.

Lord Vishnu appeared first then followed by Brahma then finally Shiva appeared.

Lord Vishnu as Narayana

Sanatana Dharma is the oldest civilization based on the precise scientific knowledge according to Vedic culture. Its root is too deep and based on logical facts.

There is no founder of Sanatana Dharma. It is based on sharing knowledge and absolute freedom.

Such freedom of acquiring knowledge illuminates towards the concept of supreme consciousness.

It all started with the absolute voidness when there was nothing except the Omkara.

Omkara took the shape of a cosmic couple and they created the primary elements.

After that, they decided that they need someone's help with that deep mentation they decided to create the third one.

Vishnu emerged from them and did the penance to achieve all the required knowledge.

During his penance, various elements and water stream came out of his body.

Due to the popping out of various water streams, from Lord Vishnu body, he got his name, Narayan.

After the successful penance, Vishnu rested over the cosmic sea water which came out of his body.

A lotus came out from his naval part and Brahma emerged from that Lotus.

Brahma argued with Lord Vishnu regarding his superiority over Lord Vishnu.

For sorting out the issue between them, Omkara appeared in the form of infinite fire pillar order both of them to reach the edge of the pillar.

Vishnu moved downward and Brahma moved upward. After so many Kalpas to traveling downwards, Vishnu accepted his hard luck but Brahma lied that he reached to edge of the pillar.

In a mystic voice, infinite fire pillar scolded Brahma for lying and defined that Vishnu will be worshipped all over the world but Brahma abandon from worshipping.

After that, Both worshipped the infinite fire pillar and requested him to take some iconographical morph so that they could worship him.

Sadashiva as an infinite fire pillar mentioned that you both are my energy.

Vishnu since you told the truth you will be treated equivalently to my manifestation Shiva,

On your request, I will take shape as Rudra which will appear in the mount Kailash and known as mahadev.

Hence there will be no difference between Vishnu and Shiva. Both are unborn, immortal and super powerful.

Lord Shiva presented Sudarshan Chakra to Lord Vishnu

When we come across Vedic Puranas like Vishnu Purana and Shiva Purana they fill you with eternal joy.

There are so many beautiful incidents featured in those Puranas out of them Sudarshan Chakra incident is really spellbinding.

Once upon a time for pleasing Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu visited Kashi (The most loved city of Lord Shiva)

[ Kashi is one of the most ancient cities of the world, The element of Shiva can be felt in every substance of the city ]

After taking bath in the Manikarnika Ghat, Lord Vishnu decided to worship Shiva with one Lakh [100 k] lotus flowers.

After pouring water on Lingam Lord Vishnu decides to offer Lotus by one on Lingam.

Meanwhile, Shiva decides to test the reverence of Lord Vishnu for him, Shiva hides a lotus flower from the collection of lotuses.

Now there was the shortage of only one lotus flower in the collection.

Lord Vishnu starts offering lotus flowers on lingam one by one. After finding the shortage of one lotus, Vishnu tries to find the last lotus.

But after realizing the shortage of one lotus, Lord Vishnu thinks about his eyes that he is also known as KalamNayana. ( Lotus-eyed )

While thinking that Lord Vishnu decides to offer his eyes on Lingam as the lost flower.

As Vishnu was going to pluck out his eyes Shiva made him stop right there.

Shiva told to Lord Vishnu that Narayan you are too close to my heart. Ask anything Lord I will surely present that to you.

The reverence you have shown towards me, so from today Kartik Sukla Chaturdashi, this day will be celebrated as Vaikuntha Chaturdashi.

Who so ever will worship you first on this auspicious day than me. He will get instant Moksha (salvation).

Shiva was so much happy with Narayana that he gifted Sudarshan Chakra to Lord Vishnu. Furthur Shiva elaborated that this Chakra will be your powerful weapon.

In all three realms, no other weapon will able to counter it. Hence it will be the destroyer of demons and evil.

Since then Sudarshan Chakra is the weapon of Lord Vishnu. This chakra returns to Lord Vishnu after destroying the enemy.

Lord Krishna avatar of Lord Vishnu used Sudarshan Chakra to kill Shishupal in a massive gathering of warriors.

Comparison of Vishnu and Shiva is unethical.

Shiva and Vishnu is the flux of the meta energy which works collectively in their own dimension.

They hardly interfere with each other's work. Therefore comparing Shiva with Vishnu is totally unjustified.

Lord Vishnu is the preserver whereas Shiva is the known as Hindu God of Destruction in Hinduism but in reality, Shiva is not just a destroyer. He is much more than that.

He is the greatest giver and auspicious blissfulness that anyone can feel while meditating upon the Panchakshari mantra Om Namah Shivaya.

Actually, there is no such word as Hindu. The appropriate and real word is eternal Dharma or Sanatana Dharma.

Most importantly Dharma represents here responsibilities, not religion.

Brahma Vishnu and Mahesh are the Trinity of the Sanatana Dharma and each one plays their role in Trinity, for example, Brahma is regarded as creator.

It is a cyclic process of creation, in which creation is followed by preservation and then it is followed by destruction.

Destruction is the most important thing in Sanatana Dharma. It opens the doors for the new creation and replaces the old one.

Shiva is Shaktipati, the ultimate destroyer of Darkness and evil and energy is required for destruction purposes.

Therefore SHAKTI (energy) is the spouse of Lord Shiva.

Shakti manifested herself as goddess Parvati, daughter of mountain king Himavan and queen Mainawati.

Shiva Parvati is worshiped as an ideal couple all over the world. Shiva is the beloved husband of goddess Parvati and both Shiva Parvati shares the sweetest love story.

Time to time, energy has manifested herself. Firstly as Goddess Sati then Goddess Parvati. Loss of Goddess Sati turned Shiva towards Vairagya.

Goddess Parvati took birth to marry Lord Shiva so that equilibrium could get established in the world after the loss of Goddess Sati.

Devi Parvati did the hardest penance to achieve Shiva as the husband.

Hence Goddess Parvati is also included in Lord Shiva devotees list.

Shiva is Adipurushua regarded as alpha male or primary male whereas Goddess Parvati is the iconographic form of nature.

She takes care of Shiva by giving him proper nourishment, care, and environment so that Shiva could take care of universal phenomena.

Lord Shiva and Parvati are inseparable. If Shiva is Man then Goddess Parvati is his Shakti (energy).

One can learn so many lessons from Lord Shiva especially the love between Shiva and Parvati is the definition of trust, respect, care.

Lord Vishnu is the brother of Goddess Parvati.

So far we have defined various dimensions of Shiva devotees including Lord Vishnu and Goddess Parvati

Now going back to discuss Lord Vishnu devotion towards Shiva

Lord Shiva is Aradhya of Lord Rama. If we closely observe we find that Vishnu's almost every avatar worshipped Shiva as supremacy.

Including great warrior sage Parshuram , Lord Rama, and Krishna.

After understanding about Shiva and Vishnu lets get little deep to the defined question?

Who was the greatest devotee of Shiva, Is it Ravana, Nandi or Lord Vishnu?

Who is the biggest devotee of Shiva?

After understanding about Lord Vishnu and Goddess Parvati devotion. It becomes important to make it clear that devotion is an inexpressible feeling.

Let's elaborate it

Foremost thing reverence doesn't come in shape, size and quantity hence no one can compare the devotion of one devotee with other.

Shiva devotees knew it really well that Shiva is a Vairagi who doesn' compare his devotees on the base of their karma , birth, and path of worshipping him.

When devotees offer him materialistic substance Bhootnath understands the Bhaav (feelings) and devotion of the devotees associated with Lord Shiva.

Shiva is known for his innocence and gets pleased easily with just offering a Bilva leaf or water pouring on lingam etc. There is a spiritual meaning behind offering to Shiva.

Few devotees offer toxic substance to Shiva. When a devotee offers Marijuana or weed to Shiva. It means he is offering his evils side and sins to Shiva.

So that Shiva may Consume their evil side as he consumed the cosmic poison Halalhal to save the universe from poison extreme effects.

Shiva doesn't need any materialistic stuff or any fancy style of worshipping. He is Sampoorna (complete) in himself.

Hence there is no particular way to worship him only one thing is required for worshipping him i.e true reverence.

Comparing great Ravana devotion with Nandi is pretty narrow.

Still, let's discuss the Bull Nandi and Ravana devotion for Bhootnath.

There is no doubt that Ravana and Nandi are two most known devotes of Shiva.

Let's explore Ravana Devotion first for Shiva

The greatest demon Ravana was one of the most famous devotees of Lord Shiva.

He pleased Shiva by offering his 9 head and at the time of offering his tenth head Shiva appeared in front of him and made him stop by doing so.

Shiva returned all heads to Ravana. This gave a name to Ravana i.e Dashanan Ravan.

After getting pleased by Ravana way of devotion, Shiva blessed him with the immense strength.

This extreme power made him win all 9 planets including Shaani. Ravana doesn't stop there, He even tried to make Shiva Personalize.

Ravana was an amazing architect, musician, and admirer of art and Vedic literature. He used to play vena to just please Shiva by his musical notes.

He even tried to Lift entire mount Kailash but Shiva put his feet thumb down to Mount Kailash and made Ravana hands get suppressed beneath the Kailash.

Till 7 days Ravana hands remained beneath the Kailash making him feel his mistakes and immense pain.

While feeling all the pain, for pleasing Shiva, he created Shiva Tandav Strotra in which he did the grand apotheosis of Lord Shiva.

Shiva got impressed with the devotion of Ravana and lifted his feet thumb over Kailash ground.

Let's explore Bull Nandi devotion for Shiva

Nandi is regarded as the vehicle of Shiva but when we closely observe Nandi traits we find that Nandi is a selfless devotee of Shiva.

Shiva granted a boon to Nandi which enabled Nandi to stay in Kailash with him as his devotees and companion friend.

For the creation of the world, Shiva dissected his energy from his body and gave it Brahma So that world could come into existence.

After the Dissection of Shakti from Shiva. Both Shiva and Shakti get apart from each other.

Nandi was the first one who observed the hidden agony of Lord Shiva. But Shiva never expressed his grief with anyone, still, Nandi experienced it.

This is the selfless emotional attachment Nandi has with Lord Shiva.

He talked with other Gans but everyone ignored his thought and explained that Shiva doesn't need anyone. He will always remain celibatarian.

When Nandi came to know about Goddess Sati as the incarnation of Shakti. This little happiness filled him with great hope.

He was assured that Sooner or Later one day Goddess Sati will become the spouse of Shiva and Nandi will get his mother on Mount Kailash.

He did everything possible to make Shiva and Goddess Sati to get married to each other.

Many times Nandi faced the angry protest of Shiva against getting married to Goddess Sati. But Nandi didn't lose his positivism.

Nandi supported and encouraged Goddess Sati in her journey towards Shiva. He guided Goddess Sati, how she could get Shiva as her spouse.

It is really a mesmerizing story of a princess who gets 's enchanted with the persona of Shiva.

Every time she used to get in any kind of life-threatening trouble, She used to chant Shiva's name with true devotion & affection. Shiva has to appear in front of her to help her.

There are many heroic incidents associated with Shiva and Sati in which Shiva came to protect Sati from the attacks of various demons.

By seeing Nandi efforts of bringing Sati and Shiva closer, Shiva once scolded Nandi, He even made Nandi return to his Father Shilada house.

After getting apart from the Kailash premises, Nandi stops taking his meal and becomes mute and deaf toward outer stimuli's and indulges himself in the deepest thoughts of Shiva.

By seeing the condition of melt-hearted Nandi, on request of Nandi Father Shilada, Shiva appears to Nandi and admires his devotion towards him.

Before taking Nandi to Kailash, Shiva blesses a boon to Nandi that who so ever will request their prayers in your ears. Their prayers will directly reach to me without any resistance.

Since then people speak their prayers and wishes in the ears of the Nandi. It surely reaches to Shiva without any barrier.

After the loss of Goddess Sati, Shiva indulged himself in Vairagya and deepest level of meditation. He ignored taking interest in world phenomena.

Such condition creates adverse conditions for goddess Parvati to get her married to Shiva.

Nandi requested goddess Parvati to speak her prayer on his ears so that Goddess Parvati prayers could reach to Shiva directly.

This is the dedication level of Bull Nandi towards Shiva. Nandi is Shiva vehicle, Gatekeeper, and caretaker of Kailash.

You cannot reach Shiva without finding him in middle of the path towards Shiva.

So far we have discussed Lord Vishnu, Goddess Parvati, Ravana and Nandi devotion for Shiva.

Shiva's devotee's list is really large it includes demons, humans, animals, Rivers, sages, information seekers, nature, demigods, Lord Vishnu, Ghost, Gandharvas, Yaksha's etc.

But there is one special devotee of Shiva who's devotion is free from outer formalities of the world.

Who even made his Lord Shiva his devotee. His name is Lakulesh.

Such devotees don't follow rules and customs while worshipping Shiva. On the other side, Lord understands and admires their devotion to him.

The greatest devotee of lord shiva

Once upon a time, a young devotee named Lakulesh takes an oath to worship Shiva till the last breath.

In that period of time, Sati's birth hasn't happened.

He did a hard penance upon Shiva without the intake of any food for severalKalpas . Shiva appears in front of him and asks Lakulesh to take some kind of boon.

Lakulesh Sees Shiva in his Vairagi guise. A certain kind of shine comes into Lakulesh eyes.

Shiva's that morph gets stored in his heart and mind of the Lakulesh. He gets down on the feet of Shiva.

Lakulesh replies to Shiva that I didn't meditate on you in hope of receiving something.

Shiva delighted by his devotion so he again encouraged Lakulesh to ask a boon.

Shiva tells to Lakulesh that when a devotee penance gets successful then he has to give something to his devotee.

Finally, Lakulesh asked a simple boon from Shiva that "Oh my lord till the last breath of my life, I want to worship you".

Shiva granted the Lakulesh wish and blessed him another boon that he will live a really long lifespan on earth.

After that Lakulesh drinks the Kailash Mansarovar lake water and chooses another appropriate place to worship Shiva again.

He gets indulges in the meditation for many more Kalpas in the meantime Sati takes birth, gets marries to Shiva and finally leaves her life in the Yagya of Daksha.

Then second time Shakti (Energy) incarcerates herself again as Parvati. Parvati performs the hardest austerity upon Shiva to get him as her husband.

Shiva get's married to Parvati through a grand wedding ceremony and slowly - slowly takes the whole responsibility of Mount Kailash.

After so many years of chanting Shiva's name, Lakulesh comes out of the meditation.

On Kailash, Shiva gets to realize that his devotee came out of years of meditational practice. This brings happiness for Shiva.

Lakulesh hears the chant of Shiva mantra so he decides to approach slowly- slowly towards the source of Shiva's mantra chanting.

His matted hairs were touching soils. He was carrying a wooden trident with him.

Lakulesh was moving slowly in an unbalanced walk and his nails were long.

He reaches to a beautiful kingdom where a Yagya just got accomplished and respectable delegates were enjoying Yagya Prasad.

King's man observes his condition and felt that he is undernourished. They request Lakulesh to consume some Prasad.

Lakulesh accepts the Prasad and sits in the position to eat it. Suddenly he sees beautiful Shiva Parvati Idols in the Yagya.

He stands on his feet and moves towards Shiva idols, Everyone gets shocked by the unusual behavior of the Lakulesh.

Kingsmen try to stop him but he keeps moving toward Shiva idols. King of the kingdom stops his men see what happens.

Lakulesh lifts Shiva's idol and put down just next to him. He takes a bite of his prasad and offers Shiva idol to taste it.

King and everyone gets angry on Lakulesh by seeing his strange Behavior.

Lakulesh Again requests Shiva idol to take a bite of his prasad but Shiva idol doesn't consume it.

By seeing Shiva idol not consuming his prasad Lakulesh request again to Shiva Idol to consume the prasad.

Lakulesh tells to Shiva idol that if you are stubborn Shiva, then I m too stubborn. I will not eat before making you eat the Prasad.

After seeing Shiva idol not consuming the Prasad Lakulesh asks a question, Shiva, if you will not consume this prasad, then How will I consume it?

Due to your stubborn nature, I will die hungry here. Please accept the prasad Shiva, Otherwise, I will beat you with my wooden stick and only you will be responsible.

Have you heard me, Shiva? But again Shiva's Idol doesn't consume.

Lakulesh takes his stick in his hands but King's man stops him from doing so.

The king shows his wrath on Lakulesh, He punishes him by a hard stick.

  1. king reveals that you have broken rules of worshipping Shiva. Firstly you have apart Shiva with Goddess Parvati.
  2. Secondly, you have tried to Hit Shiva Idol with the stick.

Next time when king tries to hit Lakulesh, Shiva appears as a mystic Aghori and defines that we are Vairagi.

We don't follow any rules and regulation while worshipping Shiva.

How Dare you to hit my Gurudev? Do you know who is he? He is our Guru Lakulesh, A well-known devotee of Shiva.

We were moving through your kingdom.

We lost our path and by mistake, our guru reached here. He must have heard Shiva name so he came here.

What inauspicious thing you were going to do?

King replies - do you know what your guru was doing here.

Aghori sage replies that I know he must be talking with Shiva. Our Guru doesn't eat food without making Shiva eat first.

King - So it means Shiva listens to your guru?

Aghori - Definitely yes.

Aghori makes Lakulesh to stands on his feet. Lakulesh offers prasad to Shiva. This time Shiva idol consumes the Prasad of Lakulesh.

King get surprised by seeing Shiva idol consuming Prasad. He gets down on his knees of Lakulesh and seeks an apology from the Lakulesh.

Lakulesh moves from King palace and mystic Aghori Shiva moves with him. In the middle of their journey, Lakulesh gets collapse down.

Aghori Shiva request Lakulesh to have some water but Lakulesh refuses by saying that before drinking Kailash Mansarovar water, he cannot drink any other water.

Shiva gets Mansarovar water for Lakulesh which makes Lakulesh wonder that ordinary man cannot fetch Kailash Mansoravar water so fast.

Lakulesh, ask Aghori Shiva to reveal his identity. Shiva smiles and disappear. Lakulesh identifies Aghori sage as Shiva.

He decides to run towards Kailash and after reaching Kailash Nandi welcomes him.

It is the moment when a great devotee of Shiva meets and welcome another great devotee of Shiva.

Finally, Lakulesh meets Shiva and seeks apology for not identifying him.

Slowly Lakulesh understands that Shiva is married to Goddess Parvati and his lord has become a great family man.

Lakulesh worships both Shiva and Parvati and takes their combined blessing.

This is a really beautiful definition of reverence and emotions.

Now how can we categorize devotion of various devotees?


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