TATTOO DESIGNS & SYMBOLS - VISHNU HINDU TATTOOS
Tattoo designs - V >> Vishnu
Lord Vishnu Tattoos - Vishnu the Preserver - symbol of mercy and goodness and protector of the universe - fulfills one of the three cosmic functions in the Hindu religion. Vishnu, along with Brahma 'the creator', and Shiva 'the destroyer', symbolize the three projections of the Absolute, and reflect the three facets of human existence - birth, life, death.
Wearing a tattoo of Vishnu - or any of the Hindu holy triad - is to acknowledge and perhaps even celebrate your ability to entertain the apparent contradictions of free will, fate, and destiny, which are challenging to the Western mind trained in logic and reason, right or wrong, and the either or aspects of absolutes. A Vishnu design might well feel appropriate to people who see themselves as compassionate denizens of the vast spiritual, psychological and philosophical territory between creation and destruction. Vishnu is the preserver, the rescuer, the saviour.
Thousands of years ago in India, there was a great tradition of learning and scholarship. To explain the mysteries of the universe, the ancient sages of India evolved philosophies and teachings that addressed the stages of man's journey through life, and the forces that came to bear upon him. From these early philosophies sprang a culture rich in myth and diverse in spiritual teachings. The most important of religious symbols in India is the Trimurti, or triad, the three aspects of the Supreme Being - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Vishnu existed before the universe came into being, then created the Ocean from which all life emerges. From his feet springs the Holy River Ganges. He is known also as the one who 'moves on the waters', and is often depicted floating on the cosmic ocean atop a coiled serpent.
Devotees of Vishnu identify him as the Supreme Being, who divided himself into three parts. From his right side emerged Brahma who created all things in the universe - and from his left side issued Shiva, the destroyer.
Vishnu is depicted as a dark man with four arms, his hands holding the lotus, the conch shell, the discus, and the club. He is often paired with his consort, Laxshmi, the fair goddess of wealth and fortune, a revered deity in her own right.
As the Preserver deity, Lord Vishnu manifests in human and animal form in order to protect the world from destruction, and to safeguard the spiritual and moral scriptures from corruption. These manifestations are known as avataras. The religious texts speak of ten such manifestations, and so far nine of them have appeared at critical times to help humans in their fight against dark forces. One of the most beloved of these human manifestations, was Krishna.
Lord Krishna appears in many different roles -- as the honey-loving infant, the playful companion of milkmaids, and the one who gave to the world the epic Bhagadvagita. The holy book lays down the guidelines for right living and how to uphold them in times of moral crisis. Through Krishna and the Bhagadvagita, Lord Vishnu reveals the splendours and horrors of 'True Reality', and the way to transcend personal dilemmas when confronted with the corruption of the human spirit. In this way, balance is restored to the universe. It was Krishna who gave the Bhagadvagita to Arjuna, the great warrior, whose bloody dilemma has shocked many armchair critics of Hinduism.
Vishnu is also believed to have taken the form of an avatar called 'Buddha', but that's another story. Next to Krishna, the human avatar best beloved around the world is Rama, the embodiment of human perfection, who fought and destroyed the demon king, Ravana. Rama is revered for his faithfulness to the Sacred Law (Dharma).
The first of Vishnu's avataras was Matsya, the great golden fish. When the cosmic deluge threatened the earth, Matsya ploughed through the raging ocean with a precious cargo of sages, animals, and plants until the darkness passed and the world was created anew by Brahma, the creator. At the end of the last deluge, Vishnu appeared as the avatar turtle, Kurma, saving the sacred mountain from sinking beneath the waters by supporting it on his back. Another time, Vahara the giant boar, dived to the ocean bed to skewer the submerged earth on its tusks, lifting it to safety on his massive snout.
Get inspired by some really great images and photos in our Vishnu Inspiration Gallery
Tattoo designs - V >> Vishnu
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