Vishnuism, n.
/vish"nooh/, n. Hinduism.
1. (in later Hinduism) "the Preserver," the second member of the Trimurti, along with Brahma the Creator and Shiva the Destroyer.
2. (in popular Hinduism) a deity believed to have descended from heaven to earth in several incarnations, or avatars, varying in number from nine to twenty-two, but always including animals. His most important human incarnation is the Krishna of the Bhagavad-Gita.
3. "the Pervader," one of a half-dozen solar deities in the Rig-Veda, daily traversing the sky in three strides, morning, afternoon, and night.
[ < Skt visnu]

* * *

Principal Hindu deity worshiped as the protector and preserver of the world and restorer of dharma.

He is known chiefly through his avatars, particularly Rama and Krishna. In theory, he manifests himself anytime he is needed to fight evil, and his appearances are innumerable, but in practice 10 are most common. His various names, numbering about 1,000, are repeated as acts of devotion by his worshipers.

* * *

▪ Hindu deity
Sanskrit“The Pervader”
 one of the principal Hindu deities. Vishnu combines many lesser divine figures and local heroes, chiefly through his avatars, particularly Rama and Krishna. His appearances are innumerable; he is often said to have 10 avatars, but not always the same 10. Among the 1,000 names of Vishnu (repeated as an act of devotion by his worshippers) are Vasudeva, Narayana, and Hari.

 Vishnu was not a major deity in the Vedic period. A few Rigvedic hymns (c. 1400–1000 BCE) associate him with the Sun, and one hymn relates the legend of his three strides across the universe, which formed the basis of the myth of his avatar Vamana (Vāmana), the dwarf. Legends of figures that later became other avatars, such as the fish that saves humankind from a great flood, are also found in the early literature. By the time of the Mahabharata (the great Sanskrit epic that appeared in its final form about 400 CE), the avatars began to be identified with Vishnu. Vishnu is said to manifest a portion of himself anytime he is needed to fight evil and to protect dharma (moral and religious law). Not all avatars are wholly benevolent; some, such as Parashurama and Krishna, bring about the death of many innocent people, and the Buddha corrupts the pious antigods. Vishnu's vahana, his vehicle in the world, is the bird Garuda (Garuḍa); his heaven is called Vaikuntha.

      Temple images of Vishnu depict him either sitting, often in the company of his consorts Lakshmi (Lakṣmī) (also called Shri) and Bhumidevi (Earth), or reclining on the coils of the serpent Shesha—asleep on the cosmic ocean during the period between the periodic dissolution and re-manifestation of the world. He is also represented in a standing position and dressed in royal garments, holding in his four (sometimes two) hands the shankha (conch), chakra (discus), gada (club), or padma (lotus). On his chest is the curl of hair known as the shrivatsa mark, and around his neck he wears the auspicious jewel Kaustubha. In paintings, Vishnu is usually shown as dark-complexioned, a distinguishing feature also of several of his incarnations.

Wendy Doniger

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vishnú — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Vishnú (IAST: viṣṇu, devanagari: विष्णु) es un dios hindú. El nombre Vishnú podría significar ‘omnipresente’ en alguna forma de sánscrito antiguo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Vishnu — auf der Schlange Shesha im Urmeer und Gemahlin Lakshmi, die als Verehrungsgeste seine Füße massiert, während aus seinem Nabel auf einer Lotosblüte sitzend der vierköpfige Schöpfer Brahma erscheint …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Vishnu —    Vishnu in his various forms is one of the most worshipped gods in the Indian pantheon. His tradition, known as VAISHNAVISM, constitutes the second largest sect within Hinduism.    Vishnu first appears in the VEDAS as a rather insignificant… …   Encyclopedia of Hinduism

  • Vishnú — es un dios hindú. Su nombre podría significar ‘omnipenetrante’ en alguna forma de sánscrito antiguo. Vishnú forma parte de la Trimurti (‘tres formas’, a veces descrita de forma inexacta como Trinidad hindú): Brahmâ (el Creador, en la modalidad de …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Vishnu — ou Vichnou la seconde des trois divinités de la Trimurti ou triade brahmanique (Brahmâ, Vishnu, çiva). C est le dieu conservateur de l Univers; il apparaît parfois sous des formes humaines ou animales qu on appelle avatâra (avatars) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Vishnu — name of a principal Hindu deity, 1630s, from Skt. Vishnu, probably from root vish and meaning all pervader or worker …   Etymology dictionary

  • Vishnu — [vish′no͞o] n. [Sans Visṇu, lit., prob. all pervader] Hinduism the second member of the trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva), called “the Preserver” and popularly held to have had several human incarnations, most important of which is Krishna… …   English World dictionary

  • Vishnu — Vish nu (v[i^]sh n[=oo]), n. [Skr. Vish[.n]u, from vish to pervade., to extend through nature.] (Hindu Myth.) A divinity of the modern Hindu trimurti, or trinity. He is regarded as the preserver, while Brahma is the creator, and Siva the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Vishnu — (Wischnu), ind. Gott, der im Rigveda keine große Rolle spielt, später im Hinduismus mit Brahma und Çiva die ind. Dreieinigkeit (s. Trimūrti) bildet und der populärste Gott geworden ist [Tafel: Religionen II, 3]. Seine Verehrer, die Vaishnavās… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Vishnu — For other uses, see Vishnu (disambiguation). Vishnu Devanagari विष्णु Sanskrit Transliteration …   Wikipedia

  • Vishnu — Vishnou Vishnu Père Mère Vâhana Garuda Attributs …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”