Three Major Forms of Lord Vishnu
There are three main forms of Lord Vishnu, known as the three Vishnu forms in Hinduism:
Maha Vishnu or Karanadaksayi Vishnu
Maha Vishnu is the cosmic form of Lord Vishnu, lying beyond the material universe. He is often depicted reclining on the serpent Shesha (Ananta) in the cosmic ocean. This form of Vishnu is also termed Parbrahm or Supreme Power of the world. Maha Vishnu is the source of all universes and is responsible for the creation, maintenance, and destruction of the cosmos. This form of Vishnu is the source of all energy in the discoverable and undiscovered universe.
Garbhodakshayi Vishnu is the aspect of Lord Vishnu that resides within each universe. He is the seed of creation, and from his navel, a lotus grows where Lord Brahma is born. Garbhodakshayi Vishnu oversees the preservation and maintenance of each universe, ensuring its proper functioning.
Kshirodakshayi Vishnu is the form of Lord Vishnu that exists in the hearts of all living beings. He is the inner controller who monitors the individual souls and their actions, keeping track of karma and bestowing grace and guidance upon them.
These three forms of Lord Vishnu collectively represent the principles of creation, preservation, and individual spiritual guidance in Hindu cosmology.
According to Gaudiya Sampradaya Bhagvad Geeta, 7th chapter
visnos tu trini rupani purusakhyany atho viduh ekantu mahatah srastr dvitiyam tv anda-samsthitam trtiyam sarvabhuta-stham tani jnatva vimucyate
This sloka gives us detail about the three forms of Lord Vishnu. It says that there are three types of Vishnu or Krishna for the universe. First is Mahavishnu or Karanadaksayi which is held responsible for forming, preserving, and ending the universe. In many photos, you can see that Vishnu Ji is lying on Shesh Nag with uncountable Vishnu Ji enclosed in a circle around him. It depicts the Maha Vishnu controlling uncountable universes. Also, the first sloka of Vishnu Shastranama ( Vishnum Jishnum Mahavishnum……..), says that Maha Vishnu is the eternal form of god. Also, it states that with one blink of the eyes of Maha Vishnu, one Brahma ended up with his term.
The second Vishnu or Garbhodakshayi Vishnu is present in each and every universe and controls the respective one. From the navel of this Vishnu, Brahma can be seen sitting in the lotus flower. The third form of Vishnu is Kshirodakshayi Vishnu which resides in the heart of each and every living creature or the Brahm Tatva.
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