According to Panini, Sanskrit grammar says that the "Na" in "Narayana" turns it into a proper noun. A proper noun applies to that specific being unlike a common noun, like Shiva, which can apply to anyone since it just means "auspicious."

So, if a verse says "Narayana created the universe," and another verse says "Shiva created the universe," then "Shiva" in that verse actually means Narayana, since "Shiva" is just a common noun, so that that verse would mean "The auspicious one created the universe."

Do Shaivas or Shaktas refute that Narayana is a proper noun?

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    Does Sri Ramanuja say anywhere that the word Narayana is a proper noun?
    – user16581
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 16:54
  • no need. why dont u understand that Narayani means Durga?
    – user17294
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 16:56
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    "According to Panini, Sanskrit grammar says that the "Na" in "Narayana" turns it into a proper noun." Where does Panini say this or what rules of panini are applied here? If Narayana is proper noun, Narayani (Goddess Parvathi or Durga ) must also be proper noun ??
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 17:20
  • @TheDestroyer Panini says it here: "According to Panini's AshtadhyAyi (8.4.3), the Na-kaaram' makes the word nArAyaNa' a proper noun. "
    – Ikshvaku
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 18:50

4 Answers 4


Panini 8.4.3 says nouns which are made of two words (need not be proper nouns), न (na) in second word changes to ण(ṇa), if first word has र (ra) or ष (ṣa) but not ग (ga),

Sutra just says Nouns not proper nouns. This rule is also present in other Indian languages like Telugu. Same is said in this page.

When two words are joined, according to pAnini's grammar, it becomes nArAyaNa (नारायण) and not nArAyana (नारायन)

Each sanskrit word has many meanings and nArAyaNa is no exception. nArAyaNa means the one who gives shelter to nAra (jIva-s). This meaning is called as 'yougika' (यौगिक) meaning. It is a raw meaning of the word and does not point it to any particular identity. yougika meaning the meaning derived by joining two words (yOga).

There is another meaning called as rUDhi (रूढि) meaning. It means the obvious meaning.

When we say surpaNakhA. nakha means nail. surpaNakhA means the one which big nails (long nails). This is the yougika (यौगिक) meaning. But by saying surpaNakhA, we only and only mean rAvaNa's sister and not any other identity. In other words, whenever surpaNakhA is used, it 'obviously' means rAvaNa's sister surpaNakhA. this obvious meaning is called as rUDhi (रूढि) meaning.

Scriptures and some commentators describes word "Narayana" as attribute only.

For example, here is what Sri Bhaskaraya, one of the finest SriVidya Acharyas, says about Narayana in his Lalitha Sahasranama Bhasya:

नारायणी नादरूपा नामरूप-विवर्जिता ।
ह्रींकारी ह्रीमती हृद्या हेयोपादेय-वर्जिता ॥ ७०॥

nārāyaṇī nādarūpā nāmarūpa-vivarjitā ।
hrīṃkārī hrīmatī hṛdyā heyopādeya-varjitā ॥ 70॥

Sri Bhaskaraya's commentary on word Narayani and Narayana: (translated by Anantha Sastry)

Narayana, Vishnu or Siva. The explanation of the word Nārāyana is given in Manu Smriti (I, 10): "The water is called Narah, because it emanated from Nara (Brahman) : that is his first abode (ayana), hence he is named Nārāyana.” The Br. Vaivarta Pr. also, “Because his abode is among men, hence he is called Nārāyana." The De. Bhāg. Pr., "Because Nara means leading, hence, supreme self is called Nara." The Bhārata, " The wise knows that the Tatvas emanated from Nara (Brahman) and form his abode, hence he is called Närayana." Here Narayana is ParamaSiva, because concerning the fourth state, the Kasi khanda Says, "He is the Husband of Lakshmi and also of Parvati." Or this saying 'the husband of Lakshmi' may indicate non-separation between Lakshmi and Devi. Or, the sister of Vishnu is called Nārāyani. For there is a saying, "Adoration in Siva, the husband of Narayani." Or, because there is no difference Adoration in Siva, the husband of Narayani." Or, because there is no ilifference between Gauri and Narayana.

In the Kurma Pr. Siva says, “I, the supreme Lord, have divided myself into two forms, one is Nārāyana, the other is Gaurī, the mother of the universe. So my supreme nature is known to neither the Devas, nor to the Rishis, because I am one, I am Devi and Vishnu." The Devi Pr. says, “Because she has her abode in the water, not in air, or she has her seat in the ocean, hence she is called Närayani, the creator of Nara (men) and women." Accorling to the Padma Pr. Närāyani is the name of the goddess worshipped in the sacred place Supars'va.

He uses the word "Narayana" (Nara + ayana) as attribute to describe it for both Vishnu and Goddess.

Actually, references cited by Bhaskaraya provide more info on name Narayana. For example, Medhathithi completely uses the word "Narayana" as Attribute and says it can refer to Brahma in Manu Smriti 1.10.

आपो नारा इति प्रोक्ता आपो वै नरसूनवः । ता यदस्यायनं पूर्वं तेन नारायणः स्मृतः ॥ १० ॥

āpo nārā iti proktā āpo vai narasūnavaḥ | tā yadasyāyanaṃ pūrvaṃ tena nārāyaṇaḥ smṛtaḥ || 10 ||

Water is called ‘nara,’—water being the offspring of nara; since water was the first thing created by (or, the original residence of) that being, he is, on that account, described as ‘nārāyaṇa.’—(10)

Medathithi proves attribute "Narayana" is also suitable for creator Brahma.

The Being just described is the same who, here and there in the scriptures, is described under the name ‘Nārāyaṇa,’ as possessed of a superior degree of creative and cognitive powers, and hence being the Personal Creator of the world; the mere difference in names does not necessarily imply difference in the things denoted; so that the Beings described under the names ‘Brahmā,’ ‘Nārāyana’ and ‘Maheśvara are one and the same; though they form the objects of diverse forms of worship, yet they do not differ among themselves; as we shall show under Discourse XII.

How this is (i.e. how Brahmā is the same as ‘Nārāyana’) is explained now:—‘Water is called Nara.’—described under the name of,—‘Nara.’

In answer to the objection—“There is no such usage current among experienced persons; nor is it generally known that water is called Nara,”—the Author adds:—‘Water being the offspring of Nara,’—the supreme Being (Hiraṇyagarbha, described in verse 8 as having created water) might well be known under the name ‘Nara,’ Person; and water is his ‘offspring;’ hence water is spoken of as ‘Nara,’ the name of the father is often applied to the child, e.g., the ‘sons of Vaśiṣṭha,’ the revered sages Tāvabhru, Maṇḍu and Lomaka, are spoken of as ‘Vaśiṣṭhāḥ’; and such usage is based upon the

figurative identification of the child with the father.—‘Since’ because—‘Water,’ known as ‘Nara,’ was ‘the first thing created by’—or it was his container when he lay in the womb (egg)—‘he is, on that account, described as Nārāyaṇa.’

In the sense of ‘he whose container is Nara’the compound should be ‘narāyaṇa;’ but the first vowel may be taken as lengthened according to Pāṇini’s Sūtra 6.3.134, which justifies such lengthening in several other cases also,; just as we have in the word ‘pūruṣa’ (which is a variant for ‘puruṣa’);—or we may have the lengthening due to the affix ‘aṇ’ in the sense of ‘mass’ [so that nāra would be ‘mass of water,’ and ‘he who has this mass of water as his container, ayana,’ would he ‘nārāyaṇa’]. (10)

So, commentators like Medhathithi says it refers to Brahma also.

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    @Sarvabhouma दक्षिणायन . Second word has still न after uniting with first word. There's no र or ष in Dakshina. it has क् + श = क्ष
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 4:09
  • 1
    @TheDestroyer what is the highest and lowest forms in Advaita. All are illusory forms. Reality is one nirguna brahman.
    – user17439
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 5:34
  • 1
    @TheDestroyer even at Vyavaharika level in advaita, atleast five forms are considered equal..There is no higher & lower there. The distinction is only between us & saguna brahman. I think only vaishnvs have distinction not non-dualists.
    – user17439
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 6:05
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    Why did you remove the name Lalitha then? Bhaskararaya referred to Lalita only. Right? I am unclear why you removed Lalitha here. Lalitha is also called Narayani. Is that edit influenced by any comment under this answer? Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 6:29
  • 1
    @Sarvabhouma Because different sects have different opinions on usage of Narayani. Narayani is amsa of Lalitha who is sister of sthithikara Vishnu and consort of Rudra. Thought to just mention Goddess instead of Lalitha as Lalitha denotes highest form of Goddess.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 6:39

Narayana worships Siva, calling him "Narayana" in the Siva Purana. Of course the counterattack would be either Narayanastra ("Tamasic" purana) or Vaishnavastra ("interpolation").

There is a "Vaishnavite" refutation - namely - Varaha Purana


Page 90

(The text is corrupted in the source in some places)

  1. О three-eyed god, when there was no stem of the uni-verse, and there was no sun, moon or Indra, then you alone re-mained beyond the purview of any reasoning.

  2. О lord of gods, wearer of the garland of skulls, bearer of the crescent moon on the head, resorter to the cremationground, smearer of ashes all over the body and encircled byserpents, you are capable of protecting us.

  3. You are the Male and the beautiful daughter of the mountain is your Energy. You are fierce to the whole world with your trident, but the three sacrificial fires (Garhapatya, Ahava-nlya and Daksina) remain in your three eyes.

  4. In the form of your matted hair remain all oceans, all great mountains and all rivers. The whole universe is your body,though men without proper inner vision see only the physical aspect.

  5. You are Xarayana, the source of the universe. Similarly,you are the great Brahma, li.y the difference in the Gunas and difference in the fires and by the difference in the yugas you re-main threefold.

  6. О lord, all these chieftains of the gods now seek your favour. О you Rudra, who shine with ashes, we bow to you again,be pleased to save us all.

  • 1
    1) In that section, the Devas were praising Shiva by flattery so that they could obtain a worthy commander, and then Shiva created Skanda. 2) Shiva is called Narayana in the same way Indra is called Brahman in the Kaushitaki Upanishad. When Shiva is called Narayana, it is doing so through Samanadhikaranya, since all beings are the body of Vishnu, who is the Antaryami.
    – Ikshvaku
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 18:49
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    who you gonna believe - "me, or your lying eyes"? This is hilarious - those who pretend to sleep, you can never awaken. At least this person didn't say that this portion of Varaha Purana is "Tamasic."
    – S K
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 18:52
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    Look - the "antaryami" argument is irrefutable but it is just an assertion. (IIRC, there is scripture that Siva is everybody's antaryami also) - everybody knows that. Where they tie themselves into knots is to explain the "tamasic" acts of entities they denigrate - they have to say that at those times they are disobeying their "antaryami". The whole thing id childish and boils down to "what is good is ours, what is bad is yours."
    – S K
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 19:04
  • 1
    "but it is just an assertion." - It is a Vedic assertion. Shiva being the Antaryami is probably a Puranic assertion, and wherever Puranas contradict the Vedas, the Puranas must be ignored. "they have to say that at those times they are disobeying their "antaryami" - No one is trying to denigrate entities, at least they don't intend to. Sri Vaishnavas say Shiva is the foremost Bhakta of Vishnu.
    – Ikshvaku
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 19:10
  • 2
    @Ikshvaku Read Sri Rudram... Core Vedic Samhita which declares Shiva Supreme. Now, Antaryami notion can be imposed if Samhitas themselves say Rudra in Sri Rudram extolled because of nArAyaNa being antaryAmi there, not any subsidiary scripture or XYZ sect or philosopher. Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 19:31

Harihi Om.

There is a possibility of "refuting" something only when an opinion is specific to a sampradaaya or philosophy. However, certain facts and rules cannot be altered by anyone. For example, many Puraanas mention the story of Shiva cutting the fifth head of Brahmaa. Vaishnavas interpret it as the fault of Shiva, while Shaivas interpret it as one of the great deeds of Shiva. However, neither Shaivas nor Vaishnavas can deny the story itself. They can only refute their opponents interpretation of the story.

Similarly, the word 'Naaraayana' is an entity-specific proper noun, which is specific to Shri Vishnu. Shaivas, Shaktas or any Vadika cannot "refute" it, as it is a rule of the Shaastras. They can, however, consider either Shiva or Durga Devi to be the indweller of Vishnu, based on the aagamas. Then, they can interpret Naaraayana being called 'Brahman', as referring to Shiva or Durga Devi.

Now, the rule for samjnas (proper nouns) is established by Rshi Paanini, in his Ashtaadhyaayi, Adhyaaya 8, Paada 4, Sutra 3. Shri Bhatta Bhaaskara, a Shaiva, comments upon Paanini's Sutra and mentions that the Sutra talks about proper nouns that are specific to a certain entity.

संज्ञायाम् पूर्वपदात् रषाभ्याम् नः णः, अगः ।

Explanation: For a ‘samjna’ (proper noun), made by a combination of two words, the ‘r’ and ‘sh’ sounds present in the first word converts the ‘na’ (न​) in the second word to ‘na’ (ण​). The letter ‘ga’ (ग​) must also be absent in between.

There is a common misconception that a samjna refers to a noun and not necessarily a proper noun, but Bhatta Bhaaskara mentions that the first Sutra already speaks about a rule for common nouns and hence, this Sutra (the third one) talks about entity-specific proper nouns. He even gives an example of "Shoorpanakha", which refers to Raavana's sister alone and none else.

Shri Bhatta Bhaaskara's Commentary on the Ashtaadhyaayi

He mentions that 'Naaraayana' is a proper noun, in his commentary to the Naaraayana Sukta, too. Hence, Shaivas themselves validate the fact that the name 'Naaraayana' is specific to Vishnu.

Shripaada Madhvacharya, too, quotes important pramaanas to establish the same, directly from the Puraanas:

वामनेा च​
‘न तु नारायणादीनां नाम्नामन्यत्र सम्भवः ।
अन्यनाम्नां गतिर्विष्णुरेक प्रकीर्तितः’ इति ॥

“But the names, (such as) Naaraayana, cannot denote anyone other than Vishnu, while Vishnu is that single one, whom the names of all others primarily denote," thus (is said) in the Vaamana Puraana.

स्कान्देा च​
‘ऋतेा नारायणादीनि नामानि नामानि पुरुषोात्तमः ।
प्रादादन्यत्र भगवान् राजेावर्तेा स्वकं पुरम्’ इति ॥

"Purushottama has given other individuals his own names, except ‘Naaraayana’, just as a king confers various parts of his kingdom on other people, except his own city," thus (is said) in the Skanda Puraana.

-Brahma Sutra Bhaashya, Adhyaaya 1, Paada 3, Sutra 3

However, there are prevalent claims that the name 'Naaraayana' can be applicable to other devatas, which I shall clear here. Few claim that the name 'Naaraayana' is a name of Durga Devi, which is wrong, because her name is 'Naaraayanaa', a female name, which ends with 'aa', while 'Naaraayana' ends with 'a' and usually has the suffix 'aha', which is a suffix for male names. This is why the Naaraayana Sukta, for example, mentions 'Naaraayanaha'. Next, there is a claim that Manu Smrti, Chapter 1, Shloka 10 calls Brahmaa 'Naaraayana', but this is also wrong as the next shloka itself says that 'Naaraayana' gave rise to Brahmaa. Moreover, Rshi Medhaatithi's interpretation on the previous shloka is wrong, as he himself admits that he is uncertain whether Brahmaa is being called 'Naaraayana' or the originator of Brahmaa is referred to as 'Naaraayana'.

There have been attempted refutations by online blogs, which have made the mistake of ignoring these vital facts. A similar instance occurs in the Vishnu Puraana, Khanda 1, Adhyaaya 3, Shloka 4, where Brahmaa is supposedly called Naaraayana. However, that too is wrong, since the same chapter mentions 'Brahmaa' appearing as Kurma, Varaaha, etc. It actually refers to Brahmaa's antaraatma, Shri Vishnu. Same is the case with the Kurma Puraana quotation which calls Durga Devi 'Naaraayana'. This section of the Kurma Puraana actually supports the Vaishnava concept of Shri Vishnu being Durga Devi's antaryaami. The same section also addresses Durga Devi as one who appeared as Kurma, Varaaha, Vaamana and other avataaras of Shri Vishnu.

Hence, the name 'Naaraayana' is applicable to Vishnu alone and this has been accepted by all Vedaantins. However, Shaiva and Shakta sampradaayas differ in their interpretation of Vishnu being called 'Brahman' and interpret it as Vishnu having an antaryaami, either Shiva or Paarvati, who is being called as 'Brahman', 'Eeshvara', etc.

Shri Krshnaarpanamastu.


The Refutation of Panini Grammar about Narayana being a proper noun is beautifully given in this link with proper proofs. Read that. That will be more than enough.

I am just giving refutation from Shrutis and Smriris.

The Name Nārāyaña can have very meanings. The name can be split into Nāra + āyana.

  • Where, Nāra can mean water and āyana means abode. So, the one whose abode is water means Lord Vishnu.

  • Nāra can also mean Purusha (Jiva) and āyana as usual abode. So, it means the one whose abode is Jiva viz Atman.

“aatmaaya namaH |” (Taittiriya Aranyaka 10.16.2).

“Salutations to Him (Rudra), He who is the Spirit – Atman – dwelling in all creatures”.

"devana hridayebhyo namah”

“Salutations to Rudra who is the indweller / sparkling heart of all Gods” – Yajurveda Sri Rudram Anuvaka-9.

So, here Narayana can mean Bhagawan Shiva.

  • Nāra = Purusha and āyana can also mean son. It's same as the name Dakshāyiñi means the daughter of Daksha viz Mata Sati. So, here Narayana means the 1st born of Purusha.

“yo devaanaaM prabhavashchodbhavashcha vishvaadhipo rudro maharshhiH | hiraNyagarbha.n janayaamaasa puurva.n sa no buddhyaa shubhayaa sa.nyunaktu” (Sve Upa. 3:4).

“He, the omniscient Rudra, the creator of the gods and the bestower of their powers, the support of the universe, He (Rudra/Purusha) who, in the beginning, gave birth to Hiranyagarbha—may He endow us with clear intellect!”

So, here Narayana means the 1st born viz Lord Brahma.

  • Nāra = Purusha and āyana can mean direction It's same as Rāmāyaña where āyana means to go towards to direction of Lord Rāma or to reach him as destination. So, here Narayana means the entity that goes towards the direction of Purusha to reach him as destination.

“prakR^ityashhTakaruupa.n cha sthaana.n gachchhati kuNDalii | kroDiikR^itya shiva.n yaati kroDiikR^itya viliiyate |” (YogaKundalini Upanishad 1:74).

“Kundalini assumes the eight forms of Prakriti (matter) and attains Shiva by encircling him and dissolves itself in Shiva”.

So, Here Narayana means the Kundalini Parmeshwari Maa Teipura Sundari.

  • Nāra = Purusha and āyana means contained. So, here Narayana are the one who are contained in this Purusha.

All the gods are contained inside lord Shiva (Purusha) only.

“yásya tráyastriṃśad devā́ áṅge sárve samā́hitāḥ | skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ |” (Atharva Veda X:7:13).

“Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha (Agni Lingam) He in whose body are contained all three-and-thirty Deities.

So, Narayana Shuktam says.:

In the midst of that light, the divine resides. He is Brahma, Shiva, Sustainer (Hari), and Indra. He is imperishable, Swayambhu (self-located) and divine.-(12).

The logic is same as Vāsudeva in vedas in not “VasudEva Sutam iti VAsudEva (Krishna)”. Vasu means the the tattvas which stays inside n envelope and Deva means the shining one. So, the meaning of Vasudeva is the one who stays inside everything snd shine from inside viz the Atman.

Anyways, Let us see some examples from Puranas, Shrutis, Smritis and Itihasas (Mahabharata and Ramayana) also.:

1. Lord Vishnu as Narayana.:

  • Shiva Mahā Purana.:

नारायणेति नामापि तस्यसीच्छ्रुतिसंमतम् ।। नान्यत्किंचित्तदा ह्यासीत्प्राकृतं पुरुषं विना।।५४॥

54. “As approved in the Vedas, his name came to be established as Nārāyaṇa (Having water as abode). Excepting for that Primordial Being there was nothing then.”

(Said by Lord Brahma himself).

  • Markandeya Samasya Parva in Mahabharata.:

“ In ancient times I called the waters by the name of Nara; and because the waters have ever been my ayana or home, therefore have I been called Narayana (the water-homed). O best of regenerate ones, I am Narayana, the Source of all things, the Eternal, the Unchangeable. I am the Creator of all things, and the Destroyer also of all. I am Vishnu, I am Brahma and I am Sakra, the chief of the gods. I am king Vaisravana, and I am Yama, the lord of the deceased spirits. I am Siva, I am Soma, and I am Kasyapa the lord of the created things.

Even here you can see Narayana is applied to all Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, Lord Indra, etc also.

  • Mahabharata Vana Parva.:

“I am called Narayana, and I am bearer of the conch-shell, the discus and the mace.”

(Said by Lord Vishnu himself).

  • Mahabharata Kirat Parva.:

The heroic Arjuna, with mighty arms, is the god incarnate styled Nara. He practised austerities of old in the Vadari forest. The God Narayana (Krishna) is his friend.

(Said by Lord Shiva)

  • Valmiki Ramayana.:

*"You are the Lord Narayana (Rama) himself the glorious god, who wields the discus. You are the Divine Boar with a single tusk, the conqueror of your past and future enemies.You are also Brahma, the imperishable, the Truth abiding in the middle as well as at the end of the universe.”$

(Said by Lord Brahma)

So, here also Narayana name applies to both Lord Brahma and Vishnu.

2. Lord Brahma as Nārāyaṇa.:

Vishnu Purana.:

नारायणाख्यो भगवान्ब्रह्मा लोकपितामाहः ॥ १,३.३ ॥उत्पन्नः प्रोच्यते विद्वन्नित्यमेवोपचारतः ॥ १,३.४ ॥

“Hear then how the deity, the beholder of the name Náráyána ,the great parent of the world, Brahmá created all existent things.”

(Said by Rishī Parashara)

  • Kurma Purana.:

तदा समभवद्ब्रह्मा सहस्त्राक्षः सहस्त्रपात् ॥ १,६.२ ॥सहस्त्रशीर्षा पुरुषो रुक्मवर्णस्त्वतीन्द्रियः । ब्रह्मा नारायणाख्यस्तु सुष्वाप सलिले तदा ॥ १,६.३ ॥ इमं चोदाहरन्त्यत्र श्लोकं नारायणं प्रति ।

In that vast sheet of water there appeared Brahmā of thousand eyes and thousand feet , the Purusa of thousand heads and of golden colour . He was beyond the scope of sense - organs . Brahmå who was called Nårāyana lay asleep on the cosmic waters at that time . They cite this verse in this context , regarding Narayana , the very embodiment of Brahman ( or the Veda ) and who is the Lord and the origin of the world and the cause of dissolution of the universe !

(Said by Lord Kurma Vishnu)

  • Manu Smriti 1.9–11 (Not Puranic References, But from Smriti).:

तदण्डमभवद्धैमं सहस्रांशुसमप्रभम् ।तस्मिञ्जज्ञे स्वयं ब्रह्मा सर्वलोकपितामहः ॥ ॥ आपो नारा इति प्रोक्ता आपो वै नरसूनवः । ता यदस्यायनं पूर्वं तेन नारायणः स्मृतः| यत्तत्कारणमव्यक्तं नित्यं सदसदात्मकम् । तद्विसृष्टः स पुरुषो लोके ब्रह्मेति कीर्त्यते ॥

He became a golden egg (Hiranyagarbha), in brilliancy equal to the sun ; in that ( egg ) he himself was born as Brahma , the progenitor of the whole world_(9).Water is called ' nara , ' — water being the offspring of nara ; since water was created by him (or is recided by that being) , he is , on that account , described as ' nārāyaṇa .'— ( 10 ) That which is the cause—unmanifest, eternal and partaking of the nature of the existent and the non-existent,—the being produced by that (cause) is described among people as ‘brahmā.’—(11)

So, Lord Brahma being first born on water called as Narayana.

3. Maa Lalita Tripurasura Sundari as nārāyaṇa.:

  • In the Kurma Purana, when Himavan praises Devi he says.:

“sahastramūrdhānamanantaśaktiṃ | sahastrabāhuṃ puruṣaṃ purāṇam | śayānamantaḥ salile tathaiva | nārāyaṇākhyaṃ praṇato ‘smi rūpam ||” (kUrma PuraNa 1:11:245).

I salute thy form called Narayana, O Lalita, which has a thousand heads, which is of infinite energy, having a thousand arms, the ancient Person, reclining on the waters”.

  • Narayana(Vishnu) says to Virabhadra in Brahmanda Purana.:

“ekaiva shaktiH parameshvarasya | bhinnA chaturdhA viniyogakAle | bhoge bhavAnI samareShu durgA | kopeShu kALI puruSheshu viShNuH |”

“The ancient Sakti of the Lord (Parameshwara)appears in four forms; that Sakti becomes Bhavani in her bhoga form, in battle she takes the form of Durga; in anger that of Kali; and she is present in her male form as me (Vishnu/Narayana).

  • Lalita Saharanama Strotam.:

Karanguli nakhotpanna narayana dashakrutih | Mahapashu patastragni nirdagdhasura sainika |” (Lalita Sahasranama Stotram 1:32).

Lalita – who out of her finger nails re-created all the ten Incarnations of Narayana (Vishnu) to destroy the Asuras slain by Him in His incarnations and now recreated magically by demon-Bhanda out of a missile of his. She again burned to death the armies of demons with the fire of the great missile maha-pashupata”.

So, from above verses it is proved that Narayana us also another name of Maa Tripurasura Sundari.

4. Lord Shiva as Narayana.:

  • Linga Purana.:

तपसा प्राप्य सर्वज्ञं तुष्टाव पुरुषोत्तमः।। श्रीभगवानुवाच।। महेश्वराय देवाय नमस्ते परमात्मने।। ७१.९६ ।। नारायणाय शर्वाय ब्रह्मणे ब्रह्मरूपिणे।। शाश्वताय ह्यनंताय अव्यक्ताय च ते नमः।। ७१.९७ ।।

“After practising penance he approached the consort of Umā along with Devas and eulogised Visnu said : Obeisance to you , to Lord Mahesvara , to the great Atman , obeisance to Nārāyana , to Sarva , to Brahma , to one having the form of Brahman ; obcisance to the permanent infinite one , to the unmanifest one .”

(Said by Lord Vishnu himself to Lord Shiva)

The name Narayana is applied to both Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma.

  • Kurma Purana.:

अहं नारायणो गौरी जगन्माता सनातनः ।१६.१५८

" I am Narayana , the eternal lord . I am Gauri , ' the mother of the universe ', I am the Oldest One“.

(Said by Lord Shiva Himself)

So, here again the name Narayana is applied to Lord Shiva and Maa Uma.

  • In the Kurma Purana, Ishvara Gita, Lord Shiva says:

He who is called Narayana, the infinite one, the immutable source of all worlds and who is only another form of mine, performs the duty of protection.

  • Kurma Purana.:

(Chapter 15, 896-90a)

Those who follow Vedas look upon Lord Rudra and Lord Nārāyaṇa identical and they attain liberation .

(Said by Lord Brahma).

  • Harivamsa Purana.:

नामानि तव गोविन्द यानि लोके महान्ति च | तान्येव मम नामानि नात्र कार्य विचरण ||

Whatever names you have oh Govinda which are famous as Sahasranaamas , they are my names only without doubt

These are the words of Maheshwara in Harivamsa. This means that all the names of Vishnu including Narayana is also Lord Shiva's name as said by Lord Krishna himself to Arjuna..

  • Mahabharata Shanti Parva.:

“If that deity of deities, viz., Maheswara, be worshipped, then O Partha, is the puissant Narayana also worshipped. I am the Soul, O son of Pandu, of all the worlds, of all the universe. Rudra, again, is my Soul. It is for this that I always adore him. If I do not adore the auspicious and boon-giving Isana nobody would then adore my own self…” .

“.He who knows Rudra knows myself, and he who knows myself knows Rudra. He who follows Rudra follows me, Rudra is Narayana. Both are one; and one is displayed in two different forms. Rudra and Narayana, forming one person, pervade all displayed things and cause them to act. No one else than Rudra is competent to grant me a boon. O son of Pandu. Having settled this in my mind, I adored in days of yore the ancient and puissant Rudra, for obtaining the boon of a son.”

  • Mahabharata.:

(MBH 13:17:96).: praises Rudra as “ūrdhvaretā jale śayaḥ |” which means, “Thou ownest for thy offspring, beings higher than men and deities (viz., Brahma and Vishnu). Thou art stays in the form of that Vishnu who floats on the waters after the universal dissolution (as Narayana)”.

  • Kundika Upanishad.:

नारायणोऽहं नरकान्तकोऽहं पुरान्तकोऽहं पुरुषोऽहमीशः । अखण्डबोधोऽहमशेषसाक्षी निरीश्वरोऽहं निरहं च निर्ममः॥१७॥

17. I am Narayana, I am the destroyer of the (demon) Naraka, I am Ishana (Siva), the destroyer of the three (aerial) cities, I am the Purusha, I am the supreme Lord; I am the indivisible consciousness, the witness of all; I am without a superior, I am devoid of ‘I-ness’ (egotism) and ‘mine-ness’ (possessiveness).

  • Rig Veda Khilla Khanda Śakala Śakha.:


ओं॒कारं च॑तुर्भु॒जं लो॒कना᳚थं नारायणम् । सर्व॑स्थि॒तं सर्व॑ग॒तं सर्व॑व्या॒प्तं तन्मे॒ मनः॑ शि॒वस᳚ङ्क॒ल्पम॑स्तु ॥२४॥

He (Lord Śiva) is Oṃkara; with four arms; patron of all the worlds; he is Nārāyana (indweller of the waters); he is stable and still in all, having entered all, pervading all; may my mind aspire towards Lord Śiva (or) Auspicious Śiva thoughts.

Conclusion.: With the above verses and the link contents, it is hense proved that Narayana is a common noun applicable to all the deities. Same as the names Purusha, Shri, Prajapati, etc etc.

I hope this clarifies all your queries. Prd..


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