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Svayam bhagavan

The meaning of «svayam bhagavan»

In Vaishnavism, Svayam Bhagavān (Sanskrit: "The Supreme Being Himself") is the absolute representation of God as Bhagavan – The Supreme Personality who possesses all riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation. According to the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna is termed Svayam Bhagavan.

As stated in the Bhagavata Mahapurana, the Supreme God Parabrahman Adi Narayana (Vishnu) appeared before Vasudeva and Devaki in his divine original four armed form before taking birth as Krishna. Vasudeva and Devaki, after praising Vishnu, requested him to hide his divine form which Vishnu agreed to do by transforming himself into a small baby Krishna. According to this account, Krishna never took birth from the womb of his mother like a common baby.

Svayam Bhagavan is a term most often used in Gaudiya Vaishnava and other Krishna-centered theologies, and that title is used there exclusively to designate Krishna,[1] there being conflicting semantics or other usages in the Bhagavata Purana. Traditions of Gaudiya Vaishnavas, the Nimbarka Sampradaya and followers of Vallabha consider Him to be the source of all avatars,[2] and the source of Vishnu and Narayana. As such, He is therefore regarded as Svayam Bhagavan.[3][4][5]

Though Krishna is recognized as Svayam Bhagavan by many,[6] He is also perceived and understood from an eclectic assortment of perspectives and viewpoints.[7] When Krishna is recognized to be Svayam Bhagavan, it can be understood that this is the belief of Gaudiya Vaishnavism,[8] the Vallabha Sampradaya,[9] and the Nimbarka Sampradaya, where Krishna is accepted to be the source of all other avatars, and the source of Vishnu himself. This belief is drawn primarily from the "famous statement" of the Bhagavatam[1](1.3.28).[10]

A different viewpoint differing from this theological concept is the concept of Krishna as an avatar of Narayana or Vishnu. It should be however noted that although it is usual to speak of Vishnu as the source of the avatars, this is only one of the names of the God of Vaishnavism, who is also known as Narayana, Vasudeva-Krishna, and just Krishna, and behind each of those names there is a divine figure with attributed supremacy in Vaishnavism.[11]

The theological interpretation of svayam bhagavān differs with each tradition, and the literal translation of the term has been understood in several distinct ways. Translated from the Sanskrit language, the term literally means "Bhagavan Himself" or "directly Bhagavan".[1] Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition often translates it within its perspective as primeval Lord or original Personality of Godhead; it also considers the terms such as Supreme Personality of Godhead and Supreme God as an equivalent to the term Svayam Bhagavan, and may also choose to apply these terms to Vishnu, Narayana and many of their associated avatars.[12][13]

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