I get confused often when I read Hindu scripture translations because it always seem like there is no straight answer to anything.

I read that Narayana is water that Vishnu came from, but then some say they are one and the same, or that water comes from Vishnu, or that Vishnu actually just rests on water.

Other places it says Brahma instead of Vishnu.

I'm just wondering if there is any worshipping of water, or traditions involving water.

  • 2
    Narayana means the one who rests on water. Because Vishnu sleeps in an ocean (albeit an ocean of milk). – Keshav Srinivasan Sep 3 '14 at 16:19
  • @KeshavSrinivasan, how's that? can you please separate that compound word? Nar (man) + Ayana (?). – Vineet Menon Sep 4 '14 at 12:06
  • @VineetMenon Nara also means water, so he's the one who has water as his vessel. – Keshav Srinivasan Sep 4 '14 at 17:39
  • @KeshavSrinivasan, oh, i see. – Vineet Menon Sep 5 '14 at 5:29
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    Yes there are.Water is varuna deva.It is one of the 8 forms of Siva and is sacred. 1.We have "kalasa pooja" which is worshipping the pot of water used in ritualistic worship. 2.All rivers are considered sacred and are worishipped. 3. The ocean is the most sacred 4. There are rules against polluting rivers and seas etc. – user1195 Jan 6 '16 at 14:23

Yes there is sometime confusion between Brahma Vishnu and Maheshvara (called as Tridev of Hinduism). See every God in Hinduism have some responsibilities I mention some of them

  1. Bramha - Creator of Universe
  2. Vishnu - Manage everything which made by Brahma (generally good things)
  3. Maheshvara - Responsible to minimize and destroy which are bad or wrong and control odd things.

Here in your question you ask for Worshiping of water, so when it deals with creation then credit goes to Brahma and when it deals with water after that the credit goes to Vishnu and When it deals destroy the water then credit goes to Maheshvara (Also know as God Shankar, Mahadev). Also there is one more water worship named as Devi "Ganga" (same named as river in India). for more info about ganga you can use search engine.


I am not clear about your question completely, but here is my answer of

there is any worshipping of water, or traditions involving water?.

Yes there is concept of water worship in Hinduism from Rug-Vedic times. There is Apah Suktam (water Hymn ) in Rug-Veda 10.3 .Where water is revered.

आपो हि ष्ठा मयोभुवस्ता न ऊर्जे दधातन ।
महे रणाथ चक्षसे ॥१॥

āpo hi ṣṭhā mayobhuvastā na ūrje dadhātana ।
mahe raṇāya cakṣase ॥1॥

Meaning: O Water, because of your presence, the Atmosphere is so refreshing, and imparts us with vigour and strength. We revere you who gladdens us by your Pure essence.

ईशाना वार्याणां क्षयन्तीश्चर्षणीनाम् ।
अपो याचामि भेषजम् ॥५॥

īśānā vāryāṇāṃ kṣayantīścarṣaṇīnām ।
apoyācāmi bheṣajam ॥5॥

Meaning: O Water, may the divinity in Water dwell in the Farm lands, O Water, I implore you to give nutrition (to the crops).

In Hinduism there is a tradition worshiping gods with water. Tarpana OR Arghya means offering , this is given to all the gods . So gods are worshiped with water by offering water to them. Surya Arghya or worshiping the Sun with water is widely practiced in Hinduism.

There is a step of this Arghya pradanam (offering ) in Sandhyavandan – which is mandatory religious ritual performed, traditionally, by Dvija communities of Hindus.


It might be slightly off topic, but I will explain why there are no straight forward answers with an example.

There is a text about hata yoga known as Gheranda samhita. This is a sample shloka from Gheranda samhita

Ganga Yamuneyor Madhye Bala randa Payaswini

Balavantena grunhiyaa tad vishnum paramapada

Translated literally, it means that:

There is a young widow standing between river ganga and yamuna. If you go and grab her forcefully, you will get vishun pada (moksha or liberation). Though the translation is right, the interpretation is totally incorrect.

I will now tell you the actual meaning of this. Here Ganga and Yamuna refer Ida and Pingala naadi. The young widow standing between them is nothing but the sushumna naadi. If you can control your Sushumna naadi, then you will get Moksha or liberation.

That's the reason why you need to have a Guru to understand all these. Even some versions of Bhagavadgeeta and Veda mantras have been twisted by some scholars who just translated it without understanding the real meaning.

If you don't have Guru and want to learn scriptures, you might become a scholar but you cannot progress spiritually which is the real purpose of learning scriptures in the first place.


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