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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

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

Vaiśvānara as per Bhagavadgītā[edit]

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[edit]

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