Lord Vishnu is considered to be the supreme god of all. He is the ultimate power in the vaishnavaite tradition of the Hindus. He is the matter of all the times i.e. past, present and the future. Among the three main lords in the Hindu culture i.e. Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, Lord Vishnu is known as the “preserver of the Universe” whereas Lord Brahma is the Creator of the Universe and Lord Mahesh is the Destroyer. Garuda is the mount of Lord Vishnu. He is a bird who is depicted to have a golden colored strong body of a man with a fair or white face, eagle beaks with red wings and a crown on his head. It is said that Garuda was large enough to even block the Sun.
Lord Vishnu has mainly ten avatars, among which nine of them have been occurred in the past. The tenth avatar is supposed to occur in the future. The main reason of him avatars coming on earth or being born as human is to bring back faith in god among people. It is to restore the belief of dharma again in humans. The most famous avatar of Lord Vishnu is Lord Rama from Ramayana and Lord Krishna from Mahabharata age.
The name Vishnu dignifies Sun or Light. It also means the one who crosses out all mountains. There are about a thousand names for Lord Vishnu like Shivam , Sarvah, Akshara, Mahaveer, Mahashakti, Mahabuddhi, Annirudha, Damodar, Hari, Hrishikesh, Keshava, Krishna, Narayana, Mchusudan, Ram , Perumal, Purushottam, Govinda, Sarvadik etc.
Like any other god or goddess, Lord Shivam also has uncountable characteristics but there are mainly six of them which are of major importance.
- Jnana – this is a power that he possesses to know everything about everybody.
- Aishwarya- this means that he is supreme. There is no one above him and he cannot he challenged by anyone either.
- Shakti- this means power. The power to achieve anything.
- Bala- this means strength. He has the strength and will to support anyone during their bad times.
- Virya- this means that in spite of being used numerously for material use, he is still immaterial.
- Tejas – this mean splendour. He can achieve anything through his immaterial and spiritual power.
The name of Lord Vishnu has been used several times in different Vedas like the Rig Veda where his name has been mentioned ninety three times. It is only him who has been described as a god in this Veda. His name is also mentioned in the Bhagvad Gita where he is depicted in one of his avatars, Krishna. The name of Lord Vishnu is also linked with Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Shiva is actually one of the forms of Lord Vishnu whereas in certain stories that show that the two gods have cooperative relationships and are found in combined forms. Infact the name Harihara is the name given to the combined form of both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Hari is also one of the names of Lord Vishnu and Hara is of Lord Shiva. Another name of Harihara is Harirudra which has been mentioned in Mahabharata. Another interesting story of the relation of Vishnu and Shiva is when Shiva was attracted by the charm of Mohini who was none other than the female avatar or form of Lord Vishnu. This union led to the birth of Ayyanar.
The consort of Lord Vishnu is Goddess Lakshmi who is the goddess of wealth. She has to accompany Lord Vishnu in all his incarnations. Lord Vishnu, the supreme power is also said to be shapeless. He is only omnipresent reality for everyone. Infact there are several restrictions on the way he is represented in idols, pictures etc.