Vishnu

विष्णु - vɪʂɳu

The preserving aspect of the cosmic vibration AUM. Vishnu also refers to the personification of this aspect. (1)

Along with the creative Brahma and destructive Shiva, Vishnu is one of three parts of AUM, the vibrational manifestation of eternal spirit called Brahma. AUM represents the creation of the vibratory universe, its preservation through ages of cosmic time, and its dissolution at the end of a “Day of Brahma.” (2) Vishnu is not a literal person but the aspect of AUM that preserves the functioning of the universe. (3)

In certain cases, Vishnu may be personified as a manifestation of spirit as the preserver of creation. Although there are no literal avatars of Vishnu, certain masters may take form and act as preserver. (3) For example, the blue-skinned figure of Krishna who plays his flute to draw souls back to infinite spirit, may be viewed as an expression of Vishnu. Krishna’s consort Radha with her cowgirls may represent the cosmic play between creation and spirit. (2) Rama has also been considered an “avatar” of Vishnu, while Kalkiavatar refers to the aspect of Vishnu in his next incarnation. (3)

Vishnu as one part of AUM is also part of the Hindu trinity AUM-Tat-Sat. Tat refers to the spirit beyond creation. Krishna in his personified form, especially in supine position, may relate to the supreme spirit; his consort would thus represent the outward expression of cosmic vibration. (4)

References

  1. The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, explained by Paramhansa Yogananda. Glossary.
  2. a b The Hindu Way of Awakening, by Swami Kriyananda. Chapter 12, “The Symbolism of Brahma.”
  3. a b c The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, explained by Paramhansa Yogananda. Chapter 16, “The Supreme Science of Knowing God.”
  4. The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, explained by Paramhansa Yogananda. Chapter 30, “The Three Levels of Spiritual Practice.”