Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna


  • Shakuntala GawdeEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_194-1



Nārāyaṇa is important God of Vaiṣṇava cult. It is generally referred as another name of Viṣṇu. Historically Nārāyaṇa was different God than Viṣṇu which later got identified with Viṣṇu and also got intermingled into Vaiṣṇava pantheon. In later literature, Nārāyaṇa and Viṣṇu are used alternatively to refer to same deity.


Nārāyaṇa and Viṣṇu are considered almost synonymous in Purāṇas and later Upaniṣads. Rāmānuja considered Nārāyaṇa-Viṣṇu as Parabrahman. He became the important god in Purāṇic period and attained the status in Trinity of Hinduism. Nārāyaṇa was the main god of Pañcarātra sampradāya. Syncretic deity Nārāyaṇa-Viṣṇu got associated with Bhāgavata sampradāya particularly and Vaiṣṇavism in general. Nārāyaṇa is also mentioned as inseparably associated with the sage Nara.

Nara – Nārāyaṇa

Nārāyaṇa is also known as one among two ṛṣis known as Nara-Nārāyaṇa. Dharma, son of Brahmā was his father. Dharma...

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SanskritUniversity of MumbaiMumbaiIndia