It's gonna be a long question so please bear with me and read this question till the end.

Its kind of common (though unnecessary and absurd) to have arguments between different sects like Shaivas, Vaishnavas and Shaktas about who is supreme and all though they are one only but still I can understand their point of view but recently I have seen arguments between vaishnavas themselves in different public forums saying lord vishnu is greater than lord Krishna and vice versa which is strange and it's also same for maa Lakshmi, maa rukmani and maa radha.

I have grown up watching mythological tv serials like vishnupurana, jai shree krishna, repeat telecasts of ramayana, mahabharata, etc, and from childhood only I have always believed that lord Krishna is the 8th avatar of lord vishnu and maa rukmani is the avatar of maa Lakshmi. We believe that maa radha is a devotee of lord Krishna like other gopis. We also have this saying "Among all aradhika(devotees), devi radhika is the foremost (Shrestha) aradhika." Even lord Hanuman said that he saw mata sita in mata rukmani. In this question you can see that lord Krishna and Arjuna went to meet lord vishnu and in this question you can see nara, narayana, krishna, hari are 4 brothers and sons of dharmaraj (like lord rama, lakshmana, bharata and shatrugana) where nara took birth as arjuna, narayana took birth as krishna, hari went to vaikuntha and krishna went to goloka. So it became more complicated plus especially the gauriya Vaishnavism says that it's lord Krishna who is the avatari and source of lord vishnu and mata radha source of mata lakshmi and some say mata lakshmi's full avatar is maa radha. Purunas like vishnu purana say lord vishnu is the source of lord Krishna but Puranas like Brahma vaivarta purana says it's the other way around. And same for mata lakshmi, mata rukmani and mata radha. So it's so confusing.

Now I have 3 sources one is saying lord vishnu is the source of lord Krishna, other one is saying it's lord Krishna who is the supreme and another one is saying that they are all brothers and different gods only.

So my question is for both lord vishnu-lord krishna and maa lakshmu-maa rukmani-maa radha.

Who is really whose Avatar and why.?

I hope this question doesn't offend anyone in any way...

  • 4
    Vishnu = Krishna = Rama (as far as almost everyone except ISKCON is concerned). And that too only because of their intense Krishna-Guna Bhakti. One must not confuse a subjective devotion to be an intellectual dictat. They say Krishna is supreme because he displayed the qualities most attractive to bhaktas. It's like a chaste wife saying "Shyam, the husband, is the supreme. Even better than Shyam the father or Shyam the son" - even though all 3 refer to the same person.
    – ram
    Mar 21, 2021 at 4:01
  • 2
    All those are different names for same Paramatma.
    – ram
    Mar 21, 2021 at 4:09
  • 1
    Vishnu being an avatar of Krishna isn't just held by new groups such as ISKCON: nimbArka, vallabha and other gaudiyas also hold to it, and have done so for well over 500 years. @mar We need to stop writing as if advaita is the only hindu view.
    – user23131
    Mar 21, 2021 at 7:49
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    We need to stop quarelling among ourself. It's ok man, no-one is saying or writing Advaita as the only hindu view everyone knows that Dvaita is also the part of hinduism. And no-one is denying it. (Edit : I didn't noticed that it was addressed to someone still it's ok man.).\/.\/. Mar 21, 2021 at 8:17
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1 Answer 1


Vaishnavism has various sub sects. Like.

  1. Gaudiyas who believes Krishna as Supreme.

S.B. 1.3.28.

एते चांशकला: पुंस: कृष्णस्तु भगवान् स्वयम् । इन्द्रारिव्याकुलं लोकं मृडयन्ति युगे युगे ॥

All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.

  1. Ramanandis Who believes Rama as Supreme.

~hanumat samhita.

बहवोवतारश्च सकला अंशविभुतयः। रामो परात्पर साक्षात् भगवान् परमेश्वरः।।

There had been so many ansha, kala, vibhuti avtars but Shri Ram is the only supreme among all , himself bhagwan and parmeshwar.

  1. Dvaita of Madhava believes in Dualism abd the Supremacy of Vishnu.

Hari Sarvothama! Vayu Jeevothama!

Hari is best amongst the Gods and Vayu is best amongst the Jeevas.

  1. Vishista Advaita of Ramanuja also believes the supremacy of Vishnu but with slight Non-dual view and also the Sharanagati or total surrender to Lord Vishnu excluding all others.

And so on. Therefore the variation is because of the belief system and different point of views amongst the various sub sects schools.

  • This does not provide an answer to the question. Once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post; instead, provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker. - From Review
    – অনু
    Feb 11, 2023 at 14:28
  • But it does actually it is due to different minor sampradayas inside vaishnava that this happens as i have written in my answer and i think asker agrees with me here without asking. Yes scriptures also shows different sources of vishnu avatars like rama, krishna, etc. There is no one and perfect answer for this question that is going to satisfy everyone. You providing suggestion is thik but it is not answering anything but confusing asker more i think like that. Rest what Bhagawan Sanatani wants Om Namah Śhivaya. Wish you an advance Maha Shivaratri Jai Bharat Mata. It is thik once who feel it.
    – user29302
    Feb 12, 2023 at 5:05

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