A representation of Vishnu in a Hindu temple
Last month I brought foreign guests to a Hindu temple in Delhi (Chattarpur Mandir). They were amazed by the noise (that particular temple had 6 TVs blasting music!). We are far from the pious meditation of churches… It is also much less clean – this is a known-fact, not a criticism!
There are a lot of visuals in Hindu mythology and I was quite amazed by the giant stage (at least 10 meters wide). It is definitely more fun than Catholic statues, but how more kitsch can you do??!
So here is Vishnu (the preserver of the universe) and his wife Lakshmi (who brings good fortune). Vishnu is basically resting – as he does 6 months of the year, dixit my colleague – on his coiled serpent which protects him. And his wife his massaging his feet which is very often representated…
In the basic Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the Hindu god Vishnu is the preserver and protector of creation. Vishnu is the embodiment of mercy and goodness, the self-existent, all-pervading power that preserves the universe and maintains the cosmic order Dharma.
Most often, the Hindu god Vishnu is shown with four attributes or weapons. In one hand he holds the conch or Sankha. The second hand of Vishnu holds the disc. The third hand of Vishnu holds the club and in the fourth hand Vishnu holds the lotus. Vishnu also has a bow and a sword.
As soon as the gods saw Lakshmi, they all fell in love with her beauty. Shiva claimed Lakshmi as his wife, but since he had already taken the Moon, her hand was given to Vishnu, whom Lakshmi herself preferred.