Caption = Krishna in the form of Maha Vishnu
Name = Vishnu
Devanagari = विष्णु
God_of = Protection
Abode = Maha Tattva
Weapon = Chakra and Mace
Planet = Material Universes
Maha Vishnu (also known as Karanodakshayi Vishnu) is the principal
Vishnudeity of the maha tattva (material universe). All other Vishnu incarnations expand from this Vishnu Avatar. In Gaudiya Vaishnavism, a school of Vaishnavism, the Satvata-tantra describes three different forms, or aspects, of Vishnu as "Maha Vishnu", "Garbhodakasayi Vishnu" and "Kshirodakasayi Vishnu", with each form having a different role in the maintenance of the Universe and its inhabitants:
"Maha-Vishnu is the first of the Purushas (“controllers,” also known as Vishnus), incarnations of Krishna for the creation of the material universe.
Maha-Vishnu creates innumerable universes. He lies down in the Causal Ocean on the bed of Ananta Shesha and initiates the creation by glancing at His personified material energy, Maya.
From Maha-Vishnu come the other two Vishnus: Garbhodakashayi Vishnu and Kshirodakashayi Vishnu.
Maha-Vishnu creates the innumerable universes: Garbhodakashayi Vishnu enters into each individual universe to oversee it; and Ksirodakashayi Vishnu enters into each atom in every universe and sits with us souls in our hearts as Supersoul." http://www.krishna.com/node/619
"For material creation, Lord Krishna's plenary expansion assumes three Vishnus. The first one, Maha-Vishnu, creates the total material energy, known as the mahat-tattva. The second, Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, enters into all the universes to create diversities in each of them. The third, Kshirodakasayi Vishnu, is diffused as the all-pervading Supersoul in all the universes and is known as
Paramatma. He is present even within the atoms. Anyone who knows these three Vishnus can be liberated from material entanglement." [ [http://bhagavadgitaasitis.com/7/4/en1 Quoted from the Satvata-tantra] translation by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada ]
* [http://srimadbhagavatam.com/1/2/23/en1 Vishnu, the form of the quality of goodness] (srimadbhagavatam.com)
* [http://www.stephen-knapp.com/thousand_names_of_the_supreme.htm Thousand names of the Supreme] (Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram)
* [http://www.suhotraprabhu.com/in2-mec/index.php?p=J040130 Mahavishnu as the god in Old Testament]
International Society for Krishna Consciousness
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