(Last Updated on : 20/02/2013)
Lord Vishnu, commonly known as Narayana
or Hari, is regarded as the Supreme deity and the ultimate reality. Vishnu is the preserver or sustainer of life with his principles of righteousness, order, and truth. Vishnu's earthly incarnations have several avatars and the Lord is worshipped in different forms. He is usually depicted in four Vyuha Modes together known as Paravasudeva. These Modes are maintained in the order: Vasudeva, Samkarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha.
Vasudeva, a form of Lord Vishnu, is idolised as possessing four arms bearing a chakra, conch
, mace and lotus
. The lotus and the mace are occasionally replaced by abhaya mudra
and palm leaf respectively. The deity is fair complexioned and is dressed in yellow coloured clothes.
The idol is four armed and carries the usual attributes of Lord Vishnu. The deity is depicted carrying the langala and musala or arrows and khadga instead of the lotus and the mace. Light pink in complexion, he is shown dressed in blue coloured clothes.
The idol, reddish in complexion, carries shankha, chakra, shranga bow, arrows or the khadga and shula or the gada and lotus. His also occasionally depict varada mudra
and the abhaya mudra.
Dressed in yellow clothes and black in complexion, the four armed Aniruddha
is seen carrying a conch, chakra, mace and lotus or shranga and arrows. It also depicts varada and abhaya mudras.
These four idols are depicted on the directional facets of Vimana towers such as: Vasudeva-east; Samkarshana-south; Pradyumna-west and Aniruddha-north. The most common forms of Vishnu idols for worship are:
The idol is seen carrying four weapons such as conch, club, discus and lotus. The lotus is however, red in colour.
The Lord is seen carrying four symbols; wears garland and is adorned with all ornamentation of Lord Vishnu. His is either depicted as orange, black or ash complexioned and is dressed in yellow clothes.
Vishnu is associated with the devotee's right nostril and is dark or red in colour. He is seen carrying the usual four symbols.
Connected with the devotee's right jaw, the deity is seen carrying a lotus or portraying abhaya mudra.
The idol has four hands and holds a conch, discus, mace or knife or lotus.
Hari is depicted with four hands and holds a conch, discus, and a cup of ambrosia while the fourth hand is in the abhaya mudra.
has four hands and carries the usual four weapons.
is identified with Kapila
and depicts abhaya mudra. Red complexioned, the Lord is said to have divided the Vedas
into four parts. He is flanked by his sister Subhadra
and brother Balarama
He carries a conch, discus, lotus, and mace.
The four armed god carries a conch, discus, mace and lotus. He is shown with Shri and Bhumi Devi or Bhudevi
Jagannatha is associated with the sacrificial rites and is depicted with three heads, three feet, four horns and seven hands. He holds shruka (ladle) and shrava (spatula) to symbolize his connection with the sacrificial offerings.
Lord Vishu is also worshipped in the form of a swan. White in colour, he holds 4, 8, 10 or 12 weapons.
A multiform image of Lord Vishnu, the deity has four faces: Vasudeva, Samkarshana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha surmounted in an ascending pyramid of heads. The Lord possesses three eyes, three legs, 1500,108, 8 or 7 hands and is crystal eyes.
The idol represents the blue coloured Vishnu on the right side and the golden complexioned Lakshmi
on the left side. The idols can be seen in standing, sitting or reclining position or else mounted on Garuda
. Lakshmi's right arm is round the shoulders of Vishnu and her left hand holds a lotus. Vishnu's left hand is around Lakshmi's waist.
This is a boar form and is a symbol of cosmic sacrifice. Different parts of the body portray different parts of the sacrifice. Black complexioned, he stands with his hands folded in anjali pose.
The deity is invoked in the devotee's left nostril. He has the usual four objects of identification. He possesses eight arms carrying a rosary, stick, jug and bow in addition to the normal items. He is shown in the company of Shri and Bhudevi.
Shridhara protects the right shoulder of the devotee. The Lord is molten gold in colour and wears yellow garments. He is four armed and carries the normal four usual weapons of Vishnu.
Blue complexioned, the deity is carrying the four normal weapons of Vishnu.
is black complexioned and is invoked as a protective power in the devotee's navel.
The deity blue in colour is seen wearing yellow garments and carrying four symbols of identification.
Lord Vishnu in his Vaikunth Anatha form has four faces, eight hands and is seated on Garuda. With his right hands he carries the gada, the khadga, the bana, the chakra while with his left hands he holds the shankha, the khetaka, the dhanus and the padma. Of his four faces, the front one facing east is of a man, the one towards the south is of Narasimha, one to the west is of a woman and the face towards north is of Varaha.
The idol bears resemblance to Vaikuntha and his faces are in order of a man, Narasimha, Varaha, and Kapila. The Lord possessing 16 hands is seen carrying gada, chakra, ankusha, bana, conch, varada pose, dhanus, shankha, padma, kamandalu and shranga with his 14 hands while with his two other hands he is seen portraying the yoga mudra poses.
Ananta possess 12 hands and four faces. It is seated on the Garuda. One of the right hands is in varada pose while with the remaining five hands he carries the gada, the khadga, the chakra, the vajra and the ankusha. In his left hands he bears the shankha, the khetaka, the dhanus, the padma, the danda and the pasha.
Adimurti, a minor incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is shown sitting on the Adishesha with his right leg hanging and the left leg resting on the seat. The Lord is coral-red and possesses four hands. With his two hands he carries the chakra and the shankha, one right hand rests on the seat and the left hand is stretched upon the left knee. Adishesha is usually depicted with 5-7 hoods. Bhrigu
are shown kneeling before the Lord and images of Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva are portrayed in a pose of offering prayers
Lakshmi, Bhu and Nila
Lord is also represented by a feminine form. His consort Shri is a representation of Vishnu. Lakshmi, Bhu, Nila also called Kamala is depicted sitting on the lap of Narayana
possessing two or four hands.
The Lord is depicted seated on a throne and reigning in Vishnuloka. He is attended by his consorts Shri and Dhara.
The Lord reposes on a serpent couch that floats on the ocean of milk
. Goddess Lakshmi, the holy consort of Lord Vishnu, is seen at his feet, massaging his leg. Encircled by tongues of fire and weapons, the Lord has four distinctive marks carrying the conch, discus, mace and the lotus. He is blue complexioned and is adorned with yellow clothes. Garuda is his mount.