Vishnu (from ‘Vish’ meaning to pervade).
Lord Vishnu (also Bhagwan Vishnu) is the preserver or sustainer, and his dwelling place is Vaikuntha. Lord Vishnu, the Hindu God, is represented as reclining in deep mediation in a milky ocean, the ocean of time and on the thousand headed cosmic serpent sheshnaga (Adi-shesha). His vehicle is Garuda, the heavenly primeval eagle.
In the Rig Veda, Lord Vishnu occupies a subordinate position being celebrated in only six hymns. He is a friend of Indra with whom he is often allied in the battles against the demon, Vritra.
In the Puranas Lord Vishnu acquired a prestige that he never lost. He was invested with the qualities of permanence, continuity and preservation. He has ten incarnations (avataras to free the world from adharma and oppression).
Lord Vishnu is the symbol of divine love and among those following Hinduism. Vaisnavism today commands the majority.
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