- Narayan Temple on Narayanhiti palace premises, Kathmandu, Nepal
- Oldest Sridhar Narayan statue at Naksaal, Kathmandu
- Idol of Narayana around 14/15th century, found at the Devasathan, inner Bangkok, Thailand
Supreme Being, Absolute Truth, Ishvara
A depiction of Lord Narayana at Badami cave temples
|Mantra||"ॐ नमो नारायणाय"|
"Om Namo Nārāyaṇa"
Obeisance to Narayana
Or, "Om brohmanodevayo gobrahmanhitayo cha,Jagadhitayo krishnayo gobindayo namo namaha"
|Weapon||Chakra, Gada, Padma, Sankh|
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Narayana (Sanskrit: नारायण, IAST: Nārāyaṇa) is known as one who is in yogic slumber on the celestial waters, referring to Lord Maha Vishnu. He is also known as the Purusha and is considered the Supreme being in Vaishnavism.
According to the Bhagavad Gita, he is also the "Guru of the Universe". The Bhagavata Purana declares Narayana as the Supreme Personality of Godhead who engages in the creation of 14 worlds within the universe as Brahma when he deliberately accepts rajas guna, himself sustains, maintains and preserves the universe as Vishnu by accepting sattva guna. Narayana himself annihilates the universe at the end of maha-kalpa as Kalagni Rudra when he accepts tamas guna. According to the Bhagavata Purana, Purusha Sukta, Narayana Sukta, and Narayana Upanishad from the Vedas, he is the ultimate soul.
According to Madhvacharya, Narayana is one of the five Vyuhas of Vishnu, which are cosmic emanations of God in contrast to his incarnate avatars. Bryant, Edwin F., Krishna: a Sourcebook. p.359 "Madhvacharya separates Vishnu's manifestations into two groups: Vishnu's vyuhas (emanations) and His avataras (incarnations). The Vyuhas have their basis in the Pancharatras, a sectarian text that was accepted as authoritative by both the Vishishtadvaita and Dvaita schools of Vedanta. They are mechanisms by which the universe is ordered, was created, and evolves. According to Madhvacharya, Vishnu has five vyuhas, named Narayana, Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha, which evolve one after the other in the development of the universe.
In the Vedas, Narayana is essentially the supreme force and/or essence of all: 'Nārāyaṇa parabrahman tatvam Nārāyaṇa paraha'.Narayan Aiyangar states the meaning of the Sanskrit word 'Narayana' can be traced back to the Laws of Manu (also known as the Manu-smriti, a Dharmaśāstra text), which states:
The waters are called narah, (for) the waters are, indeed, the offspring of Nara; as they were his first residence (ayana), he thence is named Narayana.
This definition is used throughout Vedic literature such as the Mahabharata and Vishnu Purana.'Narayana' is also defined as the 'son of the primeval man', and 'Supreme Being who is the foundation of all men'.
In the Vedas and Puranas, Lord Narayana is described as having the divine blue colour of water-filled clouds, four-armed, holding a padma (lotus flower), Kaumodaki (mace), Panchajanya shankha (conch) and the Sudarshana Chakra (discus).
As stated in the epic itihāsa, the Mahabharata:
I am Narayana, the Source of all things, the Eternal, the Unchangeable. I am the Creator of all things, and the Destroyer also of all. I am Vishnu, I am Brahma and I am Sakra, the chief of the gods. I am king Vaisravana, and I am Yama, the lord of the deceased spirits. I am Siva, I am Soma, and I am Kasyapa the lord of the created things. And, O best of regenerate ones, I am he called Dhatri, and he also that is called Vidhatri, and I am Sacrifice embodied. Fire is my mouth, the earth my feet, and the Sun and the Moon are my eyes; the Heaven is the crown of my head, the firmament and the cardinal points are my ears; the waters are born of my sweat. Space with the cardinal points are my body, and the Air is my mind...
...And, O Brahmana, whatever is obtained by men by the practice of truth, charity, ascetic austerities, and peace and harmlessness towards all creatures, and such other handsome deeds, is obtained because of my arrangements. Governed by my ordinance, men wander within my body, their senses overwhelmed by me. They move not according to their will but as they are moved by me.
In the Mahabharata , Krishna is also synonymous with Narayana and Arjuna is referred to as Nara.The epic identifies them both in plural 'Krishnas', or as part incarnations of the earlier incarnations of Vishnu, recalling their mystical identity as Nara-Narayana.
Narayana is also described in the Bhagavad Gita as having a universal form ( Vishvarupa ) which is beyond the ordinary limits of human perception or imagination.
Narayana's eternal and supreme abode beyond the material universe is Vaikuntha which is a realm of bliss and happiness called Paramapadha, which means final or highest place for liberated souls, where they enjoy bliss and happiness for eternity in the company of supreme lord. Vaikuntha is situated beyond the material universe and hence, cannot be perceived or measured by material science or logic.Sometimes, Ksheera Sagara where Narayana or Vishnu rests on Ananta Shesha is also perceived as Vaikuntha within the material universe.
The Mahāsamaya Sutta (DN 20) of the Pali Canon mentions a deity by the name Veṇhu (Sanskrit: Viṣṇu), though the text suggests that this name may also signify a class of deva. He also appears in the Veṇḍu Sutta (SN 2.12) as Veṇḍu where he addresses Gautama Buddha by celebrating the joy experienced by those who follow the Dhamma. He also makes brief mention of Manu.
Mahayana Buddhism elaborates on the character of this deity, where is often called Nārāyaṇa (Chinese: 那羅延天; Tibetan: མཐུ་བོ་ཆེ།) or more rarely, Narasiṃha (納拉辛哈) and Vāsudeva (婆藪天). Literature often depicts him as a vajradhara (金剛力士). He is present in the Womb Realm Mandala and is among the twelve guardian devas of the Diamond Realm Mandala. He is associated with Śrāvaṇa in esoteric astrology.His queen consort is Nārāyaṇī. He is said to have been born from Avalokiteśvara's heart. The Buddhas are sometimes described as having a firm body like Nārāyaṇa.
The Yogācārabhūmi Śāstra describes him as having three faces with a greenish-yellow complexion. He holds a wheel in his right hand and rides upon a garuḍa. Chapter 6 of the Yiqiejing Yinyi explains that he belongs to the Kāmadhātu and is veneration for the acquisition of power. Chapter 41 adds that he has eight arms that wield various "Dharma weapons" (dharmayuda) with which he subjugates the asuras.
He appears as an interlocutor in several Mahayana sutras, including the Kāraṇḍavyūha Sūtra , Sarvapuṇyasamuccayasamādhi Sūtra and the Nārāyaṇaparipṛcchā Dhāraṇī.
Balabhadra and Narayana are mighty half brothers, who appear nine times in each half of the time cycles of the Jain cosmology and jointly rule half the earth as half-chakravarti. Ultimately Prati-naryana is killed by Narayana for his unrighteousness and immorality. Narayana are extremely powerful and are as powerful as 2 Balabhadras. Chakravartins are as powerful as 2 Narayanas. Hence Narayanas become half-chakravartins. Tirthankaras are much more powerful than Chakravartins. In Jain Mahabharta, there is a friendly duel between cousin brothers Neminatha (Tirthankara) and Krishna (Naryana) in which Neminath defeats Krishna without any effort at all. There is also a story of Neminath lifting Conch of Krishna and blowing it without any effort. In Jain Mahabharat, the main fight between Krishna and Jarasandha is described, who is killed by Krishna.
Narayana is hailed in certain parts of Vedas like, Narayana Suktam and Vishnu Suktam. Lord Narayana is also hailed in selective Vaishnava Upanishads like, Narayana Upanishad, Maha Narayana Upanishad and Narasimha Tapani Upanishad.
Shesha, also known as Sheshanaga or Adishesha, is the nagaraja or King of all Nāgas and one of the primal beings of creation. In the Puranas, Shesha is said to hold all the planets of the universe on his hoods and to constantly sing the glories of the God Vishnu from all his mouths. He is sometimes referred to as Ananta Shesha, which translates as endless-Shesha or Adishesha "first Shesha". It is said that when Adishesa uncoils, time moves forward and creation takes place; when he coils back, the universe ceases to exist.
Matsya is an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. Originating in the White YajurVeda, Matsya is most commonly associated in post-Vedic literature such as the Puranas with the legends of rescuing Vaivasvata Manu from the deluge, and rescuing the Vedas stolen by a demon named Haygriva. Matsya is listed as the first incarnation of the Dashavatara, the ten principal avatars of Vishnu.
Kurma, also known as 'KurmaRaja' is an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. Originating in Vedic literature such as the YajurVeda as being synonymous with the Saptarishi called Kasyapa, Kurma is most commonly associated in post-Vedic literature such as the Puranas with the legend of the churning of the Ocean of Milk, referred to as the Samudra manthan. Also synonymous with Akupara, the world-turtle supporting the Earth, Kurma is listed as the second incarnation of the Dashavatara, the ten principal avatars of Vishnu.
Varaha is the avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, in the form of a boar. Varaha is listed as third in the Dashavatara, the ten principal avatars of Vishnu.
Vamana, also known as Vāmanadeva ('dwarf-god'), Trivikrama, Urukrama, Upendra, Dadhivamana, and Balibandhana is a Brahmin avatar of the supreme almighty god Vishnu.
An avatar, a concept in Hinduism that means "descent", is the material appearance or incarnation of a deity on earth. The relative verb to "alight, to make one's appearance" is sometimes used to refer to any guru or revered human being.
Vishnu Sahasranama(Sanskrit: विष्णुसहस्रनाम, IAST: Viṣṇusahasranāma), is a Sanskrit hymn which contains a list of 1,000 names of Vishnu, one of the main deities in Hinduism and the supreme God in Vaishnavism. It is also one of the most sacred and popular stotras in Hinduism. The Vishnu Sahasranama as found in the Anushasana Parva of the epic Mahabharata. It is the most popular version of the 1,000 names of Vishnu. Other versions exists in the Padma Purana, Skanda Purana and Garuda Purana. There is also a Sikh version of the Vishnu Sahasranama, found in the text Sundar Gutka. Each name eulogizes one of His countless great attributes.
Bhagavān or Bhagwan is an epithet for a deity, particularly for Krishna and other avatars of Lord Vishnu in Vaishnavism and for Lord Shiva in the Shaivism tradition of Hinduism. The term is used by Jains to refer to the Tirthankaras, particularly Mahavira, and by Buddhists to refer to Lord Buddha in India. In many parts of India and South Asia, Bhagavān represents the abstract concept of a universal God to Hindus who are spiritual and religious but do not worship a specific deity. Bhagwan itself is an acronym of the combination of the 5 elements of nature. Bha means Bhoomi (Earth), Ga means gaggan (Space/Sky), Va means Vayu (Air), A means Agni (Fire) and finally, N means Neer (Water)
Nara-Narayana is a Hindu deity pair. Nara-Narayana is the twin-brother avatar of the God Vishnu on earth, working for the preservation of dharma or righteousness. In the concept of Nara-Narayana, the human soul Nara is the eternal companion of the Divine Narayana. . The legend of Nara-Narayana is told in the scripture Bhagavata Purana. Hindus believe that the pair dwells at Badrinath, where their most important temple stands.
Pancharatra was a religious movement in Hinduism that originated in late 1st millennium BCE around the ideas of Narayana and the various avatars of Vishnu as their central deities. The movement later merged with the ancient Bhagavata tradition and contributed to the development of Vaishnavism. The Pancharatra movement created numerous literary treatises in Sanskrit called the Pancharatra Samhitas, and these have been influential Agamic texts within the theistic Vaishnava movements.
The Mudgala Upanishad is a medieval era Sanskrit text and a major Upanishad of Hinduism. It is classified as a Samanya Upanishad and attached to the Rigveda.
In Hinduism, Yama - also referred to as Yamaraja - is a Rigvedic deity. He the lord of death and of justice, being responsible for the dispensation of law and punishment of sinners in his abode, Yamaloka.
The concept of God in Hinduism varies in its diverse traditions. Hinduism spans a wide range of beliefs such as henotheism, monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, pandeism, monism, atheism and nontheism.
The Kumaras are four sages (rishis) who roam the universe as children from the Puranic texts of Hinduism, generally named Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana, and Sanatkumara. They are described as the first mind-born creations and sons of the creator-god Brahma. Born from Brahma's mind, the four Kumaras undertook lifelong vows of celibacy (brahmacharya) against the wishes of their father. They are said to wander throughout the materialistic and spiritualistic universe without any desire but with purpose to teach. All four brothers studied Vedas from their childhood, and always travelled together.
Vaishnavism is one of the major Hindu denominations along with Shaivism, Shaktism, and Smartism. It is also called Vishnuism, its followers are called Vaishnavas or Vaishnavites, and it considers Vishnu as the Supreme Lord.
Svayam Bhagavān is a Sanskrit theological term for the concept of absolute representation of God as Bhagavan - The Supreme Personality who possesses all riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation.
Vishnu is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. The "preserver" in the Hindu triad (Trimurti), Vishnu is revered as the supreme being In Vaishnavism as identical to the metaphysical concept of Brahman, and is notable for adopting various incarnations to preserve and protect dharmic principles whenever the world is threatened with evil, chaos, and destructive forces. In the Smarta Tradition of Hinduism Vishnu is also one of the five equivalent deities worshipped in Panchayatana puja.
The Embrandiri, also transliterated as Embranthiri, are a Malayali Brahmin subcaste of Tulu origin.
Vyūha means - 'to arrange troops in a battle array (formation)', 'to arrange, put or place in order, to dispose, separate, divide, alter, transpose, disarrange, resolve '. Its root is व्यः which means - a 'cover' or 'veil'. This word also refers to emanation and to the manifest power of Lord Vishnu. It has different meanings depending on the doctrine of the treatise and the context, such as revealing of the knowledge of Vedas, manifestation of Vishnu or Buddha, and the war formations of Mahabharata.
Vyasa is the title given to the sage or Rishi who divides the Hindu holy scripture Vedas in every Dvapara Yuga of every Yuga Cycle. Vyasa is a central and revered figure in most Hindu traditions. He is also sometimes called Veda Vyāsa, the one who divides the Vedas into four parts. The name of Rishi who currently holds the Vyasa title is Krishna Dvaipāyana Vyasa, referring to his complexion and birthplace and sometimes he is simply called Vyasa. According to Hindu beliefs, Krishna Dvaipāyana Vyasa is an incarnation of the god Vishnu. During each Dvapara Yuga, in every Kalpa, Lord takes incarnation as Veda Vyasa and effects the division of Vedas for the benefit of human beings. Guru Drona's son Rishi Aswatthama will become the next Vyasa, who in turn divide the Veda in 29th Mahayuga of 7th Manvantara.
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