Difference between Vaishnavism & Shaivism


Vaishnavism and Shaivism are two religious sects in India. They have some differences in their beliefs and practices. Vaishnavism followers are called Vaishnavaites, while Shaivism followers are called Shaivaites.


Vaishnavism believes in the supremacy of Lord Vishnu. The religion was founded by Ramanujacharya in the 12th century AD. Other religious leaders like Yamunacharya and Vedanta Desika also contributed to the development of Vaishnavism. The philosophy of Vaishnavism is known as Visishtadvaita.


Shaivism was extolled by Adi Sankara in the 8th century AD. He established the Advaita philosophy, which disproved some principles of Mimamsa. Shaivism believes in the oneness of living beings, brought about by the innate power of the supreme soul called Brahma.

Differences in Beliefs

Vaishnavism follows the principles of qualified monism, where everything in the universe is considered an element of the Supreme Brahma. It teaches that the human body perishes, but the soul within is immortal. The dual appearance of nature is seen as an illusion.

Shaivism, on the other hand, is based on the philosophy of Advaita. It sees Lord Shiva as the Supreme Brahman, who gives birth to individual selves. Shaivites believe in the concept of oneness and the illusion of nature.

Supreme Gods

In Vaishnavism, Lord Vishnu is considered the Supreme Brahman and the protector of the universe. He is accompanied by his consort Lakshmi.

In Shaivism, Lord Shiva is seen as the Supreme Brahman and the creator of individual selves.

Overall, these two sects have different interpretations of the Supreme Brahman and have distinct practices and beliefs.

Key Takeaways

1. The main difference between Vaishnavism and Shaivism is the belief in the supreme power of Lord Vishnu versus Lord Shiva.
2. Vaishnavism was founded by Ramanujacharya and follows the principles of qualified monism, while Shaivism was founded by Adi Sankara and follows the philosophy of Advaita.
3. Vaishnavism considers Lord Vishnu as the Supreme Brahman who sustains and protects the universe, while Shaivism sees Lord Shiva as the Supreme Brahman who gives birth to individual selves.

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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