Why is Shri Vishnu called as foremost Guru ?

God created the universe through the five Deities (Principles) – Prajapati, Brahma, Shiva, Shri Vishnu and Meenakshi. These five Deities have all the characteristics of God besides their own. Sheshashayi, Anantashayani form of Shri Vishnu that the Vaishnav sect worship, meaning, the nirgun (Unmanifest) form of Shri Vishnu is a representation of Supreme God or Mahavishnu. Characteristics of Shri Vishnu are given ahead.


1. Annarasadevata – The Deity of nourishment

Anna – ad – that which feeds on living beings and that which living beings feed on, is known as anna (Food). Quotes like ‘ओषधंअन्नम्।’, ‘ओषधेचिन्तयेत्विष्णुम्।’ are prevalent in Sanskrut. The meaning of these quotes is – ‘Food generates radiance in the body.’ In the stotra ShriVishnusahasranam, Vaidya (Doctor) is one of the Names of Shri Vishnu.


2. Bhaktavatsal

The authors of Puranas have glorified Shri Vishnu’s bhaktavatsalya (Kind to worshippers) for His devotees. It was He who rushed to the rescue of the elephant King Gajendra during a crisis and led him to salvation. It is He who assumed the Mohini form and acquired the amrut (Nectar) for the Deities during the battle between the Deities and demons. It was He who placed Dhruva in the infallible position. It was none, but He who manifested from a pillar as Nrusimha for the sake of His devotee Prahlad. Sage Durvas had cursed Shri Vishnu’s devotee Ambarish that he would be born ten times. For the sake of His disciple’s welfare, He took this curse upon Himself. He took upon Himself the burden of spiritual and worldly problems of His devotees.


3. One who always keeps His promises

A. नमेभक्तःप्रणश्यति।

– Shrimadbhagwadgeeta, Adhyaya 9, Shloka 31

Meaning : My devotee never perishes.

B. यदायदाहिधर्मस्यग्लानिर्भवतिभारत।

– Shrimadbhagwadgeeta, Adhyaya 4, Shloka 7

Meaning : Whenever there is deterioration in Righteousness (Dharma), that is, when there is an upsurge of unrighteousness, Iincarnate.


4. One who maintains the balance of the world

In Kaliyug (Era of strife), man’s temperament is more Tama-predominant. Hence, to maintain the balance of the world it is necessary to increase the Sattva component. The task of increasing devotion of the devotees and destroying the evil in society for reducing the Tama component is accomplished by Shri Vishnu.

परित्राणायसाधूनांविनाशायचदुष्कृताम्‌ ।
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थायसम्भवामियुगेयुगे ॥

– Shrimadbhagwadgeeta, Adhyaya 4, Shloka 7

Meaning : To deliver the pious and to annihilate the evildoers as well as to reinstate Dharma, I incarnate, era after era.


5. The steady Deity

Shri Vishnu functions without leaving His seat because He exists in water, on land, in wood, stone etc., in other words, wherever there are particles of annarasa.


6. The foremost Guru

It was Shri Vishnu who started the Guru-disciple tradition. Narayan is the first Guru and Narad, the son of Brahmadev, is the first disciple. Since the very mission of a Guru is to take His disciple to Moksha (Final Liberation),it is said- ‘ज्ञानम्इच्छेत्सदाशिवात्मोक्षम्इच्छेत्जनार्दनात् ।’ – We must seek knowledge from Sadashiva and Moksha from Janardan, that is, from Shri Vishnu


7. One who converts solid and
liquid form medicine into Vayu-form medicines

The Holy text ‘Bruhad-Nighantu-Ratnakar’gives information on Ayurveda, the science of medicines. Following five types of medicines have been mentioned in it. 1. Medicines from grass, 2. Medicines found in the forest, 3. Medicines from living organisms (for example milk, musk), 4. Medicines found in water and 5. Medicines found in the earth. Shri Vishnu converts all medicines in all these forms into Vayu-form medicines. Consequently solid and liquid form medicines are quickly absorbed into the blood and therefore, into the body cells. Vayu-form medicines are absorbed into the body by mere inhalation.

Reference : Sanatan’s Holy text ‘Worship of Deities : Vol. 2 – Shri Vishnu’

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