Krishna as avatarin?

Shrisha Rao shrao at NYX.NET
Tue Jun 13 03:14:14 UTC 2000

On Fri, 9 Jun 2000, Martin Gansten wrote:

> This query is being cross-posted to Indology and RISA; my apologies to
> those who receive it twice:
> While the Puranas and Mahabharata portray Krishna as an avatara of Vishnu,
> Gaudiya Vaishnavas take the opposite view and regard Krishna as the
> 'original' deity, the source of Vishnu and all his avataras. I have heard
> it stated that the followers of Nimbarka and Vallabha share this
> theological stance, but have been unable to trace any authority for this.
> Could anyone point me to one or more primary Nimbarka/Vallabha texts which
> explicitly state the doctrine of Krishna as avatarin?

I would look at Vallabha's comm. on the Bhagavata P., I.3-28.  This verse
is cited as an authority in this matter by the Gaudiyas, and it is clear
that they were not the first to do so; that same interpretation of the
verse is discarded by Madhva in his commentary on it, and also in his
commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, X-41.

Although *in recent times* it is the Gaudiyas who are most prominent
supporters of this theory, it is certainly older than the earliest
available exposition of it.  Perhaps Chitsukha, Punyaranya, or some other
pre-Madhva commentator on the Bhagavata expounded it also.


Shrisha Rao

> Martin Gansten

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