Indian Mythology


Who is Vishnu?

Vishnu is one of the three most important deities of classical Hinduism, each of whom some Hindus would consider to be embodiments of the unknowable Absolute, Brahman. Vaishnavism is the form of bhakti (devotion) in which Vishnu is seen as the supreme deity. In the early Vedas, Vishnu was a minor figure, but in the Brahma/Vishnu/Shiva triad he is the preserver or sustainer of creation. In the Puranic period, Vishnu became even more powerful, creating Brahma, the creator, from the lotus growing from his navel, and, for his followers, even surpassing Shiva in importance. The power of Vishnu is evident in the myth of the Churning of the Ocean of Milk. Vishnu’s skin is dark blue and he has at least four arms. For transportation he rides on the sun eagle Garuda. His primary wives are Sri and Lakshmi, often considered as one (Sri-Lakshmi). He has many earthly incarnations or avatars, the most important of which are Rama and Krishna.


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