The name Vishnu means "penetrating everything or embracing the whole world." It is the supreme deity in the Vaishnavism tradition, this direction is one of the main directions of Hinduism. In Hindu philosophy, Vishnu is part of the triad of gods (Trimurti), he is tasked with maintaining the universe, symbolizing peace and harmony within human consciousness.
In many teachings of Hinduism, this deity is worshiped directly or through earthly incarnations (Avatars) - Narasimha, Raama and Krishna are considered the most important. The followers of Vaishnavas consider Vishnu to be the source of the entire universe, the Supreme God, the Creator, and the ruler of all living beings.
According to legend, the god Vishnu in the form of Narayana is in the "causal waters" in a state of deep yogic sleep, which may explain one of his names "dwelling in the waters". Even before the creation of the universe, the god slept in the cosmic space of the causal ocean, it relied on the greatest snake named Adi-Shesha. At the beginning of the creation process, a large lotus blossomed from his navel, from which appeared another god named Brahma, who himself is considered to be the creator of the universe. God Brahma carries out Vishnu's instructions and creates the manifested world and all living beings.
From the creation of the world until its destruction, Vishnu dwells in his own sacred abode Vaikuntha, which is the highest heaven. By his command and desire, many worlds are created, stored, and disintegrated. And when the cosmic cycle ends, Vishnu reabsorbs the entire universe into the primordial dimension of Spirit.
The endless cycle of birth and death of the whole universe is for him a divine game (lila). He defends Dharma (the law of righteousness) and fights evil demons of his own making. In order to properly protect virtuous people, Vishnu sometimes comes to earth in the form of a divine incarnation - Avatar. Ancient texts say that even the existence of a demon is a manifestation of his wise and incomprehensible plan.
In the Bhagavatam (one of the main sacred texts of Hinduism) you can find information about the ten main avatars of Vishnu. Nine avatars have incarnated at different times on Earth and have performed their duties, and the tenth incarnation of the God Vishnu Kalki Avatar awaits his arrival. In iconography, the God Vishnu is depicted as a handsome young man with four arms. A more complete list of Vishnu's incarnations is given in the same sacred text that includes twenty-two divine incarnations.
Vishnu's body can be blue or dark, the robe is always golden yellow. In each hand he holds a certain object: a mace, a disk, a shell and a blossoming lotus. Vishnu can be considered as one of the most famous deities in the entire Hindu pantheon. There are many interpretations of this deity, from the most primitive to the highly symbolic.
Some people tried to appease the deity with elaborate rituals. At the highest level of the spiritual path, true devotees realize that Vishnu is the absolute divine consciousness, whose essence is love, wisdom, and compassion. The higher philosophical schools of Vedanta consider Vishnu as a symbol of the true nature of consciousness, which shines in the spiritual heart of all living beings.
In order to cultivate good thoughts and destroy evil thoughts, and revive the Dharma, Vishnu himself can be reborn in human or animal form. The earthly hypostasis is called Avatar, which can be translated from Sanskrit as "descending" into the manifested world.