CC Madhya 20.311
māyātīta, guṇātīta ‘viṣṇu’ — parameśa
“Lord Śiva is an associate of the external energy; therefore he is absorbed in the material quality of darkness. Lord Viṣṇu is transcendental to māyā and the qualities of māyā. Therefore He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Viṣṇu is beyond the range of the material manifestation, and He is not within the control of the material energy. He is the supreme independent Personality of Godhead. This is admitted even by Śaṅkarācārya: nārāyaṇaḥ paro ’vyaktāt (Gītā-bhāṣya). In his constitutional form, Śiva is a mahā-bhāgavata, a supreme devotee of the Lord, but because he accepts māyā’s association — especially the quality of ignorance — he is not free from māyā’s influence. Such an intimate association is completely absent in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu. Lord Śiva accepts māyā, but in the presence of Lord Viṣṇu, māyā does not exist. Consequently Lord Śiva has to be considered a product of māyā. When Lord Śiva is free from māyā’s influence, he is in the position of a mahā-bhāgavata, a supreme devotee of Lord Viṣṇu. Vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ.