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Conclusively answered: Shiva or Vishnu? Who is the greatest of 'em all?



Who is greatest of them all?

-Dr. MSP Aiyer, 28 December 2018. 8:54 PM

Sathya Lokaa, the abode of God Brahma and his consort Saraswathi Devi was unusually busy. Why shouldn’t it be so, when none other than the venerable sage Narada was visiting it? For a tri-loka-sanchaari who keeps wandering around the cosmos, the schedule is always quite tight considering the expanse of cosmos. A casual visit from Sage Narada has never been the case - it was always causal and there was a reason well beyond significance for his visit.

The reason is this. Despite their otherwise cozy relationship, Brahma and Saraswathi had just one single bone of contention. It is the same among Gods as among humans. Only the nature of issues differs. It is not uncommon for a husband and wife to quarrel. On earth, a typical quarrel of this nature might, say, last for a just few hours. During these hours – whether it is marriage arranged by elders or self-arranged – it simply does not matter. Each would think that they have been short-changed in the relationship. It would appear as if they have reached the very precipice of relationship; but all that for just a few hours. Then the question of who speaks first to the other arises, after a short spell of uncomfortable silence. There develops an intense desire to patch up, except for the false ego that stands on the way. Well! Biological attraction is far, far stronger than false ego. Generally, the husband would be the first one to yield, “mmm… I have just updated your Android OS. Changed the wall-paper also,” he would mutter.

The pinnacle of ecstasy for a man is an impending Android update and that is his trusted way to patch-up with his woman. Google, on its part, keeps dutifully releasing Android updates at roughly the same average frequency as of quarrels between typical married couple, which would be – per stochastic estimates – once every three days. It takes roughly three days for things to settle down, before the next quarrel rears its head. Who would be able to stop ocean waves from hitting the shore? Just as one recedes, you could see a fresh one fast approaching with an even greater vigor.

The woman of the house sulks and lovingly utters (there is an utter difference between uttering and muttering; he mutters, she utters), “Wonder when you would get updated! I wish God flashes you with a new over-the-ether (OTE) Operating System every now and then. You always find bugs in me (typical IT…) and it bugs me. I don’t know where my commonsense escaped when I nodded my head and stuck my neck out to you.” For every sentence a man attempts, the woman would have to give back in multiples of five. Yet, there exists an undeniable beauty in such a sulk and the husband inevitably goes down on his knees begging forgiveness for all the faults that ‘both’ might have ever committed.” The woman, as usual, wins; all the while making the man think that he has won! In an argument, a true gentleman should readily apologize for all the mistakes his wife commits. Well... That is typical earth. The same is also the case with heaven – more or less. To err is husband and to forgive is wife! Husband human and wife divine!

Brahma had been long since maintaining that Lord Shiva with a serpent garlanding his IBM-deep-blue-throated neck is the primordial God and the most superior. Saraswathi held a position on the contrary – the supine Lord Maha Vishnu on an even larger serpent was the greatest indeed. This contention had been going on for almost a million years. Rivers on earth changed courses; dinosaurs became extinct and meteors landed on Russia (It seems there is no better place on earth for meteors to land). But neither Brahma nor Saraswathi budged – so much for divine ego!!

Both felt that the time has now come to arrive at a final, indisputable, undeniable, undebatable, scientific, dharmic and eternal conclusion for this issue, once and for all. But who could be the apt judge? Neither Shiva nor Vishnu could be called to arbitrate, especially when this grave matter concerns them. Saraswathi was not OK calling either Lakshmi or Parvathi. She often quotes George Bernard Shaw, “One woman’s poise is another woman’s poison.” She simply cannot stand these two lovely ladies.

So, who should arbitrate?

An arbitrator should be knowledgeable, just and courageous. Where could such a person be found? Both thought long and hard and decided that Narada would be their unanimous man of choice. It was simply logical and logically simple. After all, Narada has reach across the universe and he is intimate with both Shiva and Vishnu. While the former admired his ‘higher’ virtues, the latter was in no less awe over his ‘highyengaar’ attributes. His demeanor was carpe diem; and well respected here on earth as much as in heavens. A well-balanced person, and more significantly, he is their son. A son never takes positions between his parents and always maintains a studied neutrality. Being an eternal celibate (brahmachari), he has no vested interests either.

But per gossip circulating in social media, Narada had most recently visited Triplicane, West Mambalam, Nanganallur and Mylapore with the intention of finding a suitable girl to get married. Reports mention that he was unable to concede to the demands of the girl. NASA theorizes that the galactic quakes recently sensed by its most sophisticated devices are the shudders of Narada, whenever he recollects the sordid conversation between him and a prospective girl, which was like:

Narada: Sir, I came here seeking the hand of a suitable girl.
Girl: How dare you call me sir?
N: My sincere apologies. You are dressed like a man and hence my confusion.
G: How dare! What I wear is my fundamental right just as much as not looking at me and closing your eyes is your fundamental right. So, your shoulder size doesn’t look 42. Do you ever go to the gym?
N: No madam.
G: And what is this ugly outfit you are wearing? Looks stone-age! Ever heard of Levi’s or Wrangler’s? My goodness, your hairstyle! Horrible. And, throw away that dirty musical instrument that hangs on to you like a monkey. Don’t you know to play guitar or drums? Can you ride a motorcycle? I prefer people who look like Shahrukh. I thought at least you would look like Salman, but you look like a salmon. What are your qualifications?
N: I am a gnyaani; brahma gnyaani!
G: What! I have no clue what you are babbling. So, you are not in IT field! Pathetic. Where exactly do you reside?
N: I travel across galaxies.
G: You gypsy! I want a James Bond. Not a vagabond. Doesn’t suit me at all. I prefer a US boy with H1 visa who would soon be applying for green card. Do you have your own house or flat?
N: Vasudeva kudumbakam. The whole universe is my residence.
G: Are you a nut case? Come to the point. What is your CTC? How much is your bank balance?
N: I have no use for money
G: You are such a waste! Any inheritance, ancestral properties…?
N: (just smiles)
G: By the way, have you identified an old age home for your parents? My parents would be moving with me after marriage. Taking care of parents is important. Yours would be taken care of in an old age home and mine would live with me so that they could take care of the kid.
N: Kids?
G: No, kid. Only one – if at all. I must focus on my career, which is more important than family. I have the right to protect my rights regardless of what is right. What car do you have? What are your hobbies?
N: I don’t have any car. I simply contemplate and devote myself to spiritual practices.
G: My foot! Which century BC do you come from man! You don’t even visit bars? Sorry! Totally unacceptable. I prefer those who take me out to restaurants and go on vacations. I am a social drinker and smoke. My friends call me a party animal. My rights! My privileges!! That’s all matter.
N: Aren’t those activities against dharma?
G: Rustic fool! Don’t act too smart. The man I marry must be totally devoted to me, but also be broadminded if I go out and party with my male friends and colleagues, and come back home well past midnight fully drunk, and sleep for the whole of next day. If a man can drink, why not a woman? I also use expletives to my heart’s content. No one can question my fundamental rights.
N: (hitting his own forehead) Vasudeva! Sambo Mahadeva!!!
G: Are those brands of Vodka or Whiskey? Never heard of! Can you cook?
N: Delectably so madam.
G: Non-vegetarian?
N (instinctively closes his mouth with his palms): Shiva, Shiva! I was looking for an orthodox partner!
G: Fool! May be fifty years ago. Not anymore. Many of us have become right conscious. Even if we suspect someone remotely weakening our rights, we would erupt like volcanoes. Eating non-vegetarian diet is my fundamental right. So, you are a vegetarian! That is why your shoulder size is not 42.
N: (stands stupefied and mutters) True. I look puny in front of you. (thinks, “I thought you would be my Miss Fortune, but now I realize that you would be my misfortune!”)
G: How dare you talk about my weight! By the way, I always prefer living together and understanding one another before getting married. Narad, marriage is so ancient yaar! I will also not change my gotram and surname after marriage. That way, I can walk-out of a relationship whenever I choose to, in which case I would fully leverage the law to your complete disadvantage. I would also take the help of a few NGOs for this purpose to show myself as a victim, drag your entire family to the street and ruin you. Already your father, Mr. Brahma, has only one or two temples dedicated to him and hence there would be no public support for him as well.
N (shuts his ears, shocked): Narayana… Narayana
G (has the last words): What a village idiot you are! You are not suitable for me in any way! Totally rejected. Get lost! Go to hell.
N (muses): Hmmm… I am from the heavens and she asks me to go to hell! How many times I have been there!!! Yama is such a sweet friend of mine. But how could I expect her to understand all these!

Girl’s father: Honey, isn’t our daughter God’s gift to the world? How nicely she speaks about her rights! Wow!
Girl’s mother: No mango fool! You moron! Quite the contrary; she is our gift to God.

Narada decided it would be best for him to remain a celibate to protect his “Brahma Gnyaana”.

You might not know, notwithstanding, Saraswathi did harbor a wee bit of grudge for a long time that her son was a ‘Brahma’chari. She opined that he should have been a ‘Saraswathi’chari. Since no such word exists in Sanskrit, Narada simply remained a Brahmachari. His sole property was his Veena, which he purchased second-hand from a Chitti Babu, during one of his trips to Mylapore, after a lot of haggling. The government also demonetized currency from Sathya loka, which only made poor Narada’s plight even worse. Chitti wouldn’t accept any foreign currency! Only on returning to his abode did Narada realize that Chitti was literal when he had mentioned, “our deal is done with no strings attached!”. There were no strings in the Veena. Poor Narada had to salvage threads from old ‘yagnopaveedham’ (sacred thread), worn only once or twice by opportunistic politicians, to string the instrument. The instrument was completely out of tune. Well, one must make do with what he has, true to the cliched adage, ‘when all that life gives you is a just lemon…’! Ever since this experience, Narada tried his best to avoid business dealings with folks on earth. Caveat Emptor! His agony spontaneously rolled-out on twitter as a tongue-twister, “Lord Krishna ate butter, but my experience was bitter. It could have been better.”
With such wide and varied experiences, could there be any better arbitrator? His CV was perfect! Brahma and Saraswathi summoned Narada, who immediately appeared and surrendered with utmost humility, “What is it that I could do for you, my dear parents? Please command me and I shall do thy bidding to the best of my abilities.”
“Son”, said Brahma, “your mother and I have discord on a particular issue. She says that Vishnu is the greatest, while I have confirmed conviction that it is Shiva who deserves that credit. For almost a million years we have been debating and sometimes in anger, she adds too much salt in my food. Not good for my blood pressure. We both command you to sort this out once and for all, for our sake and for the sake of this universe. People on earth are also curious to know the result. Who is greater – Shiva or Vishnu?”

“Dad, I understand the position that you and mother have taken, as typical; and the need for you to resolve this difference, as justified. But why on earth are people interested in this?” Narada’s tone was grave.

“Son,” interjected Saraswathi, “we came to know about the eagerness of people on earth from Arnab Goswami. He knows more than any of us. Go ahead and sort out our predicament - Shiva or Vishnu? If you know the answer and keep quiet, your head would break into a thousand pieces.”

Narada was petrified, “but mother, why should my head break into thousand pieces?”

“Well, that was what Betal told King Vikram. If it applies to Vikram, why shouldn’t it for you? Be logical son.”

Narada sighed, “Mom and dad, you know everything. Why don’t you sort this between yourselves?”

Brahma, “Because we have commanded you to solve this. Look right above you. The sword of Damocles is hanging and the quality of the rope it is hanging from does not conform to QS9000 standards. The rope was part of the gift that my father-in-law gave when he dumped your mother on me. Cheap and dirty fellow.”
Saraswathi angrily countered Brahma, “We could have asked this question to the mirror that I had once borrowed from Snow-white, without bothering our son. As usual, that wicked wight, your mother dropped it and broke it to bits and pieces. Old hag!”

Narada let go one deep breath and called his parents to come very close to him and whispered something for a few minutes in their ears. Since what he told was logical, dharmic, scientific, etc., the faces of both parents lit up like a 1000-watt LED bulb, made in China. Brahma was beaming, “Son, it is indeed true that you are among the wisest. This is the finest explanation that I have ever received about any subject in the last ten billion years. I completely agree with your judgment.” Saraswathi hugged Narada and gently ran through the wavy tresses of her illustrious son with her gorgeous, milky white, long and slender fingers, with lovely nails of coppery hue, “Now I can lucidly understand my son. From your explanation it is crystal clear as to who among the two is truly the greatest. You have settled the issue once and for all. Thanks so much.”

Thus, the world came to know as to who among the two – Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva – was evidently the greatest. Issue resolved. Go figure!


The article has a funny bone to it. It is just a humor. Request you to read it in full.



Ishaana Sarvavidyanam,
Ishvara Sarvabhutanam
Brahmadhipati Brahmanodhipati Brahma Shivo Me Astu Sadashivoham.


Pick your favorite Vishwaroopam Picture of Vishnu.
What is it that you see and what is it that you DON'T see?


Why do you want yourselves get divided. "BE UNITED" Don't allow gossip by raising these types of arguments which are absolutely immature.

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