KRISHNA, VISHNU, NARAYANA, SIVA – DIFFERENCES!
SRI Vaishnava Sampradhaya encourages the worship of Vishnu/ Narayana forms and they prefer to go with Vishnu in Vaikunta instead of Krishna in Goloka. They consider Krishna as Vishnu’s Purna avatar.
The gaudiya vaishnava sampradhaya that dates back to Sri Caitanya Maha Prabhu considers Krishna as Supreme and Vishnu/ Narayana are His expansions.
These different forms of worship depends on the bhawa with which we approach the Lord and perform our devotional practices.
Srila Prabhupada has explained that all Vishnu tatvas have same potency in this verse:
“In the category of Vishnu-tattva there is no loss of power from one expansion to the next, any more than there is a loss of illumination as one candle kindles another. Thousands may be kindled by an original candle, and all will have the same candle power. In this way it is to be understood that although all the Vishnu-tattvas, from Krishna and Lord Chaitanya to Rama, Narasimha, Varaha, and so on, appear with different features in different ages, all are equally invested with supreme potency.” – (Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi 3.71, Purport)
(Krishna Vs Vishnu – Who is Supreme and Who is avatar? What are the three types of Vishnus? READ HERE!)
Brahma samhita also says this:
Brahma-samhita (5.46): “Objectively establishing Krishna as supreme among manifestations of the Lord: “The light of one candle being communicated to other candles, although it burns separately in them, is the same in its quality. I adore the primeval Lord Govinda [Krishna], who exhibits Himself equally in the same mobile manner in His various manifestations.”
Now, SUPREMACY OF KRISHNA:
Brahma says in Brahma Samhita (5.1):
“Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, and He is the prime cause of all causes.”
He again says in Brahma Samhita (5.39):
“I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who by His various plenary portions appeared in the world in different forms and incarnations, such as Lord Rama, but who personally appears in His supreme original form as Lord Krishna.”
(Is Lord Siva eternal in spiritual Kailash or subject to death? Full details CAN BE READ HERE!)
Same Brahma says in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.14) to Krishna:
“Are You not the original Narayana [Vishnu], O supreme controller, since You are the Soul of every embodied being and the eternal witness of all created realms? Indeed, Lord Narayana is Your expansion, and He is called Narayana because He is the generating source of the primeval water of the universe. He is real, not a product of Your illusory Maya.”
IT IS DECLARED THAT KRISHNA IS THE SOURCE:
Srimad Bhagavatam, (1.3.28) in fact, declares Krishna’s primary position:
ete chamsha-kalah pumsah
krishnas tu bhagavan svayam
“All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Sri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead.”
Prabhupada’s Purport for this sloka:
“In this particular stanza Lord Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, is distinguished from other incarnations.” And later in that purport: “According to Srila Jiva Goswami’s statement, in accordance with authoritative sources, Lord Krishna is the source of all other incarnations. It is not that Lord Krishna has any source of incarnation.”
QUALITIES OF KRISHNA, VISHNU, NARAYANA, SIVA
KRISHNA, VISHNU, NARAYANA, SIVA – DIFFERENCES can be understood from this verse of Srila Rupa Gosvami:
In the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, Rupa Goswami lists 64 characteristics or qualities exhibited by living beings. Fifty of these, he writes, can be found in an ordinary soul (jiva) in minute proportion, while Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, and other demigods may possess as many as fifty-five. Vishnu, he continues, displays up to sixty of these qualities. But the remaining four are found only in Krishna, escaping all other manifestations of the Supreme. The four qualities unique to Krishna are as follows:
Lila-madhurya: He exhibits numerous wonderful pastimes for the pleasure of His devotees.
Bhakta-madhurya: He interacts with loving devotees in intimate ways.
Venu-madhurya: He plays on His divine flute, thus attracting all souls.
Rupa-madhurya: His beautiful form is incomparable, unrivaled in all of existence.
That is why, Lord Krishna is the adhi Purusha.
(TYPES OF AVATARS (INCARNATIONS) OF KRISHNA or VISHNU – COMPLETE DETAILS! READ HERE!)
Three Guna avatars CLASSIFICATIONS of Lord are: Brahma as Rajo Guna avatar; Vishnu as Satva guna avatar; Siva as thamo guna avatar.
Though Brahma, Vishnu and Siva are taking care of the affairs of these material planets, Vishnu is not affected by the material affairs as He is a satva guna avatar.
Krishna possesses all the qualities 100%. When He takes Guna avatars of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, He does not show all His qualities in those forms. He expresses only those qualities that are required to maintain the affairs of material planets.
So, Srila Prabhupada said that we should not consider the worship of all 3 guna avatars of Lord is equal. There are indeed some narrow differences between them. So, The TOPMOST FORM OF WORSHIP is WORSHIPPING KRISHNA WHO HAS ALL THE QUALITIES 100%.
So, it is a wise choice to DIRECTLY worship Krishna who is 100%.
(Do Same avatars of Vishnu/ Krishna repeat in every Yuga? READ HERE?)