The belief in the supremacy of Vishnu is based upon the many avatars (incarnations) of Vishnu listed in the Puranic texts, which differs from other Hindu deities such as Ganesha, Surya or Durga.

In the Krishnaism branch of Vaishnavism, such as the Gaudiya Vaishnava, Nimbarka and Vallabhacharya traditions, devotees worship Krishna as the One Supreme form of God, and source of all avatars, Svayam Bhagavan.

The tradition is notable for its avatar doctrine, wherein Vishnu is revered in one of many distinct incarnations.

Vishnuism believes in Vishnu as the supreme being, manifested himself as Krishna, while Krishnaism accepts Krishna to be Svayam bhagavan or "authentic", that manifested himself as Vishnu.

As such Krishnaism is believed to be one of the early attempts to make philosophical Hinduism appealing to the masses.

Bhakti poets or teachers such as Manavala Mamunigal, Namdev, Ramananda, Surdas, Tulsidas, Eknath, Tyagaraja, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and many others influenced the expansion of Vaishnavism.

Even Meera bai(princess of Mehwar and Rajasthan)took part in this specific movement.

The Bhagavad Gita was incorporated into the Mahabharata as a key text for Krishnaism.

This complex history is reflected in the two main historical denominations of Vishnavism.In common language the term Krishnaism is not often used, as many prefer a wider term "Vaishnavism", which appeared to relate to Vishnu, more specifically as Vishnu-ism.In Vishnu-centered sects Vishnu or Narayana is the one supreme God.Rama, Krishna, Narayana, Vāsudeva, Hari, Vithoba, Kesava, Madhava, Govinda and Jagannath are among the popular names used for the same supreme.Vaishnavism originates in the latest centuries BCE and the early centuries CE, as an amalgam of the heroic Krishna Vasudeva, the "divine child" Bala Krishna of the Gopala traditions, and syncretism of these non-Vedic traditions with the Mahabharata canon, thus affiliating itself with Vedism in order to become acceptable to the orthodox establishment.Vaishnavism (Vaishnava dharma) is one of the major traditions within Hinduism along with Shaivism, Shaktism, and Smartism.