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Inculturation: the OTHER christian conversion tactic
Quote:[color="#800080"](ISKCON teaches)[/color] that Krishna is the source of Vishnu not other way around.
This is quite a standard part of ISKCON. Thought everyone at IF was aware of it and moreover okay with it. (Though there are Hindus who are annoyed with it.)

Quote:BTW, Krishna and Vishnu are not the same. Former is one of the incarnations of the latter.


I think many Hindus consider Vishnu's avataaram as Krishna to be identical to Vishnu - i.e. as "ultimately the same". In fact, Hindus can - and do - worship all his avataras as identical to Vishnu. The difference is as you said: Krishna like Raama and Narahari etc are avataaras of Vishnu and - at a minimum* - not the other way around. (There are some other differences as to the conscious avataras versus those who are considered to play the part more fully.)

* In northern parts of India, it appears there is a tradition where Krishna is not even considered an avataram of Vishnu in the sense that he is not listed as one of the famous 10 but rather as emanating the 10 for his being fully identical to Vishnu (perhaps this is because Krishna is supposed to be conscious of his identity all the time, i.e. a full avataram, or because he is considered a leelaavataram): e.g. I think in the Dashavataram song by Jayadeva - from what I can understand of it - Krishna is not listed as an avataaram but is replaced by Buddha after Balaraama. The 10 listed in this manner are considered avataras of "Vishnu=Krishna".

In southern parts of Bharatam, they will list all the famous 10 avataaras - including specifically Krishna - as being avataras of Krishna/Vishnu, i.e. where Krishna is identified with Vishnu. (The difference is that at least some parts of the south don't have Buddha as an avataaram.) But the very same is done for Narasimha and Rama for example: in stotras to these, the other avataras are frequently listed as equivalents, since all avataras are equivalents to Vishnu. E.g. I think Adi Shankaracharya in his stotra to Narasimha briefly calls out to Narasimha with some of the personal names of the Krishnaavataram.

Krishna seems to get popular/special consideration because of the centrality of the Mahabharatam to Hindus, the importance of the Gita, perhaps also because he is the most recent avataram (depending on whether Buddha is considered an avataram in people's local Hindu tradition or not), and of course because of the popularity of the SB puraNa. I thought I'd posted a link to a translation of MSS singing the verses on Krishna in Adigal's Cilappadikaaram. In any case, it also speaks of his avataras, since Vishnu is Krishna. The same can be seen in the 100-stotra-text on Guruvayoorappan: it is about incidents during various avataras of Vishnu, because the two are considered identical. You can again see this in Lakshmi stotras: she is addressed as the wife of various names of Vishnu including various names of Krishna - including identifying him by his exploits during Krishnavataram.

(Rama's avataram also gets special consideration because of the centrality of the Ramayanam to Hindus - not just VR, but also AR, RCM (in Hindi), and KR (Tzh) etc. Also, because the single line mantram which summarises Vishnu's entire 1000 names - and which is an important mantram for Hindus who are passing away - concerns Rama's own name. I.e. the name is considered the core to Vishnu's identity. But apparently not everywhere: in some parts they don't think Rama/Krishna are avataaras of Vishnu or even Gods, but humans. So applying the Taraka may not be a rite everywhere/would not have the same effect everywhere. Hindu traditions/views of the Gods seem to be more vastly different across the country than I had earlier considered.)

But - again, as far as I am aware - to Hindus, Vishnu is never less than Krishna, never less than identical.

IIRC, the Gita has Krishna (speaking as the Paramapurusha) identifying himself as "Vishnu among the Adityas" and "Raama among mankind's raajas", but then he also says he is "Krishna among Vrishni's sons" [but also as "Shankara among the Rudras" and many another distinct Hindu God is identified with his self], so he is no less Vishnu and Raama than he is Krishna. <- So ISCKON cannot use this bit from the Gita as argument for Krishna's primacy over Vishnu, because it lists Krishna himself as an equal among them (indeed, among the other Hindu Gods so listed).

The difference with ISKCON is that they insist that Vishnu is a sort of subset of Krishna (IIRC, like an amsham, with the purpose of sthiti). Again, from what I'm familiar with: Usually the range of indigenous Hindu POVs is that Vishnu is the paramaatma himself (including sriShti, stithi and samhaaram in himself), or is the paramaatma who when in company of the rest of the Trimoorti presides over/represents the sthiti aspect, or is the all-pervading (vishnu) with as his act sthiti, etc. In which case, whatever Vishnu is perceived as, the same is the perception again of all the avataaras: since Narahari or Varaha is considered no less the equivalent to Vishnu than Krishna is. (Actually this same range of views matches other Hindus' views of other Hindu Gods too.)

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Inculturation: the OTHER christian conversion tactic - by Husky - 10-02-2011, 08:09 PM

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