Please Accept My Humble Obeisances.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada, Sri Gurudev & Gauranga.

Hare Krishna

I have been in contact with some Vaisnava's from other Sampradaya's (namely Sri Sampradaya).

They tell me that they believe Lord Krishna to be an avatar of Lord Visnu, and not the Source of Lord Visnu.

I do not know how to answer to them properly. I just simply tell them that Bhagavad Gita is the main scripture that shows the Supremacy of our Lord Krishna.

They say that "If Lord Krishna is the Supreme incarnation, then why not look at Sri Rama as the Supreme incarnation as well?"

And also they have told me that Surya Narayana is also one of Lord's incarnations. 

They were trying to show me scriptural evidence, but I know that I am not advanced enough to counteract their arguments. How should I answer?

Please advise me.

Your Servant,

Bhakta David

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  • Volunteer

    Hare Krsna Prabhu. Give them scriptural evidence.

  • Hare Krishna !! my humble pranAms to Krishna-Bhakthas

    From the discussion below, plenary expansion means a complete expansion that contains ALL the qualities possessed by Krishna.I have the following doubts arising

    (Q1)Are they also present in unlimited proportions as Krishna has?

    (Q2)I also noticed that there are some % associated with respect to the proportion and/or no. of qualities. Like

    A normal Jiva having 0<x<=78%. with x = 78% being possessed by Brahmaji. This also means Brahmaji is the highest Jiva.

    Lord Siva has 84% and Lord Vishnu has 93% and the plenary expansions have 93 <= X <= 100. where Krishna has 100%

    Which scripture provides detailed information on the potencies above.

    What are the different potencies that range from 78% to 100% that makes them different in quality and quantity?

    Kindly clarify.

    In service to Krishna and devotees,


    • Volunteer
       Hare Krishna Suresh Prabhuji. Dandavat Pranam. All glories to Srila Prabhupada
      The Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava-sampradāya, headed by Rūpa Gosvāmī, has established the principle of the Bhagavad-gītā that everything emanates from Kṛṣṇa, who says in the Bhagavad-gītā, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ: "I am the original source of everything." "Everything" includes Nārāyaṇa. Therefore Rūpa Gosvāmī, in his Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta, has established that Kṛṣṇa, not Nārāyaṇa, is the original Personality of Godhead.

      CC Adi 5.132, Purport:

      In the Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has explained Kṛṣṇa's being both Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Nārāyaṇa in the spiritual sky and expanding in the quadruple forms known as Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. He has refuted the idea that Kṛṣṇa is an incarnation of Nārāyaṇa. Some devotees think that Nārāyaṇa is the original Personality of Godhead and that Kṛṣṇa is an incarnation. Even Śaṅkarācārya, in his commentary on the Bhagavad-gītā, has accepted Nārāyaṇa as the transcendental Personality of Godhead who appeared as Kṛṣṇa, the son of Devakī and Vasudeva. Therefore this matter may be difficult to understand. But the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava-sampradāya, headed by Rūpa Gosvāmī, has established the principle of the Bhagavad-gītā that everything emanates from Kṛṣṇa, who says in the Bhagavad-gītā, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ: (BG 10.8) "I am the original source of everything." "Everything" includes Nārāyaṇa. Therefore Rūpa Gosvāmī, in his Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta, has established that Kṛṣṇa, not Nārāyaṇa, is the original Personality of Godhead.

      In this connection he has quoted a verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.2.15) that states:

      sva-śānta-rūpeṣv itaraiḥ svarūpair
      abhyardyamāneṣv anukampitātmā
      parāvareśo mahad-aṁśa-yukto
      hy ajo ’pi jāto bhagavān yathāgniḥ

      "When pure devotees of the Lord like Vasudeva are greatly disturbed by dangerous demons like Kaṁsa, Lord Kṛṣṇa joins with all His pastime expansions, such as the Lord of Vaikuṇṭha, and, although unborn, becomes manifest, just as fire becomes manifest by the friction of araṇi wood." Araṇi wood is used to ignite a sacrificial fire without matches or any other flame. Just as fire appears from araṇi wood, the Supreme Lord appears when there is friction between devotees and nondevotees. When Kṛṣṇa appears, He appears in full, including within Himself all His expansions, such as Nārāyaṇa, Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Aniruddha and Pradyumna. Kṛṣṇa is always integrated with His other incarnations, like Nṛsiṁhadeva, Varāha, Vāmana, Nara-Nārāyaṇa, Hayagrīva and Ajita. In Vṛndāvana Lord Kṛṣṇa sometimes exhibits the functions of such incarnations.

      In the Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa it is said, "The same Personality of Godhead who is known in Vaikuṇṭha as the four-handed Nārāyaṇa, the friend of all living entities, and in the milk ocean as the Lord of Śvetadvīpa, and who is the best of all puruṣas, appeared as the son of Nanda. In a fire there are many sparks of different dimensions; some of them are very big, and some are small. The small sparks are compared to the living entities, and the large sparks are compared to the Viṣṇu expansions of Lord Kṛṣṇa. All the incarnations emanate from Kṛṣṇa, and after the end of their pastimes they again merge with Kṛṣṇa."

      Therefore in the various Purāṇas Kṛṣṇa is described sometimes as Nārāyaṇa, sometimes as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, sometimes as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and sometimes as Vaikuṇṭhanātha, the Lord of Vaikuṇṭha. Because Kṛṣṇa is always full, Mūla-saṅkarṣaṇa is in Kṛṣṇa, and since all incarnations are manifested from Mūla-saṅkarṣaṇa, it should be understood that He can manifest different incarnations by His supreme will, even in the presence of Kṛṣṇa. Great sages have therefore glorified the Lord by different names. Thus when the original person, the source of all incarnations, is sometimes described as an incarnation, there is no discrepancy.

      Your aspiring Servant

      Hari Bol

      • Sevak

        Hare Krishna Sudipta Roy Prabhu Ji. PAMHO. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

        Can you please explain this " All the incarnations emanate from Kṛṣṇa, and after the end of their pastimes they again merge with Kṛṣṇa." What do the pleanry expansions of Krishna merge into? I heard from other Vaisanavs that They were ever existing like Krishna. Please correct me. 

        You servant

        Hari Bol! 



    • Hare Krishna Srijon Prabhuji

      Can you please explain the flow chart above. In some bhagvatam class, what I understood was Maha Vishnu is the first expansion of Lord Shri Krishna and then comes other expansions.

      Kindly explain how balarama is his first expansion when maha vishnu existed before him and it was maha vishnu from whom the creator lord brahma first originated.?

      • Sevak

        Hare Krishna Mata Ji. PAMHO. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

        Krishna and his forms have no beginning or end. So therefore 1 can't exist before the other. Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead from Him the next expansion is Lord Balarama. Then comes the ORIGINAL CATUR VYUHA:Vasudeva, Sankarsana(also called Sadasiva, Lord Shiva is supposed to be a material reflection of Lord Sankarsana), Pradyumna, Aniruddha. Then each manifest themselves again. Afterwards comes Maha Sankarsana. From Him comes the Vishnu expansions. These are plenary expansions of Krishna meaning they are full and same as Krishna.

        According to the Srimad Bhagavatam 3rd Canto Lord Krishna, the Original Supreme Personality of Godhead, first expands Himself into Lord Baladeva (Lord Balarama), who is Lord Krishna’s second body and brother. Lord Balarama assists in Lord Krishna’s innumerable spiritual pastimes in both the spiritual and material realms.
        Lord Balarama is also the creative energy. He creates and is the shelter of the material and spiritual worlds. By the will of Lord Krishna and the power of the spiritual energy, Lord Balarama creates the spiritual world, which consists of the planet Goloka Vrndavan Dham and the Vaikuntha planets. Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya-lila, 20.255-6. Lord Balarama especially assists Lord Krishna in the creation of the material worlds. 

        Then Lord Balarama expands Himself into the original Caturvyuha forms or quadruple expansion's viz.
        1) Vasudeva 2) Sankarshan 3) Pradyumna 4) Aniruddha
        From the original catur-vyuha above the second catur-vyuha expands. In this second catur-vyuha the form of Sankarshan is also called Maha Sankarshan. It is from Maha Sankarshan that Maha Vishnu (Karanadakshayi Vishnu) [the first of the 3 Vishnu forms] becomes manifested. Maha Vishnu lies on the Causal Ocean which appears in one corner of the spiritual world. He manifests the mahat tattva (or the sum total of material energy). It is into this mahat tattva that He exhales all of the seedlike universes through the pores of His skin. These seedlike universes then expand as the different material elements form coverings around them. Each of the coverings is ten times thicker than the previous covering and form a shell-like covering. When Maha Vishnu impregnates the living entities by His glance into the material nature it begins to manifest its various energies. 

        When the universes have thus developed in the womb of material nature, Maha Vishnu expands as Garbhodakshayi Vishnu, Who enters as Ksirodakasayi Vishnu into each universe with the living entities of that particular universe and thus activates each universe by His presence. He lies down on Ananta Shesha who lies on the Garbha ocean, which is the perspiration from the Lord's body and half fills the universe. From His navel comes a lotus bud which is the total form of the living entities' fruitive activity. The lotus grows dissipating the darkness of the universe. On top of the lotus Lord Brahma (with four heads), the first living being appears.

        Next is the third expansion of Lord Vishnu, called Kshirodakshayi Vishnu, who is the incarnation of the quality of goodness and who maintains the universe, Who is the all-pervading Supersoul (Paramatma). He is the universal form of the Lord and expands Himself as the Supersoul within every living entity. He is known as Kshirodakshayi Vishnu because He lies on the ocean of milk (kshira) on the island of Svetadvipa. These are the three expansions of Lord Vishnu who oversee and make the creation of the material worlds possible. (Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila, 20.292, 294-5).

        Hope that helped. Hari Bol! 


  • Volunteer

    Also Krishna confirms in Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10 Verse 31-

    pavanaḥ pavatām asmi

    rāmaḥ śastra-bhṛtām aham

    jhaṣāṇāḿ makaraś cāsmi

    srotasām asmi jāhnavī


    Of purifiers I am the wind, of the wielders of weapons I am Rāma, of fishes I am the shark, and of flowing rivers I am the Ganges.

    So, it is Krishna who incarnates Himself as Rama.

    Also confirmed in Srimad Bhagavatam-

    ete camsa-kalah pumsah

    krsnas tu bhagavan svayam

    indrari-vyakulam lokam

    mrdayanti yuge yuge


    All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Sri Krsna is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.28


    In this particular stanza Lord Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, is distinguished from other incarnations. He is counted amongst the avataras (incarnations) because out of His causeless mercy the Lord descends from His transcendental abode.Avatara means "one who descends." All the incarnations of the Lord, including the Lord Himself, descend on the different planets of the material world as also in different species of life to fulfill particular missions. Sometimes He comes Himself, and sometimes His different plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions, or His differentiated portions directly or indirectly empowered by Him, descend on this material world to execute certain specific functions. Originally the Lord is full of all opulences, all prowess, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation. When they are partly manifested through the plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions, it should be noted that certain manifestations of His different powers are required for those particular functions. When in the room small electric bulbs are displayed, it does not mean that the electric powerhouse is limited by the small bulbs. The same powerhouse can supply power to operate large-scale industrial dynamos with greater volts. Similarly, the incarnations of the Lord display limited powers because so much power is needed at that particular time.

    For example, Lord Parasurama and Lord Nrsimha displayed unusual opulence by killing the disobedient ksatriyas twenty-one times and killing the greatly powerful atheist Hiranyakasipu. Hiranyakasipu was so powerful that even the demigods in other planets would tremble simply by the unfavorable raising of his eyebrow. The demigods in the higher level of material existence many, many times excel the most well-to-do human beings, in duration of life, beauty, wealth, paraphernalia, and in all other respects. Still they were afraid of Hiranyakasipu. Thus we can simply imagine how powerful Hiranyakasipu was in this material world. But even Hiranyakasipu was cut into small pieces by the nails of Lord Nrsimha. This means that anyone materially powerful cannot stand the strength of the Lord's nails. Similarly, Jamadagnya displayed the Lord's power to kill all the disobedient kings powerfully situated in their respective states. The Lord's empowered incarnation Narada and plenary incarnation Varaha, as well as indirectly empowered Lord Buddha, created faith in the mass of people. The incarnations of Ramaand Dhanvantari displayed His fame, and BalaramaMohini and Vamana exhibited His beauty. Dattatreya, MatsyaKumara andKapila exhibited His transcendental knowledge. Nara and Narayana Rsis exhibited His renunciation. So all the different incarnations of the Lord indirectly or directly manifested different features, but Lord Krsna, the primeval Lord, exhibited the complete features of Godhead, and thus it is confirmed that He is the source of all other incarnations. And the most extraordinary feature exhibited by Lord Sri Krsna was His internal energetic manifestation of His pastimes with the cowherdgirls. His pastimes with the gopis are all displays of transcendental existence, bliss and knowledge, although these are manifested apparently as sex love. The specific attraction of His pastimes with the gopis should never be misunderstood. TheBhagavatam relates these transcendental pastimes in the Tenth Canto. And in order to reach the position to understand the transcendental nature of Lord Krsna's pastimes with the gopis, the Bhagavatam promotes the student gradually in nine other cantos.

    According to Srila Jiva Gosvami's statement, in accordance with authoritative sources, Lord Krsna is the source of all other incarnations. It is not that Lord Krsna has any source of incarnation. All the symptoms of the Supreme Truth in full are present in the person of Lord Sri Krsna, and in the Bhagavad-gita the Lord emphatically declares that there is no truth greater than or equal to Himself. In this stanza the word svayam is particularly mentioned to confirm that Lord Krsna has no other source than Himself. Although in other places the incarnations are described as bhagavan because of their specific functions, nowhere are they declared to be the Supreme Personality. In this stanza the word svayam signifies the supremacy as the summum bonum.

    The summum bonum Krsna is one without a second. He Himself has expanded Himself in various parts, portions and particles as svayam-rupasvayam-prakasatad-ekatmaprabhavavaibhavavilasaavataraavesa, and jivas, all provided with innumerable energies just suitable to the respective persons and personalities. Learned scholars in transcendental subjects have carefully analyzed the summum bonum Krsna to have sixty-four principal attributes. All the expansions or categories of the Lord possess only some percentages of these attributes. But Sri Krsna is the possessor of the attributes cent percent. And His personal expansions such as svayam-prakasatad-ekatma up to the categories of the avataras who are all visnu-tattva, possess up to ninety-three percent of these transcendental attributes. Lord Siva, who is neither avatara nor avesa nor in between them, possesses almost eighty-four percent of the attributes. But the jivas, or the individual living beings in different statuses of life, possess up to the limit of seventy-eight percent of the attributes. In the conditioned state of material existence, the living being possesses these attributes in very minute quantity, varying in terms of the pious life of the living being. The most perfect of living beings is Brahma, the supreme administrator of one universe. He possesses seventy-eight percent of the attributes in full. All other demigods have the same attributes in less quantity, whereas human beings possess the attributes in very minute quantity. The standard of perfection for a human being is to develop the attributes up to seventy-eight percent in full. The living being can never possess attributes like SivaVisnu or Lord Krsna. A living being can become godly by developing the seventy-eight-percent transcendental attributes in fullness, but he can never become a God like SivaVisnu or Krsna. He can become aBrahma in due course. The godly living beings who are all residents of the planets in the spiritual sky are eternal associates of God in different spiritual planets called Hari-dhama and Mahesa-dhama. The abode of Lord Krsna above all spiritual planets is called Krsnaloka or Goloka Vrndavana, and the perfected living being, by developing seventy-eight percent of the above attributes in fullness, can enter the planet of Krsnaloka after leaving the present material body.

    • Hare krishna prabhuji

      So  plenary expansions of Lord Krishna doesn't mean it is 100% full(with 64 attributes) as Lord krishna himself?

      I mean to ask ..

      What's the definition of plenary expansion? 100% full or partial

      And when we say portion of plenary expansion , it definitely sounds like partial (with less/as required) attributes.

      • Definition of plenary- Complete in all respects, unlimited or full.

  • Maha Vishnu who is a plenary portion of Lord Krsna and he is also known as Narayana in this world. He is the source of thousands of thousands of avatars and thousands and thousands of living entities. Sri Brahma Samhita. There is no work that can compare with the Brahma Samhita where the final scriptural conclusion is concerned. It has been translated by Bhaktisiddhanta Goswami Thakura who is also the spiritual master of Srila Prabhupada. The order given by Srijon Saha prabhuji from Caitanya Caritamrta can also be found in the Brahma Samhita and it is a much shorter volume of work.

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