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Vishnu: the preserver
Vishnu, is the second deity of the Hindu Trinity. He is responsible for the sustenance, protection and maintenance of the create universe. The word Vishnu means ‘one who pervades, one who has entered into everything’. As a god who has the responsibility of maintenance, Vishnu requires lots of wealth; his consort therefore is Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth. The vehicle of Vishnu is a bird (eagle or hawk) or a half man half bird named Garuda , whose name means “Wings of Speech”, a figure of great strength, power and piety.
Whenever the world was threatened by a great calamity, or by the wickedness of its inhabitants, Vishnu, as Preserver, comes to earth in some form, restores the balance and when his work was done returns again to the skies. Thus Vishnu is said to have taken at least nine avatars at various points of time. He is yet to appear in the form of Kalki.
Interesting facts about Vishnu
Vishnu’s abode is Vaikuntha.
Vishnu took the form of a female - Mohini to trick the asuras and make sure the gods get a share of the amrita.
As Mohini, Vishnu has a son with Shiva who is known as Harihara (also known as Ayyappa).
As part of the Hindu Trinity; Brahmā creates the world, Vishnu sustains the world and Shiva destroys it.
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