19 July 2013 - QA 2

Can you please tell us about Narayana. Who and what is Narayana?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

Narayana is not a person. Narayana is the consciousness which is present in the human nervous system. Narayana is made up of light; a body that is made up of light. When you become totally hollow and empty, you incorporate that light body within you, and that is Narayana. That is why when anyone sees a monk in India they say 'Namo Narayana', I adore the Narayana in you.

Now where is Narayana?
Narayana is in a king, because a king is the collective consciousness. He is not supposed to think about himself but he has to think about the entire country and all the people, and maintain them. So because of the love and compassion that a king has for his own people, he is elevated to the level of Narayana; the pure light.

Then it is said, Vaidya Narayana. A doctor is Narayana.
A doctor while treating his patient does not think of how much he is earning. His total concern is in the well-being of the person. Narayana is in every doctor, every doctor is Narayana.

Who else is Narayana? (Audience says: The husband)
Yes, if he’s totally committed to the family, and if he is there for his wife.
The wife has to consider him Narayana! He cannot proclaim himself to be Narayana. (Laughter) The husband maintains the whole family and he doesn’t want anything for himself. He wants for everybody. So he is a Narayana.

A saint is Narayana because a saint wants the welfare of everybody. A doctor is Narayana. A selfless king is a Narayana. Guru is Narayana. A teacher is Narayana. A guest who comes over is also Narayana because Narayana comes in many forms.

Anyone who helps you in need without any selfish motive is called Apath Narayana. A Narayana who comes in when there is a problem is Apath Narayana.

There is one more term called Daridra Narayana. One who doesn’t have anything, one who is poor, he is a Narayana without money (Lakshmi).
So when you do charity, see that he (the poor man) is Narayana and do charity, and don't see him as a worm out there and do charity. So do charity also with a sense of sacredness. See even the poorest and the less fortunate ones as Narayana.

So you can see Narayana in a miserable person, Narayana in a doctor, in a saint, in the head of the family and in a king. They are all Narayana. Everywhere is Narayana.
In the Narayana Upanishads it is very beautifully said, 'Narayana is in the front, at the back, on the sides, on top and at the bottom. Narayana is everywhere!'
Narayana Parojyotih Atmanarayanah Parah

Narayana is the Brahman (divinity). Narayana is the atma (soul), the Self in you. Narayana is the light. This entire universe is existing in a milky ocean and that ocean is called Narayana.