January 2017 - Vishnu was one of the Hindu
gods. He was mentioned in the Rig Veda as
a god of light and the sun, but people first began to worship Vishnu as a really important
god around 300 BC.
About this time, people began to think about Vishnu as being like the sun's energy, everywhere, invisible, all-powerful, part of everything. So in this way Vishnu became a much more powerful god than before. Mostly people worshipped
Vishnu by offering him flowers, or incense, or food,
or by praying to him or playing music for him. People did not usually sacrifice animals
to Vishnu, because by 300 BC animal sacrifice was going out of fashion.
Vishnu tries to kill Lakshmi
Because Vishnu was a sky god, paintings of Vishnu often showed him with dark blue skin, like water-filled clouds (Compare this to the Egyptian god Amon, who is also sometimes blue.) Vishnu's wife was the goddess Lakshmi, who was the goddess of shiny brightness, and so also the goddess of shiny things like gold - the goddess of being rich and lucky.
People thought of Vishnu as being reincarnated over and over again in
different forms. So Vishnu was often worshipped in the form of Krishna,
which was one of his reincarnations.
Another reincarnation of Vishnu was as the god Rama,
whose story is in the great poem, the Ramayana,
written about 300 BC under the Mauryan
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