ویشنو

از ویکی‌پدیا، دانشنامهٔ آزاد
پرش به ناوبری پرش به جستجو
فارسیEnglish
ویشنو
جنبه نفوذگر و حفاظت‌گر خداوند
Vishnu Kumartuli Park Sarbojanin Arnab Dutta 2010.JPG
دیواناگریविष्णु
ترجمهٔ زبان سانسکریتviṣṇu
وابستگیدِوا (تریمورتی)
محل سکونتوایکونتا، دریای شیر
مانتراOm Namo Narayanaya, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
سلاح‌هاسودرشنه چاکرا و کوموداکی
همسر/همسرانلاکشمی، بهودوی
Mountگَروده
ویشنو و همسرش لاکشمی

ویشنو دومین ایزد از ایزدان سه‌گانه هندو و جنبه نفوذگر و حفاظت‌گر خداوند است. نام این ایزد مذکر در نوشته‌های روحانی آئین هندو همچون یجورودا، ریگ‌ودا و باگاوادگیتا آمده‌است.

واژه ویشنو از فعل «ویش» به معنی چیرگی و نفوذ داشتن است. در ریگ ودا، ویشنو از ایزدان تراز اول نیست، بلکه نماد نیروی آفتاب است که در سه گام از هفت ناحیه جهان می‌گذرد و کلیّه اشیاء را با گرد نور خویش احاطه می‌کند. برخی از مفسران ریگ‌ودا این سه گام را به مظاهر سه‌گانه نور که آتش و برق و خورشید باشد، تعبیر کرده‌اند. بعضی دیگر آن را سه وضع خورشید، یعنی پگاه، نیمروز و شامگاه دانسته‌اند.[۱]

این ایزد بنا به باور هندوان در دوران‌های مختلف به صورت مظاهر مختلف آشکار می‌گردد و تاکنون در ۹ پیکر گوناگون نمود یافته‌است. ویشنو امروزه نیز پرستش می‌شود ویکی از کیش‌های دین هندو که ویشنو را تمرکز پرستش خود قرار داده ویشنوپرستی نام دارد. مهابهاراتا هزار نام و لقب برای ویشنو برشمرده‌است.[۱] به باور ویشنو پرستان، ویشنو تاکنون ۹ بار به صورت موجودات انسانی و زمینی به دنیای ما پا گذاشته‌است. دو شکل از مهمترین آنها، راما و کریشنا بوده‌اند که داستانشان در پوراناها آمده‌است. ویشنو در نوبت دهم به صورت مردی خواهد آمد به نام کالکی که سوار بر اسب و با شمشیر با ظلم و ستم و مردم شرور و مدعیان دروغین پیامبری خواهد جنگید و جهان را از پلیدی و ناپاکی، پاک می‌کند و خودش به مدت ۱۰۰۰ سال حکومت خواهد کرد و جهان را به سمت حکومت خدایان هدایت خواهد کرد. این دورهٔ حکومت خدایان، معروف به دورهٔ طلایی یا ساتایایوگا، ۱۷۲۸۰۰۰ سال طول خواهد کشید.[۲]

ویژگی‌ها[ویرایش]

در پورانا آمده‌است که وی را رنگ ابرهای آبی تیره است، و او را چهار دست است، که در آن یک برگ نیلوفر آبی، یک گرز، یک صدف حلزونی و یک حلقه گرفته‌است. در ویشنو سهاسراناما، آمده‌است که گوهر کنونی در تمام جهان‌های بی‌شمار بر دست اوست، و ویشنو پرودگار گذشته، حال و آینده و آفریننده آن‌هاست، او که بر اقیانوس‌ها تکیه زده‌است، آفرینش را استوار می‌دارد.

ویشنو که پیشتر از او با لقب نارایَنه یاد شده از خدایانی است که گاه در موقعیت برترین خدا قرار می‌گیرد. او در ریگ‌ودا «رخنه‌گر در همه چیز» و خدای خدایان (دِوَدِوا) است و در اوپانیشادها گاه «همان برهما، همان مهادیو [شیوا]، همان ویشنو، همان ایندیرا، همان بی‌نقصان و همان نور بزرگ است». و گاه از همه خدایان بزرگ‌تر است؛ و هر چه‌است «همان نارایَنَه‌است که دورکننده همه نادانی هاست» (و زمانی که او بود «نه برهما بود، نه مهادیو، نه آب، نه آتش، نه ماه، نه آسمان، نه زمین، نه ستاره‌ها و نه آفتاب. او یگانه بود و از تنهایی ناآرام شد». او خدای مرتضان و سالکان است و آن‌ها «بعد از ریاضت و اعمالِ بسیار نوری مثل روشنی چراغ می‌بینند. آن نور ویشنو و شخص بزرگ است و در همه پر است».[۳]

ویشنو علت برتر همه چیز و نفس همه چیز است. همه جا هست و تمام هستی را دربرگرفته، نامتناهی است و صفات، اعمال و نیروهای او نامحدود است. جهان تجلی اوست و بر آن فرمان می‌راند. «آن را آفریده و در آن وارد شده».[۳]

رودره نیز مانند ویشنو گاه در جایگاه برترین خدا قرار می‌گیرد. اما تفاوت اساسیِ آن با ویشنو در این است که هر چند از آفرینندگی او سخن رفته، در مورد رودره تأکید بر جنبه ویرانگری اوست.[۳]

ویشنو در مقام ناجی جهان[ویرایش]

یکی از اسطوره‌های بسیار کهن هند، به توفان فاجعه‌باری معروف است که نابودی کل جهان، از جمله مانو، انسان کهن نمونه‌ای را تهدید می‌کرد. در روایتی از این اسطوره آمده که مانو ماهی کوچکی را نگه می‌دارد و به او هشدار می‌دهد که توفانی در راه است و قول می‌دهد او را نجات دهد. مانو برای خود قایقی می‌سازد و نمونه‌هایی از مخلوقات زنده و گیاهان را به درون قایق می‌برد. وقتی توفان درمی‌گیرد، ماهی، که اکنون بزرگ و غول‌آسا شده‌است، قایق را می‌کشد و به جای امنی می‌برد، بقیهٔ موجودات همه نابود می‌شوند. مانو پس از این واقعه، می‌فهمد که ماهی ماتسیا کسی جز ویشنو نبوده‌است. تجلی ویشنو به صورت گراز وَهارا به نظر می‌رسد که گونه‌ای از این اسطوره توفان باشد: در آغاز زمان، زمین زیر سطح اقیانوس بزرگی پنهان شده بود، اما ویشنو خود را به گراز غول‌آسایی بدل کرد و زمین را از روی امواج بلند کرد و آن را به صورت مسطح گستراند.

ایزدان و دیوان[ویرایش]

ایزدان و اَسوراها برابر نهاد هندی دیوان در موقعیتی دیگر بر آن‌ها شدند که به اکسیر جاودانگی دست یابند. ویشنو به آنان فرمان داد تا انواع گوناگون از گیاهان دارویی را به داخل اقیانوسی بزرگ از شیر بیندازند و آن را به تلاطم درآورند. ویشنو برای آنکه این کار را با موفقیت انجام دهد، از ماندارا پادشاه مارها و کره گیرنده از شیر، و واسوکی به عنوان طناب کمک گرفت و خود را به صورت لاک‌پشتی غول‌آسا (کارما) درآورد تا محوری برای کوه مزبور باشد. نخست، اقیانوس سمی را پدیدآورد که شیوا آن را قبل از آنکه اکسیر تشکیل شود، نوشید. خدایان و دیوان همه خواستار این شیره شدند، اما ویشنو به نفع خدایان مداخله کرد تا دیوان را از رسیدن به اکسیر جاودانگی مانع شود.

دو تجلی دیگر ویشنو مربوط به دیوانی است که تهدید به برچیدن نظم جهان می‌کنند. دیوی به نام هیرانیاکا شیپو در پی ریاضت‌های دینی بزرگی که از سر گذرانده بود، از برهما صاحب اکسیر جاودانگی شد. اما بعدها چون رفتارش خصمانه گشت، ویشنو به موجودی نیمه انسان و نیمه شیر ناراسیمها بدل شد تا عطیهٔ جاودانگی هیرانیاکا شیپو را به چنگ آورد، عطیه‌ای که باعث می‌شد او از دست ایزدان، انسان‌ها یا حیوانات در امان باشد.[۴]

منابع[ویرایش]

  • "ویشنو". ویکی‌پدیای انگلیسی. Retrieved 2 November 2008.
  1. ۱٫۰ ۱٫۱ حسینی (آصف)، سید حسن: کیهان‌شناخت و فریضه ادوار جهانی هندو. در: نشریه «هفت آسمان» زمستان ۱۳۸۲ - شماره ۲۰. (از صفحه ۴۷ تا ۶۶).
  2. ن. فخر ،سفر به دل ادیان-ص٢٤-٢٥
  3. ۳٫۰ ۳٫۱ ۳٫۲ حاتمی گل‌مکانی، رحمت‌الله: رابطه خدا با انسان و جهان در اوپه‌نیشدها. در: نشریه «هفت آسمان»، بهار ۱۳۸۵ - شماره ۲۹. (از صفحه ۹ تا ۲۸).
  4. کتاب اساطیر جهان، سرویراستار: ویلیام داتی. شابک: ۲-۴۵-۸۳۳۲-۹۶۴-۹۷۸

Vishnu
God of Protection, Preservation of Good, Controller of entire Universe, Karma restoration, Moksha[1][2]
Member of Trimurti
Vishnu Surrounded by his Avatars.jpg
Vishnu
AffiliationDashavatara, Parabrahman (Vaishnavism), Trimurti, Deva, Tridev
AbodeVaikuntha, Kshir Sagar
Mantraॐ नमो नारायणाया (Om Namo Narayanaya)
ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय (Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya)
Weapondiscus (Sudarshana Chakra) and mace (Kaumodaki gada)[3] Bow (Sharanga) Sword (Nandaka)
SymbolsShaligram, Lotus
MountShesha and Garuda[3]
FestivalsHoli, Ram Navami, Krishna Janmashtami, Narasimha Jayanti, Diwali, Onam, Vivaha Panchami, Vijayadashami, Anant Chaturdashi, Devshayani Ekadashi, Kartik Purnima, Tulsi Vivah[4]
Personal information
ConsortsLakshmi (Sridevi, Bhudevi, Nila Devi, Tulsi)
ChildrenAyyappan (in some denominations of Hinduism)
SiblingsAdi Parashakti alias Parvati (in some denominations of Hinduism)

Vishnu (/ˈvɪʃn/; Sanskrit pronunciation: [ʋɪʂɳʊ]; Sanskrit: विष्णु, IAST: Viṣṇu) is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. The "preserver" in the Hindu triad (Trimurti), Vishnu is revered as the supreme being In Vaishnavism[5][6] as identical to the metaphysical concept of Brahman (Atman, the self, or unchanging ultimate reality), and is notable for adopting various incarnations (avatars such as Rama and Krishna) to preserve and protect dharmic principles whenever the world is threatened with evil, chaos, and destructive forces.[7] In the Smarta Tradition of Hinduism Vishnu is also one of the five equivalent deities worshipped in Panchayatana puja.[6]

Nomenclature

Vishnu (or Viṣṇu, Sanskrit विष्णु) means 'all pervasive'[8], and according to Medhātith (circa 1000 CE), 'one who is everything and inside everything'[9]. Vedanga scholar Yaska (circa 600 BCE) in the Nirukta defines Vishnu as 'viṣṇur viṣvater vā vyaśnoter vā', meaning 'one who enters everywhere', adding 'atha yad viṣito bhavati tad viṣnurbhavati', meaning 'that which is free from fetters and bondage is Vishnu'[10].

The 108 Names of Vishnu

In the tenth part of the Padma Purana, Danta (Son of Bhīma and King of Vidarbha) lists 108 names of Vishnu (17.98-102).[11] These include the ten primary avatars (see Dashavarara, below) and descriptions of thee qualities, attributes, or aspects of God.

The 1000 Names of Vishnu

The Anushasana Parva of the Mahabharata and the Garuda Purana (chapter XV)[12] both list over 1000 names for Vishnu, each name describing a quality, attribute, or aspect of God. Known as the Vishnu Sahasranama, 'Vishnu' here is defined as 'the omnipresent'. Other notable names in this list include Hari ('remover of sins'), Kala ('time'), Vasudeva ('Son of Vasudeva', i.e. Krishna), Atman ('the soul'), Purusa ('the divine being') and Prakrti ('the divine nature').

MahaVishnu

MahaVishnu ('Great Vishnu') - also known as Karanodakasayi Vishnu - is another important name that denotes his being the source and creator of the multiverse as the total material energy (also known as mahat-tattva). Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu (stimulation of energy to create diverse forms) and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Vishnu (diffusion of the paramatman or 'supersoul' in the hearts of all living beings) are expansions of MahaVishnu.

Appearance

Vishnu

In Hindu mythology, Vishnu is depicted as having:

  • A dark blue to black complexion
  • Earrings in the shape of sharks
  • A garland of flowers hanging from His neck (Vaijayanti)
  • Four arms:
  • The Kaustubha gem on his chest
  • Yellow-coloured silk trousers

The bow of Vishnu is known as Sharanga and His sword is known as Nandaka. A traditional depiction of Vishnu is that of Him reclining on the coils of the serpent Shesha, accompanied by his consort Lakshmi, as he "dreams the universe into reality".[13]

The Trimurti

Particularly in Vaishnavism, the so-called 'Hindu Triad'[14] (or 'Great Trinity'[15] or Trimurti) represents the three fundamental forces (gunas) through which the universe is created, maintained, and destroyed in cyclic succession. Each of these forces is represented by a Hindu deity:[16][17]

  • Brahma: Represents Rajas (passion, creation)
  • Vishnu: Represents Sattva (goodness, preservation)
  • Shiva: Represents Tamas (darkness, destruction)

All have the same meaning of three in One; different forms or manifestations of One person the Supreme Being.[18]

Harihara and Harirudra

Shiva and Vishnu are both viewed as the ultimate form of god in different Hindu denominations. Harihara is a composite of half Vishnu and half Shiva, and artwork related to Harihara is found from mid 1st millennium CE, such as in the cave 1 and cave 3 of the 6th-century Badami cave temples.[19][20] Another half Vishnu half Shiva form, which is also called Harirudra, is mentioned in Mahabharata.[21]

Avatars

The Krishna avatar instructs Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita.

The concept of the avatar (or incarnation) within Hinduism is most often associated with Vishnu, the preserver or sustainer aspect of God within the Hindu Trimurti. The avatars of Vishnu descend to empower the good and to destroy evil, thereby restoring Dharma and relieving the burden of the Earth. An oft-quoted passage from the Bhagavad Gita describes the typical role of an avatar of Vishnu:

Whenever righteousness wanes and unrighteousness increases I send myself forth.
For the protection of the good and for the destruction of evil,
and for the establishment of righteousness,
I come into being age after age.

— Bhagavad Gita 4.7–8

Vedic literature, in particular the Puranas (meaning 'ancient', similar to encyclopedias) and Itihasa (meaning 'chronicle', 'history', and 'legend'), narrate numerous avatars of Vishnu. The most well-known of these avatars are Krishna (most notably in the Vishnu Purana, Bhagavata Purana, and Mahabharata; the latter encompassing the Bhagavad Gita), and Rama (most notably in the Ramayana). Krishna in particular is venerated in Vaishnavism as the ultimate, primeval, transcendental source of all existence, including all the other demigods and gods such as Vishnu.

By Purana

Specified avatars of Vishnu are listed against some of the Puranas in the table below. However, this is a complicated process and the lists are unlikely to be exhaustive because:

  • Not all Puranas provide lists per se (e.g. the Agni Purana dedicates entire chapters to avatars, and some of these chapters mention other avatars within them)
  • A list may be given in one place but additional avatars may be mentioned elsewhere (e.g. the Bhagavata Purana lists 22 avatars in Canto 1, but mentions others elsewhere)
  • A personality in one Purana may be considered an avatar in another (e.g. Narada is not specified as an avatar in the Matsya Purana but is in the Bhagavata Purana)
  • Some avatars consist of two or more people considered as different aspects of a single incarnation (e.g. Nara-Narayana, Rama and his three brothers)
Purana Avatars Names / Descriptions (with chapters and verses)
Agni[22] 12(a) Matsya (2), Kurma (3), Dhanvantari (3.11), Mohini (3.12), Varaha (4), Narasimha (4.3-4), Vamana (4.5-11), Parasurama (4.12-20), Rama (5-11; one of the 'four forms' of Vishnu, including his brothers Bharata, Laksmana and Satrughna), Krishna (12), Buddha (16), Kalki (16)
Bhagavata 22(b)[23] Kumaras, Varaha, Narada, Nara-Narayana, Kapila, Dattatreya, Yajna, Rsabha, Prthu, Matsya, Kurma, Dhanvantari, Mohini, Nrsimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Vyasadeva, Rama, Balarama and Krishna, Buddha, and Kalki (Canto 1, Chapter 3).
20(b)[24] Varaha, Suyajna (Hari), Kapila, Dattātreya, Four Kumaras, Nara-Narayana, Prthu, Rsabha, Hayagriva, Matsya, Kurma, Nṛsiṁha, Vamana, Manu, Dhanvantari, Parashurama, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, and Kalki (Canto 2, Chapter 7)
Brahma[25] 15 Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Hayagriva, Buddha, Rama, Kalki, Ananta, Acyuta, Jamadagnya (Parashurama), Varuna, Indra, and Yama (Volume 4: 52.68-73)
Garuda[26] 20(c) Kumara, Varaha, Narada, Nara-Narayana, Kapila, Datta (Dattatreya), Yajna, Urukrama, Prthu, Matsya, Kurma, Dhanavantari, Mohini, Narasimha, Vamana, Parasurama, Vyasadeva, Balarama, Krishna, and Kalki (Volume 1: Chapter 1)
10(c) Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Nrsimha, Vamana, Parasurama, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, and Kalki (Chapter 86, Verses 10-11)
Matsya[27] 10(d) 3 celestial incarnations of Dharma, Nrishimha, and Vamana; and 7 human incarnations of Dattatreya, Mandhitri, Parasurama, Rama, Vedavyasa (Vyasa), Buddha, and Kalki (Volume 1: Chapter XLVII / 47)
Padma[28][29] 10 Part 7: Yama (66.44-54) and Brahma (71.23-29) name 'Matsya, Kurma, and Varaha. Narasimha and Vamana, (Parasu-)rama, Rama, Krsna, Buddha, and Kalki'; Part 9: this list is repeated by Shiva (229.40-44).
Varaha[30] 10 Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Nrsimha, Vamana, Parasurama, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, and Kalki (Chapter 4, Verses 2-3)
(a) Rama and his brothers are considered as one unit. Volume 3, Chapter 276 also lists the same incarnations. Samba, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha have not been counted.

(b) Others such as Hamsa, Ajita, Samba, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha are mentioned elsewhere but have not been counted. For a complete list, see Bhagavata Purana

(c) Kumara is more likely to be the Four Kumaras (one unit) than - as the translator believes - Karttikeya, one of Shiva's sons and the Hindu god of war

(d) Narada, Samba, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha, etc., have not been counted

Dashavatara

Ten avatars of Vishnu (Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Vamana, Krishna, Kalki, Buddha, Parshurama, Rama and Narasimha).

The Dashavarara is a list of the so-called Vibhavas or ‘10 (primary) avatars’ of Vishnu. This list is found in the Varaha Purana, Padma Purana, and the Garuda Purana (although it also lists 20 avatars in the first chapter). The same Vibhavas are also found in the Garuda Purana Saroddhara, a commentary or ‘extracted essence’ written by Navanidhirama about the Garuda Purana (i.e. not the Purana itself, with which it seems to be confused):

The Fish, the Tortoise, the Boar, the Man-Lion, the Dwarf, Parasurama, Rama, Krisna, Buddha, and also Kalki: These ten names should always be meditated upon by the wise. Those who recite them near the diseased are called relatives.

— Garuda Purana Saroddhara by Navanidhirama (translated by E. Wood and S.V. Subrahmanyam), Chapter VIII, Verses 10-11[31][32]

Apparent disagreements concerning the placement of either the Buddha or Balarama in the Dashavarara seems to have no scriptural basis as Balarama is not mentioned in these Puranic lists. Regardless, the Dashavarara does have a scriptural basis in the cannon of authentic Vedic literature (but not the Garuda Purana Saroddhara).

Thirumal

Perumal (Tamil: பெருமாள்), or Perumaal or Thirumal (Tamil: திருமால்), also known as Maayon (as he is described in the Tamil scriptures), was appropriated as manifestation of Lord Vishnu in later Hinduism is a popular Hindu deity among Tamilans in Tamil Nadu as well among the Tamil diaspora.[33][34]


Literature

Vishnu icons across cultures
KINGS of BAKTRIA. Agathokles. Circa 185-170 BC. AR Drachm (3.22 gm, 12h). Bilingual series. BASILEWS AGAQOKLEOUS with Indian god Balarama-Samkarshana.jpg
180 BCE Indo-Greek coin of Agathocles.
VishnuGandhara.JPG
Vishnu Nicolo Seal, 4th–6th century CE, Gandhara.
Museum für Indische Kunst Dahlem Berlin Mai 2006 036 2.jpg
13th century Cambodian Vishnu.
Statue of Vishnu, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK (IM 127-1927) - 20090209.jpg
Beikthano (Vishnu) Nat.jpg
Vishnu Kediri.jpg
The iconography of Hindu god Vishnu has been widespread in history.

Vedas

Vishnu is a RigVedic deity, but not a prominent one when compared to Indra, Agni and others.[35] Just 5 out of 1028 hymns of the Rigveda are dedicated to Vishnu, although He is mentioned in other hymns.[9] Vishnu is mentioned in the Brahmana layer of text in the Vedas, thereafter his profile rises and over the history of Indian mythology, states Jan Gonda, Vishnu becomes a divinity of the highest rank, one equivalent to the Supreme Being.[35][36]

Though a minor mention and with overlapping attributes in the Vedas, he has important characteristics in various hymns of Rig Veda, such as 1.154.5, 1.56.3 and 10.15.3.[35] In these hymns, the Vedic mythology asserts that Vishnu resides in that highest home where departed Atman (souls) reside, an assertion that may have been the reason for his increasing emphasis and popularity in Hindu soteriology.[35][37] He is also described in the Vedic literature as the one who supports heaven and earth.[9]

In the Vedic hymns, Vishnu is invoked alongside other deities, especially Indra, whom he helps in killing the symbol of evil named Vritra.[9][38] His distinguishing characteristic in Vedas is his association with light. Two Rigvedic hymns in Mandala 7 refer to Vishnu. In section 7.99 of the Rgveda, Vishnu is addressed as the god who separates heaven and earth, a characteristic he shares with Indra. In the Vedic texts, the deity or god referred to as Vishnu is Surya or Savitr (Sun god), who also bears the name Suryanarayana. Again, this link to Surya is a characteristic Vishnu shares with fellow Vedic deities named Mitra and Agni, wherein different hymns, they too "bring men together" and cause all living beings to rise up and impel them to go about their daily activities.[39]

In hymn 7.99 of Rigveda, Indra-Vishnu are equivalent and produce the sun, with the verses asserting that this sun is the source of all energy and light for all.[39] In other hymns of the Rigveda, Vishnu is a close friend of Indra.[40] Elsewhere in Rigveda, Atharvaveda and Upanishadic texts, Vishnu is equivalent to Prajapati, both are described as the protector and preparer of the womb, and according to Klaus Klostermaier, this may be the root behind post-Vedic fusion of all the attributes of the Vedic Prajapati unto the avatars of Vishnu.[9]

In the Yajurveda, Taittiriya Aranyaka (10.13.1), Narayana sukta, Narayana is mentioned as the supreme being. The first verse of Narayana Suktam mentions the words paramam padam, which literally mean highest post and may be understood as the supreme abode for all souls. This is also known as Param Dhama, Paramapadam or Vaikuntha. Rig Veda 1.22.20 also mentions the same paramam padam.[41]

In the Atharvaveda, the mythology of a boar who raises goddess earth from the depths of cosmic ocean appears, but without the word Vishnu or his alternate avatar names. In post-Vedic mythology, this legend becomes one of the basis of many cosmogonic myth called the Varaha legend, with Varaha as an avatar of Vishnu.[38]

Trivikrama: The Three Steps of Vishnu

The "three strides of Vishnu" artwork is common in Hindu temples, wherein his leg is shown raised like a gymnast, symbolizing a huge step. Left: Trivikrama art at a temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal; Right: at 6th-century Badami cave temples, India.

Several hymns of the Rigveda repeat the mighty deed of Vishnu called the Trivikrama, which is one of the lasting mythologies in Hinduism since the Vedic times.[42] It is an inspiration for ancient artwork in numerous Hindu temples such as at the Ellora Caves, which depict the Trivikrama legend through the Vamana avatar of Vishnu.[43][44] Trivikrama refers to the celebrated three steps or "three strides" of Vishnu. Starting as a small insignificant looking being, Vishnu undertakes a herculean task of establishing his reach and form, then with his first step covers the earth, with second the ether, and the third entire heaven.[42][45]

विष्णोर्नु कं वीर्याणि प्र वोचं यः पार्थिवानि विममे रजांसि ।
यो अस्कभायदुत्तरं सधस्थं विचक्रमाणस्त्रेधोरुगायः ॥१॥ (...)

viṣṇōrnu kaṃ vīryāṇi pra vōcaṃ yaḥ pārthivāni vimamē rajāṃsi |
yō askabhāyaduttaraṃ sadhasthaṃ vicakramāṇastrēdhōrugāyaḥ ||1||

I will now proclaim the heroic deeds of Visnu, who has measured out the terrestrial regions,
who established the upper abode having, wide-paced, strode out triply (...)

— Rigveda 1.154.1, Translated by Jan Gonda[46]

The Vishnu Sukta 1.154 of Rigveda says that the first and second of Vishnu's strides (those encompassing the earth and air) are visible to the mortals and the third is the realm of the immortals. The Trivikrama describing hymns integrate salvific themes, stating Vishnu to symbolize that which is freedom and life.[42] The Shatapatha Brahmana elaborates this theme of Vishnu, as his herculean effort and sacrifice to create and gain powers that help others, one who realizes and defeats the evil symbolized by the Asuras after they had usurped the three worlds, and thus Vishnu is the savior of the mortals and the immortals (Devas).[42]

Brahmanas

To what is One

Seven germs unripened yet are heaven's prolific seed:
their functions they maintain by Vishnu's ordinance.
Endued with wisdom through intelligence and thought,
they compass us about present on every side.

What thing I truly am I know not clearly:
mysterious, fettered in my mind I wonder.
When the first-born of holy Law approached me,
then of this speech I first obtain a portion.
(...)

They call him Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni,
and he is heavenly-winged Garutman.
To what is One, sages give many a title.

Rigveda 1.164.36-37, 46[47][48]

The Shatapatha Brahmana contains ideas which Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism has long mapped to a pantheistic vision of Vishnu as supreme, he as the essence in every being and everything in the empirically perceived universe. In this Brahmana, states Klaus Klostermaier, Purusha Narayana (Vishnu) asserts, "all the worlds have I placed within mine own self, and mine own self have I placed within all the worlds".[49] The text equates Vishnu to all knowledge there is (Vedas), calling the essence of everything as imperishable, all Vedas and principles of universe as imperishable, and that this imperishable which is Vishnu is the all.[49]

Vishnu is described to be permeating all object and life forms, states S Giora Shoham, where he is "ever present within all things as the intrinsic principle of all", and the eternal, transcendental self in every being.[50] The Vedic literature, including its Brahmanas layer, while praising Vishnu do not subjugate others gods and goddesses. They present an inclusive pluralistic henotheism. Max Muller states, "Although the gods are sometimes distinctly invoked as the great and the small, the young and the old (Rig Veda 1:27:13), this is only an attempt to find the most comprehensive expression for the divine powers and nowhere is any of the gods represented as the subordinate to others. It would be easy to find, in the numerous hymns of the Veda, passages in which almost every single god is represented as supreme and absolute".[51]

Upanishads

The Vaishnava Upanishads are minor Upanishads of Hinduism, related to Vishnu theology. There are 14 Vaishnava Upanishads in the Muktika anthology of 108 Upanishads.[52] It is unclear when these texts were composed, and estimates vary from the 1st-century BCE to 17th-century CE for the texts.[53][54]

These Upanishads highlight Vishnu, Narayana, Rama or one of his avatars as the supreme metaphysical reality called Brahman in Hinduism.[55][56] They discuss a diverse range of topics, from ethics to the methods of worship.[57]

Puranas

The Bhagavata Purana is centered around Krishna, a Vishnu avatar.
5th-century Vishnu at Udayagiri Caves.

Vishnu is the primary focus of Vaishnavism-focused Puranas genre of Hindu texts. Of these, according to Ludo Rocher, the most important texts are the Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana, Nāradeya Purana, Garuda Purana and Vayu Purana.[58] The Purana texts include many versions of cosmologies, mythologies, encyclopedic entries about various aspects of life, and chapters that were medieval era regional Vishnu temples-related tourist guides called mahatmyas.[59]

One version of the cosmology, for example, states that Vishnu's eye is at the Southern Celestial Pole from where he watches the cosmos.[60] In another version found in section 4.80 of the Vayu Purana, he is the Hiranyagarbha, or the golden egg from which were simultaneously born all feminine and masculine beings of the universe.[61]

Vishnu Purana

The Vishnu Purana presents Vishnu as the central element of its cosmology, unlike some other Puranas where Shiva or Brahma or goddess Shakti are. The reverence and the worship of Vishnu is described in 22 chapters of the first part of Vishnu Purana, along with the profuse use of the synonymous names of Vishnu such as Hari, Janardana, Madhava, Achyuta, Hrishikesha and others.[62]

11th-century Vishnu sculpture at Brooklyn Museum. The edges show reliefs of Vishnu avatars Varaha, Narasimha, Balarama, Rama, and others. Also shown is Brahma.[63]

The Vishnu Purana also discusses the Hindu concept of supreme reality called Brahman in the context of the Upanishads; a discussion that the theistic Vedanta scholar Ramanuja interprets to be about the equivalence of the Brahman with Vishnu, a foundational theology in the Sri Vaishnavism tradition.[64]

Bhagavata Purana

Vishnu is equated with Brahman in the Bhagavata Purana, such as in verse 1.2.11, as "learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this non-dual substance as Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan."[65]

The Bhagavata Purana has been the most popular and widely read Purana texts relating to Vishnu avatar Krishna, it has been translated and available in almost all Indian languages.[66] Like other Puranas, it discusses a wide range of topics including cosmology, genealogy, geography, mythology, legend, music, dance, yoga and culture.[67][68] As it begins, the forces of evil have won a war between the benevolent devas (deities) and evil asuras (demons) and now rule the universe. Truth re-emerges as the Vishnu avatar first makes peace with the demons, understands them and then creatively defeats them, bringing back hope, justice, freedom and good – a cyclic theme that appears in many legends.[69] The Bhagavata Purana is a revered text in Vaishnavism.[70] The Puranic legends of Vishnu have inspired plays and dramatic arts that are acted out over festivals, particularly through performance arts such as the Sattriya, Manipuri dance, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Bhagavata Mela and Mohiniyattam.[71][72][73]

Other Puranas

Some versions of the Purana texts, unlike the Vedic and Upanishadic texts, emphasize Vishnu as supreme and on whom other gods depend. Vishnu, for example, is the source of creator deity Brahma in the Vaishnavism-focussed Purana texts. Vishnu's iconography typically shows Brahma being born in a lotus emerging from his navel, who then is described as creating all the forms in the universe, but not the primordial universe itself.[74] In contrast, the Shiva-focussed Puranas describe Brahma and Vishnu to have been created by Ardhanarishvara, that is half Shiva and half Parvati; or alternatively, Brahma was born from Rudra, or Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma creating each other cyclically in different aeons (kalpa).[75]

In some Vaishnava Puranas, Vishnu takes the form of Rudra or commands Rudra to destroy the world, thereafter the entire universe dissolves and along with time, everything is reabsorbed back into Vishnu. The universe is then recreated from Vishnu all over again, starting a new Kalpa.[76] For this the Bhagavata Purana employs the metaphor of Vishnu as a spider and the universe as his web. Other texts offer alternate cosmogenic theories, such as one where the universe and time are absorbed into Shiva.[76][77]

Agama

The Agama scripture called the Pancharatra describes mode of worship of Vishnu.

Sangam & Post-Sangam Literature

The mythologies of Vishnu avatar Krishna are extensive, such as baby Krishna stealing butter, or playing the flute. These themes appear in ancient and medieval coins of South Asia,[78] and the motifs described by 3rd-century poet Hala.[79]

The Sangam literature refers to an extensive regional collection in the Tamil language, mostly from the early centuries of the common era. These Tamil texts revere Vishnu and his avatars such as Krishna and Rama, as well as other pan-Indian deities such as Shiva, Muruga, Durga, Indra and others.[80] Vishnu is described in these texts as mayon, or "one who is dark or black in color" (in north India, the equivalent word is Krishna).[80] Other terms found for Vishnu in these ancient Tamil genre of literature include mayavan, mamiyon, netiyon, mal and mayan.[81]

Krishna as Vishnu avatar is the primary subject of two post-Sangam Tamil epics Silappadikaram and Manimekalai, each of which was probably composed about the 5th century CE.[82][83] These Tamil epics share many aspects of the story found in other parts of India, such as those related to baby Krishna such as stealing butter, and teenage Krishna such as teasing girls who went to bathe in a river by hiding their clothes.[82][84]

Bhakti Movement

Ideas about Vishnu in the mid 1st millennium CE were important to the Bhakti movement theology that ultimately swept India after the 12th century. The Alvars, which literally means "those immersed in God", were Tamil Vaishnava poet-saints who sang praises of Vishnu as they traveled from one place to another.[85] They established temple sites such as Srirangam, and spread ideas about Vaishnavism. Their poems, compiled as Alwar Arulicheyalgal or Divya Prabhandham, developed into an influential scripture for the Vaishnavas. The Bhagavata Purana's references to the South Indian Alvar saints, along with its emphasis on bhakti, have led many scholars to give it South Indian origins, though some scholars question whether this evidence excludes the possibility that bhakti movement had parallel developments in other parts of India.[86][87]

Vaishnava Theology

The Angkor Wat Temple was built as a dedication to Vishnu.[88]

The Bhagavata Purana summarizes the Vaishnava theology, wherein it frequently discusses the merging of the individual soul with the Absolute Brahman (Ultimate Reality, Supreme Truth), or "the return of Brahman into His own true nature", a distinctly Advaitic or non-dualistic philosophy of Shankara.[67][89][90] The concept of moksha is explained as Ekatva (Oneness) and Sayujya (Absorption, intimate union), wherein one is completely lost in Brahman (Self, Supreme Being, one's true nature).[91] This, states Rukmini, is proclamation of "return of the individual soul to the Absolute and its merging into the Absolute", which is unmistakably Advaitic in its trend.[91] In the same passages, the Bhagavata includes a mention of Bhagavan as the object of concentration, thereby presenting the Bhakti path from the three major paths of Hindu spirituality discussed in the Bhagavad Gita.[91][92]

The theology in the Bhagavad Gita discusses both the sentient and the non-sentient, the soul and the matter of existence. It envisions the universe as the body of Vishnu (Krishna), state Harold Coward and Daniel Maguire. Vishnu in Gita's theology pervades all souls, all matter and time.[93] In Sri Vaishnavism sub-tradition, Vishnu and Sri (goddess Lakshmi) are described as inseparable, that they pervade everything together. Both together are the creators, who also pervade and transcend their creation.[93]

The Bhagavata Purana, in many passages, parallels the ideas of Nirguna Brahman and non-duality of Adi Shankara.[90] For example,

The aim of life is inquiry into the Truth, and not the desire for enjoyment in heaven by performing religious rites,
Those who possess the knowledge of the Truth, call the knowledge of non-duality as the Truth,
It is called Brahman, the Highest Self, and Bhagavan.

— Sūta, Bhagavata Purana 1.2.10-11, Translated by Daniel Sheridan[94]

Scholars describe the Vaishnava theology as built on the foundation of non-dualism speculations in Upanishads, and term it as "Advaitic Theism".[90][95] The Bhagavata Purana suggests that God Vishnu and the soul (Atman) in all beings is one.[89] Bryant states that the monism discussed in Bhagavata Purana is certainly built on the Vedanta foundations, but not exactly the same as the monism of Adi Shankara.[96] The Bhagavata asserts, according to Bryant, that the empirical and the spiritual universe are both metaphysical realities, and manifestations of the same Oneness, just like heat and light are "real but different" manifestations of sunlight.[96]

In the Bhakti tradition of Vaishnavism, Vishnu is attributed with numerous qualities such as omniscience, energy, strength, lordship, vigour, and splendour.[97] The Vaishnava tradition started by Madhvacharya considers Vishnu in the form of Krishna to be the supreme creator, personal God, all-pervading, all devouring, one whose knowledge and grace leads to "moksha".[98] In Madhvacharya Vaishnava theology, the supreme Vishnu and the souls of living beings are two different realities and nature (dualism), while in Ramanuja's Sri Vaishnavism, they are different but share the same essential nature (qualified non-dualism).[99][100][101]

Relations With Deities

Lakshmi

Vishnu with Lakshmi(Laxminarayan) at Halebidu.

Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity (both material and spiritual), is the wife and active energy of Vishnu.[102][103] She is also called Sri[104][105] or Thirumagal in Tamil because she is the source of eight auspicious strengths for Vishnu. When Vishnu incarnated on the Earth as the avatars Rama and Krishna, Lakshmi incarnated as his respective consorts: Sita (Rama's wife) and Rukmini (Krishna's wife).[106] Lakshmi and Padmavati are wives of Lord Vishnu at Tirupati. In Hinduism, Lord Vishnu had incarnated as Lord Venkatachalapathi at Tirupati, although this grand form of him is not counted as one of the dasavatars.[107]


Garuda

Vishnu's mount (Vahana) is Garuda, the eagle. Vishnu is commonly depicted as riding on his shoulders. Garuda is also considered as Vedas on which Lord Vishnu travels. Garuda is a sacred bird in Vaishnavism. In Garuda Purana, Garuda carries Lord Vishnu to save the Elephant Gajendra.[108][109]

Vishvaksena

Vishvaksena also known as Senadhipathi (all literally "army-chief"), is the commander-in-chief of the army of the Hindu god Vishnu

Sisters

Some communities believe Parvati alias Shakthi to be a sister of Lord Vishnu.[citation needed]

Beyond Hinduism

Sikhism

Vishnu is referred to as Gorakh in the scriptures of Sikhism.[110] For example, in verse 5 of Japji Sahib, the guru is praised as who gives the word and shows the wisdom, and through whom the awareness of immanence is gained. Guru Nanak, state Christopher Shackle and Arvind Pal-Singh Mandair, teaches that the Guru (teachers) are "Shiva (isar), Vishnu (gorakh), Brahma (barma) and mother Parvati (parbati)", yet the one who is all and true cannot be described.[111]

The Chaubis Avatar text of Sikhism lists the 24 avatars of Vishnu and this includes Krishna and Rama of Hinduism, and the Buddha of Buddhism as avatar of Vishnu. Similarly, the Dasam Granth includes Vishnu mythology mirror that found in the Vaishnav tradition.[112] The latter is of particular importance to Sanatan Sikhs, including Udasis, Nirmalas, Nanak-panthis, Sahajdhari and Keshdhari sub-traditions within Sikhism; however, the Khalsa Sikhs disagree with the Sanatan Sikhs.[112][113] According to Sanatan Sikh writers, the Gurus of Sikhs were avatars of Vishnu, because the Gurus brought light in the age of darkness and saved people in a time of evil Mughal era persecution.[114][115][116]

Buddhism

Uthpalawarna Vishnu Devalaya in Devinuwara, Matara, Sri Lanka.

While some Hindus consider Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu, Buddhists in Sri Lanka venerate Vishnu as the custodian deity of Sri Lanka and protector of Buddhism.[117] Vishnu is also known as Upulvan or Uthpala Varna, meaning Blue Lotus coloured. Some postulate that Uthpala varna was a local deity who later merged with Vishnu while another belief is that Uthpala Varna was an early form of Vishnu before he became a supreme deity in Puranic Hinduism. According to Chronicles Mahawamsa, Chulawamsa and folklore in Sri Lanka, Buddha himself handed over the custodianship to Vishnu. Others believe that Buddha entrusted this task to Sakra (Indra) and Sakra delegated this task of custodianship to god Vishnu.[118] Many Buddhist and Hindu shrines are dedicated to Vishnu in Sri Lanka. In addition to specific Vishnu Kovils or Devalayas, all Buddhist temples necessarily house shrine rooms (Devalayas) closer to the main Buddhist shrine dedicated to Vishnu.[119]

A statue in Bangkok depicting Vishnu on his vahana Garuda, the eagle. One of the oldest discovered Hindu-style statues of Vishnu in Thailand is from Wat Sala Tung in Surat Thani Province and has been dated to ~400 CE.[120]

John Holt states that Vishnu was one of the several Hindu gods and goddesses who were integrated into the Sinhala Buddhist religious culture, such as the 14th and 15th-century Lankatilaka and Gadaladeniya Buddhist temples.[121] He states that the medieval Sinhala tradition encouraged Visnu worship (puja) as a part of Theravada Buddhism just like Hindu tradition incorporated the Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu, but contemporary Theravada monks are attempting to purge the Vishnu worship practice from Buddhist temples.[122] According to Holt, the veneration of Vishnu in Sri Lanka is evidence of a remarkable ability over many centuries, to reiterate and reinvent culture as other ethnicity have been absorbed into their own. Though the Vishnu cult in Ceylon was formally endorsed by Kandyan kings in the early 1700s, Holt states that Vishnu images and shrines are among conspicuous ruins in the medieval capital Polonnaruwa.

14th-century Vishnu, Thailand.

Vishnu iconography such as statues and etchings have been found in archaeological sites of Southeast Asia, now predominantly of the Theravada Buddhist tradition. In Thailand, for example, statues of four armed Vishnu have been found in provinces near Malaysia and dated to be from the 4th to 9th-century, and this mirror those found in ancient India.[120] Similarly, Vishnu statues have been discovered from the 6th to 8th century eastern Prachinburi Province and central Phetchabun Province of Thailand and southern Đồng Tháp Province and An Giang Province of Vietnam.[123] Krishna statues dated to the early 7th century to 9th century have been discovered in Takéo Province and other provinces of Cambodia.[124] Archeological studies have uncovered Vishnu statues on the islands of Indonesia, and these have been dated to the 5th century and thereafter.[125] In addition to statues, inscriptions and carvings of Vishnu, such as those related to the "three steps of Vishnu" (Trivikrama) have been found in many parts of Buddhist southeast Asia.[126] In some iconography, the symbolism of Surya, Vishnu and Buddha are fused.[127]

In Japanese Buddhist pantheon, Vishnu is known as Bichū-ten (毘紐天), and he appears in Japanese texts such as the 13th century compositions of Nichiren.[128]

Other Cultures

Ancient Egyptian God Horus too is a part of a trinity, just like Vishnu is, states James Freeman Clarke.[129] According to Richard Leviton, the younger Horus riding on elder Horus is similar to Vishnu riding on Garuda.[130] According to James Cowles Prichard, while the trinity concept is present in both Egyptian and Indian mythologies, Horus cannot be clearly identified with Vishnu and the link doubtful.[131]

4034 Vishnu is an asteroid discovered by Eleanor F. Helin.[132]

Vishnu rocks are a type of volcanic sediment found in the Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA. Consequently, mass formations are known as Vishnu's temples.[133]

During an excavation in an abandoned village of Russia in the Volga region, archaeologist Alexander Kozhevin excavated an ancient Cult image of Vishnu. The idol dates from between the 7th and 10th centuries. In the interview, Kozhevin stated that "We may consider it incredible, but we have ground to assert that Middle-Volga region was the original land of Ancient Rus. This is a hypothesis, but a hypothesis, which requires thorough research."[134]

Iconography & Temples

Four-armed Vishnu, Pandya Dynasty, 8th–9th century CE.

Vishnu iconography shows him with a dark blue, blue-gray or black colored skin, and as a well dressed jeweled man. He is typically shown with four arms, but two armed representations are also found and discussed in Hindu texts on artworks.[135][136] The historic identifiers of his icon include his image holding a conch shell between first two fingers of one hand (left back), a chakra – war discus – in another (right back). The conch shell is spiral and symbolizes all of interconnected spiraling cyclic existence, while the discus symbolizes him as that which restores dharma with war if necessary when cosmic equilibrium is overwhelmed by evil.[135] One of his arms sometimes carries a gadda (club, mace) which symbolizes authority and power of knowledge.[135] In the fourth arm, he holds a lotus flower which symbolizes purity and transcendence.[135][136][137] The items he holds in various hands varies, giving rise to twenty four combinations of iconography, each combination representing a special form of Vishnu. Each of these special forms is given a special name in texts such as the Agni Purana and Padma Purana. These texts, however, are inconsistent.[138] Vishnu iconography show him either in standing pose, seated in a yoga pose, or reclining. Hindu texts on iconography describe design rules of these.[136]

Some of the earliest surviving grand Vishnu temples in India have been dated to the Gupta Empire period. The Sarvatobhadra temple in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, for example, is dated to the early 6th century and features the ten avatars of Vishnu.[139][79] Its design based on a square layout and Vishnu iconography broadly follows the 1st millennium Hindu texts on architecture and construction such as the Brihat Samhita and Visnudharmottarapurana.[140]

Archaeological evidence suggest that Vishnu temples and iconography probably were already in existence by the 1st century BCE.[141] The most significant Vishnu-related epigraphy and archaeological remains are the two 1st century BCE inscriptions in Rajasthan which refer to temples of Sankarshana and Vasudeva, the Besnagar Garuda column of 100 BCE which mentions a Bhagavata temple, another inscription in Naneghat cave in Maharashtra by a Queen Naganika that also mentions Sankarshana, Vasudeva along with other major Hindu deities and several discoveries in Mathura relating to Vishnu, all dated to about the start of the common era.[141][142][143]

The Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, is dedicated to Vishnu. The temple has attracted huge donations in gold and precious stones over its long history.[144][145][146][147]

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu located in Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India. The temple occupies an area of 156 acres (630,000 m2) with a perimeter of 4,116 m (13,504 ft) making it the largest temple in India and one of the largest religious complexes in the world.[148]

See also

Notes

References

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  2. ^ Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica (2008). Encyclopedia of World Religions. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. pp. 445–448. ISBN 978-1-59339-491-2.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b Constance Jones; James D. Ryan (2006). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. pp. 491–492. ISBN 978-0-8160-7564-5.
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  7. ^ Zimmer, Heinrich Robert (1972). Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization. Princeton University Press. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-691-01778-5.
  8. ^ Swami Chinmayananda's translation of Vishnu sahasranama pgs. 16–17, Central Chinmaya Mission Trust.
  9. ^ a b c d e Klaus K. Klostermaier (2000). Hinduism: A Short History. Oneworld. pp. 83–84. ISBN 978-1-85168-213-3.
  10. ^ Adluri, Vishwa; Joydeep Bagchee (February 2012). "From Poetic Immortality to Salvation: Ruru and Orpheus in Indic and Greek Myth". History of Religions. 51 (3): 245–246. doi:10.1086/662191. JSTOR 10.1086/662191.
  11. ^ N.A. (1956). THE PADMA-PURANA PART.10. MOTILAL BANARSIDASS PUBLISHERS PVT. DELHI. pp. 3471–3473.
  12. ^ N.A. (1957). THE GARUDA-PURANA PART. 1. MOTILAL BANARSIDASS PUBLISHERS PVT. DELHI. pp. 44–71.
  13. ^ Fred S. Kleiner (2007). Gardner's Art through the Ages: Non-Western Perspectives. Cengage Learning. p. 22. ISBN 978-0495573678.
  14. ^ For definition of Trimurti as the unified form of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva and use of the phrase the Hindu triad see: Apte, p. 485.
  15. ^ For the term "Great Trinity" in relation to the Trimurti see: Jansen, p. 83.
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External links