(Last Updated on : 08/03/2013)
Lord Vishnu worshipped as the Supreme Being in Vaishnavism
. Commonly known as Narayana or Hari, Vishnu is known as the preserver of the universe. A combination of the three-god concept: Vasudeva-Krishna
, the man-god; the vedic sun-god, Lord Surya
; and the Cosmic god Narayana, Vishnu is regarded as one of the most influential member of the Hindu trinity of gods, Lord Brahma
, Lord Vishnu
, Lord Shiva
. He is the force and light that pervades in all the directions.
Images of Vishnu are shown with a royal parasol, a lock of hair on his chest known as Shrivasta, and a shining jewel called Kaustubha. In his four hands he holds a conch
, a discus, a mace and a bow or a lotus
. He wears armlets, a garland, a diadem and ear rings shaped as sea monsters. The all pervading Lord is associated with several interesting legendary fables in different forms. Some of the legends have been mentioned below:
Legend of Lord Vishnu and Sage Bhrigu
The legend of Lord Vishnu and Sage Bhrigu
states about the test of the Lord. Sage Brigu visited the three lords to decide the qualities of the gods with a view to make a decision who deserved their worship. After visiting the two Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva, the sage visited the Vishnu who was then sleeping. In order to test his nature, the sage kicked him on his chest. The Lord however, instead of losing his temper asked the sage whether he was hurt. The sage impressed with his humility and modesty decided that he alone among the trinity of gods deserved to be worshipped.
Legend of Lord Vishnu and Shukrh
According to this legend once the devas waged war on the demons. Sage Shukra, the priest of the asuras then assured them to provide support. He visited Shiva to ask for help for the demons. The Lord advised him to perform a painful rite of imbibing smoke with his head downwards for thousand years. Shukra agreed to the proposal. Meanwhile, the asuras now defenceless were attacked by the gods. Sage Shukra's mother then helped them by defeating Lord Indra
with her magical powers. The later petrified and alarmed asked Lord Vishnu to annihilate her. Vishnu, as requested by India, chopped off her head but was cursed by Sage Shukra to be born seven times in the mortal earth.
Legend of Lord Vishnu and Vrinda
According to this legend Lord Vishnu was once cursed by Vrinda, the wife of Jalandhara, for deceiving her. Jalandhara, a demon, was once blessed by Lord Brahma with the boon of invincibility against gods and demons so long his wife Vrinda remained loyal towards him. Accomplished with the power, the demon began torture and pain to then gods. Lord Vishnu was soon approached by them for help. The Lord disguised in the form of her husband deceived Vrinda while the later unable to recognize the true identity of Vishnu embraced him, thus making her unfaithful towards her husband.
Jalandhara now no longer invincible was killed causing Vrinda to become a widow.
Enraged at this deception of Lord Vishnu, Vrinda cursed that in his next birth as Lord Rama
, his consort Sita
would be kidnapped by Ravana
with the help of Maricha
Legend of Lord Vishnu and Bhasmasura
Bhasmasura, a devotee of Shiva, was once blessed with the boon of turning to ashes anyone on whose head he placed his hand. The demon, to test the efficacy of this boon, tried to put his hands on Shiva. The later terrified hid himself. To save him Vishnu took the form of a beautiful seductress Mohini and began dancing with him. Vrikasura tried to copy all the mudras that Mohini
enacted. The dancer then put her hands on her own head while dancing and following her Vrikasura too placed his hand on his head that turned him to ashes.
Legend of Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma
According to this legend once Lord Brahma was eulogising about himself to his devotees. Lord Vishnu to make him realise his mistake took him to a realm of the universe. There Lord Brhama met few sages meditating for eons. Upon seeing them and recognizing their deep knowledge, the Lord realised his mistake and shunned his ego.