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The preserver and protector of the world Lord Vishnu is one of the principal Hindu deities.


Vishnu



Unique Attributes : Preserver, protector, calmness and patience
Other Names : Narayan, Badrinath, Adinath, Hari, Jagannatha, Kesava, Padmanabha, Siddhartha
Consort : Laxmi Ji
Primary Scriptures : Vishnu Purana, Vishnu Sahasranama
Abode : Vaikuntha Dham
Mula Mantra : Om Namoh Bhagwate Vasudevaya

In the Bhagvat Gita it is mentioned that whenever evil begins to flourish on earth, god incarnates on earth as a human to annihilate the evil forces. Lord Sri Vishnu being the preserver and sustainer of life on Earth has had nine avatars (incarnations) as a living being; the most famous of which are of Lord Rama and Krishna. Lord Vishnu constitutes the trinity of Hindu gods including Brahma and Shiva. Sri Vishnu the restorer of 'Dharma' is the supreme lord of the biggest Hindu cult 'Vaishanavism' and temples dedicated to the lord are found spread across the length and breadth of the country.

Lord Vishnu is often depicted in a reclining position on the ferocious naga Shesha floating in cosmic water. This pose of Sri Hari is a symbol of the calmness and righteousness with which the Lord carries out his function of a preserver and sustainer. He is often represented to be of dark blue color the color of clouds, and with four arms holding different things making his role as a sustainer clear. Sri Hari's skin color is a symbol of the divinity and cosmic character associated with the lord. In one hand he is shown holding a lotus, in the second a conch (shankh), in the third a discus (sudarshan chakra) and in the fourth one a mace (gada). The lotus symbolizes the beauty of life; the discus the brightness of sun to remove darkness by exterminating evil, the mace represents power and knowledge and finally the conch stands for the sound of 'Om', Goddess Lakshmi, pureness & perfection and the cosmic waters.

Lord Sri Hari is known by innumerable names and about a thousand names of the lord are given in 'Vishnu Sahasranama'. His consort is the beautiful goddess of wealth Lakshmi Ji with whom he resides in Baikuntha or Vaikuntha. His vahan (vehicle) is the Garuda (eagle) on whom he is often depicted riding to Vaikunth. Lord Vishnu is hailed as the Supreme Being - Ishvara by Vaishnavites and is prayed in the other forms he manifested himself on earth. It is believed that Lord Vishnu is an eternal immortal spirit which permeated even before the creation of Universe in primeval waters.