Vishnu (; [ʋɪʂɳʊ]; Sanskrit: विष्णु, lit. ’the pervader’, Viṣṇu), also known as Narayana and Hari, is one of the principal deities of Hinduism

He is the supreme being within Vaishnavism, one of the major traditions within contemporary Hinduism

Vishnu is known as “The Preserver” within the Trimurti, the triple deity of supreme divinity that includes Brahma and Shiva

In Vaishnavism tradition, Vishnu is the supreme being who creates, protects and transforms the universe

In the Shaktism tradition, the Goddess, or Devi, is described as one of the supreme, yet Vishnu is revered along with Shiva and Brahma

A goddess is stated to be the energy and creative power (Shakti) of each, with Lakshmi the equal complementary partner of Vishnu

He is one of the five equivalent deities in Panchayatana puja of the Smarta tradition of Hinduism

According to the Vaishnavism sect, the highest form of Ishvar is with qualities (Saguna), and have certain form but is limitless, transcendent and unchanging absolute Brahman, and the primal Atman (Self) of the universe

There are many both benevolent and fearsome depictions of Vishnu

In benevolent aspects, he is depicted as an omniscient sleeping on the coils of the serpent Adishesha (who represents time) floating in the primeval ocean of milk called Kshira Sagara with consort Lakshmi

Whenever the world is threatened with evil, chaos, and destructive forces, Vishnu descends in the form of an avatar (incarnation) to restore the cosmic order and protect Dharma

Dashavatara are the ten primary avatars (incarnations) of Vishnu

Out of the ten, Rama and Krishna avatars are most important