Why Modis followers are called Bhakts

Vishnu

In its most famous form, Vishnu is blue - often interpreted as the color of the universe. In his four hands he carries a conch shell, which still plays an important role as a bugle in many rites today, a discus, a thunderbolt or a scepter and a lotus flower. Vishnu's companion animal is the mythical eagle Garuda, which also has its own cult. His wife is the goddess Lakshmi, who accompanies him through all incarnations.

Non-personal forms of Vishnu are also widespread: He is worshiped in the sacred Tulsi plant, in the black Salagrama stone (also Shaligrama, Sila), or in drawn, stylized feet.

God of grace

Among others is the "Bhagavatam", also called "Bhagavata Purana", the most important book for Vishnuits, the worshipers of Vishnu and his incarnations. "Bhakti" (unconditional love for God) is the central theme of this extensive work. So among his worshipers there are more “Bhaktas” (believers) who worship God with loving devotion. Vishnu presents himself as God of grace, who loves his creatures, comes to their aid and is always active for salvation. The “Bhagavatam” introduces Vishnu as the Supreme, as a manifestation of the formless “Brahman”.

Different forms of Vishnu

Like all other deities, Vishnu appears in innumerable manifestations and forms, such as "Bhagavan" (Exalted), "Hari" (God) and "Jaganath" (Lord of the world). “Narayana” (the one coming out of the water) is one of the best-known forms: according to mythology, it sleeps between two world periods lying on the world snake in the primordial ocean. A lotus blossom grows from his navel, whereupon the creator god Brahma appears and creates a new world.

The "avatars", the descent of Vishnu, are popular. In Hindu traditions, Vishnu is considered to be the one who takes shape again and again, comes to help in animal or human form and leads to salvation. The most famous human avatars Krishna and Rama each have a widespread worship of their own.

In the Hindu trinity, the “Trimurti”, Vishnu is the one who sustains the universe and saves it again and again. But at the same time it includes the opposite: He is also Yama, the god of death.

Review article on Hinduism

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