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Who is the real Almighty? Is it Shiva? Is it Shakti? Is it Vishnu? Is it Brhmaa? Is it Ganesha?
Different contradictory claims exist in Puraannas as to who the real Almighty or Supreme Being is…! Any Westerner and even any ignorant Indian, too would become bewildered after reading the contradictory claims in Puraannas regarding the Supreme Being.
Shiva Puraanna claims Shiva to be the Almighty who creates all other Gods like Vishnu, Brhmaa, Shakti, etc. Those following Shaivaism have to worship both the Lord Shiva and Shakti [Kali/Shiva]. So, the worship of both the Lord Shiva and Shakti [Kali/Shiva] is compulsory only for followers of the Lord Shiva and not for the followers of other deities.
Vishnu Puranna depicts the Lord Vishnu as the Supreme one who produces all other Gods like Shiva, etc. Followers of Vaishanav sect mainly worship Vishnu only.
The Saur sect emphasizes the supremacy of Brhmaa as the Supreme Being. There exists no major temple dedicated to Brhmaa in India except at Pushkar [Ajmer].
Devotees of Ganesha or those following Gaannapatya sect take the Lord Ganesha to be the chief consciousness.
Staunch followers of the Divine Mother Jagadamba consider her to be the principal force that produces the Trinity of Brhmaa, Vishhnnu and Shiva. Devi Puraanna guides the spiritual seeker to reach the Divine Mother by worshipping any of the ten Mahaavidhyaas or female deities along with their male cohorts with the sole exception of Dhumaawati who is represented as an old lady with no male companion…!
SrimadDeviBhagawat shows the Supremacy of the Divine Mother Bhuvaneshwari over all other Gods. No one can reach her without turning into a female as the Trinity of Brhmaa, Vishhnnu and Shiva learnt while entering the Mannidweepa, the abode of the Divine Mother. Before that, they are surprised to find the existence of another Superior Trinity of MahaaBrhmaa, MahaaVishhnnu and MahaaShiva…!
The moment the Trinity of Brhmaa, Vishhnnu and Shiva stepped into the Mannidweepa, all of them, that is, the three Gods Brhmaa, Vishnnu and Shiva turned into beautiful women and then only could they go near the Divine Mother and offer their obeisance…!
Spiritually, this turning into females signifies the importance of feminine qualities like compassion, love, caring, sharing, etc, in cleaning one’s heart, mind and body of impurities before one could hope for spiritual salvation…!
The same spiritual text does not show the need to worship Lord Shiva along with Bhuvaneshwari unlike the Shiva Puraanna…!
In the second half of the SrimadDeviBhagawat, Bhuvaneshwari is shown as a sixteen year old pretty girl sitting next to her sixteen year old male partner Bhuvaneshwara. This description of Bhuvaneshawari having a male partner Bhuvaneshwara seems to have been inserted later on by male chauvinists or followers of Shaivaism because the first part of the same text shows clearly that everyone inside the Mannidweepa exist only as a female…! Then obviously, there is no chance of the existence of any male such as Bhuvaneshwara in the Mannidweepa…!
It must be added here that the Puraannas and other Indian spiritual texts have undergone a lot of adulteration and alteration since they were originally written by Ved Vyaas thousands of years ago …!
The truth is, spiritually speaking, there is nothing puzzling. Different devotees in Sanaatana Spirituality can assume any of these five deities to be the chief manifested form of the Supreme Consciousness. The Supreme Consciousness manifests variously as per the spiritual inclination/imagery of the devotee. For example, Lord Vishnnu only in factual reality manifests as Kabira to any sincere follower of Kabira…!
To avoid inter-sect clashes, the great wise Indian seers had devised the novel method of worshiping all the five together, i.e., Divine Mother, Brhmaa, Vishhnnu, Shiva and Ganapati.
Irrespective of which Sanaatana sect you are a follower of, you have to move beyond the Saalokya, Saameepya, Saarupya and Saayujya Mukti/Liberation and merge into the eternal divine light to attain the eternal spiritual salvation…!
~ J G M J V S A J