Vishnu is the second god in the Hindu triumvirate (orTrimurti). The triumvirate consists of three gods who are responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the world. The other two gods are Brahma and Shiva.
Brahma is the creator of the universe and Shiva is the destroyer. Vishnu is the preserver and protector of the universe.
His role is to return to the earth in troubled times and restore the balance of good and evil. So far, he has been incarnated nine times, but Hindus believe that he will be reincarnated one last time close to the end of this world.
Vishnu's worshippers, usually called Vaishnava, consider him the greatest god. They regard the other gods as lesser or demi gods. Vaishnava worship only Vishnu. Vishnu monotheism is called Vaishnavism.
What do the ancient texts say about Vishnu?
In the Rig Veda, which is the holiest of the four Vedas, Vishnu is mentioned numerous times alongside other gods, such as Indra.
He is particularly associated with light and especially with the Sun. In early texts, Vishnu is not included as one of the original seven solar gods (Adityas), but in later texts he is mentioned as leading them.
From this time, Vishnu appears to have gained more prominence, and by the time of the Brahmanas (commentaries of the Vedas), he is regarded as the most important of all gods.
Two of Vishnu's incarnations, Rama and Krishna, are also the subject of the epic stories Ramayana and Mahabharata, respectively.
What does Vishnu look like?
Vishnu is represented with a human body, often with blue coloured skin and with four arms. His hands always carry four objects in them, representing the things he is responsible for. The objects symbolise many more meanings than are presented here:
The conch: the sound this produces 'Om', represents the primeval sound of creation
The chakra, or discus: symbolises the mind
The lotus flower: an example of glorious existence and liberation
The mace: represents mental and physical strength
Vishnu is usually represented in two positions.
Standing upright on a lotus flower with Lakshmi, his consort, close by him
Reclining on the coils of a serpent, with Lakshmi massaging his feet. They are surrounded by the Milky Ocean.
Vishnu rides on the King of Birds, Garuda, who is an eagle.
What are Vishnu's incarnations?
Vishnu has appeared in various incarnations nine times on this earth, with the tenth predicted.
Some Hindus believe that this is the similar to the biblical representation of Noah
Churning of the Ocean
In this avatar, Vishnu recovered the stolen Vedas
Narasimha (half lion, half man)
Vishnu managed to vanquish a demon who had gained immunity from attacks from man, beast or god
Vamana (dwarf sage with the ability to grow)
In this story, the evil demon Bali had taken over the earth and had pushed all of the gods from the heavens as well. Vishnu took the form of a dwarf, who tricked Bali into giving him as much of Bali's empire as he could cover in three steps. Vishnu as Vamana grew so large that with one step he had covered the earth, with the second the heavens, thus returning the ownership to the gods.
Parasurama (fierce man/hunter)
Vishnu rids the earth of irreligious and sinful monarchs
Rama (greatest warrior/ideal man)
As Rama, he kills the demon King Ravana, who abducted his wife Sita
Krishna (mentally advanced man)
Krishna is the hero of the Mahabharata, an epic poem. He also delivered his famous message, known as the Baghavad Gita.
Buddha (the all knowing one)
who appeared in the 5th century BCE. In some traditions, Balarama replaces Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu.
Expected towards the end of this present age of decline, as a person on earth, seated on a white horse.
This statue represents the 9th Avatar
Good vintage condition, see pictures.
Insured shipping with Track ID
- Vishnu Bronzen Beeld
- Tweede helft 20e eeuw
- Regio / land van herkomst
- Goede staat, zie beschrijving
- 10×16×9 cm