Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev signaled a willingness to reopen strategic arms limitation talks tonight but warned the West that it must abandon any plans to achieve military superiority over Moscow.

The Soviet leader used a banquet toast on the opening day of his visit to India to send what diplomatic observers here saw as a clear message to Washington, without specifically mentioning the United States.

A remark by Brezhnev to U.S. Ambassador Robert Goheen in the airport receiving line underscored that Brezhnev was as interested in Moscow's superpower adversary in Washington as in his hosts in New Delhi.

"Give my regards to Mr. Reagan," Brezhnev told the ambassador, in one of the few comments he made to any diplomat.

Brezhnev's arrival was marred by minor demonstrations against last year's Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the Soviet leader's motorcade was rerouted for security reasons to avoid going through the center of New Delhi. r

While Afhanistan is on the minds of many here and Poland preoccupies much of the Western world, Brezhnev placed much of the blame for what he called the "considerably colder" international climate at the doorstep of the United States and its allies.

"Influential politicans in the West have decided to whip up the arms race rather than limit it," he said, in what observers here saw as a reference to President Carter's decision not to try to push SALT II through a hostile Senate after last December's Soviet move into Afghanistan.

"They have made up their minds to achieve military supremacy rather than to maintain parity," he added.

Carter, in his January 1980 State of the Union message, called for increased spending to match "the steady growth and increased projection abroad of Soviet military power" while the Republican platform that President-elect Ronald Reagan ran on vowed to build up the United States' strength to "ultimately reach the position of military superiority that the American people demand."

Brezhnev called such a policy a "dangerous line" that leaves world peace "gravely imperiled."

"They have succeeded, in recent years, in seriously aggravating the world situation," he continued.

Brezhnev called such a policy a "dangerous line" that leaves world peace "gravely imperiled."

"They have succeeded, in recent years, in seriously aggravating the world situation," he continued.

Brezhnev suggested "a constructive policy" and said the Soviet Union is "always prepared to discuss any issue in a spirit of realism and to take into account the legitimate rights and interests of others."

Diplomatic observers here saw that remark as a clear message to Reagan -- who has said he wants to renegotiate the SALT II agreement signed by Carter and Brezhnev -- that the Soviets are willing to talk.

It was also seen as a renewal of Brezhnev's recent comments in Moscow to Sen. Charles Percy (R-Ill.), incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that relations with the United States would be improved greatly if the Reagan administration would adopt "a well-considered, realistic policy" toward the Soviets. Brezhnev also told Percy the Soviets would be willing to talk more about SALT.

To observers here, the Soviet detinition of realism means that the United States would drop the subject of Afghanistan, thereby tacity acknowledging that that country, which borders on the Soviet Union, stands within Moscow's legitimate sphere of influence.

In stressing the East-West conflict and emphasizing the quarter century of increasingly friendly relations between the Soviet Union and India, Brezhnev avoiding talking about the issue most on people's minds here -- Afghanistan, a nearby, nonaligned nation.

Indian President N. Sanjiva Reddy, speaking for the government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, indicated to Brezhnev at the banquet, without mentioning Afghanistan by name, that New Delhi would like the Soviet troops out of the Asian country "without delay."

Reddy called for a negotiated political solution that would take into account "the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and nonaligned status of the countries of this region." Prime Minister Gandhi said in an interview last week that the prospects for this looked increasingly remote.

Meanwhile, there were minor demonstrations today by Afghan refugees and Indians opposing Moscow's actions in Afghanistan. The demonstrations themselves were small, but security officials were forced to change the route of Brezhnev's motorcade. Instead of going through the center of New Delhi, he was whisked from the airport directly to the president's residence, Rashtrapati Bhawan, where he is staying.

Also for security reason, a civic reception scheduled for Tuesday afternoon was moved from the historic Red Fort to a building in New Delhi to keep Brezhnev from the teeming streets of largely Moslem Old Delhi, where the opposition to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is strongest.

This was the first time a Soviet leader has ever had to face hostile demonstrators in India, always considered Moscow's firmest friend outside the communist world.