Both Dhruva and Prahlāda are cited as the two foremost examples of devotion, specifically within the Vaiṣṇava tradition.

Mostly portrayed as having unflinching devotion to god Viṣṇu in his popular 'Catur-bhuja' (four-armed) form.

But the Gauḍīya-vaiṣṇavas are known to subscribe to the theology of Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Absolute Brahman, and Viṣṇu as his manifestation, and not the other way round. Specifically, the ISCKON who refers to god Kṛṣṇa as the 'Supreme/Original Personality of Godhead' in their English translation of the word 'Bhagvān'.

In any case,

I'd like to have an interpretation of this from the Gauḍīya perspective.

Do they believe that both Prahlāda & Dhruva were devoted to specifically Kṛṣṇa and not Viṣṇu, either directly or indirectly?

Are any references cited by Gauḍīyas that talk about Prahlāda & Dhruva devoted specifically to Śrī Kṛṣṇa?

  • All Vaishnavas (including Gaudiyas) recognize that according to one's spiritual inclination, one may be devoted to one particular form of the Lord. For example, Hanuman worships Lord Rama, Prahlada worships Lord Narasimha, and Bhadrasrava worships Lord Hayasirsa (Hayagriva). These are all found in the fifth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam (see especially chapter eighteen). While the Absolute Truth is one, He appears in many forms. Commented Mar 17, 2022 at 23:54

3 Answers 3


As per the Bhagavatam (version) by Prabhupadji

The initial outlay mentions Lord Vishnu as SPOG(Supreme Person..),and then verse 56 mentions Lord Narasimha to be an avatar of Lord Vishnu.

So putting these two together,we can conclude that Lord Vishnu is named here,and no exclusivity is mentioned.

Again,since this from Prabhupadji’s version of the Bhagavatam directly,I do not see any further scope of deliberation.(I’ll edit if someone points out any flaw..)


Upanishads conceive Supreme Brahman(SB) as formless , eternal and delineates interms of Swarupa lakshanam (lakshanam that doesn't differ from lakshyam direct definition) , Sat-Chit-Anandam(HH Shankaracharya commentary)/Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahman (Taittariya Upanishad 2.1.1) and Tatastha lakshanam (indirect definition involving apparent upadhi(superimposition) is in principle.

when in fact,Purusha suktam and uttara Narayana suktam gives the etymological vision Lord Vishnu as SB from the standpoint of Jagat ( Jagat Karanam, Sakshi Chaithanyam ...) all pervading cosmic being.

Perhaps owing to adhikari bhedha, as well as the limitations of the possibility of human perception ,for the sake of upasana , the idea is carried forward through the (sage^s) inspired vision of auspicious form and name in puranas and sampradayas.

Rishi Markandeya in Vishnudharmottara purana(that contain iconography and symbolism of several divinities in the light of Vedic literature) says jagat is the vikṛiti(transformation) of Brahman and, the colour of the transformation is black (krishna). so the color of creator and sustainer is black .Iconography of Lord Vishnu with four hands is present in this purana.

BG 7.21 (yo yo yāṁ yāṁ tanuṁ bhaktaḥ.. ) says Whichever form (of a deity) any devotee wants to worship with faith, that very firm faith of his I strengthen.(Translation by Swami Gambirananda)

BG 7.20( kamais tais tair..) says, Carried away by their own nature prakruthi(satva rajas tams composition) one choose their deity and surrender.


No,they are considered Devotees of Bhagvan Vishnu only according to Gaudiyas.

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