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This article is about a Hindu theological concept: the original or absolute manifestation of God. For other meanings, see Krishna (disambiguation) and Bhagavan (disambiguation).

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Svayam Bhagavan (Sanskrit: स्वयं भगवान) (IAST svayam bhagavān, "The Lord" or "The Lord Himself") is a Sanskrit theological term for the concept of absolute representation of God as Bhagavan within Hinduism. He is the One eternal Supreme Being called Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Trimurti.

According to the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna is termed Svayam Bhagavan which means God himself. As stated in Bhagavata Purana, Hindu Vedic Supreme God Para Brahman appeared before Vasudeva and Devaki in his divine original four-headed form before taking birth as Krishna. Both Vasudev and Devaki after praising God requested him to hide his divine form agreeing to which God transformed himself into a small baby Krishna. According to this account, Krishna never took birth from the womb of his mother like a common baby.<ref>Bhagavata Purana - Canto 10 Chapter 2 Verse 9</ref><ref>Bhagavata Purana - Canto 1 Chapter 3 Verse 28</ref><ref>Bhagavata Purana - Canto 10 Chapter 3 Verse 46</ref>

It is most often used in Gaudiya Vaishnava Krishna-centered theology as referring to Krishna. The title Svayam Bhagavan is here used exclusively to designate Krishna,<ref name=Gupta2007 /> while there are conflicting semantics or other usages in the Bhagavata Purana. Traditions of Gaudiya Vaishnavas, the Nimbarka Sampradaya and followers of Vallabha consider him to be the source of all avatars,<ref name = jsn/> and the source of Vishnu and Narayana himself. As such, he is therefore regarded as Svayam Bhagavan.<ref name = "Delmonico2004">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref><ref name = "Elkman1986">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref name = Dimock1989/>

Though Krishna is recognized as Svayam Bhagavan by many,<ref name = "RKm"/> he is also perceived and understood from an eclectic assortment of perspectives and viewpoints.<ref name=Mahony1987>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> When Krishna is recognized to be Svayam Bhagavan, it can be understood that this is the belief of Gaudiya Vaishnavism,<ref name=Kennedy1925>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> the Vallabha Sampradaya,<ref name = "flood">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}"Early Vaishnava worship focuses on three deities who become fused together, namely Vasudeva-Krishna, Krishna-Gopala, and Narayana, who in turn all become identified with Vishnu. Put simply, Vasudeva-Krishna and Krishna-Gopala were worshiped by groups generally referred to as Bhagavatas, while Narayana was worshipped by the Pancaratra sect."</ref> and the Nimbarka Sampradaya, where Krishna is accepted to be the source of all other avatars, and the source of Vishnu himself. This belief is drawn primarily "from the famous statement of the Bhagavatam"<ref name=Gupta2007 />(1.3.28).<ref name = Rosen>Essential Hinduism S. Rosen, 2006, Greenwood Publishing Group p.124 ISBN 0-275-99006-0</ref>

A different viewpoint differing from this theological concept is the concept of Krishna as an avatar of Narayana or Vishnu. It should be however noted that although it is usual to speak of Vishnu as the source of the avataras, this is only one of the names of the God of Vaishnavism, who is also known as Narayana, Vasudeva and Krishna and behind each of those names there is a divine figure with attributed supremacy in Vaishnavism.<ref name = Krishna4> {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref>


Svayam Bhagavan sections
Intro  Meaning  Perspectives  Krishnaism  Gaudiya Vaishnava perspective  Related historical records  Other uses  See also  Notes  References  Further reading  External links  

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