Lord Vishnu is one of the most popular Hindu Gods.
In this post, you will come to know some very interesting and lesser-known facts related to Lord Vishnu.
You will come to know about the names of Lord Hari, the wife of Lord Vishnu, Avatars of Lord Vishnu (Dasavatara of Vishnu), the relationship of Lord Vishnu with Lord Shiva, and many more exciting facts about God Vishnu.
So, let’s begin this exciting journey and discover facts about Lord Narayan.
Table of Contents
Who is Lord Vishnu?
Lord Vishnu is a Hindu god who is considered the “Supreme God” in the Vaishnavism tradition of Hindu religious beliefs.
Bhagwan Vishnu is also popularly known as Narayana, Jagannath, Vasudeva, or Hari.
He is considered one of the three supreme deities (Trimurti) of Hinduism.
In fact, Lord Vishnu is conceived as the “Preserver or Protector” within the Trimurti or Hindu Trinity that includes Brahma and Lord Shiva.
Vishnu is the one who takes various avatars (incarnations) to protect and preserve the world threatened with evil, chaos, and destructive forces. His most notable avatars include Rama in the Treta Yuga and Krishna in the Dwapara Yuga.
So, Lord Vishnu is responsible for the maintenance, sustenance, and protection of the created Universe. Lord Hari is the giver and provider of everything.
Moreover, the word Vishnu means ‘one who pervades and has entered into everything.’ So, Vishnu is the personal cause and power by which things exist.
Lord Vishnu is believed to reside in the milky waters of Vaikuntha Dham which is considered his Holy Abode.
He rests on a snake bed which is made of the coils of thousand-hooded serpents, Adishesha of infinite dimensions.
He is constantly served by his consort Goddess Lakshmi who attends to him.
Hindus believe that Vaikuntha stands for bliss and consciousness, the serpent for time, desire, and illusion, and Goddess Lakshmi for all the material things and powers of creation.
Lord Vishnu has the color of a dark blue cloud.
It denotes his cosmic dimensions and his connection with the Vedic Gods that bring rain and thunder.
Lord Vishnu is depicted with one face and four arms, usually in a standing posture or in a resting posture. He adorns a garland of flowers and gems by the name of Vaijayanti. He also wears a necklace made of the precious Kaustubha gems.
His four arms are depicted holding Shankha (a conch), Gada (mace), Padma (lotus), and Sudarshan Chakra (discuss).
The Lord holds the Panchajanya Shankha in his upper left hand, the Kaumodaki Gada (mace) in his lower right hand, the Sudharshana Chakra (discus) in his upper right hand, and a Padma (lotus flower) in his lower left hand.
The conch represents the cosmic sound of AUM, purity, and perfection.
The Sudarshan Chakra is the most powerful weapon of Vishnu that destroys all evil forces. It represents the light-bearing Sun, which illuminates and removes all darkness. It also stands for higher consciousness and destroys all illusions.
The Lord’s mace represents the power of knowledge, and the lotus is a symbol of beauty, purity, creation, and self-realization.
Lord Vishnu rides on the mighty bird vehicle, Garuda.
The Lord is often called Narayan.
In fact, it was Narad, the foremost devotee of Vishnu, who first chanted the name “Narayan” saluting and praising the Lord.
Later on, Lord Vishnu began to be called as SatyaNarayan, Lakshmi Narayan, Dhruva Narayan, Surya Narayan, and Shesha Narayan.
In fact, Lord Hari is considered to be a Vedic deity along with Indra, Agni, and others. There are several hymns in the Rig Veda that are dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
He is considered a Supreme Being. Vishnu is the one who supports heaven and earth.
He helped Indra in killing the demon named Vritra. Vishnu also has a close association with the Sun God, Surya. He is the source of all energy and light in the Universe.
Moreover, in the Atharva Veda and Upanishads Texts, Lord Vishnu is considered equivalent to Prajapati.
In the Yajur Veda, Taittiriya Aranyaka (10.13.1), Narayan Sukta, Lord Vishnu (Narayan) is mentioned as the Supreme Being. He is referred to as Paramam Padam, which means the highest post.
Glories of Lord Vishnu are vividly described in the Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana, Narada Purana, Garuda Purana, and Vayu Purana.
For example, in the Vishnu Purana, Vishnu is represented as the central element of the cosmos. He is described as Hari, Janardana, Madhava, Achyuta, Hrishikesha, and others. The Bhagavata Purana relates to Lord Vishnu’s avatar Krishna.
You may also like: Lord Vishnu Mantras
Shree Vishnu Wife
Most Hindu scriptures associate Vishnu with Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of Good Fortune.
Lord Vishnu was married to Lakshmi. So, Goddess Lakshmi is the wife of Lord Vishnu.
However, some Hindu texts say that Goddess Saraswati and Ganga were also married to Lord Vishnu. They go on to state that Lord Narayan was unable to live with the quarrels between his three wives.
So, he eventually sent Ganga to Lord Shiva and Saraswati to Lord Brahma.
In some accounts, Lord Narayan is said to have married Bhoomi Devi, Goddess of the Earth. So, Lord Vishnu has two wives namely Sri Devi (Goddess Lakshmi) and Bhoomi Devi (Earth Goddess).
It is important to know that Lord Hari is responsible for sustaining life on Earth. So, symbolically Bhudevi (Bhoomi Devi) is the wife of Vishnu.
Now, Vaishno Devi or Vaishnavi is another form of Lakshmi. She is considered an avatar of Devi Lakshmi.
She is regarded as one of the seven Matrikas or seven representations of Maa Adishakti.
These seven Matrikas are known as:
Brahmi – She is Shakti or Power and Creation wife of Brahma (also known as Saraswati)
Vaishnavi – She is Shakti or Power and prosperity wife of Vishnu (also known as Lakshmi)
Maheshwari – She is Shakti or Power and destroying wife of Shiva (also known as Parvati)
Indrani – She is Sachi, the wife of Indra
Kaumari – She is Shakti or Power and wife of Kartikeya (also known as Devasena)
Varahi – She is Shakti or Power and is also known as Bhudevi
Chamunda – Chamunda is also known as Charchika and Chamundi is the power of Devi Chandi. Devi Chandi is similar in appearance to Goddess Kali.
It is believed that Vaishno Devi will marry the Kalki avatar of Vishnu which will appear later in Kali Yuga.
Vaishno Devi resides in the Trikoot Mountains located in North India in the form of three Pindis and helps devotees to stay on the path of dharma until Kali Yuga ends.
Vaishno Devi has the combined powers of Devi Parvati, Devi Lakshmi, and Devi Saraswati.
Names of Lord Vishnu
Lord Vishnu is one of the main Hindu Gods that belong to the Holy Trinity which includes Brahma and Lord Shiva. He is responsible for maintaining, sustaining, and protecting the Earth.
Lord Vishnu has many names.
These are listed in the famous compilation under the name Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram which mentions 1000 names of Vishnu.
Here, we have listed some very famous names of Lord Vishnu.
Let’s have a glimpse at the names of Lord Vishnu:
- Hari – the one who removes sorrows and sins
- Bali – The mighty warrior and an embodiment of strength, bravery, and power
- Keshav – Name of Lord Krishna who is the slayer of the Keshi Demon
- Madhav – It means sweet like honey. It is a popular name for Lord Krishna.
- Ram – The Supreme Being
- Achyuta – It is another name for Vishnu. It means imperishable
- Vitthal – Here Lord Vishnu is recognized as the fortune giver
- Balaji – A name of Vishnu
- Mukunda – A name of Lord Vishnu which means freedom giver
- Jaipal – Here Lord Vishnu is recognized as the King
- Hrishikesh – The One who controls the senses
- Vishnu – The Preserver
- Virochan – The one who is brilliant like Sun
- Padmanabh – One who has lotus in the navel
- Adishesha – The divine serpent
- Venkateshwara – It’s the name of Lord Vishnu
- Narayan – It’s the name of Lord Vishnu. The one who gives refuge to Human Beings
- Narasimha – An incarnation of Vishnu
- Ramesh – It’s the name of Lord Vishnu and means the one who saves from danger
- Vamana – The fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu
- Shrikant – The God of Wealth
- Srinivas – Lord Venkateshwara
- Shaligram – Lord Vishnu
- Shripad – Lord Vishnu’s divine feet
- Chakradhar – Lord Vishnu, the one who bears the Chakra
- Jagannath – The Lord of the world
- Lakshmidhar – Possessor of Lakshmi, the name of Lord Vishnu
- Kamalapati – Consort of Kamala (Lakshmi)
- Lakshmipati – Consort of Goddess Lakshmi
- Purshottam – Best among men – the name for Lord Vishnu
- Narahari – Lord Vishnu in the fourth incarnation
- Achintya – Lord Vishnu is the preserver of life
- Adbhuta – One who is wonderful and astonishing
- Adhaata – The leader
- Dharesh – The Lord of the Earth
Lord Vishnu Avatars – Dasavatara of Lord Vishnu
Lord Vishnu is a Hindu God of preservation.
He is said to take incarnation (avatar) and descend on earth to restore cosmic order. It is popularly known as the Dashavatara of the ten avatars of Vishnu.
In the Bhagwat Gita, Lord Krishna supports the theory that God incarnates on earth to protect it from evil forces and to take it on the path of the right course.
“Whenever there is a decline in righteous and wherever there is a predominance of unrighteousness. I incarnate on earth”- Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4: Verse 7
The Lord Vishnu Avatars have played a major role in shaping human evolution through the centuries.
The Dashavatara is derived from Dasa meaning ten and Avatara meaning incarnation.
The most accepted list of Lord Vishnu avatars is shown below:
All the avatars of Vishnu have appeared except Kalki, who will appear at the end of Kali Yuga to restore Dharma and righteousness.
Here, we offer you a brief but interesting description of each of the Lord Vishnu avatars.
1. Matsya Avatar (Fish)
The Matsya Avatar of Lord Hari appeared in the Satya Yuga when the world was on the brink of destruction.
God instructed Manu to rescue life on earth. He loaded one male and one female from every species onto a big ship that he had already built. The whole world was gripped by heavy rains, and there was no land to stay.
Vishnu descended in the form of fish (Matsya) and rescued the ship towards the Himalayas where it was a small island for all the life forms (species) to grow and increase in numbers.
2. Kurma Avatar (Tortoise)
The Kurma Avatar of Vishnu appeared in the age of Satya Yuga.
It happened at the time of great Samudra Manthan when the Devas and Asuras were to churn the mighty Ocean for getting “Amrita” (the nectar of immortality).
The serpent Vasuki was used as the rope and the Mount Mandara as the churning staff.
Lord Vishnu descended in the form of Kurma (tortoise) and took the weight of the mountain and prevented it from sinking.
3. Varaha Avatar (Boar)
The Varaha Avatar of Vishnu appeared in the era of Satya Yuga.
The demon Hiranyaksha stole the Bhudevi (Earth) and hid her in the primordial waters. Lord Hari appeared as Varaha and rescued her.
There was an intense battle between Hiranyaksha and Varaha Avatar that lasted for a thousand years.
Varaha finally got the better of the demon and slew him to retrieve the earth from the ocean.
The Varaha lifted it on his tusks and restored Bhudevi to her original place in the universe.
4. Narasimha – A Satya Yuga Avatar
Hiraṇyakaśipu was the younger brother of Hiranyaksha.
He wanted to take revenge for the death of his brother Hiranyaksha at the hands of Vishnu.
So, he undertook extreme penance and prayed to the Gods for immortality.
Lord Brahma was pleased with his prayers and granted him the boon that he would not be killed by man or animal. He would not be killed inside or out, day or night. He would also not be killed on earth or the stars, with a weapon either living or inanimate.
Lord Hari took the form of Narasimha with the body of a man and the head and claws of a lion. He then disemboweled the Rakshasa at the courtyard threshold of his house. Lord Vishnu killed Hiraṇyakaśipu with his claws at dusk, while he lay on his thighs.
5. The Vamana Avatar (Dwarf)
The Vamana Avatar of Lord Vishnu appeared in the Treta Yuga.
Bali who was the fourth descendant of Hiranyakashipu was an ardent devotee of the Gods. He did extreme penance and devotion and defeated Indra – the Lord of the Heavens. He was successful in establishing his authority over the three worlds.
All the Devas feared Bali and ran to Lord Vishnu asking for protection. Lord Vishnu descended as the Vamana Avatar (dwarf).
Vamana approached Bali when he was performing a Yagna sacrifice. Bali promised him whatever he asked.
Vamana told Bali that he only wanted three paces of land. Bali readily agreed to this request by Vamana.
However, Vamana changed his size from a dwarf to that a giant. He took heaven in his first stride and the netherworld with the second.
Now, Bali recognized that Vamana was none other than Lord Vishnu himself. He offered his head as the third place. The Vamana avatar did so, and thus Bali became immortal. Vamana was pleased with Bali and made him the ruler of Pathala Loka.
Parashurama is a Treta Yuga Avatar of Lord Vishnu.
The story goes that the mighty King Kaartavirya visited the ashram of Parashuram’s father, saint Jamadagni. The saint fed the king with the blessings of his divine cow Kamadhenu.
However, the king went on and demanded the animal. Jamadagni refused. So, Kaartavirya took it by force and destroyed the whole ashram.
Parashurama came to know of this incident. He was furious at the king. He killed the king and destroyed his army. It triggered a set of events.
The sons of Kaartavirya then killed Jamadagni. Parashurama took an oath that he would kill every Kshatriya on earth twenty-one times over. He filled five lakes with their blood.
Ultimately his grandfather, saint Rucheeka, appeared and made him halt. Parashurama is considered to be immortal (Chiranjivi). He is believed to be alive today.
So, Parashurama is known for riding the world of Kshatriyas.
He appeared both in the Ramayana era as well as in Mahabharata. He was a mentor to Bhishma, Karna, and Drone. Parashurama is also known for saving the lands of Konkan, Malabar, and Kerala.
Lord Rama is the seventh avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu. He appeared in Treta Yuga. Rama was the prince of Ayodhya.
Although Shri Rama faced many obstacles and tests in his life, he never quit the path of dharma.
He lived a pious life. He was an obedient son and a devoted husband.
For the sake of his father’s honor (King Dasharatha), Rama abandoned his claim to the throne of Ayodhya and served fourteen years of exile in the forests.
His wife, Mata Sita, was abducted by the demon king Ravana of Lanka. Hanuman helped Rama in his search for Sita.
Rama traveled to Lanka along with his brother Laxman, Hanuman, Sugriva, and the mighty army of monkeys.
He fought a fierce battle with Ravana. Finally, Lord Rama overpowered and killed the demon Ravana and freed Sita from his clutches.
He returned to Ayodhya along with Sita and Laxman and was crowned as the King of Ayodhya.
Krishna is regarded by far as the most popular avatar of Vishnu. He appeared in the Dwapara Yuga to destroy the evil forces, and establish peace and dharma on the planet earth.
Lord Krishna killed many demons and evil kings.
He got better at Kansa and established peace in the kingdom of Mathura. He mentored Arjun in the Mahabharata War and gave religious sermons that are known as Bhagwat Gita.
Moreover, Krishna is regarded as a Poorna Avatar of Lord Vishnu. He possessed a thorough knowledge of the religious scriptures. Lord Krishna was a master in dance and singing. He was also a great warrior who fought for the good. He gave people the true meaning of Dharma.
Gautama Buddha is regarded as Bhagwan Vishnu’s Avatar who appeared on Earth in the age of Kali Yuga.
Hindu religion was gripped in utter ignorance. People were practicing religious rituals without the right philosophy.
Gautama Buddha preached the philosophy of Liberation. He was an enlightened man. Gautama Buddha established the importance of self-realization and self-effort in realizing oneself.
He said that true religiousness and not mere religious beliefs could lead man to salvation. His main doctrine was Ahimsa, Satya, Aparigraha, and Dhyan. Buddha attained many followers and was regarded as a Master – An enlightened Soul.
10. Kalki Avatar
It is believed that Kalki Avatar will be the tenth and final incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the current Maha Yuga. He is foretold to descend on Earth at the end of Kali Yuga.
Hindu religious scriptures say that Kalki will be atop a white horse and will carry a blazing sword. He will destroy evil forces and end the age of darkness, after which a new era of peace and happiness will descend on Earth as Satya Yuga.
Lord Vishnu and Shiva’s Connection and Relations
According to Hindu religious scriptures, Vishnu is in the heart of Shiva as Shiva is in the heart of Vishnu. They are manifestations of the same Cosmic Energy that creates, sustains, and destroys the Universe.
So, Vishnu and Shiva complete each other’s existence. Each one of them is vital for the Universe. Lord Hari is the preserver of the Universe while Lord Shiva is the destroyer and provides the path for the next creation.
In fact, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva (known as Brahma Vishnu and Mahesh) are the Holy Trinity that is responsible for the creation, sustenance, and destruction of the Universe.
They exist together and create, sustain, and destroy the Universe according to Cosmic Laws. They are one cosmic energy entity.
The Hindu Puranas (religious scriptures of Hindus) speak of the relationship between Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
Let’s have a few examples.
In the Rama Avatar, Lord Rama (incarnation of Vishnu) offered his prayers to Lord Shiva at Rameshwaram before leaving for Lanka for battle with the demon king Ravana.
Lord Shiva who is recognized as the God of destruction and war, blessed Rama, and he eventually overpowered and killed Ravana.
The Puranas narrate that Lord Hari meditates and makes offerings to Lord Shiva every day. Once it so happened that Lord Vishnu was performing Shiva Puja and he fell short of one Lotus flower. So, he ripped off one of his eyes and offered it to the Shiva Linga as the 1000th Lotus.
There is a story that narrates how Vishnu saved Lord Shiva from his own devotee Bhasmasur. Lord Shiva had blessed Bhasmasur with the power that could burn anything he places his hand on.
However, Bhasmasur tried to test the power and wanted to place his hand on Lord Shiva. At that time Lord Vishnu came to save Lord Shiva. He took the form of a female Mohini and made Bhasmasur put his hand on his own head. So, Bhasmasur was burnt to ashes, and thus Lord Shiva was saved from the tricky situation.
The Bhagwat Purana goes on to state that Lord Vishnu is more supreme than Lord Shiva. However, the Shiva Purana goes on to state that both Vishnu and Brahma were created from Aadi Anant Jyotir Stambha of Lord Shiva.
However, it should be noted that Lord Narayan has worshiped Lord Shiva in most of his incarnations.
Parashurama who is an avatar of Lord Hari is a great devotee of Lord Shiva. In Krishna Avatar, Lord Krishna worshiped Lord Shiva to bring the tree Kalpa Vriksha from Indra.
The Shiva Linga is known as Gopeshwara Mahadeva in Vrindavana.
Moreover, in Bhagwat Purana, Vishnu tells Devi Lakshmi that half area of his heart is dedicated to Lord Shiva only.
So, we find out that close bondage exists between Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The Hindu scriptures are a testimony to the relationship between Vishnu and Shiva.
Interesting Facts about Lord Vishnu
Here, we share with you some interesting and lesser-known facts about Lord Vishnu. It will help you to know more about Lord Narayan. Let’s have a look.
Birth of Lord Brahma from Lord Vishnu’s Belly
Bhagwan Vishnu reclines on a snake bed of the thousand-headed serpent Adishesha in the cosmic ocean of Vaikunta.
He is in a state of deep meditation known as Yoga Nidra. Goddess Lakshmi is in the service of the Lord.
When he woke up, it stirred his belly due to which a lotus flower rose up from his navel. This flower blossomed and gave birth to Lord Brahma, the creator of the Universe.
Lord Brahma paid his respect to Vishnu and went on to start the creative process with the blessings of Lord Narayan.
Lord Vishnu’s Abode (Home)
The Lord Vishnu’s holy abode is Vaikunta or Param Padam.
The Hindu scriptures state that Vaikunta is located at about 209,600,000 miles above the Satyaloka, the abode of Lord Brahma.
It is believed that souls who attain liberation live in this divine abode. Bhagavata Purana states that souls that reside here have skin glowing with sky blue complexion. Their eyes are beautiful like a lotus. They are dressed in shining yellow garments. The souls which reside here are free from all illusions. They are also superior to other souls.
Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi
Goddess Lakshmi is the wife of Lord Vishnu. She is the energy of Lord Hari.
She is always portrayed by the Lord. Goddess Lakshmi resides in the chest of Vishnu.
She is often portrayed as a mole ‘Srivatsa’ in the Lord’s chest.
While Lord Vishnu protects the Universe, Goddess Lakshmi nurtures it with food, energy, wealth, beauty, and radiance.
Lord Vishnu had a Female Avatar known as Mohini.
Lord Vishnu had a female avatar known as Mohini. She was the most important character during Samudra Manthan.
Lord Vishnu as Mohini acquired ‘Amrita’ from Asuras and gave it to Devas to make them immortal.
The Mohini form of Lord Vishnu was immensely beautiful.
She enchanted the Asuras as well as the Devas with her immense beauty. She was so attractive that Asuras became insane for her beauty.
Lord Vishnu Festivals and Vrats
Hindus celebrate several festivals in the glory of God Vishnu in different parts of the country. Here, we have listed some very important festivals and Vrats related to Lord Narayan. Let’s have a look.
It is believed that Shri Hari goes into a state of Yoga Nidra during the four rainy months every year. This period is known as Chaturmas when no social or religious ceremonies are solemnized.
This divine retreat begins on the Dev Shayani Ekadashi in the month of Ashadha and lasts for four months ending in the month of Kartika on Prabodhini Ekadashi.
Diwali marks the return of Lord Vishnu from Yoga Nidra symbolizing the end of Chaturmas to drive away from the demons and all evils.
Devotees show their joy by lighting lamps and bursting crackers. They also worship Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu.
- Gokul Ashtami
The festival celebrates the auspicious descent of Vishnu upon this earth as Krishna. The festival is celebrated late at night on the eight days of the waning moon of Bhadrapada.
Ladoo Gopal is worshiped in temples. The Lord is adorned with a new dress, jewelry, and flowers. Stories are narrated from the Bhagwat Puran. Devotees sing bhajans in praise of the Lord. Finally, Prasad is distributed among devotees.
The Earth Goddess represented in the form of the Tulsi plant is wedded to the Lord on the 12th day of the waxing moon in the Hindu month of Kartika.
Lord Vishnu is mostly represented in the form of an idol or Shaligram stone. The Tulsi Vivah also marks the beginning of the Hindu marriage season.
The festival celebrates the birth of Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. On this holy day, people buy gold and precious ornaments. They pray to the Lord to protect their wealth from thieves.
Holi is a festival of love, joy, and colors. It is regarded as the favorite festival of Lord Krishna and Radha.
- Dev Diwali
The festival marks and celebrates the descent of Lord Vishnu in the form of Matsya Avatar who saved all living beings from the cosmic deluge.
The festival celebrates the birth of Lord Rama, the Seventh Avatar of Lord Vishnu. Lord Rama killed the evil king Ravana.
That’s all we have for you in this presentation on Vishnu. We hope that you now have got valuable insights about Lord Narayan – The Protector of the Universe.
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