It is said that the world in the beginning was nothing but formless energy. From this formless energy came Gayatri Maa or Adi Shakti or whatever one prefers to call it. From this this Adi Shakti manifested the 5 faced Sadashiv- Sadyojat, Vaamdev, Aghor, Rudra and Ishaan. From Sadashiv manifested Mahavishnu and from him manifested Brahma.
In fact, Brahma is not a god but a post given to a god. It is said that Hanuman is going to be the Brahma in the next Kalpa. Similarly, Indra is a position given to a god. So calling Indra "lord Indra" doesn't make sense because Indra itself means "Lord". Sadashiv and Vishnu are said to be eternal. They are not bound by time. From Vishnu came Shri Narayan; similarly from Ishaan came what we popularly call Shankar and from Shankar came Shiva.
Shiva and Ishaan are considered the same but Shankar and Shiva are not considered the same. This is because Shankar is the bodily form of Ishaan and Shiva is popularly considered as the Linga form. Another story is that Shiva is another name of Ishaan. The other two Gods from Sadashiv who came are Rudra and Aghor. Rudra is considered as the one who controls crying. Hence Rudra worship is optimal during difficult times or to get rid of sorrows. Similarly, Ishaan worship is optimal for family happiness.
Brahma has the power of creation, Vishnu has the responsibility of maintaining and Shiva has the power of destruction. ow, lifetime of a Brahma is considered as 1 day of Narayan, lifetime of Narayan is considered as 1 day of Shiva. Lifetime of Shiva is considered as 1 day of Shankar. And above Shankar is Sadashiv who is not bound by time.
Just because age of Narayan is less than Shiva doesn't mean he is lower than Shiva. They both are still one and the same. They just are different energies or Guna of 1 eternal Lord. Lord Vishnu or Narayan is considered as a maintaining God and hence his worship is beneficial to maintain a peaceful life. Lord Shiv on the other hand is a destroyer and destroys our sorrows. Also, Lord Shiva is a Kalyaankari God. His worship does Kalyan. In other words his worship is beneficial for people who aim for Rajayoga and to become immortal.
Whenever we read Stotras we find that the respective god is considered as supreme. What the "supreme" means is that the soul is supreme and not the God's body. Unfortunately people do not understand this and make wrong judgments. Even Ganesha and Shani are considered as supreme beings in their respective Stotras. What it means that their soul is supreme; because in Sanatana Dharma, everything has come from one eternal formless Energy.
In part two of the same article, I will share very important information about the Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva Loka and their role in Sanatan Dharma and which Loka is superior or greater. The first part of the article can be seen here- Brahma Loka Vishnu Loka and Shiv Loka