Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Vishnu is a Vedic Supreme God (including his different avatars) in Hinduism, and is venerated as the Supreme Being in Vaishnavism. He is also known as Narayana or Hari and is venerated as Purushottama or SupremePurusha in Vedic sacred texts like the Bhagavad Gita, the Vedas and the Puranas. He is the Supreme Purusha of Purusha Sukta.The Vishnu Sahasranama of the Mahabharata declares Vishnu as Paramatman (supreme soul) andParameshwara (supreme God). It describes Vishnu as the All-Pervading essence of all beings, the master of—and beyond—the past, present and future, the creator and destroyer of all existences, one who supports, sustains and governs the Universe and originates and develops all elements within.
Vaishnavism sees Vishnu as the Supreme God, venerated as the Supreme Being. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as just one of the five primary forms of God, namely Shiva, Vishnu, Devi, Surya and Ganesha; who are all seen as equal reflections of the one Brahman, rather than as distinct beings. His supreme status is declared in Hindu sacred texts like the Yajurveda, the Rigveda the Bhagavad Gita, The Bhagavata Purana and other Sattva Puranas which all declare Vishnu as Supreme God. Vishnu incarnates on planet Earth from time to time to eradicate evil forces, to restore the Dharma and to liberate the worthy ones or devotees from the cycle of births and deaths.
In the Puranas, Vishnu is described as having the divine blue colour of water-filled clouds and as having four arms. He is depicted as holding a padma or lotus flower in the lower left hand, a gada or mace in the lower right hand, a shankha or conch in the upper left hand and a Sudarshana Chakra or discus weapon in the upper right hand. Vishnu is also described in the Bhagavad Gita as having a 'Universal Form' (Vishvarupa or Viraat Purusha) which is beyond the ordinary limits of human perception or imagination.
Vishnu's eternal and supreme abode beyond the material universe is called Vaikuntha, which is also known as Paramdhama, the realm of eternal bliss and happiness, for the final or highest place for liberated souls. Vaikuntha is situated beyond the material universe and hence, cannot be perceived or measured by material science and logic.Vishnu's other abode within the material universe is Ksheera Sagara (the ocean of milk), where he reclines and rests on Ananta Shesha. It is the topmost realm in the material universe, even higher than Satyaloka where Brahma resides. Vishnu manages and sustains the universe from there. Hence, Ksheera Sagara is also sometimes known as local Vaikuntha of the material universe, which is approachable by demigods or devas in order to meet the lord in case of any emergency or disturbance in universal balance.
Posted by Dune at 5:02 AM