The Great God Vishnu


Vishnu, the Preserver of the Creation

The great god Vishnu is the second divinity of the Brahmanic and Hindu trinity. This trinity, known in Sanskrit as Trimurti, consists of three great gods − Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The essential role of the great god Vishnu on this planet is to ensure its preservation and to make the divine creation evolve as necessary. His name, Vishnu, has an obscure origin and it means ”the Immanent One”. It contains the Sanskrit root vish, which might be translated as to pervade, to establish. Many Hindu classic texts consider the great god Vishnu as all-pervading and omnipresent. In Rig Veda, the great god Vishnu is mentioned in this way: ”The one who pervades completely every atom of this Universe and for whom limits or barriers never exist.”

The popular tradition of India depicts the great god Vishnu as the preserving aspect of Divinity − or, in other words, of Brahman, God the Father. Within the divine creation on this planet he represents the divine, passive, beneficial forces that make evolution possible within the material world of this planet, between two creations and two destructions.

1,000 names − 1,000 essential godly aspects

Hindu fundamental texts mention that the great god Vishnu governs in a certain way the subtle body of the macrocosmic being, or - as it is called in Sanskrit - hiranyagarbha, which means ”the golden embryo”. The great god Vishnu impersonates and at the same time manifests all the qualities of sattva guna. Traditionally in India Vishnu has 1,000 names, in Sanskrit sahashranama, which are and at the same time represent the 1,000 divine qualities and essential godly aspects that describe his enigmatic godly personality. Some Hindu esoteric texts mention that the great god Vishnu is a gigantic channel through which God the Father, Brahman manifests Himself, and that within God's creation and manifestation his superhuman personality represents, as a whole, the internal cause of the existence.

The feminine counterpart or, in other words, the one who is considered to be a shakti of his, is the Great Cosmic Power Kamalatmika. Apart from the Great Cosmic Power Kamalatmika, the Hindu tradition mentions that great god Vishnu is seconded by another female counterpart, the goddess Bhudevi. It is said that the Great Cosmic Power Kamalatmika is able to assume countless forms, countless aspects, and has many names, among which LaIn case ofmi is best known.

For the great god Vishnu, the creature that carries him and also symbolizes him is called vahana in Sanskrit, and that symbolic creature is the Garuda bird.

Some Hindu traditional texts mention that the great god Vishnu is the consort of Bhumi, which in translation means ”earthly prosperity”.

Awaiting every new divine creation, or, in other words, every new awakening to the divine life, the great god Vishnu rests on a thousand-headed giant snake, known in the Hindu tradition as Ananta, which floats upon the primordial waters, evoking the profoundly symbolic and significant image of eternity during the periods separating two successive cycles (kalpas). Hindu tradition mentions that Brahma himself appeared from a wonderful lotus flower that grew in the navel of the great god Vishnu. During his cyclical awakenings, the great god Vishnu, in his aspect as instrument of God (Brahman), gives birth to the divine creation and manifestation and does so through great god Brahma. He thus makes the creation appear and subsist, using each time his own mysterious substance.


The avataras, manifestations of Vishnu in the physical world

The main function of the great god Vishnu within the divine creation and manifestation on this planet is to slow down and even block a new destruction or degeneration of the divine creation. Due to his extraordinarily great, even gigantic godly nature, the great god Vishnu infuses unceasingly the divine creation and manifestation on this planet with a divine, harmonizing, preserving, regenerating, seemingly passive energy, which allows the world on this blue planet Earth to survive.

In order to avoid the divine essential law of dharma to be seriously disturbed due to falling under the influence of evil adverse forces, the great god Vishnu chose to manifest himself through certain exemplary divine godly aspects, known in Hindu tradition as avataras. These extraordinary beings have assumed the mission to annihilate on this planet the evil plans and actions of demons or of human beings that are very evil, cunning and perverse. Some of these manifestations or projections of the great god Vishnu, such as the great avatar Krishna or the great avatar Rama, are worshiped even to this day. The revelations full of divine wisdom of the great avatar Krishna are included in the famous text of Hindu wisdom Bhagavad Gita.

The legends describe ten such exemplary godly materializations, avataras, that played a certain legendary role on this planet. The tenth avatar is to be incarnated on Earth under the name Kalki. This last godly personality exists already in the world beyond, being ready to incarnate at the right time, and he will play a very important role when a new divine epoch for planet Earth will begin.

The three fundamental hypostases

In India, the great god Vishnu is often worshiped in the aspect known as Mahavishnu, or the Great Vishnu, the supreme god of Mahatattva, the material universe. In his aspect of divine channel and instrument through which God the Father (Brahman) manifests, the great god Vishnu takes from the supreme nature of God a certain absolute energy, and then supplies it in the process of creating the world that exists on planet Earth.

Another fundamental and all-pervading hypostasis of Vishnu is called Garbhodakasayi Vishnu. By the means of this hypostasis he creates the diversity of forms and even the mysterious paradisiac realms that exist in the astral universe.

The third fundamental hypostasis is Kshirodakasayi Vishnu, or the Supreme Universal Soul. In Satvata Tantra it is said: ”Only the knowledge of Vishnu's three occult hypostases allows tenacious and fervent worshipers to easily reach the ultimate spiritual liberation from the deceitful toils of matter.”

Another name of the great god Vishnu, which is well-known in India, is Vasudeva, which means ”He who remains permanently in everything and in all.” In this hypostasis as Vasudeva, the great god Vishnu is worshipped as a universal, omnipresent and all-pervading deity.

Symbolic emblems

The traditional Indian treaty Pancha Ratra mentions that the great god Vishnu carries nine symbolic emblems of the mysterious principles of the universe. Thus, he is adorned with a pectoral, in Sanskrit kaustubha, which actually represents the souls. On his chest he has a lock of hair, in Sanskrit srivatsa, which is a symbolic representation of prakriti. He holds a mace in his hand, in Sanskrit mahat, which symbolizes the supramental, the clearly superior intelligence. In another hand, great god Vishnu holds a conch, in sanskrit shanka, which is a symbolic representation of the five fundamental elements − namely the subtle earth, subtle water, subtle fire, subtle air, and subtle ether. In another hand he holds a bow, which is a symbolic representation of the power often unsuspected of illusion. In another hand he holds a sword, which symbolizes the definitive cutting-off of the chains of ignorance. In another hand he holds a chakra, a solar disc, symbolizing the thinking which is illuminated by divine inspiration. In another hand he holds some arrows that symbolize the senses. In another hand he holds a garland, in Sanskrit mala, which symbolizes the diversity of elements. However, most often the great god Vishnu is represented having only four of all these symbols − the chakra, the conch, the mace, and a lotus flower.

The mysterious realm of Vishnu

Vaikuntha Svarga is the immense and enigmatic realm where great god Vishnu lives and dwells. It is a formidable mythical realm, located on the north face of mythical Mount Meru, where everything is sublime, paradisiac, divine and perfect. Some ancient texts describe Vaikuntha Svarga as a place where there are many extremely beautiful palaces, gold-plated, adorned with huge diamonds and decorated with many pearls.

In Vaikuntha Svarga there is an endless and charming spring. Its sky is a huge umbrella protecting all those who live there from all evil. It is said that no form of fear may appear, and no difficulty whatsoever may exist any longer in Vaikuntha Svarga. In that miraculous, paradisiacal realm, the great god Vishnu welcomes those who manifest a steady and frenetic adoration towards him. All human beings who deserve to reach that place after leaving this world for good at the time of death permanently enjoy an immense and overwhelming divine happiness that will last until the moment of final dissolution of the Universe, Mahapralaya. When Mahapralaya begins, the paradisiacal realm of the great god Vishnu resorbs in non-manifestation, and afterwards becomes the germ of a new universe, that will manifest when a new cycle of divine creation and manifestation begins. The sanskrit term Vaikuntha is already one of the titles of the great god Vishnu, as king of both subtle universe, and physical universe of planet Earth. In the hypostasis of Vaikuntha, the great god Vishnu is described as having four faces, thus showing that he oversees wisely, with exemplary vigilance, the entire cosmic space. It is important to know that in the paradisiacal realm of the great god Vishnu, Vaikuntha Svarga, all obstacles, without exception, have been annihilated, eliminated forever. This suggests there are no more obstacle whatsoever on the path towards supreme spiritual realization, and that is why it becomes possible - for those who deserve to reach and stay forever in that paradisiacal realm - to easily reveal their Supreme Immortal Self, Atman.

In conclusion, one may say that in India the great god Vishnu is and remains one of the essential divinities. In our yoga school, the initiation into the communion with the great god Vishnu is offered during Costinești Holiday Yogi Camp, following a selection process. The actual initiation consists of receiving some essential theoretical notions, as well as the implementation of a secret mantra of communion with the great god Vishnu.