Vishnu is the Great God (Mahadeva) whose role is Preserver of Dharma, the cosmic order. Vishnu protects the peace and stability of the world, either through direct intervention if the imbalance is divinely caused, or if the threat is here on Earth he incarnates as a supernatural mortal to deal with demons. Thus far Vishnu has incarnated nine times with the tenth still to come. The two most popular forms in which Vishnu has been reincarnated are Rama and Krishna, both of whom played pivotal roles in re-establishing balance in the struggle between good and evil.
Vishnu is the peacekeeper and administrator of the world and in this role is aided by his consort, Lakshmi, Great Goddess of Abundance and Good Fortune. In each reincarnation, Vishnu is accompanied by an incarnation of Lakshmi, proving the eternal power of marital love. Whenever Vishnu descends to earth, he marries Lakshmi. For example, when Vishnu incarnates as Rama, Lakshmi is born as Sita. As Krishna, he marries her as Radha.
Though most often Vishnu is portrayed either standing on a lotus or resting on Sesha, the coiled snake, here he is merely seated. He wears more elaborate adornment (alankara) than his fellow Great Gods (Mahadeva), indicative of his high status. He is depicted with four arms and hands, the rear two holding his defining attributes. In the left hand he holds a conch, Sankha, representing the spread of the sacred sound ‘Om’; in his right the disc, Vajira, representing the chakra, the wheel of time. Vajira is also used as a weapon and particularly effective against demons. His left forward hand gestures us to come forward to receive his blessing (abhayamudra) while his right (varadamudra) bestows it.
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12 in / 30 cm
14.77 lb / 6.7 kg