Here is What i understood after reading various stories from Puranas and Mahabharatha and theories of Creationism.

Vishnu Purana states Vishnu is Supreme God or Supreme Brahman. Also

I read Narayana as an aspect or amsa living in Vaikunta and Shankara aka Rudra as an aspect of Lord Shiva living in Mount kailash.


From Vishnu ( I think He is Nirguna) comes Lord Brahma , Lord Narayana and Lord Shankra ( not Shiva) with their Shaktis.

Lord Vishnu or Brahman → Lord Brahma and Goddess Saraswati, Lord Narayana and Goddess Lakshmi & Lord Shankara and Goddess Parvathi.

Similarly Gaudiya Vaishnavism states Krishna as Supreme Personality of Godhead. So According to them

Lord Krishna or Brahman → Lord Brahma and Goddess Saraswati, Lord Narayana and Goddess Lakshmi & Lord Shankara and Goddess Parvathi.

This can be justified from Mahabharatha. When Arjuna was fighting in Kurukshetra war he saw a man with Matted hair and trident killing enemy forces within fraction of second.Perplexed Arjuna said this to Krishna and Lord Krishna replied as follows:

Arjuna, the man you saw was Shankara and He was born from my Shoulder.

Similarly Shiva Purana states Shiva as Supreme Brahman

Bright Light or Jyothir Linga ( I think Shiva is Nirguna) or Shiva or Brahman → Lord Brahma and Goddess Saraswati, Lord Narayana and Goddess Lakshmi & Lord Shankara and Goddess Parvathi.

And finally Devi Bhagavatham states Devi or Adiparashakthi as Supreme Brahman

Adiparashakthi or Brahman → Lord Brahma and Goddess Saraswati, Lord Narayana and Goddess Lakshmi & Lord Shankara and Goddess Parvathi.

As Guadiya Vaishnavism states

From MahaVishnu comes infinite number of Universes and i think same can be inferred to ParamaShiva and ParaBrahma


  1. Is there any flaw in my understanding?
  2. Am i unifying all Puranas?
  3. Is Brahman in Hinduism is One but diffferent Puranas mentioned Him with different names?
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    There is only one Brahman. It takes different forms at different times for different purposes.
    – user1195
    Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 17:47
  • 11
    Rig Veda (1.164.46) - "Ekam Sat Vipra Bahudha Vadanti" - Truth is One, men call It by various names Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 10:24
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    I would like to add to swamijis quote "Ishavasyam idam sarvam yat kincha jagatyam jagata tena tyaktena bhunjithaa ma gridhaha kasya swiddhanam" Enveloped in god is the universe, you can treat him anything you like shiva,shakti,krishna, ganesha, surya, etc etc but the central idea remains same bramhn is omnipotent and all pervading supreme being which is undeniable
    – Yogi
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 19:26
  • Not sure what you mean by '→', if you mean 'created', please edit/update the question. Also, there is no need to use blockquoting when you are not really quoting something from a text or Purana. (JMHO) Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 17:16
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    @sv. "→" means created or divided into. Block quoting is to emphasis Brahman (whatever people call him by name) created other deities. I suggest you to leave this question in this format
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 17:20

5 Answers 5


Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Section CCLXXX says:

Know that this entire universe is under the control of one divine Being. The Veda that is in the soul.......regards the unity of various creatures. When a living creature realizes this unity in consequence of true knowledge, he is then said to attain to Brahman.

Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Section CCLXX says:

The Supreme Spirit hath three condition, In the form of Brahma, he is the Creator, and in the form of Vishnu he is the Preserver, and in his form as Rudra, he is the Destroyer of the Universe.

Brahman exists in different names and forms.


Your understanding is more or less proper. Brahman is One infinite whole as the Upanishads say. Same Brahman which is Nirguana appears as Various names and forms through its own power of Maya.

I have tried to explain the same but using terminologies of Upanishad in few write-ups in this link- https://nithinsridhar.wordpress.com/tag/saguna-brahman/

The Vedas say "Reality is only One, it is called by various names". Veda Vyasa wrote all puranas for the sake of devotees who have inclinations towards different deities. Hence, in Shiva Purana, he held Shiva as supreme, in Vishnu purana, Vishnu as supreme.

It is Brahman who appears as both Vishnu and Shiva and it is Brahman which are referred in all the cases.

You may also like to read- "A deity can be god or God or both"- https://nithinsridhar.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/a-deity-can-either-be-god-or-god-or-both/


You are correct with your understanding but still your understanding is limited to gods only you have a whole universe in yourself the body which you are carrying is mini cosmos, it is gift of Bramhn to you and that is bramhan too. The stones you worship are bramhan, the senses form which you perceive this material world are Bramhan. He/She/that(Bramhan) is everywhere around you as in what you can see sense or imagine and even beyond that.

Ishavasyopanishad starts its commentry with following lines

Ishavasyam idam sarvam

The supreme being is all that is in existence, it is supreme being that is everywhere this whole existence is enveloped in it.(I think these are the best lines written till now, because there is no such brief introduction to god than this one....)

More on Isha upanishad

The presence of bramhan is such that you cannot miss it in anything around you !! This is what all scriptures are trying to say just take for instance you see a monkey you think of him as Lord Hanuman (another form of supreme being) and worship him, you see Eagle garuda and worship him, you see snake and worship him, you see another human child(shri Ram/ Shri Krishna) and worship it, that is true essence of this saying.

Supreme Bramhan Shri hari vishnu is present as Antaryami in all animate and inanimate objects. There can be difference in philosophical interpretation of Ishavasyopanishad according to your philosophical sect, but the truth remains same vedas, all sages, all upanishads, all philosophies agree on one point that supreme being Bramhan is Shri hari Vishnu.

  • 1
    Vamana wasn't a child. He was an adult Brahmana who was short. Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 19:41
  • @ Keshav Srinivasan Do you think Lord Narayana is amsa or aspect of Lord Vishnu ? i read this ample number of times on web. is this true?
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 5:26
  • @AnilKumar - Yes Lord Narayana is amsa or aspect of Lord VishnuOn behalf of Keshav I would like to recommend you to read this hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/3689/… in this question he reveals about who is nara and who is narayana, I am delighted that you liked that link for Isha upanishad, Isha upanishad to me is like sakashtkar of bramhan himself.
    – Yogi
    Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 5:32
  • @AnilKumar Narayana is both a name of Vishnu and the name of a sage who was an incarnation of Vishnu. The sage Narayana was an extremely important incarnation in ancient times; he was the originator of the Pancharatra Agamas, as I discuss in my answer here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/6896/36 Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 12:26
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    @KeshavSrinivasan He was just born from the womb of Aditi. Did he manifest in an adult form? Wasn't he a child? I believe he is a child. How tall can a child be? Upanayana is done for children only. Isn't it Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 6:05

Yes, it can be seen as different names for the same consciousness. Shiva and Vishnu can also be seen as different dimensions of the Brahman. I like to think of it as different flavors of the ice-cream. This might provide some more insights:

Q: Gurudev, even though there is no difference between Lord Vishu and Lord Shiva, who originated from whom? The Vishnu Purana glorifies Lord Vishnu and the Shiva Purana glorifies Lord Shiva.

A: When you think, who originated from whom, you are thinking on linear terms. But truth is not linear, it is spherical. That is why this is also true and that is also true. From which side you see, that is where it comes from. If you see from that side then that is true. If you see it from this side then this is true. But both are same actually. This is what spherical thinking is. It depends from where you start and where you go. Shiva and Vishnu are different, yet both are the same.

Excerpts from a Q&A with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: http://celebrating-silence-of-life.blogspot.in/2012/11/symbolism-of-five-headed-cobra.html


एतत्तदुक्तमव्यक्तमक्षरं ब्रह्म सम्मितम् । देवानां हृदयं सौम्य गुह्यं रामः परंतपः ॥

(Valmiki Ramayan 6.119.32)

Rama is the eternal akshar brahman, who is the heart of all Gods.

Again in Valmiki Ramayan

सुर्यस्यापि भवत् सुर्यो ह्यग्नेरग्नि प्रभोः प्रभुः। श्रियः श्रीश्चभवेद्ग्य्रा कीर्त्या कीर्तिः क्षमाक्षमा।। देवतं देवतानांच भुतानां भुतं रुत्तमः। तस्य के हृयगणा देवि देशेव्याप्यथवा वने।।

Shri Ram is sun of sun, Agni of Agni, Prabhu of Prabhu ( narayan of narayan), maa Sita is laxmi of laxmi, kirti of kirti and kshama of kshama. Shri Ram is dev of devas and tatva of all tatvas.

राघवस्य गुणो दिव्यो महाविष्णु स्वरुपवान्। वासुदेवो घनीभुतस्तनुतेजो महाशिवः।।

~ śrī MahāVisnu is a Divine guna of śrī Rāma, Vāsudeva (Sri Krsna) is the Ghani Aishvaraya of Rāma and the divine radiance of His body is Mahāśiva.

(Hanumad Samhita and Sadashiv Samhita)

If anybody use this funda, all 18 puran including shaiva, vaishnav puranas, only shri ram is said as supreme.

Even shrimadbhagwat puran , hanumat samhita says shri ram as sakshat Brahman.

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