Lord Vishnu is one of the three major gods of Hinduism which includes Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. In Hinduism, these three supreme deities had created the entire life, universe, and everything which we can see and cannot see with our eyes. Each of these three gods has a particular role which they carried to make this universe according to Purana’s. Lord Brahma is the supreme creator of the universe. In Vedas, the role of the Lord Brahma is metaphorically considered as the first Engineer to create everything, leaves, trees, mountains, rivers, planet, star and the whole universe. And here comes the role of Lord Vishnu. To protect humans and to keep the cycle of nature running that is the Lord Vishnu is considered as the preserver of nature. As a preserver, he had taken many avatars on earth to protect the human race from the evil forces and to restore the order of nature. Some of the Hindus believe that the presence of Lord Vishnu is in every force of creation and in every object of nature. The role of Lord Shiva is to destroy everything when there is the sustainability of the evil forces and also the order of nature is broken. So to set up again the whole thing the role of Lord Shiva comes into existence.
Birth of Lord Vishnu
There are many stories in Vedas and Puranas related to the origin of Lord Vishnu. In Shiva Purana, it is stated that the Lord Vishnu originated when Lord Shiva rubbed some nectar on his ankle. And after the origin of Vishnu it leads to the origin of the entire universe. However, there is always an argument whether an Intelligence created this World or, the World led to the creation of Intelligence. Swami Vivekananda one of the greatest monk of Hinduism had stated wonderfully about the creation of the Universe and Intelligence – “Indian philosophy goes beyond both Intelligence as well as Matter and describes a Purush, or Self, of whom Intelligence is but the borrowed light – This Adipurush or Original Being, according to the Bhagavata Purana, is the Supreme Lord Vishnu.”
Appearance of Lord Vishnu
The Lord Vishnu is a male having four arms two in front and the others are on the back. The two arms in the front indicate his presence in the materialistic world and the rear two indicates his presence in the spiritualistic world. Lord Vishnu rests on a huge snake called Ananta. Around his neck, a garland of flowers called Vanamala is placed and also he wore an auspicious jewel called “Kaustubha”. The lord Lakshmi which is considered to be the goddess of wealth is his consort. There is also a mark of Shreevatsaon. He wore two earrings which represent inherent opposites in creation such as happiness and unhappiness; pleasure and pain; knowledge and ignorance.
On his head is a crown which symbolizes the supreme authority. The upper right-hand consist of “Sudarshana” and it is like a sharp, spinning, discus-like a weapon. The word Sudarshana is derived from the two words ‘Su’ and ‘Darshana’ which means superior or good and vision or sight. The chakra symbolizes the awakening of the true nature of the soul by the destruction of the ego. On the upper left hand of the Vishnu consist of ‘Panchajanya’ it is like a conch shell or Shankha which indicated the power to maintain and create a universe. The Panchajanya is also known as ‘Panchabhoota’ which means the five elements –earth, air, fire, sky or space, and water. And the shell represents the sound of continuity and creation.
The lower left hand of the Lord Vishnu consists of the Padma which is a lotus flower. The flower symbolizes the source from which the individual soul emerges and the universe. The unfolding of the spiritual consciousness within the individual, purity and Divine perfection is also represented by my lotus flower. On the lower right-hand consist of “Kaumodaki” which also known as Gada. It indicates the source of all spiritual, mental and physical strength is the Vishnu’s divine power. It also indicates the destruction of the demonic tendencies that prevent people from reaching god.
All 10 Avatars of Lord Vishnu
When humanity is threatened by evil forces and there is disorder in the universe the Lord Vishnu will come into the world in one of his incarnations to restore the righteousness in the universe. This is written in Bhagwat Gita. The incarnation of Lord Vishnu is known as avatars. According to Hindu scriptures, there is a total of ten avatars that Lord Vishnu had taken and will take in the future. The ten avatars of Lord Vishnu are called as dasavatara (10 avatars). Each of his avatars has a different purpose to serve for the order of the universe and also had a different form. After there specific purpose had been served they again go back to Vaikuntha (The celestial home of the Hindu god). The avatars are not random. Each avatar of Lord Vishnu had taken place when the world needed them the most. The avatars of Lord Vishnu’s are described below according to the order in which they had taken place.
• Matsya Avatar – The Fish
• Kurma Avatar – The Tortoise
• Varaha Avatar – The Boar
• Narasimha Avatar – The Lion
• Vamana Avatar – The Dwarf
• Parashurama Avatar – The Angry Man
• Lord Rama Avatar – The Perfect Man
• Lord Krishna Avatar – The Divine Statesman
• Buddha Avatar – The Perfect Man
• Kalki Avatar – The Mighty Warrior