40 Facts About Vishnu


Vishnu is the supreme being within Vaishnavism, one of the major traditions within contemporary Hinduism.

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Vishnu is known as "The Preserver" within the Trimurti, the triple deity of supreme divinity that includes Brahma and Shiva.

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In Vaishnavism, Vishnu is the supreme being who creates, protects, and transforms the universe.

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Vishnu is one of the five equivalent deities in Panchayatana puja of the Smarta tradition of Hinduism.

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Whenever the world is threatened with evil, chaos, and destructive forces, Vishnu descends in the form of an avatar to restore the cosmic order, and protect dharma.

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Vishnu is typically shown with four arms, but two armed representations are found in Hindu texts on artworks.

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Rarely, Vishnu is depicted bearing the bow Sharanga or the sword Nandaka.

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Vishnu is depicted with the Kaustubha gem in a necklace and wearing Vaijayanti, a garland of forest flowers.

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Vishnu iconography show him either in standing pose, seated in a yoga pose, or reclining.

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The avatars of Vishnu descend to empower the good and to destroy evil, thereby restoring Dharma and relieving the burden of the Earth.

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Vishnu is a popular Hindu deity among Tamilians in Tamil Nadu, as well among the Tamil diaspora.

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Vishnu is a Rigvedic deity, but not a prominent one when compared to Indra, Agni and others.

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Vishnu is described in the Vedic literature as the one who supports heaven and earth.

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Vishnu's distinguishing characteristic in Vedas is his association with light.

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In other hymns of the Rigveda, Vishnu is a close friend of Indra.

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Several hymns of the Rigveda repeat the mighty deed of Vishnu called the Trivikrama, which is one of the lasting mythologies in Hinduism since the Vedic times.

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Vishnu is described to be permeating all object and life forms, states S Giora Shoham, where he is "ever-present within all things as the intrinsic principle of all", and the eternal, transcendental self in every being.

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Vishnu is the primary focus of the Vaishnavism-focused Puranas genre of Hindu texts.

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One version of the cosmology, for example, states that Vishnu's eye is at the Southern Celestial Pole from where he watches the cosmos.

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Vishnu Purana discusses the Hindu concept of supreme reality called Brahman in the context of the Upanishads; a discussion that the theistic Vedanta scholar Ramanuja interprets to be about the equivalence of the Brahman with Vishnu, a foundational theology in the Sri Vaishnavism tradition.

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Vishnu is equated with Brahman in the Bhagavata Purana, such as in verse 1.

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The Puranic legends of Vishnu have inspired plays and dramatic arts that are acted out over festivals, particularly through performance arts such as the Sattriya, Manipuri dance, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Bhagavata Mela and Mohiniyattam.

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Vishnu's iconography typically shows Brahma being born in a lotus emerging from his navel, who then is described as creating all the forms in the universe, but not the primordial universe itself.

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In contrast, the Shiva-focussed Puranas describe Brahma and Vishnu to have been created by Ardhanarishvara, that is half Shiva and half Parvati; or alternatively, Brahma was born from Rudra, or Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma creating each other cyclically in different aeons .

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In some Vaishnava Puranas, Vishnu takes the form of Rudra or commands Rudra to destroy the world, thereafter the entire universe dissolves and along with time, everything is reabsorbed back into Vishnu.

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Krishna as Vishnu avatar is the primary subject of two post-Sangam Tamil epics Silappadikaram and Manimekalai, each of which was probably composed about the 5th century CE.

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When Vishnu incarnated on the Earth as the avatars Rama and Krishna, Lakshmi incarnated as his respective consorts: Sita and Radha or Rukmini.

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Shiva and Vishnu are both viewed as the ultimate form of god in different Hindu denominations.

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Vishnu is referred to as Gorakh in the scriptures of Sikhism.

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Vishnu is known as Upulvan or Upalavarna, meaning 'Blue Lotus coloured'.

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Some postulate that Uthpala varna was a local deity who later merged with Vishnu while another belief is that Utpalavarna was an early form of Vishnu before he became a supreme deity in Puranic Hinduism.

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John Holt states that Vishnu was one of the several Hindu gods and goddesses who were integrated into the Sinhala Buddhist religious culture, such as the 14th and 15th-century Lankatilaka and Gadaladeniya Buddhist temples.

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In Thailand, for example, statues of four-armed Vishnu have been found in provinces near Malaysia and dated to be from the 4th to 9th-century, and this mirror those found in ancient India.

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Similarly, Vishnu statues have been discovered from the 6th to 8th century eastern Prachinburi Province and central Phetchabun Province of Thailand and southern Ðong Thap Province and An Giang Province of Vietnam.

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In Japanese Buddhist pantheon, Vishnu is known as Bichu-ten, and he appears in Japanese texts such as the 13th century compositions of Nichiren.

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Vishnu rocks are a type of volcanic sediment found in the Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA.

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In Indonesia, Vishnu or Wisnu is a well-known figure in the world of wayang, Wisnu is often referred to as the title Sanghyang Batara Wisnu.

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Vishnu is the most powerful son of all the sons of Batara Guru.

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Vishnu once intended to become a Wimana to defeat Ditya Bali.

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The most significant Vishnu-related epigraphy and archaeological remains are the two 1st century BCE inscriptions in Rajasthan which refer to temples of Sankarshana and Vasudeva, the Besnagar Garuda column of 100 BCE which mentions a Bhagavata temple, another inscription in Naneghat cave in Maharashtra by a Queen Naganika that mentions Sankarshana, Vasudeva along with other major Hindu deities and several discoveries in Mathura relating to Vishnu, all dated to about the start of the common era.

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