Vishnu, Preserver of the Universe

Vishnu is called “the Preserver of the Universe.” He is said to be omnipresent and without shape, but is usually shown as crowned, four-armed, and blue (the color of clouds full of water); wearing earrings, with a jewel and a garland of flowers around his neck; holding a mace, chakra, lotus, shankha (conch used as a trumpet); and resting on Ananta, the infinite, immortal snake.

Vishnu and Shiva often cooperated in their exploits, and sometimes lines became blurred as to which one was which, resulting in, among other things, the god HariHara, half Vishnu (blue) and half-Shiva (white).

Vishnu’s vehicle is Garuda, the eagle, and he is commonly depicted as riding on his shoulders.

Vishnuvishvarupa, Vishnu in his universal form.
source

 

“Kurma Avatar of Vishnu, holding up mount Mandara, during Samudra manthan, with snake Vasuki wrapped around, circa 1870, Uttar Pradesh, India.”
source

 

Garuda murthi (similar to an idol) in Mayapur, India.
source

 

Harihara is a god who combines Vishnu (Hari) and Shiva (Hara).
source

 

Vishnu reclining on the Shesha Naga with his consort Lakshmi pressing his feet, circa 1870.
source

 

A Burmese representation of Vishnu (Beikthano) on his mount (vehicle), the Garuda.
source

 

Narayana (Vishnu) riding on Garuda with Shri Lakshmi, watercolor, circa 1730.
source

 

One of Vishnu’s weapons, the chakra (discus), is shown personified here as Ayudhapurusha. Religions seem to have confusion about what is the god and what is the god’s weapons or vehicle(s).
source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *