Removing the Darkness of Illusion
Lord Vishnu is one of the main Hindu gods worshipped as the supreme god. He is referred to as the protector and preserver of the world and one who restored Dharma in the world whenever the need arose. Vishnu is known to manifest a portion of himself whenever and wherever he is needed to fight against evil.
Lord Vishnu is popularly known by his ten incarnations or "Dasavtaras". Goddess Lakshmi is the consort of Lord Vishnu and his "vahana" or vehicle is Garuda, which is a giant eagle and is symbolized with a human-like figure with a beak shaped nose.
God Vishnu is part of the Hindu Trinity and is known as the preserver and sustainer of life and lover of peace. He is known for his principles of truth, righteousness and order. There is a saying that whenever these values are under threat, Vishnu emerges on earth in some form to restore peace and truth. The earthly incarnations of Lord Vishnu are known as Avatars. The number of Vishnu's avatars is generally accepted as ten, of which nine have already taken place with the tenth one yet to come.
The first of Vishnu's avatars is that of Matsya, the fish who is known to have saved the sacred Veda text from flood. Another Avatar is of Kurma, the turtle who supported the world on his back and helped in its creation. Next was that of Varaha the Boar - who is known to have raised the earth out of water with his tusks. Another avatar is of Narasimha in the form of half man and half lion and who destroyed a tyrant demon king.
The next avatar of Vishnu was that of Vamana the dwarf who is known to have subdued king Bali, a powerful demon. The next avatar of Vishnu was that of Parashuram, a Brahmin who was known to destroy the autocratic warrior caste Kshatriya. The most important incarnation of Vishnu was that of Lord Rama who was known for upholder of Dharma and truth and destroyed Ravana, and rescued his wife from him.
Another important Avatar of Vishnu was Lord Krishna who played an important role in the war of Mahabharata and preached about Karma in Bhagwad Gita. Buddha, another incarnation of Lord Vishnu, preached that all sorrows stemmed from attachments and desires. The tenth incarnation of Lord Vishnu - Kalki, the horse has not yet come on earth.
Vishnu, in his common form is portrayed as having a dark complexion and having four hands with Sankha (Conch), Chakra (wheel), Gada (mace) and Padma (lotus) in each of them respectively. Vishnu's image is often depicted as reclining on a Sheshnaga (Snake) - it is a no ordinary snake but a coiled many headed snake which floats on the universe. Apart from the ten accepted incarnations of Vishnu - his appearances are said to be innumerable.
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