This question has been so confusing it hasn't been apparent what I am asking. I know that the members of the Trimurti are distinct and One at the same time. I also know that Para Brahman is the ineffable absolute reality in which all things are One. I also know that Narayana refers to the member of Trimurti called Viṣnu, but both Narayana and Brahma are called creator.

The Bhagavata Purana declares Narayana as the Para Brahman who creates unlimited universes and enters each one of them as Lord of the Universe. Narayana engages in the creation of 14 worlds within the universe as Brahma when he deliberately accepts rajas guna. Narayana himself sustains, maintains and preserves the universe as Vishnu. In Shaivism, Narayan also accepts sattva guna and annihilates the universe at the end of maha-kalpa as Shiva or Rudra when he accepts tamas guna. —Wikipedia

So, I understand the difference between "Brahman & Brahma," but both are called Naranaya as well as Viṣnu. This is what I want to understand.

Lastly, if you know the etymology of these names, please share it as well.

  • 1
    Welcome to Hinduism.SE. You may understand the concept of Trinity in general term as: Lord Narayana (Vishnu) is Preserver, Lord Brahma is Creator, and Lord Shiva is Destroyer. Now, Brahma and Brahman are two different term. Brahma is Creator while Brahman is the Ultimate Reality or Supreme. Now there are many sects related to Lord Narayana and Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma. All these are supreme according to their followers. So, these all are referred as Brahman. – Triyugi Narayan Mani Jul 4 '17 at 13:13
  • 1
    But, doesn't the name (title?) Naranaya mean creator? No. Narayana is made up of two word nAra means water and ayana means residing. So, as a whole Narayana means who resides in water. And not only Vaishnavite but everyone call Vishnu as Narayana. – Triyugi Narayan Mani Jul 4 '17 at 13:34
  • 1
    Shriman Narayana or Lord Vishnu is Bramhan or Paramatma the omnipresent omniscent super soul. Lord Vishnu gave birth to hiranyagarbha or Bramha – Yogi Jul 15 '17 at 10:52
  • 1
    @RubelliteYakṣī BrahmA refers to the 4 faced Brahma, who is the creator of the universe, and first born from Brahman. BrahmaN is the inner-self of all beings and the supreme reality. And Narayana is synonymous with Vishnu and Brahman itself. Narayana is the inner-self of Brahma, Shiva, and everyone and everything else. The word "Narayana" etymologically means two things: 1) One who rests on water. OR 2) The resting place of all beings – Ikshvaku May 8 '18 at 21:34
  • 1
    Yet, that Supreme Para Brahman is superior and is the ultimate reality. That Para Brahman becomes Vishnu, Shiva, Brahmaa, Devi, Ganesha and all. By meditating and worshipping that Para Brahman only, Vishnu, Shiva, Devi, Brahmaa, Ganesha et cetera have got their status. And Vaishnavas call that Para Brahma as vishnu, Shaivas call It Shiva, Shaaktas call It Devi, Gaanapatya call It Ganesha, and same for other sects. But at the End, the Supreme Formless Para Brahman is the Ultimate reality untainted by any discrepancies and the Supreme Bliss. – user14995 May 11 '18 at 9:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .