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Books on Lord Vishnu

There are many ancient books celebrating the divine personality of Lord Vishnu. Primary amongst them is of course the Vishnu Purana, a highly lucid and instructive text. Another scripture of note is the Vishnu Sahasaranama, a part of the Mahabharata. It contains the thousand names of Lord Vishnu, rendered in metered rhythmic verses which when chanted not only give rise to a divine melody, but also have the power to diminish our suffering and fulfill our wishes. Each of Vishnu’s thousand names is mysterious, powerful and loaded with spiritual symbolism. Many commentaries have been written to explain the text; the most prominent being the one by Adi Shankaracharya.

Since Lord Vishnu is the savior, there are also a number of hymns, poems etc. addressed to Him by His loving devotees. You can buy many of these hymns and stotras from this collection. Secondary and modern literature on Lord Vishnu includes descriptions of His ten incarnations, iconographic studies on Lord Vishnu and His temples, books explaining the theology of Vishnu and biographies of His devotees. Here you will find a vast selection of books pertaining to Lord Vishnu, which you can buy online.


Q1. Who started Vaishnavism?

The Vaishnavas (followers of Vaishnavism philosophy) consider Lord Vishnu or Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vaishnavism is an authorized tradition in which the transcendental knowledge of the Absolute Truth is passed through disciplic succession (Guru-Shishya Parampara). This spiritual knowledge starts and descends from Lord Krishna Himself. There have been four main Acharyas in the line of the disciplic succession, who presented the philosophy of spirituality or Bhakti to the general public in an easy manner: Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Nimbarkacharya, and Vishnuswami.

Q2. What is the sacred book of Vaishnavas?

Vaishnavas or the followers of the Vaishnava philosophy worship Lord Vishnu or Krishna and consider Him the Supreme Primeval Lord. This philosophy is based on many Vedic Scriptures such as Padma Purana, Brahma Samhita, Vishnu Purana, etc. There are many sacred books that the Vaishnavas follow and read. Shastra Adhyayan (reading of the scriptures) is one of the important limbs of devotion or Bhakti in Vaishnavism. The main books are the Bhagavad Gita, the Bhagavata Purana (also called Srimad Bhagavatam), Chaitanya Charitamrita, Sri Isopanishad, etc.

Q3. Who popularized Vaishnavism?

Vaishnavism has been originated and established by the Supreme Lord Himself and has spread throughout the world. The transcendental knowledge is passed by the spiritual master to his disciples and this tradition is known as Guru-shishya Parampara (the line of disciplic succession). There have been many well-known Acharyas in Vaishnavism such as Madhvacharya and Ramanujacharya, who have propagated the science of God or the Absolute Truth to masses of people. A few decades ago, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, a Sanyasi, went to the west and positively spread the glories of Gaudiya Vaishnavism by starting the Hare Krishna Movement, widely knowns as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). 

Q4. What are 5 facts about Vishnu?


Vishnu is known as "The Preserver" within the Trimurti, the supreme triple deity that includes Brahma and Shiva.


In Vaishnavism, Vishnu is the Supreme Being, the great maintainer of the universe, who often appears in various incarnations (avatars) such as Ram and Krishna.


Vishnu is usually shown with light blue skin and four arms. He holds a lotus, mace (gada), conch (shankha), and disc (chakra) in each of the four hands.


Lord Vishnu is depicted reclining on a thousand-headed serpent called Adisesha with Lakshmi, his consort serving him in the ocean of the cosmos.


Lord Brahma was born from the navel of Lord Vishnu.

Q5. What should not be offered to Lord Vishnu?


Flowers of Agastya, Madhavi, and Lodh should not be used at all during the worship of Lord Vishnu. Also must avoid using flowers and leaves that are impure, stale, and eaten by insects in the worship of God. According to religious scriptures, Kaner flowers should not be used in the worship of Lord Rama. Flowers that have fallen on the ground, begged from others, or stolen should also not be used in Vishnu worship. Along with these, Akshat i.e. rice is not offered to the idol of Vishnu. These things should be kept in mind while worshiping God in Adhik Maas.

Q6. Who is the biggest bhakt of Lord Vishnu?


The greatest devotees of Lord Vishnu are:


The Bhagavata Purana (6.3. 20-21) lists twelve Mahajanas, regarded to be the biggest devotees (Bhaktas) of Vishnu: Brahma, Narada, Shiva, the Four Kumaras, Kapila, Svayambhuva Manu, Prahlada, Janaka, Bhishma, Bali, Śuka, and Yama. Sage Narada would go around the world reciting the Lord’s name — Narayana, Narayana.


The following are also regarded as great devotees of Vishnu:

As Narayana: AdiSesha, Garuda, As Matsya: Manu, As Kurma: Varuna, As Varaha: BhuDevi, As Vamana Trivikrama: Mahabali, As Narasimha: Prahalada, As Parashurama: Vasuki, As Rama: Hanumana, As Krishna: Arjuna, As Buddha: Sariputra

Q7. Why is Vishnu not mentioned in Vedas?


In the Vedas, Vishnu is a Rigvedic deity, only a minor deity, when compared to Indra, Agni, and others. Just 5 out of 1028 hymns of the Rigveda are dedicated to Vishnu. He is known for the three steps he took to span the world. But in the Puranas, there is a shift in Hindu mythology and he becomes the preserver of the world. In section 7.99 of the Rigveda, Vishnu is addressed as the god who separates heaven and earth, a characteristic he shares with Indra. In the Vedic texts, the deity referred to as Vishnu is Surya or Sun god (Suryanarayana).