Vishnu, aka: Viṣṇu, Visnu; 29 Definition(s)

Introduction

Vishnu means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Viṣṇu can be transliterated into English as Visnu or Vishnu, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) Viṣṇu (विष्णु) is a Sanskrit word referring to a deity. Acording to the Nāṭyaśāstra 1.88-93, when Brahmā, Indra and all other gods went to inspect the playhouse (nāṭyamaṇḍapa) designed by Viśvakarmā, he assigned different deities for the protection of the playhouse itself, as well as for the objects relating to dramatic performance (prayoga).

As such, Brahmā assigned Viṣṇu to the third section (joint/knot, parva) of the Jarjara (Indra’s banner staf). The protection of the playhouse was enacted because of the jealous Vighnas (malevolent spirits), who began to create terror for the actors.

2) Viṣṇu is also to be worshipped during raṅgapūjā, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra 3.1-8. Accordingly, the master of the dramatic art who has been initiated for the purpose shall consecrate the playhouse after he has made obeisance (eg., to Viṣṇu).

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

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.

Source: archive.org: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

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.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

1) 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 (an aspect of Devī) who goes by the name Dhṛti.

2) Viṣṇu (विष्णु) refers to an aspect of nṛsiṃha (‘man-lion’), according to the Vihagendra-saṃhitā 4.17, which mentions seventy-four forms (inlcuding twenty forms of vyūha). He is also known as Viṣṇunṛsiṃha or Viṣṇunarasiṃha. Nṛsiṃha is a Tantric deity and refers to the furious (ugra) incarnation of Viṣṇu.

The 15th-century Vihagendra-saṃhīta is a canonical text of the Pāñcarātra corpus and, in twenty-four chapters, deals primarely with meditation on mantras and sacrificial oblations.

Source: Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra

Viṣṇu (विष्णु) or Viṣṇusaṃhitā is the name of a Vaiṣṇava Āgama scripture, classified as a sāttvika type of the Muniprokta group of Pāñcarātra Āgamas. The vaiṣṇavāgamas represent one of the three classes of āgamas (traditionally communicated wisdom).—Texts of the Pāñcara Āgamas are divided in to two sects. It is believed that Lord Vāsudeva revealed the first group of texts which are called Divya and the next group is called Muniprokta which are further divided in to three viz. a. Sāttvika (eg., Viṣṇu-saṃhitā). b. Rājasa. c. Tāmasa.

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva (pancaratra)
Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Viṣṇu (विष्णु) is a Sanskrit name referring to one of the eight manifestations of Caṇḍa, who is a form of Bhairava. According to the Rudrayāmala, there are eight main forms of Bhairava who control the eight directions of this universe. Each form (eg., Caṇḍa) has a further eight sub-manifestations (eg., Viṣṇu), thus resulting in a total of 64 Bhairavas.

When depicting Viṣṇu according to traditional iconographic rules (śilpaśāstra), one should depcit him (and other forms of Caṇḍa) having a blue color and good looks; he should carry agni, śakti, gadā and kuṇḍa. The word Śilpaśāstra refers to an ancient Hindu science of arts and crafts, dealing with subjects such as painting, sculpture and iconography.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śilpa-śāstra

Viṣṇu (विष्णु) refers to one of the many varieties of the Śālagrāma (ammonite fossil stones).—The Viṣṇu stone has the size and shape of a bilva fruit, black in colour, a hole at the back (pṛṣṭha-chidra). . Śālagrāma stones are very ancient geological specimens, rendered rounded and smooth by water-currents in a great length of time. They (eg., Viṣṇu stones) are distinguished by the ammonite (śālā, described as “vajra-kīṭa”, “adamantine worms”) which having entered into them for residence, are fossilized in course of time, leaving discus-like marks inside the stone.

Source: archive.org: Pratima Kosa Encyclopedia of Indian Iconography - Vol 6

Viṣṇu (विष्णु) is the name of a deity once commonly worshipped in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) as mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—As regards the appearance and the weapons of Viṣṇu, the Nīlamata describes him as four-armed, four-faced, lotus-eyed, having a complexion like that of a blue lotus or white snow, wearing white or yellow clothes, a crown of jewels and also ear-rings. His weapons are conch, discus, club, lotus, sword and bow—the last one made of horn. He is waited upon by his weapons in human form also. He lies on the jewelled hood of Śeṣa with his lotus like feet placed in the lap of Lakṣmī. His mount is Garuḍa, the enemy of the Nāgas.

Source: archive.org: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study (silpa)

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.

Source: Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | Trinity

Viṣṇu (विष्णु) is a sculpture found at the temple of Vijayeśvara, at the northern side.—On the north side there are two niches and in both there are images of Viṣṇu with four arms. The first one displays a standing Viṣṇu with four arms holding in his upper hands: right cakra, left conch, lower right resting on the thigh and the lower left holding a round object which is identified as the earth by locals. He is decked with all usual ornaments. This image is beautiful because the carving is completed. The next image depicts also Viṣṇu but it is incomplete. Only three of his hands are seen with discus in the upper right and mace in the lower right, the lower left resting on the thigh. The upper left is incomplete. He wears a tiara but the image is yet to be completed and polished.

A sculpture of Viṣṇu is also found on the sixth pillar of the southern half of the maṇḍapa.—In the top medallion is seated Viṣṇu on Garuḍa. He is shown with four hands, having usual conch and discus in his upper left and right hands respectively. Of the lower two, the right is some gesture of holding something and the left is resting on his thigh. Garuḍa is seated in vīrāsana. By the side of Viṣṇu is a running river.

Source: Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (śilpa)

Viṣṇu (विष्णु) as depicted according to an image found in the Jondhalī Baug on the Ṭhāṇā-Āgrā.—From the weapons held in its hands, the image appears to be of the Śrīdhara type. It measures 125 cm. in height and is standing in the samabhaṅga pose. Viṣṇu holds the lotus, the discus, the mace and the conch in his hands and wears several necklaces and a torque. His yajñopavita and campakamālā are prominently seen. He has a high karaṇḍa-mukuṭa with a lotus prabhāvalī appearing behind it. He wears beautiful ear-ornaments, bracelets and anklets, and the folds of his lower garment are shown falling gracefully in front. He has a fine smile playing on his face. On the right is shown the donor of the image in the añjalimudrā, and on the left his wife with a pot full of sweets. By their side are seen two gaṇas holding musical instruments.

Source: What is India: Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras (shilpashastra)

Viṣṇu is the name of a deity depicted in the Thillai Nataraja Temple in Cidambaram (Chidambaram) which is one of the Pañcasabhā or “five halls where Śiva is said to have danced”.— Usually Viṣṇu is found in standing posture. It is rare to find Viṣṇu in sitting posture. But here he is found seated in sukhāsana/vīrāsana posture. He is found with four hands. The upper hands hold discus and conch in the right and the left in kartarīmukha-hasta. The lower right and the lower left hand are in abhaya and kaṭaka-hasta. The lower left hand holds a flower.

Viṣṇu is also depicted at Ramaswamy Temple in Kumbakonam (Kumbhakonam), representing a sacred place for the worship of Viṣṇu.—Viṣṇu is found seated on an elephant in sukhāsana posture. He is found with two hands. The right hand holds śakti and the left hand holds aṅkuśa. There is another sannidhi of Viṣṇu where he is found in standing posture. Viṣṇu is found with four hands. The upper right hand and the upper left hand hold cakra and sankhu respectively in kartarīmukha-hasta. The lower right and left hands are held in kaṭaka-hasta. In another sannidhi, Viṣṇu is found in standing posture with two hands. The right hand is held in abhaya-hasta and the left hand is in urū-hasta.

Viṣṇu is also depicted in the Subramanya Swamy Temple (or Subramaṇya Svāmi Temple) in Thiruparankundram or Parankundram (Paraṅkuṉṟam), representing a sacred place for the worship of Murugan.—Viṣṇu is represented with conch and discus in the upper right and left hands in kartarīmukha-hasta. The lower left hand is in kuvi-patāka (resting on the mace) and the lower right hand is in patāka hasta inverted. He is represented as the sthānaka mūrti here. In iconographic terms, Viṣṇu is represented with kartarīmukha in the upper hands. The lower left hand is in nidrā-hasta and the lower right hand is in abhaya-hasta. To the left of the Andarabharanar sannidhi, there are steps that go to the right of the main sanctum. There are steps that lead to the Ṣ anmukhan sannidhi.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Vishnu in Purana glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

Viṣṇu (विष्णु).—General information. Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara are the Lords of creation, sustenance and extermination of this perishable universe. These trimūrtis (three figures) also are perishable. It is said, that one day of Brahmā will constitute thousand four-fold (catur) yugas and that during the life of Brahmā, fourteen Indras will fall down from heaven and die. This is a Brahmā age. The ages of two Brahmās constitute the age of one Viṣṇu. At the end of the age Viṣṇu also will perish. The age of Śiva is double the age of Viṣṇu. Śiva also will perish at the end of his age. (Devī Bhāgavata, Skandha 5). (See full article at Story of Viṣṇu from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Viṣṇu (विष्णु) is the name of a deity once commonly worshipped in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) as mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—The Nīlamata, like other Vaiṣṇava Purāṇas, describes Viṣṇu as the highest god, praised and honoured even by Brahmā and Śiva. The ultimate cause of the universe, he pervades the whole universe and is always busy in rescuing the devotees from distress, showing them the right path, giving them boons and destroying the Dānavas.

Source: archive.org: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study

1a) Viṣṇu (विष्णु).—The name of the sun in the month of Ūrja (Kārtika);1 an Āditya and Lord of Ādityas;2 in the sun's chariot in Phālguna.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 11. 44; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 23. 20; Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 61, 66.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 24. 34; III. 3. 68; Matsya-purāṇa 6. 4; 171. 56. Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 15. 130.
  • 3) Ib. I. 22. 3; II. 10. 18.

1b) A god of Ābhūtaraya group.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 36. 56.

1c) (Uttamaśloka) worshipped for dharma. His abode above the position of seven sages, where is found the great Dhruva with others;1 different forms of; as Trivikrama broke aṇḍakaṭāha and let the Ganges in; as Sankarṣaṇa, worshipped by Śiva in Ilāvṛta; as Hayagrīva in Bhadrāśva country; as Nṛsimha in Harivarṣa; as Kāmadeva in Ketumālā; as Matsya in Ramyaka; as Kūrma in Hiraṇmaya; also Sānkhyanidarśana; as Varāha in Uttara Kuru country; also in the form of both Yajña and Kratu; as Sītārāma in Kimpuruṣa; as Naranārāyaṇa in Bhāratavarṣa; as Sūrya in Plakṣadvīpa; as Soma in Śālmali; as Agni in Kuśadvīpa; as a form of water in Krauñcadvīpa; as Vāyu in Śākadvīpa; as Brahmā in Puṣkaradvīpa.2 Propitiated by Dakṣa after his reconciliation with Śiva, Viṣṇu came to receive offerings in person in the form of yajña and was praised by all present including Brahmā and Śiva. He told Dakṣa that he was not different from Śiva or Brahmā.3 presented Pṛthu with Sudarśana and addressed him to befriend Indra, to be devoted to Him and to conduct himself righteously.4 His residence near Kṣīroda where he sleeps in yoga: vanquisher of Bali; saw a liṅga of effulgence and with Brahmā went down and up to know its origin and end, but could not get at that. Śiva's remark that his right and left arms were Brahmā and Viṣṇu. This is Mahāyāgam and Māheśvaram balam;5 cursed by Bhṛgu to take 10 (7 Matsya-purāṇa) incarnations on the earth; called Puruṣa and Yajña.6 In Svāyambhuva epoch was born of Ākūtī, in Svārociṣa, born of Tuṣitā as Ajita, in Uttama epoch, born of Satyā as Satya, in Tāmasa born of Hariṇī as Hari, in Vaivasvata, born of Kaśyapa and Aditī with the name Vaikuṇṭha.7 Overlord of Ādityas; gave peacock and fowl to Kumāra.8

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 3. 22; III. ch. 13 (whole); V. 22. 17; 23. 1.
  • 2) Ib. V. 17. 1 and 16; chh. 18-20 (whole);
  • 3) Ib. IV. 7. 18-54; 14. 26.
  • 4) Ib. IV. 15. 16; 20. 2-16, 31 [1-2].
  • 5) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 26. 2; 27. 22.
  • 6) Ib. III. 3. 85-106; 72. 3-17; Matsya-purāṇa 47. 99-103.
  • 7) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 107-122.
  • 8) Ib. III. 10. 46; 24. 6; 33. 15; 42. 48; 71. 176 and 262. Matsya-purāṇa 6. 4; 171. 56.

1d) A Bhārgava gotrakāra.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 195. 20.

1e) One of the nine sons of Sāvarṇi.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 100. 22.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Viṣṇu (विष्णु) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.33, I.29.3, I.59.16, I.65, VI.9.21, VIII.30.78, IX.44.4, IX.44.33) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Viṣṇu) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Katha (narrative stories)

Vishnu in Katha glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

Viṣṇu (विष्णु).—Viṣṇu, a deity of Ṛgveda is reborn in Puranic Pantheon and has acquired a new glory and boundless power. New epithets are given to him as for example, Hari, Trivikrama, Muraripu, Murāri, Caturbhuja, Upendra, Cakrapāṇi, Nanārdana, Kaṃsāri, Murajit, Acyuta, Śārṅgin, Kaiṭabhāri, Madhuripu and Asuradviṣ.

Viṣṇu in Ṛgveda is a sun deity, who like the sun takes three strides (vikrama) across the three kinds of space. There his weapon as a precursor of the later Cakra is a revolving wheel represented like the sun. The inferior position of Viṣṇu as a sun-deity in Ṛgveda is changed to one of supreme importance in the Brāhmaṇas, where he already assumes the form of a dwarf and rescues the earth from the Asuras in three strides.

Viṣṇu reclines on the couch formed hy Śeṣa, the thousand-hooded serpent. He is referred to as resting on the lap of Lakṣmī and waring on his chest a gem named Kaustubh and he is waited upon by the humble Garuḍa.

Source: Shodhganga: A critical appreciation of soddhalas udayasundarikatha
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Viṣṇu (विष्णु) has many manifestations namely Varadarāja Perumāl, Govindarāja Perumāl, Vaṭabhadra Śayana Perumāl, Kallalakar (Kallaḷakar), Śrīnivāsa, and many others; and the ten incarnations, namely Matsya, Kūrma, Varāha, Narasiṃha, Vāmana, Paraśurāma, Raghurāma, Balarāma, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and Kalki. The form of Viṣṇu is found in different ways. While viewing the sthānakmūrti of Viṣṇu, the perceiver experiences the karuṇā or mercy of the Lord. The face is so pleasant that one feels to sit at the feet of the Lord and just look into his eyes. The reclining posture of Viṣṇu also attracts the perceiver.

When a devotee prays to Viṣṇu, he/she experiences the mercy or grace of the Lord. The devotee recollects the stories where the lord has blessed his devotees. One such striking example is the gajendra-mokṣa (the rescue of the elephant). The devotee thinks that when the lord was so benevolent to an animal, then how much loving and caring will the lord be to his devotees who trust in Him. This great quality of God’s love for the devotees is a re-assuring factor for the devotee.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (vaishnavism)
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

One of the 108 names of Krishna; Meaning: "All Prevailing Lord"

Source: humindian: 108 names of Lord Krishna

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.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

1) Viṣṇu (विष्णु) is the name of a deity mentioned in the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter IV). Other individuals also know all the dharmas, e.g., Wei nieou (Viṣṇu) [in the language of Ts’in, Pien wen, ‘Univeral Eye’]: he has four arms (caturbhuja), holds a conch (śaṅka) and a wheel (cakra), and rides a golden-winged bird (garuda). All these gods are great guides (mahānāyaka). They cannot be omniscient. Why? Because their mind remains attached (abhiniviṣṭa) to hatred (dveṣa) and pride (abhhimāna).

2) Viṣṇu (विष्णु) refers to the deity that appears on the great waters (maha-apas) after the kalpa-fire according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV).—After the kalpa-fire, everything is empty (śūnya); then by the causal power of the merits of beings, the winds (vāyu) come from all the directions and, interacting and mixing with one another, they are able to support the great waters (mahāpas). On these waters there is a man with a thousand heads, two thousand arms and two thousand legs called Wei mieou (Viṣṇu).

From Viṣṇu’s navel (nābhi) comes a precious lotus, golden in color, with a thousand petals, the light and rays of which are like the combined light of a thousand suns. On this lotus there is seated cross-legged a man who, in turn, possesses an infinite light. He is called Fan t’ien wang (Brahmādevarāja) who mentally gives birth to eight sons who, in their turn, give rise to the heavens, the earth and people.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Viṣṇu (विष्णु) is the father of Śreyāṃsa, the eleventh of twenty-four Tīrthaṅkaras in Janism according to the Ācāradinakara (14th century work on Jain conduct written by Vardhamāna Sūri). A Tīrthaṅkara is an enlightened being who has conquered saṃsāra (cycle of birth and death), leaving behind him a path for others to follow.

The wife of Viṣṇu is Viṣṇu according to Śvetāmbara or Veṇudevī according to Digambara. It is an ancient Jain practice to worship the Tīrthaṅkara’s parents in various rites, such as the pratiṣṭhāvidhi.

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism
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context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geogprahy

Viṣṇu-worship in Rājasthān.—The Ghosundi Inscription of the 2nd century B.C., records the construction of a stone wall round the hall of worship of Sankarṣaṇa-Balarāma and Vāsudeva by Sarvatāta of Gaja family. The fact that Viṣṇu was worshipped as early as the 2nd century B. C., is known from this inscription. From this time onwards the sculptured art and images at various places in Rājasthān reveal that Viṣṇu in his several manifestations was a prominent deity of the Hindus.

Source: archive.org: Social Life In Medieval Rajasthan

Temples of Viṣṇu constructed by the Śilāhāra dynasty (r. 765-1215 A.D.).—The Śilāhāras of Koṅkaṇ were devotees of Śiva. Though they themselves built no temples of Viṣṇu, inscriptions of the age mention several shrines of the god erected by their officers and subjects. They are not, however, existing at present. But some images of Viṣṇu, either previously installed in them or meant for them, have been found. One of them was discovered in the Jondhalī Baug on the Ṭhāṇā-Āgrā road.

Source: What is India: Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

viṣṇu (विष्णु).—m (S) One of the Hindu triad, Vishn̤u. He is considered as the Preserver. The several Avatars are emanations from his essence, except that of kṛṣṇa, in whom he is held to have been wholly incarnate. He is represented as a mild and benevolent deity.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

viṣṇu (विष्णु).—m One of the Hindu triad.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Viṣṇu (विष्णु).—[viṣ vyāpane nuk Uṇ.3.39]

1) The second deity of the sacred Triad, entrusted with the preservation of the world, which duty he is represented to have duly discharged by his various incarnations; (for their descriptions see the several avatāras s. v. and also under avatāra); the word is thus popularly derived :यस्माद्विश्व- मिदं सर्वं तस्य शक्त्या महात्मनः । तस्मादेवोच्यते विष्णुर्विशधातोः प्रवेशनात् (yasmādviśva- midaṃ sarvaṃ tasya śaktyā mahātmanaḥ | tasmādevocyate viṣṇurviśadhātoḥ praveśanāt) ||.

2) Name of Agni; विष्णुर्नामेह योऽग्निः (viṣṇurnāmeha yo'gniḥ) Mb.3.221.12.

3) A pious man.

4) Name of a law-giver, author of a Smṛti called विष्णुस्मृति (viṣṇusmṛti).

5) Name of one of the Vasus.

6) The lunar mansion called Śravaṇa (presided over by Viṣṇu).

7) Name of the month चैत्र (caitra).

Derivable forms: viṣṇuḥ (विष्णुः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Viṣṇu (विष्णु).—(1) n. (i.e. probably an element in the compound name) of a large group of kings: prabhanāmā sahasrāṇi viṣṇunāmā tathaiva ca Mmk 625.24 (verse), thousands with names containing prabha, and also containing Viṣṇu; in 26 a single one of them, perhaps referred to as named Viṣṇu, simply: teṣām apaścimo rājā viṣṇunāmā bhavi- ṣyati; (2) n. of a yakṣa leader: Māy 235.31.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Viṣṇu (विष्णु).—m.

(-ṣṇuḥ) Vishnu, one of the three principal Hindu deities, and the preserver of the world: during the periods of temporary annihilation, he is supposed to sleep on the waters floating on the serpent Sesha: Brahma is fabled to have sprung from a lotus, which originally grew from the navel of Vishnu, and the holy river Ganges is said to spring from his foot: the different Avatars are considered as emanations of this deity, and in Krishna, he is supposed to have been really and wholly incarnate: Lakshmi is his wife, and he is usually represented as a mild and benevolent deity. 2. Agni or fire. 3. One of the demigods called Vasus. 4. A pure or pious man. 5. The name of an ancient law-giver. E. viś to enter or pervade, (the universe,) nuk Unadi aff.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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