Image of Vishnu

Vishnu at Muktinath
In Muktinath Vishnu is worshipped at the Temple of the Lord of Salvation (Mukti Nath) and in a little temple next to the Shiva Parvati Mandir. However central to the meaning of Muktinath as a Hindu shrine is the veneration of Lord Vishnu in the form of a Salagram stone. There are many legends dating back more than 2000 years, which tell of Vishnu turning into stone. All of these are closely connected to Salagrama, the area along the Gandaki River, also called Mukti Kshetra (Salvation Field).

The Compassionate Preserver
Vishnu is part of the Hindu Triad (Trimurti) Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu and represents the aspect of Supreme Reality that pervades and sustains the created universe symbolized by Ohm. Vishnu is preserver of the universe and the embodiment of goodness and mercy; of compassion.
The name Vishnu means 'one who pervades'; 'one who has entered into everything.' 

His consort
His consort is Lakshmi, the goddess of beauty and fortune.

Vishnu's form
As an icon Vishnu has four arms. The four arms indicate Vishnu's omnipresence and omnipotence. In his right hand he holds the discus, symbol of the cosmic mind and reminder of the wheel of time. His lower right hand holds the conch (sankh), symbol of the sound Ohm orgin of existence. The sounds created from the conch is associated with the sound from the creation of the universe. Vishnu in Dattatreya (standing) formFrom this evolve the five elements. In his other hand he holds the bow which is called shranga, the symbol of casual power of illusion from which arises the universe. The arrows are the sense which represent intellectual activities. In his upper left hand, he holds a lotus (padma), the symbol for the moving universe and the symbol of all things that are good (eternity, prosperity, and purity). His lower left hand holds the mace (gada), the symbol of the notion of individual existence. The icons on his body also attruibutes to the greatness of the deity. An example of this is the armlets he wears. These represent the three aims of life; pleasure, success, and righteousness. The other example is the earring shaped like monsters. They represent the two methods of knowledge: the intellectual knowledge and the intuitive perception. The power of the god is encased in the garland of victory made from either five rows of flowers or jewels, representing the five senses.

More online information
For more backgrounds on Hindu Deities & images see the Hindu Deities Index.

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