From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Vaisvanara, VaiZvAnara, Vaishvaanara

Vaiśvānara literally means ‘one who leads all human beings’.

Vaiśvānara as per Bhagavadgītā

This word has been used in several senses. It is one of the names of Agni, fire or fire-god. The Bhagavadgītā[1] refers to it as an aspect of Kṛṣṇa who resides in the bodies of living beings and digests the food they eat.[2]

Vaiśvānara as per Māndukya Upaniṣad

In the Vedānta philosophy it refers to Brahman/ātman as consciousness, associated with the whole created world.[3] The Vedāntasāra of Sadānanda calls him as Virāṭ also.[4] He is called Vaiśvānara since he leads all human beings according their puṇya[5] or pāpa[6] to the respective goals.


  1. Bhagavadgītā 15.14
  2. Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 5.9.1
  3. Māndukya Upaniṣad 3
  4. Māndukya Upaniṣad para 111
  5. Puṇya means merit.
  6. Pāpa means demerit.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore