We know the Shaivite and Vaishnavite conflict very well we have been seeing this in our history and also in some of our texts. Lord Shiva is Supreme in Shiva texts and is a devotee in Vaishnava texts. the same goes for Lord Vishnu in Vaishnava texts. Why did this conflict happen? that is a matter of long debate and discussion. In Yajurveda, we find this verse that practically ends the Shiva and Vishnu conflict. The verse says
शिवाय विष्णु रूपाय शिव रूपाय विष्णवे |
शिवस्य हृदयं विष्णुं विष्णोश्च हृदयं शिवः ||
यथा शिवमयो विष्णुरेवं विष्णुमयः शिवः |
यथाsन्तरम् न पश्यामि तथा में स्वस्तिरायुषि|
यथाsन्तरं न भेदा: स्यु: शिवराघवयोस्तथा||
Lord Shiva is in form of Lord Vishnu and Lord Vishnu is in form of Lord Shiva, both are interchangeable, Lord Shiva resides in Lord Vishnu’s heart and Lord Vishnu resides in Lord Shiva’s heart. Thus, Lord Shiva is meditating on Lord Vishnu and Lord Vishnu is meditating on Shiva. Thus there is no difference between the two they are one.
The Skanda Puran verse 26/41 यथा शिवस्तथा विष्णुर्यथा विष्णुस्तथा शिव: । अन्तरं शिवविष्ण्वोश्र भनागपि न विद्यते ।। Also confirms the difference in non-difference of Shiva and Vishnu. Thus we can see that Lord Shiva worships Lord Vishnu and also it is the other way around. For example, Lord Shiva came to Vrindavan specially disguised to see little Krishna and in Ramayana, we can see Rudra Avtar Hanuman helping Vishnu Avtara Rama. Also Lord Rama before going to Lanka worshiped Lord Shiva, and Lord Parshurama who is Vishnu Avatar took Lord Shiva’s shelter to learn the art of war. There are many such interesting aspects to illustrate the non-difference between Shiva and Vishnu.
To take this further I found an interesting story which expresses the non-difference While doing my usual reading. I am not sure with the source of the story but I guess this is from Visnu-Dharmottara Purana. We all know that Nrsimha the half-man lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu appeared from a pillar but this story gives a little different and controversial entry to Lord Nrsimha.
Shiva and Nrsimha story
There was a Brahmana by the name Viswaksena, he was a very dear devotee of Lord Vishnu. He was traveling throughout the world. Once, when he was feeling tired, he saw a forest nearby and thought to rest for a while. as Viswaksena was resting in the forest there came a man from a nearby village. He was the son of the Village Chief, Seeing the Brahmana Viswaksena, he said, “I am the son of the village chief. I have a very bad headache today so I cannot offer worship to my Ista , Lord Shiva. So I request you, please offer worship to Lord Shiva today on my behalf.” to which Viswaksena replied, “I am a devotee of Lord Vishnu and I will only worship Lord Vishnu and his forms, I am unable to fulfill your request. You may go elsewhere.”
The son of the village chief became angry and drew his sword, “if you do not obey me, if you do not worship my Ista, Lord Shiva, on my behalf, then I will cut off your head.”
In order to save himself from death, Viswaksena agreed.” Viswaksena thought, “I must worship Nrsimha in the Shiva Linga to kill this person’s Tamo-Guna (Ignorance).” So uttering the mantra “Sri Nrsimhaya Namah” – “I offer my obeisance to Lord Nrsimha” and he offered a flower to the Shiva Linga. When the son of the village chief heard him chant the mantra he got angry and drew out his sword to cut off his head, “What are you doing? You are uttering Nrsimha mantra? You are not worshiping my ista, Lord Shiva’s mantra!” When that person drew his sword to cut off Viswaksena’s head, immediately Nrsimha appeared from the Shiva Linga and cut off the head of that person and blessed Viswaksena.
With this story, we can see that a devotee should not differentiate between the two but accept them as one and worship equally.
” End of Shaiva and Vaishnava Fight “