When Graham Schweig and I initially conceived of this volume, we were thinking of an issue on “semi-divine beings,” and to us, at least in our initial discussions, it seemed evident who we were referring to: Shiva, Hanumān, Indra, Gaṇesh, Nārada, and other “divinities” were the “semi-divine beings” in question. Conversely, all entities in the “Vishnu-Tattva” category, i.e., Nārāyaṇa, Krishna, Narasiṁha, Rāmachandra, and so on, were “God himself.” This, to us, was the Vaishnava point of view. But it soon became apparent that all was not so clear, and that the categories suggested by the issue’s theme would raise just as many questions as it did answers: Who was properly a manifestation of Vishnu and who was not? To what degree might specially empowered beings be considered nondifferent from Vishnu? Is Shiva, for example, a mere expansion of the Lord, or is he equal to Vishnu as Supreme Godhead?