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NARAYANA ( Sanskrit
Sanskrit
: नारायण, IAST : Nārāyaṇa, also NARAYAN) is the supreme absolute being in Hinduism
Hinduism
and is considered as the supreme deity in Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
. The Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
declares Narayana
Narayana
as the Para Brahman (Supreme Lord) who creates unlimited universes and enters each one of them as Lord of the Universe.

Narayana
Narayana
engages in the creation of 14 worlds within the universe as Brahma
Brahma
when he deliberately accepts rajas guna . Narayana
Narayana
himself sustains, maintains and preserves the universe as Vishnu
Vishnu
when he accepts sattva guna and annihilates the universe at the end of maha-kalpa as Shiva
Shiva
or Rudra
Rudra
when he accepts tamas guna . According to the Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
, Lord Narayana
Narayana
is the supreme controller and is supreme among deities, the ultimate soul. He is also called as Surya Narayana, one who shines like the brilliant sun. He is said to pervade whatever is seen or heard in this universe from inside and outside alike. He is also mainly associated with the cosmic waters of creation.

According to Madhvacharya
Madhvacharya
, Narayana
Narayana
is one of the five vyuhas of Kṛṣṇa , which are cosmic emanations of God in contrast to his incarnate avatars .

CONTENTS

* 1 Description * 2 Ancient Texts * 3 Etymology * 4 Gallery * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links

DESCRIPTION

Lord Narayana/ Vishnu
Vishnu

In the Vedas
Vedas
and Puranas
Puranas
, Lord Narayana
Narayana
is described as having the divine blue colour of water-filled clouds, four-armed, holding a padma (lotus flower), Kaumodaki
Kaumodaki
(mace), Panchajanya shankha (conch) and the Sudarshana Chakra
Sudarshana Chakra
(discus).

Lord Narayana
Narayana
is also often identified as Vishnu
Vishnu
, Hari
Hari
, Purushottama or Purusha and Jagannath in the Hindu sacred texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Vedas
Vedas
and the Puranas
Puranas
. Narayana
Narayana
is also venerated as Mukunda (giver of Moksha
Moksha
, liberation from cycle of births and deaths in the material world). In the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
, Krishna is often referred to as Narayana
Narayana
and Arjuna
Arjuna
as Nara. The epic identifies them both in plural 'Krishnas', or as part incarnations of the earlier incarnations of Vishnu
Vishnu
, recalling their mystical identity as Nara-Narayana .

Narayana
Narayana
is also described in the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
as having a universal form ( Vishvarupa
Vishvarupa
) which is beyond the ordinary limits of human perception or imagination.

Narayana's eternal and supreme abode beyond the material universe is Vaikuntha
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
Vaikuntha
is situated beyond the material universe and hence, cannot be perceived or measured by material science or logic. Sometimes, Ksheera Sagara where Narayana
Narayana
or Vishnu
Vishnu
rests on Ananta Shesha is also perceived as Vaikuntha
Vaikuntha
within the material universe.

ANCIENT TEXTS

Lord Narayana
Narayana
is hailed in each and every part of Vedas
Vedas
like, Shatarudriyam, Purusha Suktam, Narayana
Narayana
Suktam, Hiranyagarbha Suktam, Vishnu
Vishnu
Suktam, Rudra
Rudra
Suktam.

Lord Narayana
Narayana
is also hailed in the Upanishads
Upanishads
like, Isopanishad, Chandogya Upanishad, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Mundaka Upanishad, Mandukya Upanishad, Katha Upanishad, Kenopanishad, Prasna Upanishad, Svetasvatara Upanishad, Maha Narayana
Narayana
Upanishad, Narasimha Tapani Upanishad.

ETYMOLOGY

There are multiple variations of Lord Narayana's name.

The word 'Narayana' means "The one who rests on water's of creation". The Manusmriti
Manusmriti
states,

The waters are called "narah", for the waters are, indeed, produced by Nara-Narayana (the first Being); as they were his first residence "ayana", he is called Narayana.

Narayana
Narayana
also means,

"The Supreme Being who is the foundation of all men".

Another interpretation sees,

Nara means "human" and Ayana as "direction/goal". Some view Narayana as meaning "son of man." Hence, Narayana
Narayana
refers to the "direction of a human" (towards moksha).

Nara means "Human" and Ayana also means "Shelter" so Narayana
Narayana
means, shelter of all human beings. The Narayana
Narayana
Upanishad reads:

Om Namo Narayanayeti mantra upasaka Vaikuntha
Vaikuntha
bhuvanam gamishyati,

In Sanskrit, The word 'Nara' can also refer to a man, male or a person . Narayana
Narayana
is spoken of in the scriptures as being parabrahman, paramatma parameshwar parashakti and parajyothi which are all ways of saying "absolute" or "supreme".

In the Vedas
Vedas
, it is written,

" Narayana
Narayana
parabrahman tatvam Narayana
Narayana
paraha"

which points to how Narayana
Narayana
is essentially the supreme force and/or essence of all.

GALLERY

*

Narayan Temple on Narayanhiti palace premises,Kathmandu,Nepal *

Oldest Sridhar Narayan statue at Naksaal, Kathmandu

Wikimedia Commons has media related to NARAYANA .

SEE ALSO

* Adam Kadmon * Bhagavan
Bhagavan
* Bhakti
Bhakti
* Garbhodaksayi Vishnu
Vishnu
* Hari
Hari
* Hiranyagarbha * Jagannath * Kshirodakasayi Vishnu
Vishnu
* Mahavishnu * Narayana sukta * Pangu * Parabrahman * Paramatma * Pausha * Sankarshana * Vaikunta * Vishnu
Vishnu
* World egg

REFERENCES

* ^ Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
Canto 2 Chapter 10 Verse 10 * ^ Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
Canto 2 Chapter 5 Verse 16-18 * ^ Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
Canto 11 Chapter 4 Verse 5 * ^ Vishnu
Vishnu
Purana 1.2.61-63 * ^ Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
(12.12.56): "Narayanam Devam adevam isam - Lord Narayana, the Supreme controller and the ultimate Soul of all existence, beyond whom there is no other God. * ^ Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
(12.13.16): Just as the river Ganges is the greatest of all rivers, Lord Achyuta ( Vishnu
Vishnu
or Narayana) the supreme among deities (devas) and Lord Shambhu (Shiva) the greatest of Vaishnavas, so Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
is the greatest of all Puranas. * ^ http://sanskritdocuments.org/doc_vishhnu/narayana-sukta.html * ^ 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 Pancharatra
Pancharatra
agamas, a sectarian text that was accepted as authoritative by both the Vishishtadvaita
Vishishtadvaita
and Madhva schools of Vedanta. They are mechanisms by which the universe is ordered, was created, and evolves. According to Madhvacharya, Vishnu
Vishnu
has either four or five vyuhas, named Narayana, Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha, which evolve one after the other in the development of the universe. The status of the fifth vyuha, Narayana, is not clear, and in some passages, he is not even mentioned." * ^ Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
(15.18): Because I am transcendental, beyond the fallible and the infallible, and because I am the greatest, I am celebrated both in the world and in the Vedas
Vedas
as that Supreme Person (Purushottama) * ^ Name No. 515 in Vishnu
Vishnu
Sahasranama * ^ Vaisnavism Saivism and Minor Religious Systems, Ramkrishna Gopal Bhandarkar. Published by Asian Educational Services, p.46. * ^ Hiltebeitel, Alf (1990). The ritual of battle: Krishna
Krishna
in the Mahābhārata. Albany, N.Y: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-0249-5 . p61 * ^ Prabhupada
Prabhupada
, AC Bhaktivedanta. "Bhagavad-gita As It Is Chapter 11 Verse 3". vedabase.net. Retrieved 2008-05-10. "see the cosmic manifestation" * ^