It is quite evident how greatly Nilakantha is inspired by Sri Sankara's insistence on Siva-Visnu identity. And those critics are obviously wrong, who regard Sri Sankara as a Saiva in the cult sense of the term. Commenting on the term Siva, Sri Sankara observes: "By the names Siva, etc., it is Hari alone that is praised, because non-difference is taught in the scriptural texts such as 'He is Brahma, He is 'Siva'." A glossator on Sri Sankara's commentary on the Visnu-sahasranama observes that if the stotra is recited by one who is free from hatred for Siva, Siva too is pleased.10
That the Visnu-sahasranama is not to be considered a cult-book is evident also from the fact that, besides the names in the masculine gender, there are also in it names in the feminine and neuter genders. Referring to this fact, Sri Sankara, remarks:
10.Sri-visnu-sahatranama-bhasya-vivarana of Gopalasarasvati Yati (Government Oriental Manuscripts Library), R.2288, p.2; sivadesa-rahitena
kriyamana- visnu-sahasranama-stava-kirtanena sivo'pi tusyati.