Hindu God Vishnu Folklore and History

God Vishnu or विष्णु in Sanskrit is pronounced as ʋɪʂɳʊ is the principal deity of Hinduism. Vishnu is known as the Preserver or the Survivor is the peace-loving deity that forms the Hindu trinity (Trimurti) with Shiva and Brahma.

Vishnu is known for his persistent principles of command, justice, & veracity. If these values are in threat then the deity takes avatars or incarnations like Rama and Krishna to restore peace on Earth. 

In the Panchayatana Puja performed by Smarta Tradition of Hinduism, Vishnu is considered to be one of the five equivalent deities to be worshiped. 

Therefore, he is often considered to be identical to Brahman.

Vishnu Avatars and Names

As per Medhātith (circa 1000 CE), God Vishnu or Visnu or विष्णु means one who is everything and inside everything also known as all-pervasive. As per the 10th part of Padma Purana, there are 108 names of Vishnu.

Vishnu Avatars and Names
Vishnu Avatars and Names

Out of the 108 names, 10 are the primary avatars that describe the features, attributes and aspects of God Vishnu.

Sr. No.AvatarsSymbolism
4Narasimhathe man-lion
5Vamanathe dwarf
6Parasuramathe angry man
7Lord Ramathe perfect human of the Ramayana
8Lord BalaramaKrishna’s brother
9Lord Krishnathe divine diplomat and statesman
10Kalkiyet-to-appear tenth incarnation
Symbolism of Different Avatars of Vishnu God

Recently a new concept of Dashavatara has been developed which means that there are 10 avatars of God Vishnu and Buddha is also considered to one such avataras as per many believers of Hinduism. 

The portrayal of God Vishnu

The Hindu ancient texts and books portray God Vishnu as the one with dark complexion with earrings in the shape of sharks and having 4 arms.

His neck also known as Vaijayanti has a garland of flowers hanging from his neck.

The portrayal of God Vishnu
The portrayal of God Vishnu

His chest is covered with the Kaustubha gem and the Shrivatsa mark in the form of a curly hair with honey bees flying around him, symbolizing the verses of Yajurveda.

The 4 arms of God Vishnu

Arm or HandHoldingsSymbolism
The upper-right-handSudarshana ChakraDiscus
The lower-right handKaumodaki GadaMace
The upper-left-handPanchajanya ShankhaConch
The lower-left-handPadmaLotus flower
The symbolism of the 4 arms of Vishnu Bhagwan

Vishnu is always shown with yellow pyjamas and therefore yellow is often considered to be his favorite colour.

Nandaka i.e. is the name given to his sword and Sharanga is the name given to his bow.

In one of the portrayals of God Vishnu where he “dreams the universe into reality”.

He depicted to be resting on the coils of the serpent Shesha, convoyed by his partner Goddess Lakshmi.

The Deity of Truth and Peace

The Hindi deity comes out of navel flowers of lotus known as Padmanabham.

The Hindu mythology says that the lotus holds God Vishnu or Brahma and the incarnation of royal virtues, or Rajoguna.

The Deity of Truth and Peace
The Deity of Truth and Peace

It is believed that the royal virtues are discarded by Vishnu through his navel and the Sheshnag snake was created to stand against the evils of darkness or the seat of Vishnu i.e. the Tamoguna.

Thus, Vishnu is the God of Satoguna i.e. the true asset of the truth.

A peaceful representation of universe with Sheshnag i.e. the coiled multiple headed snake on the cosmos of water is often used to depict God Vishnu.

It is a symbolic representation of keeping calm and patience even in the worst life situations.

Thus, giving out an important message to the world that we should not lose out our calm and never let the evil overpower you with fear or anger.

The Vehicle of Vishnu

The king of the birds i.e. the eagle, who is called Garuda Eagle in Sanskrit is the vehicle of God Vishnu. Garuda is gifted with the bravery and swiftness to spread the awareness of the ancient Hindu Vedas.

The Vehicle of Vishnu Garuda
The Vehicle of Vishnu Garuda

Garuda is often considered to be the symbol of truth, peace, courage & bravery at the time of difficulties.

Narayan or Hari are other names of Lord Vishnu and his devotees are called Vaishnavas.

His life partner of the wife is Goddess Lakshmi i.e. the goddess of splendor and prosperity in this universe.

The True Leader Among All Hindu Deities

God Vishnu is considered to be the true leader or the role model of all the Hindu deities because of his powers, wisdom and teachings.

True Leader Among All Hindu Deities
True Leader Among All Hindu Deities

Devdutt Pattanaik, a Hindu mythologist says that;

“Between Brahma and Shiva are Vishnu, full of guile and smiles. Unlike Brahma, he is not attached to the organization. Unlike Shiva, he is not disengaged from it. Like Brahma, he creates. Like Shiva, he also destroys. Thus he creates balance, harmony.

A true leader who is wise enough to distinguish god from the demon, fighting for the gods but knowing their frailties and defeating the demons but knowing their value. a mixture of heart and head, engaged but not attached, constantly aware of the big picture.”

In the Mahabharata, Vishnu (as Narayana) states to Narada that he will appear in the following ten incarnations:

Appearing in the forms of a swan [Hamsa], a tortoise [Kurma], a fish [Matsya], O foremost of regenerate ones, I shall then display myself as a boar [Varaha], then as a Man-lion (Nrisingha), then as a dwarf [Vamana], then as Rama of Bhrigu’s race, then as Rama, the son of Dasaratha, then as Krishna the scion of the Sattwata race, and lastly as Kalki.


In Bhagavad Gita the following lines mention of the God Vishnu and his powers;

Whenever righteousness wanes and unrighteousness increases I send myself forth. For the protection of the good and the destruction of evil, and for the establishment of righteousness, I come into being age after age.

Bhagavad Gita

10 Famous Vishnu Temples in India

In this comprehensive guide, we have provided the exclusive list of 10 Vishnu Temples in India that would help you gain more insights and deeper wisdom from God Vishnu on your spiritual tour.

Vishnu Temples in India
Vishnu Temples in India
Sr. No.Temple NameLocation in India
1Badrinath TempleUttarakhand
2Jagannath TempleOrissa
3Ranganathaswamy TempleTamil Nadu
4Venkateswara TempleTirumala
5Dwarkadhish TempleGujarat
6Padmanabhaswamy TempleKerala
7Guruvayoor TempleKerala
8Aswaklanta TempleGuwahati
9Ramanathaswamy TempleBhadrachalam
10Shrinathji TempleNathdwara, Rajasthan
List of Vishnu Temples in India

Conclusion – The Hindu God Vishnu

Vishnu is in charge of maintaining peace and harmony in the physical world and also called the true creator of the universe.

The dream of Maya or Wealth is also maintained by the dream of Vishnu in the cosmos of the Universe.

Thus, Vishnu is believed to take rebirth, again and again, to eradicate the evil from the earth and maintain peace in the universe.

What do you think about Vishnu, let us know in the comments below!

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Who is Vishnu God?

God Vishnu or विष्णु is the principal deity of Hinduism. Vishnu is known for his persistent principles of command, justice, and veracity. If these values are in threat then Vishnu takes avatars or incarnations like Rama and Krishna to restore peace on Earth.

Who are the parents of Vishnu Bhagwan?

As per ancient Hindu Vedas, the father of God Vishnu is Shri Jyoti Niranjana or the Brahma and the mother of Vishnu Bhagwan is Durga Mata (Mother).

What are the strengths of Lord Vishnu?

Vishnu has all the powers like any Hindu Deity which is equivalent to the powers of Lord Shiva and Brahma respectively. His strength is multifold to any human and has the ultimate energy to manipulate the cosmic energies of the universe.

What are the 10 or dash or ten avatars of Vishnu?

The ten or dash avatars of God Vishnu are The Fish, the Tortoise, the Boar, the Man-Lion, the Dwarf, Parasurama, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, and also Kalki.