The Narayana Upanishad (different from the Mahanarayana Upanishad), declares Narayana (Vishnu) to be the creator of Shiva and Brahma:

NarayanAt brahmA jAyate

NarayanAt rudro jAyate

This Upanishad was cited by Shankaracharya in his commentary on the Vishnu Sahasranama according to this site:

NArAyaNa Upanishad - Cited by Adi Shankara in Vishnu Sahasranama BhASya

Hence, it is an authentic Upanishad accepted by all ancient Vaidikas. The idea that it was an Upanishad composed later was started by Western Indologists:

It 'line of thinking' was started and propagated by biased and paid members of British East East Company like Max Muller, who in his translation and commentary on principle upanishads titled 'Th Upanishads - Vol 1 and 2' in intro page 83-84 attests views and opinions of another indologist where it is mentioned that Adi Sankara quoted for a late text / recent upanishad 'nArAyaNa upanishad'. Their challenging Adi Sankara is unacceptable. All consider him as an authority on spiritual matters.

My question is, where does Shankaracharya cite this Upanishad in his Vishnu Sahasranama Bhashya?

  • Well, firstly, it is highly disputed whether he really wrote a commentary on Vishnu Sahasranama. It goes against his style, which is more of non-sectarian pure Vedanta. A lot of works have been attributed to him in later centuries. The only works that are undisputedly his are Brahmasutrabhashya, Gitabhashya, Upanishad Bhashyas, Upadeshasahasri, Vivekachudamani.
    – RamAbloh
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 16:47
  • @RamAbloh Do the shankaracharya peethams accept that Adi Shankaracharya wrote a commentary on the Vishnu Sahasranama?
    – Ikshvaku
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 16:49
  • @idolworshipper why not? It is consistent with his other works.
    – RamAbloh
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 16:52
  • 1
    @RamAbloh Well, the Brahma Sutras deal with the interpretation of Upanishadic passages, and not on who the supreme deity is, so it is natural that their commentaries don't talk much about that. For example, even Ramanujacharya does not talk about Vaishnavism in his Sri Bhashya, but his other works like the Vedartha Sangraha do talk about Vaishnavism a lot. So we can't say that the vishnu sahasranama bhashya was not written by adi shankaracharya just because it is sectarian.
    – Ikshvaku
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 17:58
  • 1
    @Ikshvaku, for your information, if your concern is the authencity of this upanishad.Narayana upanishad and Maha upanishad especially the verses you quoted were quoted by Sri Nimbarka(7th CE) in his Vedanta parijata saurabha.
    – Satya
    Commented Oct 6, 2020 at 18:32

2 Answers 2


Shri Adi Shankaracharya quoted a verse from Atmabodopanishad which is similiar to the one in Narayana upanishad in his bhashya of VS under the name Vishnu.

1.Vishnu Sahasranama - Shankar Bhashya, Hindi translation by Gita Press, Reprinted in 2013

Page no 69(Devanagiri script 69) enter image description here

The verse of Narayana Upanishad (from sanskritdocuments.org) similiar to the one quoted by acharya precisely is

सर्वभूतस्थमेकं नारायणम् । कारणरूपमकार परं ब्रह्मोम्। ~चतुर्थः खण्डः नारायणप्रणवः

The site referred by OP itself also gives the reference here though the page numbers are 56,68 ( which are 54 and 66 actually). The verses in those pages are that of Maha Narayana Upanishad not that of Narayanopanishad.

The Narayana Upanishad (different from the Mahanarayana Upanishad), declares Narayana (Vishnu) to be the creator of Shiva and Brahma.This Upanishad was cited by Shankaracharya in his commentary on the Vishnu Sahasranama according to this site...

If the intent of the OP is to know that Narayana is supreme from an authentic scripture quoted by any great acharya, the Atmabodhopanishad which is quoted by Acharya in question, too establish the same as follows:

He who meditates upon that sole Nārāyaṇa who is latent in all beings, who is the causal Puruṣa, who is causeless, who is Parabrahman, the Om, who is without pains and delusion and who is all-pervading—that person is never subject to pains.

Since the content of Naryana upanishad and that of Atmabodopanishad matches to an extent,interestingly with a similiar or same verse it could be a genuine scripture.


In Vishnu Sahastra Naama, for the first Naama "Vis'vam". Sri Shankaracharya has quoted the Narayana Upanishad,

"Om is that Brahman, Om is that Vayu, Om is that Self, Om is that Truth.

Narayana Upanishad 4.68


Page 25

  • 2
    Sorry, this verse is found in Mahanarayana upanishad and not Narayana upanishad.
    – user17987
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 5:23

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