130 Page, fully illustrated, soft cover book complete with the entire history of Lord Vishnu and the many stories surrounding the Hindu God of Preservation of the dharma.
This is an attempt to understand the meaning of Vishnu worship in our time. Written in simple narrative style, it takes us through Vaishnava imagery, philosophy, beliefs, customs, history, folklore and myth.
The book reaches to young and old alike, retelling familiar legends of Rama and Krishna as well as unfamiliar ones like those of Vishnu's consort and son. Also included are tales of his lesser known incarnations such as Prithu, Hamsa, Hayagriva and Mandhata.
Highlights include lucid explanations and a pictorial key to numerous symbols associated with Vaishnava customs and rituals, a map showing important Vishnu temples, a bibliography for those interested din learning more and over 200 illustrations of Vishnu.
"Let me meditate on the supreme god who rests on the serpent of Time, who rides the bird of light, whose dazzling form contains every dimension of Space, who holds in his four hands, a conch, a discus, a mace and a lotus, who is pleasure and discipline fulfillment and forgiveness, as his devotee desires, who delights the mind and delivers the soul, who is the source and goal of life and who will embrace all creatures at the end removing fear of death."
About the Author: Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik graduated in medicine from Mumbai University.
Though a medical man by profession, Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik is a mythologist by passion. He topped Mumbai University's course on Comparative Mythology and is now part of 'Sabrang', a cultural organization that aims to demystify the arts. Through lectures, workshops, articles in journals and newspapers, illustrations and books, he is determined to keep alive the ancient heritage of sacred lore and bring out its relevance to modern times.
Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik has a wonderful, Narrative writing style which is extremely easy to follow and entertaining to read.
Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik's has written five books on selected gods in the Hindu pantheon;
Vishnu - An Introduction
Shiva - An Introduction
Devi - The Mother Goddess - An Introduction
Lakshmi - An Introduction
Hanuman - An Introduction
Lakshmi - An Introduction
Other books also available from Lotus Sculpture from Shakunthala Jagannathan are:
Ganesh - The Auspicious - The Beginning
Hinduism - An Introduction
"Only the unlearned deem myself (Vishnu) and Shiva to be distinct; he , I , and Brahma are one, assuming different names for the creation, preservation and destruction of the universe. We, as the triune Self, pervade all creatures; the wise therefore regard all others as themselves."
~ Vishnu explains the Nature of the Trinity (trimurti ~
Vishnu is one of the principal Hindu deities, worshiped as the protector and preserver of the world and restorer of dharma (moral order). He is known chiefly through his avatars (incarnations), particularly Rama, Krishna and Buddha. In theory, Vishnu manifests a portion of himself anytime he is needed to fight evil, and his appearances are innumerable; but in practice, ten incarnations are most commonly recognized.
Vishnu appears to be a prime example of how older gods and cults have been absorbed into Hinduism. Thought to be linked with an earlier sun god, Vishnu's ten incarnations may also be examples of older gods that have been amalgamated.
Vaishnavites, one of the largest Hindu groups, are the devotees of Vishnu as Ishvara, the Supreme Being, worshiped in the forms of his manifestations or incarnations. Because of his pervasive presence, images as the focus of worship are of great importance, as are temple architecture and carving.
The Ten Avatars of Lord Vishnu
Vishnu's preserving, restoring, and protecting powers have been manifested in the world in a series of ten earthly incarnations known as avatars. The avatars arrive either to prevent a great evil or to affect good upon the earth. Nine are said to have descended already: three in nonhuman form, one in hybrid form and five in human form. The most important are Rama, fearless upholder of the law of dharma and Krishna; youthful hero of the Bhagavad-Gita Vishnu's final avatar is expected to arrive at a time when the earth is at the end of its present cycle, with the purpose of destroying the world and subsequently recreating it.
Matsya the Fish - Saved humanity and the sacred Veda text from the flood.
Kurma the Turtle - Helped create the world by supporting it on his back.
Varaha the Boar - Raised the earth out of water with his tusks.
Narashima, half-man, half lion - Destroyed a tyrant demon king.
Vamana the Dwarf - Subdued king Bali, a powerful demon.
Parashurama the Brahmin - Destroyed the warrior caste.
Rama - Rescued his with Sita and killed the demon Ravana.
Krishna - told the Epic poem Bhagavad-Gita to the warrior Arjuna.
Buddha - The enlightened one.
Kalki the Horse - Yet to come to the earth.
Click here to learn more about Vishnu
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