Vishnu is the Hindu god of preservation and goodness, the main deity of Vaisnavism. He is considered as the most important figure of the “Trimurti” the divine triad. Being the creator of the universe , it was he who decided to unfold into three facets, (three forms, sometimes inaccurately described as Hindu “Trinity”): Brahma (the Creator, in the mode of passion), Vishnu (the Preserver , in the mode of goodness) and Shiva (the Destroyer, in the mode of ignorance).
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- 1 Story
- 2 Paradise
- 3 Theological attributes
- 4 Description of Visnú
- 1 Maha-Visnú
- 2 Garbhodaka-shai Vishnu
- 3 Kshirodaka-shai Vishnu
- 4 Paramatman
- 5 Shalágram shilá
- 6 Ananta Shesha
- 7 Lakshmi, the consort
- 5 Worship
- 6 Avatars
- 7 Related Links
- 8 Sources
According to the Padma-purana , Visnú is the main god of the Trimurti, that is, he is the creator, preserver and destroyer of the Universe : when Visnú decided to create the Universe he divided himself into three parts. To create he gave his right side, giving rise to the god Brahma . To protect he gave his left side, originating Vishnu (that is, himself) and finally, to destroy he divided his half into two parts, giving rise to Shiva .
For Hindus, Visnú incarnated in India in the form of various avatars. Two of the most important and best known are Rama and Krishna . It is the seventh and eighth avatar respectively. Of course, there are differences in the conception of these beliefs according to the different religions.
For Krishnaism , Krishna is actually the form of the chief god, and Vishnu arose from him like all other Hindu gods.
Rama, for his part, is known as the god who was born to save India from the demon Ravana. He is the son of King Dásharath, who conceived him after making a fire sacrifice, and he has three brothers who are born at the same time as him from the other two wives of the king. He was banished from the kingdom by the ambition of one of those stepmothers, who wanted his son to be the heir to the throne. For 14 years he remained in the forest, until Rávana kidnaps Sita, his consort. Ravana was the king of the island of Sri Lanka , with ten heads. Rama, by killing this demon and recovering Sita, represents the values of good husband and good king.
Visnú lives in a paradise known as Vaikuntha, where everything is gold and precious stones. From there it is believed that the Ganges River rises from its divine feet and flows to Earth .
Vishnu has six divine glories:
- gñana (knowledge)
- aishwaria (supernatural powers):
- cheer up: (get smaller)
- laghiman: (lose weight)
- mahiman: (enlarge)
- prapti: (reach [anything])
- prakamya: (get what you want)
- vasitva: (control over others)
- isitva: (superiority, supremacy)
- kama vasayitva: (quality of suppressing desires)
speed of thought
power of transformism
power to expand or explain
shakti (energy, power)
Their vehicle is Garuda , the bird god.
He is usually represented as a human-shaped being, blue skinned and four arms holding a padma (lotus flower, whose aroma gives pleasure to Vishnuist devotees), a sudarshaná chakrá (a disk similar to that used by ninjas , which Vishnú uses to cut his throat to demons), a shankhá (conch shell, whose sound in India represented victory after killing an enemy) and a golden mace (to crush the skull of demons). He is frequently seen sitting, resting on a lotus flower, with his consort Laksmi sitting on one of his knees.
Maha-Vishnú (the great Vishnú) is its greatest aspect, and the one in charge of creating all the universes. He lies down in a place in the Vaikunta spiritual world and his dream is called yoga nidra (yogic dream). From his body emanate (like particles) the millions of material universes. While sleeping, he dreams of the activities of all living things. According to Adwaite philosophy, the impersonal Brahman (God without form or qualities) is the origin of all forms of God . Instead, according to the Vaisnavas, the Brahman is only the brahma-yioti effulgence (divine brightness) that emanates from the body of the forms of Vishnu.
Within each matter universe generated from the body of Maha Vishnu, he expands and lies down at the bottom of each universe (imagined as an egg at the bottom of which there is an ocean). That expansion is called Garbhodakasayi Vishnú.
The Hindus believed that the Earth was flat, and that it was not just another star. In it there was an ocean of salty water, which surrounded India , and then several concentric oceans unreachable by human beings: fresh water, milk , fried butter , honey , etc.). There is another expansion of Vishnu lying in the ocean of milk.
That Vishnu also expands to be present within each body occupied by the great number of souls. It is called Parama-atman (super soul).
There is a form of Vishnu as a deity, which is a generally black and spherical stone (actually a fossil of amanita), which is called a shalágram shilá.
The thousand-headed serpent Ananta Shesha is an expansion of Vishnu as a servant, to serve himself.
Lakshmi, the consort
Vishnu’s consort is Lakshmí-deví, the Goddess of fortune. This sakti (energy) is the samvit (complete knowledge) of the god, while the other five attributes arise from this samvit. Sakti is the ahamata (personality and activity) of Vishnu. She is personified in Hindu folklore and is called Sri or Laknmi. It is manifested in: kriya-sakti (creative activity), and bhuti-sakti (creation) of God.
Vishnu cannot be part of his own energy or creativity (ahamta). Therefore he needs his consort the goddess Laksmi to be with him always, untouched by anyone else. So the goddess has to accompany Vishnu in all her incarnations.
Vishnu is the main god of Vaisnavism. Hinduists today believe that Vishnu was incarnated in India as various avatars. He is frequently worshiped in the form of those avatars. It is not clear when or how the worship of Vishnu began. In the Vedás (compilations of the beliefs of the Aryans), Vishnú is classified as a minor god, closely associated with Indra . Only later in Hindu mythology did he become a member of the Trimurti and ultimately the most important of the deities of that religion.
Vishnu with his avatars .
Parashurama : (the god Rama of the ax): incarnation as a brahmana who killed thousands of Chatrian warriorswho had strayed from the path of religion.
Ramachandra : (moon-pleasure): king of Aiodia and husband of Sita . The abduction of this (like that of Helen of Troy ) generated the war that is related in the Ramaiana .
Vamana : dwarf. Vishnu in the form of a dwarf.
Krishna : (the Black or the Attractive) appeared in the dwapara iugá era, along with his brother Balarama . According to the Bhágavat-purana , Balarama appeared together with Krisna as the embodiment of the divine serpent Ananta Sesha .
Trivikrama : the one with the three great steps.
Varaja : gigantic pig that discovered Earth sniffing the muddy bottom of the universe , and that relocated it to its fixed place in the center of the universe.