Vishnu

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Vishnu

Vishnu is the supreme god in Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God

According to various Purana, Vishnu is the ultimate omnipresent reality, is shapeless and omnipresent. However, a strict iconography governs his representation, whether in pictures, icons, or idols:

He is to be depicted as a four-armed male-form: The four arms indicate his all-powerful and all-pervasive nature. The physical existence of Vishnu is represented by the two arms in the front while the two arms at the back represent his presence in the spiritual world. The Upanishad titled Gopal Uttartapani describes the four arms of Vishnu. Around his neck, he wears the auspicious "Kaustubha" jewel, and a garland of flowers (vanamaalaa). It is in this jewel, on Vishnu's chest that Lakshmi dwells. He is to shown wearing two earrings: The earrings represent inherent opposites in creation — knowledge and ignorance; happiness and unhappiness; pleasure and pain. He rests on Ananta: the immortal and infinite snake

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