Why is the Shambhu aspect of Lord Shiva glorified as the topmost devotee?
Vaisnavanam yatha shambu. That Lord siva is the highest Vaisnava. Lord Siva exists in three different aspects in material world. Why Shambu has been picked up in glorifying him? Any deeper meaning in it?
Transcribed and edited by- Keshavgopal Das
Question- It is said in Srimad Bhagvatam that Lord Shiva is the highest Vaishnava (vaishnavanam yatha shambhu). Lord Shiva exists in three different aspects in material world then why is the Shambhu aspect of Lord Shiva is glorified as the topmost devotee?
Answer (long)- Yes, Lord Shiva exists at various levels, as has been rightly pointed out in the question. At one level, there are temporary manifestations of Lord Shiva called the eleven rudras, which exist in this world. At another level, there is one Shiva appointed for each universe who is overall in-charge of the destruction of the universe. Then, the original Shiva is called as Sadashiva. He exists in the border of the material and spiritual world. From there He guides souls who are approaching Him as spiritual master to perfect themselves as devotees of Supreme Lord, they go back to the spiritual world. In that spiritual world Lord Shiva is eternally engaged in glorifying the Lord. He along with Parvati Devi and His associates are engaged in glorifying the Supreme Lord. That manifestation is known as Sadashiva and also known as Shambhu.
Since the Shambhu manifestation is eternal and most perfected manifestation of Lord Shiva and because that manifestation acts as the guide for some souls in the journey from material to spiritual world, therefore He is chosen for a specific glorification.