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Vishnu (also called Hari) is a Hindu god. He is the second god of the Trimurthi (also called the Hindu Trinity, all came from an egg laid by Ammavaru), along with Brahma and Shiva. The triumvirate signify the cycle of life: Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is the protector, and Shiva is the destroyer. He is a life-death-rebirth deity. In later belief, he was attented to by the vasu. In later times, he has been identified with Bhumiya.

Vishnu's consort is Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. His mount is Garuda, the eagle. He, along with the rishis, helped broker the truce between Vritra and Indra.

He is often depicted as sitting or resting on a lotus.

It is believed that he manifested himself as a human being in ten Avatars. His avatars are said to be

  1. Matsya, the fish
  2. Kurma, the tortoise
  3. Varaha, the boar
  4. Narasimha, the Man-Lion (Nara = man, simha = lion)
  5. Vamana, the Dwarf
  6. Parashurama
  7. Rama
  8. Krishna (meaning "dark" or "black")
  9. Siddhartha Gautama (some versions have it that Balarama is the ninth avatar instead)
  10. Kalki ("time"), who is yet to be manifested: an apocalyptic figure

Chaitanya is also considered an avatar of Vishnu.

Vishnu is the chief god of Vaishnavism[?].

It is not clearly known when or how the worship of Vishnu began. In the Vedas, and the information on Aryan beliefs, Vishnu is listed as a lesser god, strongly associated with Indra. It was only later in Hindu history that he became a member of the Trimurti and one of the most important deities of the religion.

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