Vishnu – The Preserver

ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय नमः

Vishnu (विष्णु)– The Rajsik – The Preserver - Maintains Balance

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Vishnu, the 2nd God of the Hindu Trimurti, is the Preserver of the universe representing mercy and goodness.

Vishnu represents the kingly (rajsik) – dream, thought, action, character, and destiny – way.

He ever takes birth to remove imbalance between good and evil on the earth.

He is the cosmic ocean nara (water) and so is also known as Narayana, or "one who moves on the waters".

Vishnu is represented with four arms holding:

1. a mace (gada) symbolizing power

2. a conch shell (sankha) indicating spread of the divine sound "Om"

3. a discus (Chakra) - a reminder of the wheel of time

4. a lotus (Kamal) - example of glorious existence

He is Pitambara - dressed in yellow. River Ganga originates from Vishnu's feet and he:

• rests on a coiled serpent (Seshnaga or Ananta) - representing the sleeping universe floating on the cosmic ocean

• rides on Garuda (spreading the Vedic knowledge)

• holds the Sudarshana Chakra – discus - his weapon

 

Vishnu's consort is Lakshmi - the goddess of wealth and fortune.

His dark colour represents the passive and formless ether.

He is also known as Hari - the remover.

The two most recent and well known incarnations are Lord Ram and Lord Krishna. The shaanta-kaaram mantra is a prayer in praise of the various attributes of Lord Vishnu, whose many incarnations have graced the earth over the millenia. 

shaanta-kaaram bhujaga-shayanam padma-naabham suresham

vishwa-dhaaram gagana-sadrisham megha-varanam shubhaangam.

lakshmi-kaantam kamala-nayanam yogi-bhi-dhyaana-agamyam

vande vishnum bhava-bhaya-haram sarva-lokaika-naatham.

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