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Nara, man, is the minor incarnation(s) of Vishnu mentioned in both epic and Puranic texts. Some authorities designate them as separate avatars, but they are usually connected. Two sons of Dharma, who were born from the heart of Brahma, spent a thousand years as ascetics in the heart of the Himalayas, where they were subject to various temptations by Indra. They are described as sages. Texts describe Nara as colored green and bearing two hands, while Narayana has four hands and is colored blue. They may also be paralleled to Hari and Krishna. A.G.H.


Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 178

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