Bhagavad Gita says one who worships someone other than Lord Krishna is actually indirectly worshipping Him because He resides as the Indweller (Antaryami).

In the Kaushitaki Upanishad also, there is a story called "Indra's instruction to Pratardana", where Indra tells Pratardana to meditate on Indra as the supreme Brahman.

So if Pratardana can get moksha by meditating on Indra as the supreme Brahman, why can't others?

What does Sri Vaishnavism have to say about meditating on Devatas (and not Vishnu) as the supreme Brahman to attain Moksha?

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    No it wouldn't, because as I said, the Kaushitaki Upanishad is not telling people to meditate on Indra at all. When Indra is saying "me", he is not referring to himself at all, but to Brahman. Oct 16, 2017 at 20:51
  • 5
    Now as to what Sri Vaishnavism says about worshiping other gods, I'd make a few points. First of all, worshiping other gods is not a sin, but as I discuss in this answer there is a reason why many Sri Vaishnavas who have performed Sharanagati do not other gods. It's not because worshiping other gods is wrong, but because after Sharanagati you're considered "married" to Vishnu, and so worshiping other gods (outside of Sandhyavandhanam and the like) would like be cheating on your spouse. Oct 16, 2017 at 20:59
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    Second of all, according to Sri Vaishnavism there are two ways to get Moksha, Bhakti Yoga and Sharanagati. Bhakti Yoga is the one that involves meditating upon Brahman (along with doing Nishkama Karma and devotional service to Vishnu). Now in order to attain Moksha through meditation, you need to meditate upon Brahman correctly, i.e. you need to meditate upon the attributes that Brahman actually has, not attributes that he does not have. So if you meditate upon some being who isn't Brahman as Brahman (whether that being is some god other than Vishnu or even yourself) that won't lead to Moksha. Oct 16, 2017 at 21:05
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    Well, from a Sri Vaishnava point of view Vishnu simply is Brahman. But yes, there are certain attributes that Brahman possesses that no other beings possess, most notably the six Kalyana Gunas - Jnana, Bala, Aishwarya, Shakti, Virya, and Tejas. And more generally any two beings who are different have different attributes - if they had the same attributes they would be the same. Oct 16, 2017 at 23:16
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    Well yeah, they don't differ in their most fundamental attributes, but e.g. they differ in their histories, i.e. Karmas they've accumulated over infinitely many past births. Oct 17, 2017 at 0:40

3 Answers 3


Must be something really, really bad:


Nampaduvan made a list of promises. Seventeen oaths were made but the Brahmarakshasa was not convinced but the 18th one stumped him. The 18th oath was ”if I fail to turn up, I will accept the punishment given to one who equates Sriman Narayana with the demi-gods”. The Brahmarakshasa let Nampaduvan go

The Brahma Rakshasa knew that no real Vaishnavite would risk facing the punishment for equating Vishnu with other Gods.

  • yeah - the really bad thing is that they stay in samsara, because granting Moksha (release from samsara) falls under Vishnu's purview. So if they believe that other deities can grant it, they would not be able to attain it. It's not a punishment for following other devas, it's just a consequence. It's like saying "if I equate all teachers to be equal to Maths teacher, then it will be really bad for me" - bad how? Will Maths teacher punish him? No. It just means he will fail in Maths because he thought everyone could teach him Maths.
    – ram
    Feb 27, 2020 at 22:43

The gods like Indra in Vedas and Upanishadetc are just the titles.

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;

So the Indra of Upanishad is a title of Vishnu also. In Vedas and Upanishad a supreme god have different forms or title.

Paramāṭmā, the womb of all elements, the All-Witness, and above lamas. He only is Brahma. He only is Śiva. He only is Inḍra. He only is the indestructible. He only is the Supreme. He only is the Self-Shining. He only is Vishṇū.

So Both Vishnu and Indra and all other names of Vedas are title of god. So if Indra is saying to worship him, he is saying to worship Vishnu or Superme Brahma.

In the Bhagwad Gita Krishna is also reffering to the same god.

  • Bhagwad Gita 10:21-22

आदित्यानामहं विष्णुर्ज्योतिषां रविरंशुमान् | मरीचिर्मरुतामस्मि नक्षत्राणामहं

Amongst the twelve sons of Aditi I am Vishnu; amongst luminous objects I am the sun. Know me to be Marichi amongst the Maruts, and the moon amongst the stars in the night sky.

वेदानां सामवेदोऽस्मि देवानामस्मि वासव: | इन्द्रियाणां मनश्चास्मि भूतानामस्मि चेतना

I am the Sāma Veda amongst the Vedas, and Indra amongst the celestial gods. Amongst the senses I am the mind; amongst the living beings I am consciousness.

Krishna is also the form of Superme god (Vishnu). That's why he is also conveying the same message of Upanishad.

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    Its pointless to explain concept of Brahman to orthodox Vaishnavas or Shaivas and equality of Shiva, Vishnu,Indra as they take Geeta literally with Krishna, son of Devaki,as speaker not the underlying infinite Brahman as they fail to understand abstract God because of Tamsika Kaliyuga.Some of them have even more hate towards Shiva or Indra or Shakti even than the Muslims and Christians, those who fail to understand the concept of Brahman of Sanatana Dharma, easily convert to Abrahamic religions based on some truth and more sense gratification as Vedic truth is above senses,money,power, hate.
    – user16530
    Feb 27, 2020 at 16:44

adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan

I have a very simple explanation from learning thiruvAimozhi and looking up meanings at a very superficial level.

nammAzhwAr in thiruvAimozhi; considered to be drAvida vEdam says in 1.1.5

avaravar thamadhamadhu aRivaRi vagai vagai avaravar iRaiyavar enavadi adaivargaL avaravar iRaiyavar kuRaivilar iRaiyavar avaravar vidhi vazhi adaiya ninRanarE

avaravar vidhivazhi adaiya ninRanar is explained as; emperumAn is present as the antharAthmA of those dhEvathAs who can take shelter of emperumAn (as explained in sAsthram) to fulfill the desires of their devotees.

Source: http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/03/thiruvaimozhi-1-1-5-avaravar-thamathamathu/

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