He preserves the world's divine order.He is the infinite ocean of the universe,from which the world originates. Water is his symbol, and he is depicted lying or seated on water. He is called Narayana,'he who lies on water'.Symbolising water,the seven-headed snake,Ananta or Shesha,accompanies and protects him. He rides the eagle Garuda,which often has the shape of a man with eagle's wings and beak. In his four hands Vishnu holds a conch, with which he proclaims his victory over demons; a discus, which he twirls-the invincible arm which he hurls at his enimies; a golden mace,which symbolises his royal power;and a lotus ,symbol of purity. Vishnu's sign is a 'V',found on walls of temples dedicated to him and drawn with sandalwood paste on his devotees' forehead. He is also called Hari(the saviour).
Vishnu's main task is to peserve the divine order. If this is disturbed,he descends to earth(avatar) taking the form required by the occasion.In the concept of avatar is manifested the remarkable capacity of Hinduism for absorption and adaptation:historical personages like the Buddha,Christ and,according to some,Mahatma Gandhi are without difficulty dentified with the divine presence. The ten avatars of Vishnu known until now are: Matsya,the fish:it saved humanity's forebears from the flood. Kurma,the tortoise:it took the nectar of immortality from the ocean.The gods sat on it while churning the ocean of milk. Varaha,the wildboar,it saved the earth from demons who had plunged the planet into the ocean. Narasimha,the man-lion:it destroyed the demon Hiranyakashyapu whom Brahma had rashly made invincible by any god, man or animal. Vamana,the dwarf: he took back sovereignty over the earth and heavens from the King Bali.The latter was permitted to return to earth once a year. Parasuram: Rama carrying the axe. He came to help the Brahmin caste defend itself against the Kshatriyas. Ramachandra: Rama, hero of the Ramayana. Krishna: the most popular avatar. He is an entirely different kind of god,appearing as such in the Bhagvat Gita. He is the darling of Hindu mithology, and is regarded by some not as an avtar but as Vishnu himself.A cult figure in his own right, his worshiper's intensity equals or surpasses that of the Vishnu or Shiva cults.Stories of his amazing childhood delight Indians.Accounts of his adolescence portray him as a teasing child,stealing girl's clothes as they bathe in the river. He is also the cowherd whom the gopis (young coeherdesses) adore.He neglects his beloved,Radha,to chase other women.The loves of Radha and Krishna are narrated in a twelfth century poem,the Gita Govinda. His body and face are blue, the colour of the endless ocean and infinite space.He is often depicted holding a flute in his hands, as cowherds do.The most commonly described episode of his childhood shows him lifting Mount Govardhana up with one finger to protect villagers from a vengeful storm unleashed by Indra,the god of the skies. Buddha:the ninth avatar. Kalki:Vishnu's last incarnation,who will appear on a white horse at the end of the Kali Yuga,the dark age through which we are passing. The corrupted world will be destroyed and Vishnu will rebuild a new world. The development of the avatars from fish to man ,passing by the wildboar and dwarf,symbolises the transformation of mankind.
VISHNU - NARAYAN HI VISHNU HARI - naarayaNa ho ivaYNaau hro\ .
Baja mana naarayaNa naarayaNa naarayaNa .
OM JAI JAGADISH HAREE SAWAMI JAI JAGADISH HAREE
! jaya jagaidSa hro svaamaI jaya jagaidSa hro .
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