Definition - What does Narayan mean?

Narayan is the name of a Vedic deity who is also believed to be the supreme Hindu god, Vishnu, particularly in Vaishnavism, one of the main traditions of Hinduism. The name is derived from the Sanskrit, nara, meaning “man” or “water,” and ayana, meaning “place of refuge” or “resting place.”

In the "Bhagavata Purana," Narayan is referred to as Para Brahman, or Supreme Lord. As such, he is the creator god, Brahma; the sustainer god, Vishnu; and the destroyer/purifier god, Shiva.

Yogapedia explains Narayan

Narayan is often associated with water. Symbolically, he is as infinite as the oceans. His name is sometimes translated as "the one who rests on waters of creation." In one version of the creation story in Hinduism, Narayan floated atop a snake in primeval waters. A lotus flower grew from his navel, from which Brahma was born. Brahma then created all of the worlds.

The water theme carries over into artisitic depictions of Narayan, in which he is often shown sitting or standing on the sea. He is usually blue like the water and is holding a conch, a lotus, a mace and a discus.

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