First of all it is a sectarian position that they are the same. But by that logic all 1000 names of Vishnu can be merged under Vishnu

2 Answers 2


I am adding another answer, since the atmosphere of HSE seems to have improved a little from the time I asked the above question.

Are Vaishnavastra and Narayanastra the same?

CLEARLY - "Vaishnava(adjective)" and "Narayana(adjective)" are different.

"Shiva" and "Rudra" are different tags at HSE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is a fair number of instances where Narayana means something different from Vishnu. For example, in Brahma Vaivarta Purana Krishna creates Vishnu and Narayana separately.

under this question

Is the argument that "Narayana" can only denote Vishnu correct?

a moderator writes

@SK tag Narayana was merged with Vishnu as synonym. But that is not sectarian. Narayana usually refers to Vishnu. But it is not correct to say Narayana is proper noun. – The Destroyer ♦ Feb 8, 2019 at 13:48

Actually "narayana" always denoting Vishnu alone is a crucial position for some sects.

In reality most deity-names are used for multiple deities, since there are hardly any proper nouns in Sanskrit.

In the interest of fairness, can these two tags be separated?


This doesn't seem to be correct - since THE ACTUAL PRACTICE of Hindus shows belief in a Narayana who is not the Narayana of Vaishnavites:


Narsingh Baba (he has nothing but the name in common with Narsingh Giri, the Abbot of the Qudsia Ghat Dasanaml-Math), the leader of the Naga group that had come to join the assembly, and his group consisted of about a dozen naked monks. He is a graduate from some Indian university, and had renounced the world soon after leaving college. When he was introduced to me, I greeted him with 'NamahSivaya, i.e. ‘Victory unto Siva', as a token of respect for his particular tutelary deity. He shook his head and said solemnly; ‘No, Maharaj, don't you know how sadhus greet each other?' ‘Of course,' I replied; ‘the general salute is Om Namo Narayanaya , but do you not object to N dr ay ana as a somewhat sectarian term?' Ndr ay ana usually refers to Visnu, and there is some sectarian discrimination between the Siva and the Visnu aspect of Divinity. ‘Not at all,’ Narsingh Baba replied, ‘and even if I did object, the N dr ay ana of the sa^M-salute is not the Naray ana of the Vaisnavas except by metaphysical generalization. No sadhii, of whatever personal predilection, should use a different salute, whatever he feels about “Narayana".' I was amazed at this statement for, though of course there is nothing new in his metaphysical disquisition—almost all divine epithets apply equally to all gods of the Hindu pantheon,

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