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sakṛt prasaṅgād agham āśu hanti tat
pavitra-kīrtiṁ tam alaṅghya-śāsanaṁ
bhavān aho dveṣṭi śivaṁ śivetaraḥ
Since Lord Śiva is the greatest soul among the living entities within this material world, his name, Śiva, is very auspicious for persons who identify the body with the soul. If such persons take shelter of Lord Śiva, gradually they will understand that they are not the material body but are spirit soul. Śiva means maṅgala, or auspicious. Within the body the soul is auspicious. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi: “I am Brahman.” This realization is auspicious. As long as one does not realize his identity as the soul, whatever he does is inauspicious. Śiva means “auspicious,” and devotees of Lord Śiva gradually come to the platform of spiritual identification, but that is not all. Auspicious life begins from the point of spiritual identification. But there are still more duties — one has to understand one’s relationship with the Supreme Soul. If one is actually a devotee of Lord Śiva, he comes to the platform of spiritual realization, but if he is not intelligent enough, then he stops at that point, only realizing that he is spirit soul (ahaṁ brahmāsmi). If he is intelligent enough, however, he should continue to act in the way of Lord Śiva, for Lord Śiva is always absorbed in the thought of Vāsudeva. As previously explained, sattvaṁ viśuddhaṁ vasudeva-śabditam: Lord Śiva is always in meditation on the lotus feet of Vāsudeva, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Thus the auspicious position of Lord Śiva is realized if one takes to the worship of Viṣṇu, because Lord Śiva says in the Śiva Purāṇa that the topmost worship is worship of Lord Viṣṇu. Lord Śiva is worshiped because he is the greatest devotee of Lord Viṣṇu. One should not, however, make the mistake of considering Lord Śiva and Lord Viṣṇu to be on the same level. That is also an atheistic idea. It is also enjoined in the Vaiṣṇavīya Purāṇa that Viṣṇu, or Nārāyaṇa, is the exalted Supreme Personality of Godhead, and no one should be compared to Him as equal, even Lord Śiva or Lord Brahmā, not to speak of other demigods.