When scriptures usually refer to Vishnu, do they refer to Maha-vishnu, Garbhodakshayi Vishnu or Kshirodakshayi Vishnu?

by Chaitanya Charan dasMay 14, 2014

Answer Podcast

Transcription Summary: Hari Parayan Prabhu

  1. They are not different, they are one- acyutam anadim anantarupam
  2. At a broad level of understanding, there is only one Visnu who maintains. But when we get a closer understanding- there are three purusa avataras.
  3. Normally when Visnu is referred to, that does not refer to him in the spiritual world because we don’t have direct contact with him.
  4. The Visnu Brahmaji goes to appeal for protection is Ksirodakasayi Visnu. Mahavisnu (MV) is like the supersoul of the whole cosmos. The supersoul of each universe is Garbhodakasayi Visnu (GV). The supersoul of the living being is Ksirodakasayi Visnu(KV).
  5. GV is source of the lotus from which Brahmaji comes. That same GV expands and he has his loka. Brhad bhagavatmrta talks about it- Brahmaji worships him. Above Brahmaloka there is Ksirasagar. Beyond that is the abode of KV. Normally devatas pray to KV. The other forms of Visnu are not directly accessible to us. MV is beyond the universe. GV is at the bottom. We don’t go below hell even if we do go to the lower planets.
  6.  He also acts as a maintainer. That same KV is present in the heart also. He keeps the functioning of the heart and the body going on properly. Yo lokatrayam avisya bibharti avyaya isvarah. He has entered all the three worlds and maintaining it. This is KV.When we talk about Visnu, whom do we refer to? 

    Summary:

     

    1. They are not different, they are one- acyutam anadim anantarupam
    2. At a broad level of understanding, there is only one Visnu who maintains. But when we get a closer understanding- there are three purusa avataras.
    3. Normally when Visnu is referred to, that does not refer to him in the spiritual world because we don’t have direct contact with him.
    4. The Visnu Brahmaji goes to appeal for protection is Ksirodakasayi Visnu. Mahavisnu (MV) is like the supersoul of the whole cosmos. The supersoul of each universe is Garbhodakasayi Visnu (GV). The supersoul of the living being is Ksirodakasayi Visnu(KV).
    5. GV is source of the lotus from which Brahmaji comes. That same GV expands and he has his loka. Brhad bhagavatmrta talks about it- Brahmaji worships him. Above Brahmaloka there is Ksirasagar. Beyond that is the abode of KV. Normally devatas pray to KV. The other forms of Visnu are not directly accessible to us. MV is beyond the universe. GV is at the bottom. We don’t go below hell even if we do go to the lower planets.
    6.  He also acts as a maintainer. That same KV is present in the heart also. He keeps the functioning of the heart and the body going on properly. Yo lokatrayam avisya bibharti avyaya isvarah. He has entered all the three worlds and maintaining it. This is KV.

 

Transcription by- Keshav Gopal Das & Ambuj Gupta

Question: When we talk about Vishnu we know that there are many manifestations of Vishnu, Maha-vishnu-Garbhodakshayi-vishnu or Kshirodakshayi-vishnu, so whom do we refer to as the maintainer and as Vishnu?

Answer: Firstly they are not different. They are one. They are one manifesting as many.

Prabhupada gives the example that from the distance if we see the sky and some land mass but when we go closer we see there are trees, there are shrubs, and there may be water fall. When we go closer we see more details. So like that at the broad level of understanding there is only one Vishnu. One Vishnu looks after maintenance. But when we get a closer understanding, we come to know about three purusha avatars. Normally whenever the word Vishnu is refer to that does not necessarily refer to Vishnu of spiritual world because we do not have direct contact with Vishnu of spiritual world. The Vishnu whom Brahmaji and devatas go to appeal for protection, when the earth is disturbed that is Kshirodakshayi Vishnu. There is Maha Vishnu, who is just like the super soul of whole cosmos. The super soul of each universe is Garbhodakshayi Vishnu. The super soul of each living being is Kshirodakshayi Vishnu.

Garbhodakshayi Vishnu is the source of the lotus on which Brahmaji appears. Now that same Garbhodakshayi Vishnu expands and he has his loka. Brihad Bhagvatam talks about it that there is a _____ called mahapursha and Brahmaji worships that particular devata. He is the aradhaya dev. Then beyond this fourteen planetary system, above Brahma loka there is in the vicinity but further away there is kshirasagar and in beyond that is the abode of Kshirodakshayi Vishnu.

Normally whenever the devatas are going and praying to Vishnu for protection it is that Vishnu that is being referred. That is Kshirodakshayi Vishnu. The other forms of Vishnu are not directly accessible to us because Maha Vishnu is completely beyond the universe and even Garbhodakshayi Vishnu at the bottom and generally go at the most to the lower planets or to hell but not below then that. Therefore, in normal conversation Vishnu referred to is Kshirodakshayi Vishnu and he functions as the maintainer. The same Kshirodakshayi Vishnu is present in the heart also and he keeps the functioning of the heart and the body going. Krishna also says that in 15.16 and 15.17

                                                                                dvāv imaupuruṣauloke

kṣaraś cākṣara evaca

kṣaraḥsarvāṇibhūtāni

kūṭa-stho ‘kṣara ucyate

 

uttamah purushas tv anyah

paramatmety udahritah

yo lokatrayamavisya

bibharty avyayaisvarah

 

He entered in all three worlds and bibharty avyayaisvarah, the imperishable Lord is maintaining everyone.So normally our reference to Vishnu is to Kshirodakshayi Vishnu. Thank you.

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Chaitanya Charan das

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