What is Vishnu's body made up of? What are the bodies made of when he incarnates as Rama, Krishna, Narasimha? Is Vishnu soul or the body? When he incarnates does he enter other avatars bodies? I want to know from both Vaishnav and Advait perspective


2 Answers 2


sath chit Ananda / chinmayananda (truth, intelligence, and pleasure) is the body of lord ever radiant. sarva antaryami ..that is why it is difficult give form for the above. in order human body to realize hindus gave form. so that the five material sense can grasp which is abstract and proceed in spiritual development.

viswothirnaroopay chinmanyananda roopinaye hygrivaye vidhyadhiraja thubiam namaste swagaha swagaha namaha (hygriva Upanishad)

still if you are not able to conceive they gave chakra, sankha, mahamudra and pushthaka adhyam chaturbujam sampoorna chandrasankhasham hyagriva upashmahe

he is both mother and father.. of the existence..

According to kath Upanishad and madhva philoshophy one should not distinguish between avatara and moolaroopa.. that is satchitananda roopa, so no difference in avatara also including parasurama..

so god wont have destructive physical body like us he was never born in any womb, he only showed himself, and also while leaving he didn't leave physical body, the above statement is agreed by all acharyas (sankara, madhva and Ramanuja acharya

  • Is this from advaita point of view or vaishnava view?
    – user16895
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 10:30
  • Hindu point of view (advaita accepts sath chit ananda) sankara accepts Hari sarvothama
    – Prasanna R
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 10:35

I can answer this from the Vaishnava perspective. Note that Lord Vishnu is 'vibhu' meaning he is present everywhere and all pervasive. Also note that He does not need a body to perform the cosmic functions of creation, protection and dissolution of the universe, he can do all this by his mere will, or 'Sankalpa'. However, he does take on a body exclusively only for the sake of his devotees, who are always yearning for a vision of him. The body which he takes up is not made of any material substance consisting of the five elements but it is actually made up of a spiritual material called suddha sattva (pure sattva). This consists of the pure 'sattva' quality which is not mixed with other gunas like 'rajo' or 'tamas'. His incarnations are of two kinds - one is when he himself descends with his spiritual body - examples are Rama and Krishna. The other kind of avatar is called the 'avesha' avatar where he temporarily enters the body of a human being thus endowing the person with special powers - example is Parasurama.

Coming to your final question - "Is Vishnu soul or body?". As per our acharyas, there are three realities, or 'Tattvas'. These are chit, achit and Ishwara. 'Chit' refers to sentient matter such as the atomic souls inside all living creatures. 'Achit' refers to insentient matter like stones, rocks, etc.'Ishwara' refers to the supreme God Vishnu. As per the vishishtadvaita philosophy expounded by Ramanujacharya, Lord Vishnu has the entire universe comprising of both 'chit' and 'achit' as his body. In this sense, Lord Vishnu may be considered as the paramatma, or supersoul of the entire universe. However, in another sense, we may also think of Him as the supersoul along with the body consisting of 'chit' and 'achit', just as we think of human beings as soul+body. In this sense, all of us the individual jivatmas are part or 'amsa' of God. Finally, I may remark that God is beyond human comprehension and we cannot really categorize him into buckets like 'soul' or 'body'. Though we can always try to improve our understanding of him, a complete understanding may always elude us.

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