yas tu nārāyaṇaṁ devaṁ brahma-rudrādi-daivataiḥ
samatvenaiva vīkṣeta sa pāṣaṇḍī bhaved dhruvam
'A person who sees gods like Brahmā and Śiva to be on an equal level with Nārāyaṇa is surely a heretic.' (Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya 18.116, quoting Padma-purāṇa, Uttara-khaṇḍa)?
Advaitadas – Kṛṣṇa and Śiva are one, courtesy of the 2nd offense to the holy name, śivasya śrī viṣṇor ya iha guṇa nāmādi sakalaṁ dhiyā bhinnaṁ paśyet sa khalu hari-nāmāhitakaraḥ - “Whoever sees difference between the attributes, names etc of Śiva and Śrī Viṣṇu certainly does not benefit the Divine Name of Hari.” But that applies to Sadāśiva, and that verse yas tu nārāyaṇaṁ devaṁ applies to the guṇāvatāra Śiva. There are several interpretations of this 2nd offence to the holy name, plus a completely opposite meaning circulating, but the above translation is the mukhya artha, main meaning which includes the primary meaning of the word bhinna, difference.
Śiva is also superior to Brahmā, as is stated in Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda’s Sārārtha-darśinī-ṭīkā of Śrīmad-bhāgavata 1.2.24, and in his book ‘Mādhurya-kādambinī’, 3rd shower –
tathā pārthivād dāruṇo dhūmas tasmād agnis trayīmayaḥ. tamasas tu rajas tasmāt sattvaṁ yad brahma darśanam. ityatra tamasaḥ sakāśāt rajasaḥ śreṣṭhyo'pi vastuto rajasi dhūma sthānīye śuddha tejaḥ sthānīyasyeśvarasyānupalabdheś ca. sattve saṁjvalanāgnau śuddha tejasaḥ sākṣād iva pārthive dāru sthānīye tamasyapi tasyāntarhitatayopalabdhir astyeva. tat kārya suṣuptau nirbheda jñāna sukhānubhava ivetyādi vicārya tattvam avaseyam
“Śrīmad-Bhāgavata (1.2.23) says: “Smoke is superior to wood, a transformation of the earth. Fire, the base of sacrifices prescribed in the Vedas, is superior to smoke. Similarly rajo-guṇa is superior to tamo-guṇa and sattva-guṇa is superior to rajo-guṇa. One can realize Brahman by sattva-guṇa.” This verse establishes the superiority of rajo-guṇa over tamo-guṇa. However, the realization of the Lord, representing pure effulgence, is not possible in rajo-guṇa, which is being compared here to smoke. Representing pure effulgence, the Lord can be realized by sattva-guṇa, which is like a burning fire. In tamo-guṇa, which is compared to wood, one gets a subtle realization of the Lord. As in the state of suṣupti (sound sleep), an effect of tamo-guṇa, one gets the same bliss as if in the realization of nirbheda-jñāna, knowledge of the oneness of jīva and non-personal Brahman. One should ascertain the truth by considering the facts in this way.”
Fire does not exist in smoke, which is compared to rajo-guṇa. It exists in a hidden form in wood which is compared to tamo-guṇa. The fire hidden in wood can make its appearance by rubbing or honing the wood. Thus the transcendental truth exists in Śiva, the presiding deity of tamo-guṇa. The author gives the example of sound sleep, which is an effect of tamo-guṇa. In that state, one realizes the bliss one gets from the knowledge of oneness of spirit and non-personal Brahman. One should ascertain the truth of Brahmā and Śiva in this way.
Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda also states in his book Bhāgavatāmṛta-kaṇa (6): kiñca sadāśivaḥ svayaṁ rūpāṅgo viśeṣa svarūpo nirguṇaḥ sa śivasyāṁśi ataevāsya brahmato’py ādhikyaṁ viṣṇunā sāmyaṁ ca jīvāt tu saguṇatve’sāmyaṁ ca “Sadāśiva is a specific expansion of the Original Supreme Lord who is nirguṇa, beyond the modes of material nature, and is the origin of Śiva the guṇāvatāra. Hence He is superior to Brahmā and equal to Viṣṇu. He is not equal (superior) to the jīva, who is under the modes of nature.” The Vāyu-Purāṇa confirms that Sadāśiva's abode is beyond the mundane universe:
śrī mahādeva lokas tu saptāvaraṇato bahiḥ;
nityaḥ sukhamayaḥ satyo labhyas tat sevakottamaiḥ
"But Śrī Mahādeva's planet is outside of the seven layers of matter that cover the universe. It is eternal, blissful, real and attainable by His devotees."
sadāśivākhyā tan mūrtis tamoguṇa varjitā
"Unlike the ordinary Śiva, Sadāśiva is beyond tamo guṇa." (Laghu Bhāgavatāmṛta 43)
śivaloke vaikuṇṭha dhāmni
"Śivaloka is Vaikuṇṭha-dhāma." (Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa)
Vaiṣṇava - Who are you worshipping in your ashram?
Advaitadas - Sadāśiva.