Who is Vishnu? From mythology to yoga: all about this deity
Vishnu is a god in the Hindu religion. He is considered one of the major gods of the Hindu pantheon and is often associated with the protection, preservation and restoration of cosmic order . Vishnu is often depicted as a god with a divine appearance, blue skin, armor and a sword. He is often accompanied by his spouse Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and her followers, the garudas. According to Hindu teachings, Vishnu is the holder of cosmic balance and is responsible for maintaining order by appearing in different forms or incarnations, such as Rama and Krishna. He is revered by many Hindus as a benevolent and powerful god and is often invoked for protection and blessing.
History and origins of Vishnu
In Hindu mythology, Vishnu is considered one of the oldest and most important gods. His legend dates back thousands of years and has been transmitted through sacred texts such as the Vedas, the Puranas and Hindu epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
According to tradition, Vishnu appeared on earth as a manifestation of divine consciousness and became the protector of the universe, bringing peace and harmony when the planet is threatened by destruction. He is also considered the creator of the earth, who created the different worlds and the living beings that inhabit them.
Vishnu is also associated with many stories of challenge and conflict, often with demons and goddesses, which feature his wisdom, strength and courage. The most famous of these stories include the fight against the demons Madhu and Kaitabha, the story of the goddess Mohini and the legend of Narasimha, where Vishnu takes the form of a lion to protect his faithful devotee.
In Hindu tradition, Vishnu is often associated with the notion of mâyâ or illusion, and is considered the source of all forms and illusions in the material sphere. His legend continues to be revered in the modern Hindu world, with many temples dedicated to Vishnu throughout India and other parts of the Hindu world.
Vishnu in mythology
Vishnu is a major god in the Hindu religion and one of the main deities of the Hindu pantheon. He is considered the god of preservation and protection, and is often associated with the notion of mâyâ, or illusion, in which the material world is seen as a manifestation of the divine reality.
Vishnu is often depicted with four arms, carrying symbols such as the conch, wheel, mirror and lotus, which represent wisdom, royalty, beauty and purity respectively. It is also often associated with a sacred serpent called Ananta, which symbolizes infinity and eternal duration.
In Hindu tradition, Vishnu is considered one of the three main gods, along with Brahma and Shiva, forming the Trimurti. He is also associated with ten incarnations, which are considered manifestations of Vishnu on earth to protect life and maintain cosmic order. The most famous of Vishnu include Rama, Krishna and the Buddha.
Finally, Vishnu is often worshipped through religious practices such as devotion (bhakti) and rituals, and is considered a source of spiritual strength for people seeking peace, wisdom and fulfillment.
Vishnu in the practice of Yoga
Vishnu is often associated with the practice of yoga in the Hindu tradition. Yoga is seen as a way to connect with Vishnu’s preserving and protecting force and to gain his support in achieving spiritual fulfillment.
In some styles of yoga, such as Bhakti yoga, the practice consists of devotion and worship dedicated to Vishnu to obtain his grace and blessing.
Other styles, such as Hatha yoga, incorporate yoga postures and breathing techniques to strengthen the body and consciousness in order to achieve a state of balance and inner peace that can lead to a deep connection with Vishnu.
It is important to note that the connection between Vishnu and yoga depends on the tradition and the individual understanding of the person. Some people may see Vishnu as a symbolic or metaphorical figure, while others may see him as an actual divine force. In any case, the practice of yoga can help awaken spiritual awareness and strengthen the connection with divine forces in daily life.
What is the link between Vishnu and Shiva?
Vishnu and Shiva are two of the most important gods of the Hindu religion. They are considered different aspects of the same divine force, with Vishnu representing preservation and Shiva destruction. In many stories, they work together to maintain balance.
Hinduism recognizes many deities, but the most important ones include:
- Vishnu: god of preservation and protection.
- Shiva: god of destruction and transformation.
- Devi or Durga: goddess of power and protection.
- Brahman: ultimate and absolute essence of the universe.
- Ganesh: god of success and the elimination of obstacles.
- Hanuman: god of loyalty and devotion.
- Krishna: incarnation of Vishnu, associated with love, wisdom and deception.
These deities can therefore have several aspects, and are often worshipped with specific cults and rituals.
Vishnu is considered one of the most important gods of the Hindu religion. He is often described as a blue-skinned man armed with a sword and a shield. In Hindu illustrations, Vishnu is often depicted as a powerful and protective god.
What are the incarnations of Vishnu?
They are specific forms or incarnations of the god in which he manifests himself in the world. Some of the most well known include:
- Rama: hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana, considered as an example of righteousness and devotion.
- Krishna: incarnation of Vishnu associated with love, wisdom and deception.
- Matsya: fish first avatar of Vishnu, representing the origin of the great All.
- Kurma: second avatar of Vishnu, representing stability and wisdom.
- Varaha: third avatar of Vishnu, representing the defense of truth.
- Narasimha: half-man half-lion, incarnation of Vishnu representing protection and strength.
- Vamana: dwarf fourth avatar of Vishnu, representing humility and devotion.
- Parashurama: fifth warrior of Vishnu, representing justice and strength.
- Lord Buddha: sixth incarnation of Vishnu, representing wisdom and compassion.
- Kalki: knight, expected to announce the end of the world and the beginning of a new era.
These incarnations each have a specific role and associated history in Hindu tradition, and are often depicted in Hindu illustrations and sculptures.
Representation of the deities
In Hinduism, God is represented in many divine forms such as Lord Vishnu, Brahma, Sita and Lakshmi. Images and statues of these deities are often venerated in temples in India and form an important part of Hinduism’s collection of religious icons.
The illustrations and drawings of these deities are often decorated with lotus motifs, which symbolize purity and divine beauty. The pictures and statues can be found in Hindu temples, where they are worshipped by the faithful.
Hinduism considers Brahma as the creator of the universe, while Vishnu is considered its guardian and protector of humanity. Sita is the wife of the most powerful man, Lord Rama, and Lakshmi is the goddess of prosperity and wealth.
As a deity, Vishnu is associated with the preservation of the Great Whole and the protection of its creatures. He is considered the supreme lord and is often worshipped as such in Indian temples dedicated to his worship.
The origin of Vishnu dates back thousands of years and his statue can be found in many Hindu temples in India and elsewhere. One of his most famous avatars is Rama, the hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana, who is often considered an example of righteousness and devotion.
The central message of Vishnu is that of preservation of the universe and protection of all living creatures. It is often associated with purity and devotion, as well as the love story of Rama and Sita, which is considered an example of loyalty and fidelity.
Want to know more about the philosophy of yoga? Discover our special article.