July 25, 2024

Vaishnavism is the three principal denominations of Hinduism and Lord Vishnu is the Supreme God of the Vaishnavites. Vishnu is also one of the three supreme deities or the Trimurthi of Hinduism. The other names of Vishnu are Narayana and Hari and are considered as the Preserver or the Protector within the Trimurthi. As per the Hindu texts, Vishnu is dark complexioned and have four arms. He holds the lotus flower in the lower left hand, the mace ( Kaumodaki gada) in lower right hand, the conch which is called Panchajanya Shankhs in the upper left hand and the Sudarshana Chakra (discus) in the upper right hand. The milky white conch spreads the primal sound of Om; chakra is a reminder of the cycle of time which he used against wickedness, lotus stands for the glorious existence and the gada is punishment for indiscipline.

Out of the navel of Lord Visnu, blossoms a lotus called Padmanabham and this is the flower which holds Brahma, the God of Creation and personification of royal virtues or Rajoguna. The peaceful form of Lord Vishnu remove the royal virutes through his navel and the Sheshnag(snake) stands for the vices of darkness or Tamoguna, his seat. This is why Lord Vishnu is the Lord of Satoguna (virtues of truth). Lord Vishnu is a peace loving God and is the preserver of life with his persistent values of order, virtue and truth. Vishnu materializes out of his transcendence to reinstate peace and order on earth because the qualities of order, truth and righteousness are under threat in this world. Lord Vishnu has 10 Avatars ( incarnation) and they are Matsya(fish), Koorma ( tortoise), Varaaha (boar), Narasimha ( man-lion combination), Vaamana ( the dwarf), Parsurama ( the angry man), Lord Ram, Lord Balarama, Lord Krishna and Kalki. Budha is also considered as one of the avatars of Vishnu by some and this is much later addition, after the concept of Dashavatara was developed.