1Afterword: On the special status of Lord Vishnu

Glories of Lord Vishnu

The Vedic scriptures describe the existence of a single transcendent all- powerful Supreme Lord. This Supreme Being is unlimited in every way and is therefore described by many names-Visnu, Bhagavan, Krishna, Rama-all in glorification of the same Supreme Lord. All the Visnu incarnations such as Matsya and Kurma are also different absolute manifestations of God.

Additionally, the Vedic literature acknowledges the existence a variety of secondary controllers (the demigods) within the material world. However, the demigods are categorically different from but dependent upon the one Supreme Lord. The Vedic tradition is unequivocally monotheistic.

Some consider Brahma, Visnu, and Siva to be different equally powerful aspects for the same One Supreme Reality. It is true, in a superficial sense, that all the manifestations of the divine are one. In fact, when viewed from an impersonal (advaitic) perspective, every living entity down to the ant is ultimately one with God (Brahman).

However when one progresses on the path the path of self-realization and studies all the scriptural statements about the different forms of life-both mundane and divine- the seeker comes to one conclusion:

alodya sarva-sastrani vicarya ca punah punah
idam ekam sunispannam dheyo narayanah sada

By scrutinizingly reviewing all the revealed scriptures and judging them again and again, it is now concluded that Lord Narayana is the Supreme Absolute Truth, and thus He alone is to be worshipped.

This verse was spoken by none other than Lord Brahma himself after studying all the Vedic literature. This verse occurs in scriptures that glorify both Visnu [Narasimha-purana and Padma-purana] and Siva[Linga-purana and Skanda- purana].

The Padma-purana elaborates:

There are many types of Vedic literatures and supplementary Puranas. In each of them there are particular demigods who are spoken of as the chief demigods. This is just to create an illusion for moving and nonmoving living entities. Let them perpetually engage in such imaginations. However, when one analytically studies all these Vedic literatures collectively, he comes to the conclusion that Lord Visnu is one and only Supreme Personality of Godhead."

This vision of Vishnu's supremacy over all the demigods can be traced back to the Rg Veda: "The lotus feet of Visnu are the supreme objective of all the demigods. The lotus feet of Visnu are as enlightening as the sun in the sky."

Therefore, the Vedic literature clearly declare the supremacy of Visnu (also known as Narayana or Krishna) over all other gods of the Hindu pantheon. And therefore, only Lord Visnu is regarded as the ultimate object of worship.

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