We know that Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha are the names of the quadruple expansion of the Supreme Lord Vishnu. We also know that they are described in many verses in Smriti literature like Puranas, Mahabharata, Pancaratra scriptures, etc.

But are they mentioned anywhere in Shruti? I'm specifically interested to know whether one of them, Lord Aniruddha, is mentioned anywhere in Shruti.

  • 1
    Well, the Sahasrashirsha Purusha described in the Purusha Sukta is the same as Vishnu's Vyuha form Aniruddha, as I discuss here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/7661/36 So are you just looking for things like he Purusha Sukta which refer to the Sahasrashirsha Purusha? It would be fairly easy to give you numerous references like that. Or are you looking specifically for the name "Aniruddha"? Jun 7, 2016 at 21:28
  • By the way, is this like your previous two questions, where you had the answer in mind already but you wanted to place a challenge for other people? Jun 7, 2016 at 21:30
  • @KeshavSrinivasan No, this is not a challenge question. I really want to know is there a verse anywhere in some Shruti scripture where name of the Lord Aniruddha is mentioned. This refers to a problem in the philosophy of Vedanta I've been thinking for a while, so I wonder where is such a verse in Shruti. Do you possibly know for such a verse? Jun 7, 2016 at 22:48
  • No, I don't know any verse in the Vedas which mentions the name Aniruddha. It's possible the Vyuha forms are mentioned in the Upanishads somewhere. In any case, what problem have you been thinking about, and why are you interested in Aniruddha in particular? Jun 8, 2016 at 0:48
  • 1
    Agamas are also called Shruti... Aniruddha form is described in Pancharatra which are Agama Shruti... But I don't think Aniruddha is mentioned in Vedas... Sahasrashirsa Purush as Aniruddha is latter identification... Vaishnavas identified it with Aniruddha and Shaivites identified it with Rudra....
    – Tezz
    Jun 8, 2016 at 0:56

2 Answers 2


Aniruddha is mentioned in the Mudgala Upanishad of the Rig Veda, which explains the Purusha Sukta of the Rig Veda (which I discuss here):


We shall explain the Purusha-sukta: In ‘a thousand-headed’ thousand means countless; the word ‘ten fingers’, means infinite distance, by the first stanza Vishnu’s pervasion in space is stated, by the second the pervasion in time; the third speaks of his giving liberation. The glory of Vishnu is given in ‘Etavan’ (so much is his greatness). The same stanza states his four-fold nature. ‘Tripad’ etc., speaks of the glory of Aniruddha. In ‘from that Virat was born’ has been shown the origin of Prakriti and Purusha from a quarter of Hari. By ‘Yat Purushena’ the sacrifice of creation is stated as well as Moksha. In ‘Tasmad’ world creations are stated. ‘Vedaham’ speaks of Hari’s glory. By ‘Yajnena’ is stated the end of creation and liberation. One who knows it becomes liberated.


In Mudgalopanishad the greatness of Purusha-sukta has been stated in detail. Vasudeva instructed the knowledge of Bhagavan to Indra; again imparted to the humble Indra the great mystery with two sections of the Purusha-sukta. These two are: The Purusha described above gave up the object which was beyond the scope of name and form, hard for worldly people to understand and took a form with a thousand parts and capable of giving Moksha on sight, for uplifting the suffering Devas and others. In that form, pervading the world he was beyond it by an infinite distance. This Narayana was the Past, Present and the Future. And was the giver of Moksha to all. He is greater than the greatest – none is greater than He.

He made himself into four parts and with three of them exists in the heaven. By the fourth, the Aniruddha (for of) Narayana, all worlds have come to be. This (part of) Narayana created Prakriti (Matter) for making the worlds (Prakriti stands for the four-faced Brahma). In full form the latter did not know the work of creation – this Aniruddha-Narayana told him.

Brahman ! Meditate upon your organs as the sacrifice, the firm body of the sheaths as the oblation, me as Agni, the spring season as ghee, summer as fuel, autumn as the six tastes of food and make the offering in Agni and touch the body – this will make the body (strong like) Vajra (diamond). Thence will appear the products like animals. From the, the world of moving and unmoving things. It must be understood that the manner of liberation is stated by the combination of Jiva and Paramatman.

Whoever knows this Creation and Liberation lives a full life.

So the Mudgala Upanishad identifies the Sahasrashirsha Purusha praised in the Purusha Sukta with Vishnu's Vyuha form Aniruddha, just as the Pancharatra Agamas do.

  • How can Dashangulam or ten fingers mean infinite distance? Isn't it just 10 fingers.
    – Yogi
    Jun 8, 2016 at 10:16
  • Well, ten human fingers may be a short distance, but ten fingers of the supreme Brahman is another story. Jun 8, 2016 at 17:07
  • what story is it related to some story??
    – Yogi
    Jun 8, 2016 at 17:18
  • @Yogi Haha, no, "that's another story" is just a figure of speech in English meaning "that's a separate matter". Jun 8, 2016 at 17:20
  • Great. However I found some verses in the Gopala tapani Upanishad also. Btw, not that I think it's much important, but do you know whether this Mudgala Upanishad was quoted by some acarya in the past. Jun 8, 2016 at 17:56

Lord Aniruddha together with Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa and Pradyumna is mentioned in the Gopala tapani Upanishad of the Paippalada branch of the Atharva Veda:

Text 101
Om. Obeisances to Krishna, who is Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha.

Text 48 There are these verses: Lord Krishna, accompanied by His three potencies, and by Balarama, Aniruddha, Pradyumna, and Rukmini, stays in delightful Mathura Puri, which is worshipped by Brahma and the other demigods and protected by the conch, cakra, club, and sarnga bow.

Text 48 (b) These four names are identical with the name Om.

  • Where did you get the idea that the Gopala Tapani Upanishad is from the Paippalada Shakha? None of the Tapani Upanishads are from available Shakhas of the Vedas. (In fact very few Upanishads are from Shakhas.). And the Paippalada Shakha of the Atharvana Veda still exists, so I'm quite sure that the Gopala Tapani Upanishad is not from that Shakha. Jun 8, 2016 at 19:48
  • @KeshavSrinivasan I've learned about that many years ago. See at srilapurimaharaja.org/books/Sri_Guru_Puja_2000.pdf and there search for the word Paippalada in your web browser. See also at ignca.nic.in/sanskrit.htm "Gopala-tapani Upanisad (Purva) | Commentary :: Prabodhananda Sarasvati" -- it's ignca.nic.in/sanskrit/gtu_purva_text_with_commentaries.pdf and there read commentary on the first verse beginning with prabodhānanda-jīvayoḥ. ... Jun 8, 2016 at 23:42
  • @KeshavSrinivasan ... Also from the web: "Srila Vishvanath Cakravarti Thakur and Baladev Vidyabhushan have stated in their commentaries on GopalTapani Upanisad that this tapani of the Atharva Veda, Paippalada branch, was previously being recited by the brahmanas of Gujarat and Orissa." Jun 8, 2016 at 23:42
  • Hmm, that is very strange. Let me see if I can find the Paippalada Shakha and verify it. By the way, you may be interested to know that as a living oral tradition, the Paippalada Shakha just died off recently, or was about to die off, when the Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram assigned some Brahmanas who belonged to other Vedas to start learning the Paippalada Shakha. So now there is a thriving Paippalada Shakha in South India. Jun 9, 2016 at 1:44
  • 1
    @brahmajijnasa I will translate whatever I understood. gurajadi - gujarat etc. Desa - place, prasiddha - popular, parasara gotram, brahmana Sampradaya, prapta-got/received.. Gujarat is a state in India. It is received from a brahmana sampradaya which belongs to parasara gotra that is popular in gujarat etc.
    – user16618
    Nov 23, 2018 at 0:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .