Are there any verses from Vedas and the Upanishads that show Lord Vishnu as supreme?

  • 1
    This answer gives some of the Vedic mantras to which Lord Vishnu is the devata as well as the seer. Jul 30, 2017 at 11:01

4 Answers 4


Yes, Rig Veda (1.22.20) makes it very clear that it is Vishnu who empowers all the heavenly Devas extolled and glorified in the Vedas.

Vishnu occupies the paramount position. All the other deities look always to His feet.

Rig Veda 10.113.2 states:

Vishnu is glorified because of who and what He intrinsically is. Indra, on the other hand, is only glorious circumstantially.

Rig Veda 1.156.2 states:

Vishnu is the most ancient of all, yet also the most recent. Nothing and no one creates Vishnu, yet Vishnu creates everyone and everything.

The Narayana Suktam of the Yajurveda states:

Narayana is the Lord of the universe. This master is the ruler of himself. He is the eternally auspicious one and he is constant and unchanging. This Narayana is the highest thing to be known. He is the inner-psyche of all. He is the supreme object and the highest goal of attainment.

Narayana is the supreme Brahman. Narayana is the supreme Reality. Narayana is the supreme Light. Narayana is the supreme Self. Narayana is the most excellent meditate and meditation.

The Narayana Upanishad states:

The supreme person Narayana willed to create beings. From Narayana emerged the life principle.

From Narayana emerged the mind and all the senses. From Narayana, came Vayu, Surya, Varuna and Prithvi, which became the constituents of the Universe.

From Narayana came Brahma. From Narayana emerged Maha-Rudra. From Narayana came Indra.

From Narayana came all the Prajapatis. From Narayana came the twelve sons, the eight Vasus, the Rudra and all the Vedas.

All beings emerged from Narayana. Narayana sustains all beings. Every being merges into Narayana. Narayana is the eternal principle.

Brahma is Narayana. Shiva is Narayana. Indra is Narayana. Earth and Heaven are Narayana.

Time verily is Narayana. Directions are Narayana. The upper world is Narayana. The nether world is Narayana. Narayana forms the inner as well as the outer worlds.

Everything is a manifestation of Narayana. He is both past, present and future.

Narayana is immaculate, ever blissful, blemishless and non-dual. Narayana is the Supreme Self without a moment. This is declared by the Yajurveda. Narayana, who is also known as Vishnu, pervades the whole universe and it is He alone who exists.

Later on, the same Upanishad also states:

The seat of Narayana is the lotus of the heart. The knowledge of Narayana alone is the highest form of wisdom. Sri Krishna, the son of Devaki, who is the vanquisher of Madhu is the ultimate Brahman. He alone resides in all beings. He is both the causeless and the cause of everything.


Both Purusha Suktam The primordial diety in rig Veda and Narayana Suktam the Para Brahman of Yajur Veda are addressed to Lord Vishnu.

Both of those suktams alone outweigh any other hymns to any other devas in any of the four Vedas.

Also the Vishnu who is one among the Adityas- one of the son of Aditi is not Lord Vishnu himself but the Vamana avatar which was born to Aditi, Vishnu name in rig Vedic samhitas are used for two different deities. One for adityas and other for lotus feet, Sudarshan bearing Vishnu.

Vishnu 12 among the Adityas is Vamana, while the yajnapati vishnu in rig Veda(Brahmana portion) is addressed to Laxmi Pati Vishnu, and Purusha Sukta is also addressed to Laxmipati Vishnu.

Aitareya Brahmana 1.1.1 –

agnirvai devanamavamo vishnuh paramah tadantara sarva devatah

“Agni is the lowest and Vishnu is the highest among devas. All other gods occupy positions that are in between.”

Taittiriya Samhita 5.5.1 –

aniravamo devatAnAM viShNuH paramaH

Vishnu is the supreme amongst devatas.

Vishnu is celebrated as yajnapati, in Vedas, purusha sukta also calls purusha as yajnapati as well as the husband of Laxmi which makes it clear that it is being addressed to Lord Vishnu.

Two Shrutis never contradict each other, the Sri sukta also calls Laxmi the consort of Vishnu.

  • Wait what's with the downvotes? Is my answer wrong or something. Jan 20, 2018 at 17:37
  • May be u would like to answer hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/22677/12304
    – YDS
    Jan 20, 2018 at 20:17
  • 7
    There's nothing wrong with the answer. The downvotes are probably from those who don't like your content which says Vishnu is highest among the devas. So, chill. Feb 2, 2018 at 17:35
  • 1
    What about एकं सद् विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति? Vishnu does not necessarily mean the Four-armed form. The yoga upanishad says that naada with mind disolves in Vishnu. Vyapakatwat Vishnur means that the God without form is also called Vishnu.
    – user17294
    Jan 17, 2019 at 17:13

Narayanatharbasir Upanishad:

It is from Narayana only that everything is generated, by Him only everything is maintained and in Him only everything is annihilated. Therefore Narayan is eternally existent. Whatever is there it is nothing but Narayana—everything that is now in existent and everything that will be created in future also. Narayana is the unadulterated Deity and there is only Narayana and nothing else.

Narayana Upanishad:

"From whom everything is emanated. The whole universe is emanated.

Bhagavat Purana (11.3.34-35)

**—Brahman and Paramatma are synonyms of Narayana. Oh you who are conversant in the transcendental knowledge be unto Him. He is the cause of all causes in the matter of creation, maintenance and destruction. He is present in all stages of manifestation, non-manifestation and potential. All functions of the body and senses including the pulsating heart everything conducted by Him only and everything is kept in action and for this reason He is the King of all living creatures.

Narayana Suktam from YajurVeda:

Patim viswasyaatma-eesvara(gu)m saasvatagum sivamachyutam | Naaraayanam mahaagneyam viswaatmaanam paraayanam |

Narayana is the Lord of the universe. This master is the ruler of himself. He is the eternally auspicious one and he is constant and unchanging. This Narayana is the highest thing to be known. He is the inner-psyche of all. He is the supreme object and the highest goal of attainment.

Naaraayana param Brahma tatvam naaraayanah paraha | Naaraayana paroe jyotihi aatmaa Naaaraayanaha paraha | naaraayana paroe dhyaata dhyaaanam Naaraayanaha paraha |

Narayana is the supreme Brahman. Narayana is the supreme Reality. Narayana is the supreme Light. Narayana is the supreme Self. Narayana is the most excellent meditate and meditation.


Narayana Upanishad

Om. Then Nārāyaṇa, the supreme Purusha desired. "I shall create offspring." From Nārāyaṇa emanates prāṇa, manas, the several organs of sense and action, ākāś, vāyu, agni, āpas and pṛṭhivī that supports all. From Nārāyaṇa emanates Brahmā. From Nārāyaṇa emanates Ruḍra. From Nārāyaṇa emanates Inḍra. From Nārāyaṇa emanates Prajāpaṭi (the divine progenitor). From Nārāyaṇa emanates the twelve āḍiṭyas, ruḍras, vasus, and all the chhanḍas (Veḍas). From Nārāyaṇa only do (all these) proceed. Through Nārāyaṇa do (they) prosper. In Nārāyaṇa (they) are absorbed. The Ṛgveḍa teaches this.Then Nārāyaṇa is eternal. Brahmā is Nārāyaṇa, Śiva is Nārāyaṇa, Inḍra is Nārāyaṇa, Kāla (time) is Nārāyaṇa, Ḍik (space) is Nārāyaṇa, the intermediate quarters also are Nārāyaṇa; that which is above is Nārāyaṇa, that which is below is Nārāyaṇa, that which is in and out is Nārāyaṇa, the whole universe which existed and will exist is Nārāyaṇa. Nārāyaṇa is the only one that is stainless, sinless, changeless, and unnameable, and that is pure and divine. There is no second. Whoever knows Him thus, becomes Vishṇu Himself. The Yajurveḍa teaches this.

Narsimha Tapani Upanishad

  1. He is called “Veera [heroic]” because by his power He makes all worlds, all devas, all beings and all boothas play, and allow them to take rest and also creates, helps them grow and attracts without any break these worlds, devas, beings and boothas. He is behind every action, very capable, mountain like and one who fulfills the desires of devas.

  2. He is “Maha Vishnu”, because he pervades in all the worlds and makes all the world pervade, similar to the fatty gum that spreads in all meat, from this side to that and also from other side to this side. There is nothing in the world that is not him. He is pervading in all things in the world. He is the leader of all souls. Worship of souls is His worship. He exists in all the three shining things viz. Moon, Sun and fire.

Kali Santara Upanishad

He shakes off (the evil effects of) Kali through the mere uttering of the name of the Lord Nārāyaṇa, who is the primeval Purusha." Again Nāraḍa asked Brahma: "What is the name?" To which Hiraṇyagarbha (Brahma) replied thus: (the words are:) "1. Harē, 2. Rāma, 3. Harē, 4. Rāma, 5. Rāma, 6. Rāma, 7. Harē, 8. Harē; 9. Harē 10. Kṛshṇa, 11. Harē, 12. Kṛshṇa, 13. Kṛshṇa, 14. Kṛshṇa 15. Harē, 16. Harē. These sixteen names (words) are destructive of the evil effects of Kali. No better means than this is to be seen in all the Veḍas.

Rama Tapaniya Upanishad

Brahma then thought in his mind about that Maha Vishnu, who is the foundation of this world, who is that Narayana, who does not have any deficiencies and who is that Parameshwara, who is of the form of Para Brahman and who is full of complete joy and then worshipped him as follows: 2

Rama Rahasya Upanishad

  1. He who is the Paramatma to those thinkers, who shines like the millions of Suns, who is like Narayana residing in the nadi-s, who is digestive fire.

Tarasara Upanishad

  1. Then Bharadvaja asked Yajnavalkya: “What is Taraka ? What is that which causes one to cross (this mundane existence)”. To which Yajnavalkya replied: “Om Namo Narayanaya is the Taraka. It should be worshipped as Chidatma. Om is a single syllable and of the nature of Atman. Namah is of two syllables and is of the nature of Prakriti (matter). Narayanaya is of five syllables and is of the nature of Parabrahman. He who knows this becomes immortal. Through ‘Om’, is Brahma produced; through ‘Na’ is Vishnu produced; through ‘Ma’ is Rudra produced; through ‘Na’ is Ishvara produced; through ‘Ra’ is the Anda-Virat (or Virat of the universe) produced; through ‘Ya’ is Purusha produced; through ‘Na’ is Bhagavan (Lord) produced; and through ‘Ya’ is Paramatman produced. This Ashtakshara (eight syllables) of Narayana is the supreme and the highest Purusha. Thus is the Rig-Veda with the first foot (or half).

Gopala Upanishad

  1. Om. Some sages said to the demigod Brahma: “Who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Whom does death fear? By knowing whom does everything else become known? Who created this world.
  2. Brahma replied to them: “Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Death fears Govinda. By understanding Gopijanavallabha everything becomes known. By pronouncing the word “svaha” the Personality of Godhead created the world.
  • Rigveda 1:22:20

Vishnu occupies the paramount position. All the other deities look always to His feet.

  • Rigveda 7:99
  1. MEN come not nigh thy majesty who growest beyond all bound and measure with thy body. Both thy two regions of the earth, O Visnu, we know: thou God, knowest the highest also.2. None who is born or being born, God Visnu, hath reached the utmost limit of thy grandeur. The vast high vault of heaven hast thou supported, and fixed earth's eastern pinnacle securely.3. Rich in sweet food be ye, and rich in milch-kine, with fertile pastures, fain to do men service. Both these worlds, Visnu, hast thou stayed asunder, and firmly fixed the earth with pegs around it.4. Ye have made spacious room for sacrificing by generating Surya, Dawn, and Agni. O Heroes, ye have conquered in your battles even the bull-jawed Dasa's wiles and magic.

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