It is being said that when Shiva poured Amrit on his left hand, Vishnu was born. I want to know it in details. Where it is written ?

Apart from the above, Is there any other story of birth of Vishnu ?

3 Answers 3


Sri Shiva Purana 2.1:6:33-38.:

33-38. Śiva thought within Himself like this—“Another being shall be created by me. Let him create everything, protect it and in the end let him dissolve it with my blessing. Having entrusted everything to him we two, remaining in Kāśī shall roam as we please keeping only the prerogative of conferring salvation. We can stay happily in this blissful forest being free from worries (of creation). With the consent of Śiva the supreme lord spread the liquorine essence of nectar on His left side, on the tenth limb, nectar which was the outcome of churning the ocean of His mind wherein Thoughts were the waves, the Sattva Guṇa was the precious gem, Rajas being coral and Tamas—crocodile. Thereupon a person (Vishnu) came into being who was the most charming one in the three worlds, who was calm with Sattva Guṇa being prominent, and who appeared to be the ocean of immeasurable majesty.

MBH 13:14:183.:

Thou (Mahadeva) art he that hadst created from thy right side the Grandsire Brahma, the Creator of all things. Thou art he that hadst created from thy left side Vishnu for protecting the Creation. Thou art that puissant Lord who didst create Rudra (the destroyer deity Kalagni-Rudra) when the end of the Yuga came and when the Creation was once more to be dissolved”.

MBH 13:14:3-6.:

“BhIshma said.’I am quite incompetent to recite the virtues of Mahadeva of highest intelligence. He pervades all things in the universe and yet is not seen anywhere. He is the one who created Brahma, Vishnu and other devas, He is their master. All the deities, from Brahma to the Pisachas, adore and worship him. He transcends both Prakriti (Pradhana) and Purusha, he is being meditated upon by great sages who know the truth. He is indestructible and Supreme Brahman. He is both existent and non-existent. Agitating both Prakriti and Purusha by means of His energy, He created there from the universal lord of creatures, viz., BRAHMA”.

MBH 7:172:89.:

“Kesava is that devoted worshipper of Rudra who has sprung from Rudra himself. Kesava always worship the Lord Siva, regarding his Phallic emblem to be the origin of the universe.

MBH. H.P. 2-74-34.:

O the lord of lord! Myself (Krishna/Vishnu), brahma, kapila, ananta (sheSha), all the valiant sons of brahma who conquered over the internal enemies - all are created from you. Hence you are the lord of all. Hence you, the lord of all, are only god worthy of praise.

MBH 13.1.14.:

Bhava assumes the forms of Brahma and Vishnu and the chief of the celestials of the Rudras, the Adityas, and the Aswins; and of those deities that are called Viswadevas.

MBH Harivamsa Parva 2-72-58).

“For our benefit, let lord shiva along with uma be pleased with us, whose splendour's main parts are lord viShNu and brahma, along with his sons, the sages such as sanaka, marIcha, whose abode they are unable to enter and who protects the good men”.

Mahābhārat — Anūśāsan Parva- Chapter —18 , Verse-64.:

Vasudeva said., "...If Rudra be gratified with a person, he can confer upon him the states of eIther Brahma or of Kesava or of Sakra with all the deities under him, or the sovereignty of the three worlds. Those men, O sire, who worship Bhava even mentally, succeed in freeing themselves from all sins and attain to a residence in heaven with all the gods..."

Mahabharata, Shanti Parva, 12:342:23.:

I (Krishna/Narayana) am the Soul, O son of Pandu (Arjuna), 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 that Shiva, the boon-giving Isana nobody would then adore my own self.”

Mahabharata, Book 7, Section LXXXI.:

Sanjaya said, ‘Then Partha, with a cheerful soul and joined hands and eyes expanded (in wonder), gazed at the god having the bull for his mark and who was the receptacle of every energy. And he beheld the offerings he made every night to Vasudeva lying by the side of the (Lotus Feets of the) Three-eyed deity”.

I hope this clarifies all your queries. Prd..

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    Wonderful collection. How do we co-relate this with what Gokul Renjith said (another answer to the same question) since it is also from Mahabharatam? Jan 4 at 16:29
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    @SanatanaDhara Only those things in the scriptures can be considered authentic which are spoken by god. So, people who gives verses from scriptures should also give full references i.e. who spoke these things.
    – river
    Jan 4 at 17:15
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    It's easy, above Upamanyu says to Krishna that Bhava assumes all the forms like Brahma, Vishnu, etc , Vratya Shuktam of A.V. also says the same. So, they are unborn or self born. Again, Shiv Puran says in different kalpas the tri-devas (Brahmā, Vishnu, KālĀgniRudra) creates each other due to the boon of Mahadeva. Plus, Both Kala Shukta of A.V. and Shiva Purana also says Shiva being the father of Brahma, Vishnu, and everyone becomes their sons also. So, Shiva is all, father, son, grandson, etc. It's same concept of Svet Up, etc, that, There is only Rudra alone and no second entity or anything. Jan 4 at 23:36
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    @SanatanaDhara yes, basically u can't just judge a statement as it's own without correlating with other. It's the whole cosmos of scriptures all together interlinked like a spider web. Plus, everything has a philosophy within itself. So, they are all consistent without any contradiction. And i think, if there is a contradiction we just haven't cracked it yet because due to invasions and all, many scriptures were destroyed or lost and obviously there are also interpolations. Though i try to avoid the topic of interpolations and try to find logic n facts correlating with others. That's my view. Jan 5 at 16:51
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    @SanatanaDhara What I was trying to say is that in scriptures only those things that are spoken by god has some short of authority. For example in Bhagwad Gita Arjun has said many things. Those things has no value. Only those spoken by Krishna has some value. Similarly in Mahabharat, many things are said by many people, those things are valueless. Only the statements of Krishna has value in Mahabharat. But here many people quote verses from scriptures but most of the time they don't write who spoke those things. This is what confusing.
    – river
    Jan 5 at 17:18
  1. Lord Vishnu has no birth. He is the eternal supreme Lord of all universes. Hari Narayana has no second. He assumes the form of Brahma, Shiva, Indra etc.

Then Nārāyaṇa is eternal. Brahmā is Nārāyaṇa, Śiva is Nārāyaṇa, Indra is Nārāyaṇa, Kāla (time) is Nārāyaṇa, Dik (space) is Nārāyaṇa, the intermediate quarters also are Nārāyaṇa; that which is above is Nārāyaṇa, that which is below is Nārāyaṇa, that which is in and out is Nārāyaṇa, the whole universe which existed and will exist is Nārāyana. Nārāyaṇa is the only one that is stainless, sinless, changeless, and unnameable, and that is pure and divine. There is no second. Whoever knows Him thus, becomes Viṣṇu Himself. The Yajurveda teaches this.

  • Narayana Upanishad.

“I was never born. I never take birth. Nor shall I ever be born. I am the Kshetrajna of all creatures. Hence am I called by the name of Aja (unborn).”

  • Moksha-Dharma Parva, Mahabharata.

Aided by my knowledge, O sire, I know the slayer of Madhu to be the union of the Gross, the subtle and the Cause; and that He is the Creator of all, but is Himself increate; and also that, endued with Divinity, it is He from whom everything springs and it is He unto whom all things return.'’

  • Sanatsujata Parva, Mahabharata

"He is the maker of everything but is himself made by none. He is the Cause of all power. Whatever Sauri wishes, he accomplishes without any effort. Knowest you not sinless Govinda, of terrible prowess and incapable of deterioration? This one, resembling an angry snake of virulent poison, is the never-ending source of energy.”

  • Bhagvat Yana Parva, Mahabharata

He is without birth and death, of radiant splendour,the Creator of the universe and the Lord of all! Indeed,he who is the invisible cause of all, who knows no deterioration, who is the all-pervading soul, the centre round which everything moves, the substance in which the three attributes of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas co-inhere, the universal soul, the immutable, the material out of which has been created this universe, the Creator himself, the controlling lord, the invisible dweller in every object, progenitor of this universe of five elements, who is united with the six high attributes, is the Pranava or Om of the Vedas, is infinite, incapable of being moved by any force save his own will, illustrious, the embodiment of the mode of life called Sannyasa, who floated on the waters before the creation, who is the source whence has sprung this mighty frame,who is the great combiner, the uncreate, the invisible essence of all, the great immutable, bereft of those attributes that are knowable by the senses, who is the universe itself, without beginning, birth, and decay,— is possessed of infinite wealth, that Grandsire of all creatures, became incarnate in the race of the Andhaka-Vrishnis for the increase of virtue.

  • Adivansavatarana Parva.

O you who knowest no deterioration, all the Rishis, coming unto you seated in your glory on the sacrificial ground, seek protection of you! And, O slayer of Madhu, you stayest at the end of the Yuga, contracting all things and withdrawing this universe into your own self, you repressor of all foes! O you of the Vrishni race, at the beginning of the Yuga, there sprang from your lotus-like navel, Brahma himself, and lord of all mobile and immobile things, and whose is this entire universe! When the dreadful Danavas Madhu and Kaitava were bent on slaying Brahma, beholding their impious endeavour you were angry, and from your forehead, O Hari, sprang Sambhu, the holder of the trident. Thus these two foremost of the deities have sprung from your body in order to do your work!

  • Arjunabhigamana Parva, Mahabharata.


’Maheswara said, "Hari is superior to the Grandsire himself. He is the Eternal Purusha. Otherwise called Krishna, he is endued with the splendour of gold, and shines with effulgence like a second sun. Possessed of ten arms, he is endued with great energy, and is the slayer of the foes of the gods. Having a whorl on his breast, he has curly locks of hair on his head. He is worshipped by all the deities. Brahman has risen from his abdomen. I have sprung from his head, All the luminaries in the firmament have sprung from his hair. From the bristles on his body have sprung all the gods and Asuras. From his body have sprung the Rishis as also all the eternal worlds.”

  • Dhana Dharma Parva, Mahabharata.
  1. Lord Vishnu is the Antaryami of Shiva -

“The universe is similarly said to consist of Vishnu. Vishnu is, again, the Soul of the holy Bhava of immeasurable energy.”

  • Karna Parva, Mahabharata.

O son of Pandu, Rudra should be known to have always Narayana for his Soul. If that deity of deities, viz., Maheswara be worshipped, then O Partha, is the puissant Narayana also worshipped.

  • Moksha-Dharma Parva, Mahabharata
  • 1
    @Haridasa - Narayana is supreme. It is Narayana who assumes the form of Indra, Brahma, Shiva etc. it is also mentioned multiple times that Vishnu is the soul of Shiva. Jan 5 at 1:21
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    @Haridasa - when Krishna pray to Shiva or glorify him, he is actually glorifying and praying to the antaryami of Shiva which is Lord Vishnu himself. Krishna tells Arjuna this clearly that he does not bow his head to anyone except himself. So Krishna's prayer to Shiva is an indirect glorification of Vishnu alone. Jan 5 at 1:49
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    This is the correct answer @GokulRenjith you are from quora I have seen you there I wrote few answers here but realised this site has changed so I stopped. Jan 5 at 9:27
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    I will add more references Rig Veda 1.156.2 states: Vishnu is the most ancient of all, yet also the most recent. Nothing and no one creates Vishnu, yet Vishnu creates everyone and everything. “Alone indeed there was Naaraayana, not Brahma, not Ishana, not water, neither fire nor Soma, neither Heaven nor Prtvi (the Earth), not the stars, not Surya and not the moon. He being alone, did not rejoice.” -Maha Upanishad, Mantra 1 He is the Inner Aatma of all entities, the remover of all sins and the Divine Deva, the one Naaraayana. -Subaala Upanishad, Khanda 7 Jan 5 at 9:35
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    When we replace the word "birth" with the word "emerge" all this fan-club cherry-picking will subside. Hopefully. Jan 5 at 16:13

How was Vishnu born?

Vishnu has no birth, and when birth of Vishnu is mentioned, it is either an avatAra or such an account may be taken as an allegory. The Mahabharata, is of course replete with hundreds of references attesting to Vishnu having no origin, and Vishnu being the supreme brahman. However, in this answer, one interesting reference from the Valmiki Ramayana will be presented. In this context, Brahma reveals to Rama that he is an avatAra of Vishnu and Brahma also attests that Vishnu is the supreme brahman without origin.

Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha kanda, sarga 105, Critical Edition

These are the words spoken by Brahma to Rama -

6105011a iti bruvāṇaṁ kākutsthaṁ brahmā brahmavidāṁ varaḥ

6105011c abravīc chr̥ṇu me rāma satyaṁ satyaparākrama

Hearing the words of Rama, Brahma (the creator), the foremost among the knowers of Brahman the Absolute, spoke as follows: "Listen to my true word, O the truly brave lord!"

6105012a bhavān nārāyaṇo devaḥ śrīmāṁś cakrāyudho vibhuḥ

You are the Lord Narayana himself the glorious god, who wields the discus.

6105013a akṣaraṁ brahmasatyaṁ ca madhye cānte ca rāghava

6105013c lokānāṁ tvaṁ paro dharmo viṣvaksenaś caturbhujaḥ

You are Brahman, the imperishable (Akshara), the Truth abiding in the middle as well as at the end of the universe. You are the supreme righteousness of people, whose powers go everywhere. You are the four-armed.

6105014a śārṅgadhanvā hr̥ṣīkeśaḥ puruṣaḥ puruṣottamaḥ

6105014c ajitaḥ khaḍgadhr̥g viṣṇuḥ kr̥ṣṇaś caiva br̥hadbalaḥ

You are the wielder of a bow called Sarnga, the lord of the senses, you are the Purusha, the Purushottama, the wielder of a sword named Nandaka, You are Vishnu, Krishna and endowed with great might."

6105015c prabhavaś cāpyayaś ca tvam upendro madhusūdanaḥ

You are the origin and the dissolution of all, you are Upendra and Madhusudhana.

6105016c śaraṇyaṁ śaraṇaṁ ca tvām āhur divyā maharṣayaḥ

The divine sages pronounce you to be fit to afford protection to all and the refuge for all

6105018a prabhavaṁ nidhanaṁ vā te na viduḥ ko bhavān iti

No one knows your end nor your origin nor who you are in reality.

6105021c ahaṁ te hr̥dayaṁ rāma jihvā devī sarasvatī

6105022a devā gātreṣu lomāni nirmitā brahmaṇā prabho

O Rama! I (brahma) am your heart. Saraswathi, the goddess (of learning) is your tongue. O Lord! The gods created by Brahma are the hair on all your limbs

6105023a saṁskārās te ’bhavan vedā na tad asti tvayā vinā

"The correct usages of your words are the Vedas. Nothing exists without you."

6105023c jagat sarvaṁ śarīraṁ te sthairyaṁ te vasudhātalam

The entire cosmos is your body. The earth constitutes your firmness.

6105025c sītā lakṣmīr bhavān viṣṇur devaḥ kr̥ṣṇaḥ prajāpatiḥ

Seetha is no other than Goddess Lakshmi (the divine consort of Lord Vishnu), while you are Lord Vishnu. You are Krishna and Prajapati.

Apart from this, just before Brahma speaks, all the Gods say this, addressing Rama -

6105004a tataḥ sahastābharaṇān pragr̥hya vipulān bhujān

6105004c abruvaṁs tridaśaśreṣṭhāḥ prāñjaliṁ rāghavaṁ sthitam

Lifting their long arms, their hands decked with ornaments, those excellent gods thereupon, spoke (as follows) to Rama who stood there, making a respectful salutation to them with his folded hands.

6105005a kartā sarvasya lokasya śreṣṭho jñānavatāṁ varaḥ

6105005c upekṣase kathaṁ sītāṁ patantīṁ havyavāhane

6105005e kathaṁ devagaṇaśreṣṭham ātmānaṁ nāvabudhyase

"How do you, the maker of the entire cosmos, the foremost among those endowed with knowledge and an all-capable person, ignore Seetha who is falling into the fire? How do you not recognize yourself to be the foremost of the troop of gods?"

6105008a ante cādau ca lokānāṁ dr̥śyase tvaṁ paraṁtapa

"O the destroyer of the adversaries. You are seen (to exist) at the beginning and at the end of creation. Yet, you ignore Seetha, just like a common man."

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