As per the respective shloka, from Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram:-

व्यासाय विष्णुरूपाय व्यासरूपाय विष्णवे ।

Which means vyasa is vishnu's form and vice-versa.

But If veda-vyasa is a title given to a person, as that person organizes the format of the scriptures, then ashvatthama who's the next veda vyasa will he be considered as vishnu's Incarnation? But how's that possible because Bhagavatam says that the current vyasa is personally a direct and the 17th Incarnation of Vishnu?

As per this shloka

tataḥ saptadaśe jātaḥ satyavatyāṁ parāśarāt cakre veda-taroḥ śākhā dṛṣṭvā puṁso ’lpa-medhasaḥ

Thereafter, in the seventeenth incarnation of Godhead, Śrī Vyāsadeva appeared in the womb of Satyavatī through Parāśara Muni, and he divided the one Veda into several branches and subbranches, seeing that the people in general were less intelligent.

So will Ashvatthama become Vishnu?

  • There have been 28 Vyasas in this Manvantara...were all they Vidhnu avtars? if no how Ashvatthama...i think ur question is to understand "व्यासाय विष्णुरूपाय व्यासरूपाय विष्णवे"...pls edit the title accordingly...
    – YDS
    Commented Oct 7, 2018 at 8:06
  • @YDS hello dear, pls help to direct me to make title in concordance with the subject Commented Oct 7, 2018 at 14:10
  • Edit your title to meaning of sloka you mentioned above in first! Commented Oct 7, 2018 at 15:42

2 Answers 2


This is the complete shloka:

व्यासाय विष्णुरूपाय व्यासरूपाय विष्णवे।

नमो वै ब्रह्मनिधये वासिष्ठाय नमो नम:।।

The English translation would be something as below:

Vyasa is the form of Vishnu or Vishnu is Vyasa, I bow down to the such descendant of Vishishtha Muni.

Vasishtha's son was Shakti; Parashar was son of Shakti, and Parashar's son is Krishna Dvyapana hence he is referred as descendant of Vishishtha Muni.

This implies that this shloka is for Krishna Dvyapana (28th Vyasa) and not for all the Vyasas in general.

And many Puranas (one reference is already mentioned in your question) mention Krishna Dvyapana (28th Vyasa) as Vishnu avtar so there should be no doubt in this.

As mentioned in What were the previous births of the characters of Mahabharata?

Aswatthaman was born on earth, of the united portions of Mahadeva, Yama, Kama, and Krodha

[Update as asked in comments]

In Vishnu Purana: Part3: Chapter 3, Brahma, Manu, Yama, Surya and Indra etc. have been mentioned as previous Vyasas but still they have been mentioned as portion of Vishnu.

And reason for this is given in the same chapter. This is because in Vishnu Puran (or in Vaishnavism), Vishnu is the Supreme Brahman and

He (Vishnu) is the soul of all embodied spirits.

This world is Vishńu; it is in Vishńu; it is from Vishńu.

By this logic, all are portion of Vishnu. And if Yama can be considered as portion of Vishnu then, Aswatthaman who is portion of Yama (and Mahadeva, Kama, and Krodha) can also be considered as portion of Vishnu even before he becomes Vyasa.

  • According to Vishnu Purana, a portion of Lord Vishnu incarnates in every dwapara yuga. So, the doubt of OP is how can both be true? If Ashvatthama is Mahadeva and Vyasa is Vishnu, how to understand this? This is the question. Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 8:53
  • @Sarvabhouma "If Ashvatthama is Mahadeva and Vyasa is Vishnu, how to understand this? " Not an expert but Lord Dattatreya can be an example for this. He was conbine incarnation of all three Lord. OR may be he was only incarnation of Vishnu but later combined himself with Shiva and Brahma also.
    – Vishvam
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 10:04
  • @Rishabh Anasuya prayed trimurtis to get sons with their amshas. As a result, Dattatreya (son of Atri) was an amsha of Vishnu.Other Atreyas were Durvasa muni who is amsha of Lord Shiva and there was another rishi who is amsha of Brahma. I don't know how and since when Dattatreya was depicted with six hands and three faces as an incarnation of all the trimurtis. Bhagavatam and Brahmanda Purana says he is incarnation of Vishnu only. Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 10:46
  • @sarvabhouma I am aware of the story. As per my understanding, he did great penance of Brahma and Shiva later and became one with them. Hence in beginning he was ansha avtar of Vishnu only later with penance he got ansha of brahma and Shiva also inside him and became combined incarnation of all three. Still this might be topic of debate. Different people has different believes.
    – Vishvam
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 11:01
  • @Sarvabhouma Brahma, Yama, Surya, Indra have been Vyasas...now thing is that in Vishnu Puran, Vishnu is Supreme Brahman...and that's why everything is mentioned as portion of Vishnu...
    – YDS
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 17:42

There are different types of avataras - Purna (Rama/Krishna) & Avesha (Bhagavan's powers given to a jivatma for a specific purpose).

Avesha are of 2 types - svarupa (full powers of Bhagavan - Parashurama, for a limited time) and shakti (some powers of Bhagavan - Kartavirya Arjuna (power), Veda Vyasa (knowledge), for a certain time).

Vyasa is a Gnana-avesha avatara of Vishnu. Vishnu is not Equivalent to Vyasa. There is no other equivalent to Vishnu.



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    – The Destroyer
    Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 5:06

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