As already mentioned in this answer, Satvata Tantra describes three Vishnu forms, namely Karanokadasayi Vishnu, Garbodhakasayi Vishnu and Kshirodakasayi Vishnu.

The exact verse talking about three Vishnus is:

visnos tu trini rupani purusakhyany atho viduh ekantu mahatah srastr dvitiyam tv anda-samsthitam trtiyam sarvabhuta-stham tani jnatva vimucyate

Gaudiya Vaishnavas use this classification in their books. Apart from Gaudiya Vaishnavas, are there any other sampradayas which accept Satvata Tantra and three forms of Vishnu?

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    @SuryaKantaBoseChowdhury It is a pancaratra text. Why do you call it Gaudiya Vaishnava text? Books like Chaitanya Charitamrta, Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu can be called Gaudiya Vaishnava texts.
    – user16618
    Nov 20, 2018 at 9:04
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    Dear down voters, what's there in the question that causes the down vote?
    – user16618
    Nov 20, 2018 at 10:58
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    Yeah, it is not a Gaudiya Vaishnava text but it is an old Vedic text in the Smriti literature. We do not know how many people and which Hindu groups have read that scripture throughout history of Hinduism. We just know that in the modern era that scripture was read and quoted by the Gaudiyas, but that doesn't tell anything about the whole history of Hindu dharma. And 'dear downvoters' don't have anything smart and useful to do, so they think they have to spoil everything on this Hi SE website by useless downvoting of good questions and answers :) Nov 20, 2018 at 11:33

1 Answer 1


Vallabhacharya of Rudra Sampradaya in his Subodhini commentary of Bhagavatam to verse 1.3.1 quotes the verse from Satvata Tantra which describes three forms of Vishnu.

visnos tu trini rupani purusakhyany

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There are many sampradayas which have become extinct, so it is possible that some sampradayas would have been using it. Moroever, not all sampradayas are mainstream. All their works may not be even translated in English and some may even not be published. Gaudiya Sampradaya also has become known outside Orissa and Bengal only in late 20th century and also their works have been translated into English.

Similarly Brahma Samhita, a text discovered by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Adi Keshava temple in Kanyakumari, could have been used by some sects and moreover because of invasions when so many libraries are burnt, other copies in other locations would have been lost and Adi Keshava temple happened to preserved one.

It is impossible to say what was the position/role of these texts among different sampradayas that have existed in whole history of Hinduism. Often, popularity of one sect obscures other sampradayas and thus the scriptures they refer to.

Eg: Sankara's Advaita had monopoly for almost 2 centuries and then Sri Vaishnavism had to take Vedantic route to challenge Advaita.

Gaudiya Vaishnavism also took to Vedanta as late as 1700 though Sampradaya was found in 1500s because of popularity of Vedanta school.

Ekayana Vaishnavism of Kashmir became extinct.

We don't know how many sampradayas who didn't adapt to the changes have become extinct or rather unknown to us.

  • Yeah, I fully agree to what you said. I often see people on Hindu forums who say something like "this scripture is only quoted by the Gaudiyas", etc, like they want to say that the scripture is modern or not generally recognized. But we really don't know anything about the history of that scripture, we just know about past 1000 years or so of the history, and that is really not much, so it's not appropriate to judge. Nov 21, 2018 at 14:01
  • @brahmajijnasa I accidentally came across this reference, when I wanted to check how Vallabhacharya comments on this section of bhagavatam. There are libraries in India even now where so many religious libraries are there, government has become secular and takes no interest at all, they are not even classified and organized and just rotting in the libraries. Who knows what all books are there? Kashmir once center for scholars and religious things is no more Hindu. Taxila and Nalanda universities with huge libraries are burnt by invaders.
    – user16618
    Nov 21, 2018 at 14:16
  • Yes, I remember that B. Vidyabhusana project you mentioned once, that devotee is having a great trouble to copy scriptures in the libraries, and nobody cares about it. It's really sad to see that libraries became places in which old scriptures just get rotten, and you can't even afford to make a copy of some book, or it's expensive to do it, or they don't you let in the library, and India government don't care about it. Sad, really sad. Someone should send a letter to the government to warn them about it. Nov 21, 2018 at 14:48
  • Yeah, thanks to Sridhara Svami. There are many Bhagavatam commentaries, it would be a good thing to see in how many of them all those chapters are present which Madhva tradition does not have. Nov 23, 2018 at 0:06
  • @brahmajijnasa we can't say historically the role of Brahmä samhita, one way to check is its consistency with sruti and smriti and I see it is consistent with sruti, smriti. Keeping aside Brahmä Samhita, Srimad Bhagavatam itself clearly establishes most of the conclusions of brahmä samhita which others have problem accepting.
    – user16618
    Nov 23, 2018 at 1:22

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