Whenever evil forces disturb the Dharmic cosmic order, it is Vishnu, The Preserver, who restores stability and balance. If there is conflict is between deities he deals with each of them directly, but if the threat is from demons or other supernatural beings, then Vishnu incarnates himself an avatar, such as Narasimha or Krishna, to vanquish the evildoer here on Earth. At each incarnation, he is accompanied by one of his beloved consorts, either Lakshmi the Goddess of Abundance and Good Fortune, or Bhu Devi, Goddess of the Earth. Thus far Vishnu has reincarnated nine times to restore Dharma, with the tenth still to come.
Vishnu, Shiva and Shakti, the Great Goddess, each has followers believing their god or goddess is supreme over the others. In Vishnu’s case, those followers are Vaisnavites.
Vishnu’s origins go back to the earliest Vedas as a synthesis of the benevolent solar deity, Surya, and warrior god, Indra, though by the Puranas of the 4th to 6th centuries CE, Vishnu came to be portrayed as depicted here.
Tall, slim and elegant, Vishnu radiates peace and benevolence as he stands in samabhanga on a lotus, the symbol of purity. In his rear hands, he holds the conch (sankha), whose spirals represent the spread of the sacred sound ‘Om’ throughout the cosmos, and the sun wheel of time (chakra), a Suryan holdover, and a weapon particularly effective on demons. His forward hands are in the gesture of protection and reassurance (abhyamudra) and the easing of suffering and sorrow (katyavalambita).
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15 in / 38 cm
5.84 lbs / 2.65 kgs