Throughout history, in modern times, and across cultures, gods and goddesses have played key roles in people’s beliefs. They have been and are invoked in prayer and meditation to help a person or society receive wisdom and provide grace in the area overseen by the deity. This article, and the ones that follow, will look at various deities, their roles, and how to invoke them as guides and benefactors. The deity for this article is Vishnu, the God of Preservation, from the Hindu religion.
Who is Vishnu?
Vishnu is one of the Hindu triumvirates, which includes Brahma and Shiva. These three gods manage creation, preservation, and destruction in the world. Brahma rules creative energy and Shiva rules destructive energy; therefore, Vishnu maintains or preserves energy.
He is the god to call upon in troubled times to ask for help restoring balance. He helps maintain the proper back and forth between creation and destruction. In the Rig Veda, which is the holiest of the four Vedas, Vishnu appears with the important other gods of Hindu belief. Often connected to the Sun, he brings light into darkness, so the truth can be seen.
In most artistic renditions he is depicted with four arms and blue skin, as shown here in the card from the Ascended Masters Oracle Deck by Doreen Virtue.
Here is his card in the oracle deck, Gods and Titans, by Stacey DeMarco:
In most traditional representations, like the card from Doreen Virtue’s deck, he carries four objects, representing what he is responsible for. The objects are:
- The conch, which produces the sound “Om”, the sound of creation.
- A round disc of energy, representing the chakras and the energy of the human body
- The lotus flower or fire, which symbolizes the glory of existence and free will
- The mace, which is a symbol for mental and physical strength
Further artistic representations show him standing on a lotus, sometimes alone and sometimes with Lakshmi, his bride. Other versions have him reclining or entwined in the coils of a serpent. Statues often show him riding or standing upon Garuda, an eagle, who is the king of birds.
Why Invoke Vishnu?
You would choose to invoke Vishnu when you need to restore balance to a situation or relationship. Keep in mind that invoking Vishnu means that you want to preserve or maintain the situation or relationship, not create something new or destroy what exists. If your invocation is successful, Vishnu show you what steps you need to take, what words you need to say, and what actions will best lead to the outcome you seek. He will show you whether or not the situation or relationship can be restored or saved.
In practice, the best way to invoke Vishnu is “to chant Lord Vishnu mantras in the early morning at Brahma Muhurat (4 am to 6 am). Take bath and sit on a mat or wooden plank. Keep a picture of Lord Vishnu in front of you and start chanting the mantra focusing on the divine form of the Lord. The ideal count to chant the Vishnu mantra is multiples of 108”. If you want to be even more specific, Thursday is considered the best day to ask for a blessing from Vishnu.
Specific Request, Temporary Guide, Council Member
All deities are available to us. Some may prove to be spiritual council members for us, while others serve as temporary guides or best fulfill a specific request.
You can ask Vishnu’s guidance for a specific request, such as, “My partner and I are having trouble getting along; how can I best communicate with him or her so that we do not continue to have discord?” If you decide to ask for a specific request and he is not a member of your council, then be sure to make a proper sacrifice or payment ahead of or during your request. You may honor him by offering yellow foods at the time of your prayer, especially bananas, munakka (dried yellow raisins), honey, and chana daal (yellow chickpeas).
You can ask him to be a temporary guide through a reconciliation process, say counseling for marriage or fixing a broken relationship with a neighbor. The greater the request, the greater the honor, so instead of providing the offerings to Vishnu, you would also offer them to the other person. Be aware that Vishnu will be most willing to help if your goal is to maintain, preserve, or reconcile.
If you recognize that Vishnu is a member of your council, he should be acknowledged as the head of your council. He will not have a secondary role and would only be considered an equal of Brahma or Shiva. If he is the leader of your council then you have chosen to be like Vishnu in your life. You will help maintain relationships, work, and traditions. You will take what others create (followers of Brahma) and establish those things, and you will defend what others try to destroy (followers of Shiva).