The peace-loving deity of the Hindu Trinity, Sriman Narayana (Maha Vishnu) is the Preserver or Sustainer of life.
He is recognized as the God with steadfast principles of order, righteousness and truth. When these values are under threat, Sriman Narayana emerges out of His transcendence to restore peace and order.
OM NARAYANAYA VIDMAHE
VASUDEVAYA DHIMAHI, TANNO VISHNU PRACHODAYAT
Meaning: Om, Let me meditate on Lord Narayana, Oh, Lord Vasudeva, give me higher intellect, and let Lord Vishnu illuminate my mind.
ASPECTS OF SRIMAN NARAYANA
In His commonest form, Sriman Narayana is portrayed as having a dark complexion, the colour of passive and formless ether, and with four hands. Out of His navel blossoms a lotus, known as Padmanabham.
The flower holds Brahma, the God of Creation and the embodiment of royal virtues or Rajoguna.
Sriman Narayana is the Lord of Satoguna – the virtues of the truth. He represents peace and harmony. and is the presiding Deity of the SRBM. He is often depicted as reclining on a Sheshanaga the coiled, 7-headed snake floating on cosmic waters that represents the peaceful Universe.
This pose symbolizes the calm and patience in the face of fear and worries that the poisonous snake represents. The message here is that you should not let fear overpower you and disturb your peace.
The vehicle of Vishnu is Garuda, the King of the birds. Empowered with the courage and speed to spread the knowledge of the Vedas, Garuda is an assurance of fearlessness at the time of calamity.
Sriman Narayana is also known as Maha VIshnu and Hari (He who resides everywhere). The devout followers of Sriman Narayana are called Vaishnavas, and Sriman Narayana’s consort is Mother Lakshmi, the Mother of spiritual wealth, health, prosperity and beauty.
SHANKHA, CHAKRA, GADA, PADMA
Sriman Narayana is portrayed with four arms. On one of the backhands He holds the milky white conch shell or shankha that spreads the primordial sound of Om, and on the other a Chakra. The Chakra can also be turned into a lethal weapon that He uses against blasphemy. It is the famous Sudarshana Chakra that is seen whirling on his index finger symbolizing that the entire universe is under control and in balance because of Him. The other hands hold a lotus or padma, which stands for a glorious existence, and a mace or gada that indicates punishment for indiscipline.