In Hindu belief, one of the principle deities, worshiped as the protector and preserver of worlds, who guards the equilibrium between good and evil. Vishnu descends to earth in the form or incarnation which is best suited to a situation. In the form of a human lion Vishnu saved a pious prince who was about to be murdered by his own father. Vishnu concealed himself in a column at the king's palace. And just when the king was about to strike — to punish his son for his faith in Vishnu — the god appeared out of the column and tore the king to shreds. Vishnu took on the incarnation of a boar to save the world which the water demon had inundated with the ocean. The boar lifted the earth — generally personified as a woman — from the bottom of the ocean. Vishnu is often conceived as a member of the triad including Brahma and Shiva. Also see Ganesha and Ramayana.

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  • Vishnu —    Vishnu in his various forms is one of the most worshipped gods in the Indian pantheon. His tradition, known as VAISHNAVISM, constitutes the second largest sect within Hinduism.    Vishnu first appears in the VEDAS as a rather insignificant… …   Encyclopedia of Hinduism

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  • Vishnu — ou Vichnou la seconde des trois divinités de la Trimurti ou triade brahmanique (Brahmâ, Vishnu, çiva). C est le dieu conservateur de l Univers; il apparaît parfois sous des formes humaines ou animales qu on appelle avatâra (avatars) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • Vishnu — [vish′no͞o] n. [Sans Visṇu, lit., prob. all pervader] Hinduism the second member of the trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva), called “the Preserver” and popularly held to have had several human incarnations, most important of which is Krishna… …   English World dictionary

  • Vishnu — Vish nu (v[i^]sh n[=oo]), n. [Skr. Vish[.n]u, from vish to pervade., to extend through nature.] (Hindu Myth.) A divinity of the modern Hindu trimurti, or trinity. He is regarded as the preserver, while Brahma is the creator, and Siva the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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