Showing posts with label Trimurthy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trimurthy. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Is Lord Vishnu In The Hindu Pantheon?

 


Vishnu meaning the “all-pervasive” in Sanskrit, is one among the three most powerful deities in the Hindu pantheon, with Brahma, Shiva and the Goddess.

All three are significant for being largely unmentioned in the Vedas, the oldest Hindu religious books, and their rise, as well as the progressive eclipse of the Vedic gods, indicates a marked change in Hindu religious life.

Vishnu is the one who appears most often in the Vedas among the three.

Many hymns that mention him refer to him as a helper to Indra, the major Vedic deity, and one of Vishnu's epithets is Upendra ("junior Indra").

He also appears as an autonomous actor in certain late hymns, linked with wonderful works for the benefit of the cosmos, such as measuring out the universe in three steps.

Vishnu is also linked to the sun, both in terms of his ability to travel through the skies and his ability to fall on (and therefore "observe") everything.

Vishnu is the sustainer or maintainer of the universe, according to the holy trinity of Brahma Vishnu-Shiva.

Vishnu is pictured reclining on the back of his serpent couch, Shesha, in the primordial ocean at the moment of cosmic disintegration in one of the most prominent creation myths (pralaya).

Vishnu's navel produces a lotus, which opens to reveal Brahma, the creator, who starts the creation process.

When the time comes for disintegration, the whole process reverses, and the cosmos is pulled back into Vishnu, who is therefore considered as the source of everything.

The cosmos is also sustained by Vishnu's avatars or incarnations, who come into the world to restore balance to a universe that has been dangerously out of balance, generally as a result of an out of proportionally powerful demon.

There are 10 avatars as far as we know.

The Fish avatar, Tortoise avatar, Boar avatar, and Man-Lion avatar are the first four in nonhuman forms.

The other six are in human form, frequently as sages or heroes: Vamana avatar, Parashuram avatar, Rama avatar, Krishna avatar, Buddha avatar, and Kalki avatar.

In each of these instances, Vishnu takes on a physical form in order to avoid tragedy and preserve the cosmos' purity.

The theory of the avatars served as a means of assimilating existing deities into the broader pantheon while still granting them distinct status.

Although most of the avatars are no longer objects of devotion (the Boar and Man-Lion avatars each had a significant following early in the common period), Rama and Krishna's adoration has entirely exceeded that of Vishnu himself in most of northern India.

Vishnu is still revered throughout southern India, especially among Shrivaishnavas.

Apart from the avatar idea, notable local deities like as Jagannath, Venkateshvara, and Vithoba have all been absorbed into the pantheon as manifestations of Vishnu.

Vaishnavas and Shaivas established sectarian rivalry in medieval Hinduism, both claiming supremacy over their own deities (Vishnu and Shiva).

Despite the fact that Vaishnavas see Vishnu as the universe's highest force, his legendary persona and activities are vastly different from Shiva's.

Vishnu's headgear is a crown, and his persona is that of an all-ruling monarch, but Shiva is linked with ascetic life and practices (tapas) and hence with the religious force created by such acts.

Vishnu frequently succeeds by guile, ingenuity, and deceit, but Shiva eliminates his mythological enemies with sheer might, which is devoid of any finesse.

Each deity's followers recognize their divinity as the supreme force in the cosmos, from which all other gods get their power, and both are portrayed as kind and caring to their worshippers (bhakta).


Kiran Atma


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