Lord Vishnu aka, Hari, Narayana and many other names. He is one of the Trimurti gods who were present from the birth of this universe and were the one who made it. Lord Vishnu is known for his sweet and kind nature but that doesn’t mean he is weak, interestingly he is one of the most powerful gods of Hindu religion.

In Vaishnavism, Lord Vishnu is considered as the supreme being of this universe. Over years its been said that Lord Vishnu has 10 avatars out of which lord Rama & Krishna are the most well known among Hindus. Lets dive deeper to know more about him.

Lord Vishnu lying on Sheshnag with lakshmi

|| ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय ||

About Lord Vishnu

What is the meaning of word “Vishnu”?

Vishnu (विष्णु) is a Sanskrit word which means “One who is everything and inside everything”.

What are the various names of Lord Vishnu?

Lord Vishnu is called by various names in Hindu religion such as:

  1. Narayana – The exact meaning of this word is not present in any literature but it is loosely connected to two Sanskrit word i.e., Nara & Yana. Nara is a Sanskrit word which means “Man” while Yana means “Vehicle“. In literatures, Narayana is meant to be a primeval man who existed in the start of humanity or A resting place to all the living beings. Please note that there is no exact meaning of the word “Narayana”.
  2. Hari – Hari comes from a Sanskrit word Haran which means taking away. Here, Hari means the “one who takes away all your sins“.
  3. Janardan – It comes from two Sanskrit words Jana & Ardana. Jana means People while Ardana means Trouble or restlessness. Thus, Janardan means One who takes away trouble & pain of people.
  4. Lakshmipati – As Lord Vishnu is the husband of Goddess Lakshmi, he is called Lakshmipati.
  5. Jagannath – It has two Sanskrit words Jag & Nath. Jaga means World while Nath means Lord. It ultimately means the Lord of the World.
  6. Jagdish – It also comes from two Sanskrit word Jag and Dish. Jaga means World & Dish means Ruler. Thus, it means The ruler of the world.
  7. Narsimha – Narsimha comes from two Sanskrit words, Nar and Simha. Nar means Man & Simha means lion. It is due to the avatar which Lord Vishnu took of half man and half lion.
  8. Padmanabha – It comes from two Sanskrit Word Padma(Lotus) & Nabhi(Navel). There is an interesting story behind Lord Vishnu getting their name. During the dawn of creation, Lord Vishnu was sleeping on the primordial Ekarnava ocean. While sleeping, A lotus emerged from the navel of Vishnu in which Lord Brahma was born. Thus he attained his name Padmanabha.
Lord Vishnu sitting on Sheshnag and brahma emerging from his Navel
Original public domain image from The MET

Avatars of Vishnu

According to Hindu Scriptures, Vishnu has total 10 Avatars which are as follows:

  1. Matsya
  2. Kurma
  3. Varaha
  4. Narasimha
  5. Vamana
  6. Parashurama
  7. Rama
  8. Krishna
  9. Buddha
  10. Kalki

What is the role of Vishnu in the Hindu trinity (Trimurti)?

In Hindu Scriptures, There is a trinity of Gods which work together to maintain balance and peace among the civilisation of the world. They are Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu & Lord Brahma, often called as Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh.

In the Hindu trinity, Vishnu plays the role of the preserver or sustainer.

Vishnu’s role as the preserver within the Trimurti involves various duties and responsibilities:

  • He sustains the universe by preserving its order and balance, preventing chaos and disorder from taking over.
  • Vishnu intervenes whenever the balance of the cosmos is threatened, whether by demons, asuras (demons), or natural disasters.
  • He incarnates on Earth in different forms (avatars) to restore righteousness (dharma) and protect the virtuous, ensuring the continuity of life and the preservation of moral order.
  • Vishnu’s compassion and benevolence extend to all beings, as he is regarded as the protector and benefactor of humanity.
  • He is worshipped by devotees seeking protection, sustenance, and guidance in their lives, as well as liberation (moksha) from the cycle of birth and death (samsara).

Overall, Vishnu’s role in the Trimurti emphasizes the importance of preservation and continuity in the cosmic order, ensuring the well-being and prosperity of all creation.

Who is lord Vishnu’s wife?

Lord Vishnu’s wife is the goddess Lakshmi. She is also known by various other names such as Sri, Padma, and Kamala. Lakshmi is revered as the goddess of wealth, prosperity, beauty, and fertility in Hindu mythology. According to Hindu beliefs, Lakshmi is the embodiment of divine grace and is worshipped by devotees seeking material and spiritual abundance.

In various scriptures, Goddess Lakshmi can be seen sitting besides or near Lord Vishnu’s feet while sitting or lying down on the coils of Sheshnaag in Kshira Sagar.

Do Lord Vishnu have any children?

Lord Vishnu had a lot of children as his avatars but it is lesser known that he had children of his own. According to Tamil Scriptures, Lord Vishnu had two daughters i.e., Valli Devi & Devasena.

What is Vaishnavism?

Vaishnavism is one of the major traditions within Hinduism that worships Vishnu or one of his avatars as the supreme deity. It is named after Vishnu’s devotees, called Vaishnavas, who adhere to the teachings and practices associated with the worship of Vishnu. Vaishnavism emphasizes devotion (bhakti) as the primary means of attaining spiritual liberation (moksha) and achieving union with the divine.

Literature for more information on Lord Vishnu

  • Vishnu Purana: This ancient text is one of the eighteen Mahapuranas, providing extensive information about the mythology, theology, and worship of Lord Vishnu.
  • Vishnu Sahasranama
  • Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana)

Although it is next to impossible to gain each and every knowledge of Lord Vishnu but these 3 scriptures are enough to know the major events and details about the preserver of the world.

|| ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय ||