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Vishnu, aka: Viṣṇu, Visnu; 10 Definition(s)

Vishnu means something in Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism Check out some of the following descriptions and leave a comment if you want to add your own contribution to this article:

9 Definition(s) from various sources:

Viṣṇu is the name given to the cohesive or centripetal tendency of the universe — the Sattva Guṇa. It pervades all existence and is therefore known as "Viṣṇu".  The name can be derived from the roots viṣviṣṇāti — to spread. viṣviṣati — to enter into or from viṣti viveṣṭi — to surround = all these are expressions of pervasion.

In terms of consciousness Viṣṇu is identified with the dream-state (svapna) where things are conceived of as archetypes or prototypes prior to their manifestation. He is the abstract concept of all things whereas Brahmā is their realization in perishable materials.

Viṣṇu is the inner cause, the unseen power by which all things exist. Brahma is concerned with the outer material manifestation of all things, but Viṣṇu is their inner essence. Viṣṇu is the principle of duration and the power that holds the cosmos together. He is therefore the goal of all spiritual and religious paths.

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Viṣṇu (विष्णु, “All-pervading”):—One of the twenty-four forms of Viṣṇu through which Nārāyaṇa manifests himself. He is accompanied by a counterpart emanation of Lakṣmī who is named Dhṛti.

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Viṣṇu (विष्णु):—One of the male offspring from Mahāsarasvatī (sattva-form of Mahādevī). Also known as Kṛṣṇa, Hṛṣīkeśa, Vāsudeva and Janārdana. Mahāsarasvatī is one of the three primary forms of Devī, the other two being Mahālakṣmī and Mahākālī. Not to be confused with Sarasvatī, she is a more powerful cosmic aspect (vyaṣṭi) of Devi and represents the guṇa (universal energy) named sattva. Also see the Devī Māhātmya, a Sanskrit work from the 5th century, incorporated into the Mārkaṇḍeya-Purāṇa.

Added: 15.Oct.2015 | Wisdom Library: Shaktism
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One of the hands that indicate the forms which accord with the character and actions of Brahmā and other Devas.—Viṣṇu: Tripatāka with both hands.

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Vishnu is the all-pervading and awe-inspiring ruler of matter and spirit. He is the God of all gods. For fear of the Lord, the sun shines; the wind blows; the fire burns; the rains pour; the stars twinkle; and the sun, the moon, the stars, and the earth move and hold their relative positions in the firmament. Such is the power of His Rta, the cosmic law, which He wrote. He remains unseen, unknown and beyond comprehension but is felt everywhere. His signature is seen in chaos, cosmos, and creation. He holds in Him Time, Death and māyā.

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("pervader"). Major deity and member of Hindu trinity with Brahma and Shiva. Seen as the preserver of the universe and embodiment of goodness and mercy. To Vaisnavites, Vishnu is the supreme deity (Isvara) who becomes incarnate in times of crisis and declining dharma. Vishnu is usually depicted standing, holding weapons, or reclining on a serpent.

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Vishnu (विष्‍णु): A form of God, to whom many Hindus pray. For Vaishnavas, He is the only Ultimate Reality or God. In Trimurti belief, He is the second aspect of God in the Trimurti (also called the Hindu Trinity), along with Brahma and Shiva. Known as the Preserver, He is most famously identified with His Avatars, especially Krishna and Rama.

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Vishnu is the protective aspect of the supreme trinity. He is the entity that is most often involved in mortal affairs. Some say he was created by Shiva, others say that he arose out of the cosmic void. Laxmi is his consort. His abode is Vaikunta. He is usually depicted as resting on a giant snake, Adisesha, which is itself floating in an ocean of milk.

He has undertaken ten avatars(incarnations), each to achieve a specific purpose, to avert a specific calamity facing either mankind or the Devas. There are more than ten incarnations attributed to him, but only ten of them are considered major. The list of such avatars varies a bit in different sources. For more about his incarnations, see 'Incarnations of Vishnu'.

He is called the 'brother of Indra', since he was born as a son of Aditi in his Vamana avatar. He is described as being ever desirous of helping the Devas, and an enemy of their half-brothers, the Asuras. He is dark-colored, with mega-varnam (cloud-hued), being one of his epithets. He is generally depicted as having four arms, holding a Sudharshana Chakra (discus), conch, lotus and a mace respectively.

His consort is Laxmi, who is said to have arisen from the ocean of milk in Vaikunta, when it was churned by the Devas and Asuras to obtain Amrit. His followers are known as Vaishnavaite, and many of them wear the 'namam' on their forehead.

Added: 24.Jun.2012 | Apam Napat: Indian Mythology
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One of the 108 names of Krishna; Meaning: "All Prevailing Lord"

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The Hindu god Vishnu is a preserver and maintainer of order in the universe. In times of spiritual and political decline, Vishnu descends on earth in an incarnation. In the great flood Vishnu took the form of a fish (Matsya) to save primeval man and the sacred Vedas.

Added: 13.Oct.2011 | Lessing Photo Archive: Hinduism
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