VISHNU - the preserver of Universe
LAKSHMI - consort of Vishnu
GARUDA - vehicle of Vishnu and Lakshmi
SHESH NAG - the serpent king on whom Vishnu rests
The ten incarnations (DASHAVATAR) of Vishnu
Matsya, the fish - first incarnation of Vishnu
Kurma, the tortoise - second incarnation of Vishnu
Varaha, the boar - third incarnation of Vishnu
Narasimha, half lion half man - fourth incarnation of Vishnu
Vamana, the dwarf - fifth incarnation of Vishnu
Parashurama, the slayer - sixth incarnation of Vishnu
Rama, the King - seventh incarnation of Vishnu
Krishna, the cowherd warrior - eighth incarnation of Vishnu
Buddha, the Enlightened - ninth incarnation of Vishnu
Kalki, the horseman - last (yet to come) incarnation of Vishnu
Vishnu is black blue body, with four hands one holding a club, another a conch
shell, the third a discus and the fourth a lotus. He rests on the coiled serpent
king Shesh Nag. He covers the atmosphere in three strides: on earth as fire,
in the atmosphere as lightning and in the sky as the sun.
He is in control of all universe phenomenons and has undisputed power over others.
His vehicle is Garuda and his consort is Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and well-being.
Vishnu is the ultimate arbitrator of disputes, between not only human beings
but also celestial beings. Thus to his court in the bed of oceans, come Indra
and Narada, with stories and complaints. He intercedes on behalf of others and
is the peacemaker. Extremely gentle of nature and personality,
he symbolizes tolerance and patience.
With discus in one hand to root out evil and a mace to wield authority, Vishnu
looks after the well being of all creations. He has taken various incarnations
for this purpose, thus aptly playing the role of THE PRESERVER of the universe.