based on the worship of Siva or Vishnu are of no consequence in Vedanta. Whatever may be
the significance of the later controversies as to who represents the Supreme Being, the
Siva or Vishnu of our mythology, these controversies do not find a place in the
Upanishads. Vedanta has indeed no place for such disputes. Vedanta is not mere philosophy.
It is both philosophy and religion. Yet there is no
controversy in it about forms of worship, Vedanta is the common heritage of the people of
India in whatever denomination they may happen to have been brought up. In his treatises,
Sankara, the great Vedantin uses the word Narayana to indicate the Supreme Being. Others
in their books give to the Supreme Being the name of Siva. Names and images.
whether mental or sculptured, even the sacred and mystic
syllable "Om" itself, are but crutches to help the faltering fleet of infirm
faith on the way to realization-mere aids to concentration, and protection against doubts
and distractions. The Saiva-Siddhanta philosophy wherein Siva is the Supreme Being is not
different from the Vedanta taught by Ramanuja who treats Hari as the Supreme Being.