Symbols of Vishnu:
Vishnu always carries his four symbols white conch shell,
rotating disk, golden mace, and lotus flower with four arms, the
symbol of watery elements sitting or standing on a lotus flower
or on water.
About the four arms of Vishnu, GOPAL-UTTARTAPANI Upanishad
"In my lower right hand, which represents the revolving
or creative tendency, I hold the conch, symbol of the five
In the upper right hand, which represents the cohesive
tendency I hold the discus, shining like an infant sun, symbol of
In the upper left hand, which represents the tendency towards
dispersion and liberation, I hold the lotus, symbol of the causal
power of illusion, from which the universe rises.
In my lower left hand, which represents the notion of
individual existence, is the mace, symbol of primeval
The Conch (SHANKH) named PANCHJANYA is the fountain that
evolves the five elements, i.e., water, fire, air, earth and sky
or space. When blown it produces a sound that is associated with
primeval sound from which creation developed.
The Discus or wheel (CHAKRA) of Vishnu named SUDARSHANA has
six spokes and symbolizes six-petal lotus. It represents the
limitless controlling all the six seasons and is the fearful
weapon that cuts off the heads of all demons.
The Lotus of Vishnu is named PADMA. It is the symbol of purity
and represents the unfolding of creation. It is the truth
(SATHYA). The element from which emerge the rules of conduct
(DHARMA) and knowledge (GNANA).
The Mace (GADA) of Vishnu is named KAUMODAKI. It represents
the elemental force, from which all physical and mental powers
Purpose of outer Senses:
The five heads of Sesha represent the five outer senses of
The eyes wish only to see sensual beauties
The ears crave only for nice songs and praises
The tongue overloads the digestive system with highly
flavoured foods & often speaks ill of others
The nose searches for fragrances and scents
The sense of touch seeks softness in silk and velvet
We must master our senses and direct them in more positive
The eyes for reading the words of God
The ears hearing the stories of God & songs of God
The tongue tasting sathwic food and the name of God
The nose discovering fragrance in everything that recalls the
glory of God
The sense of touch to reach out to and comfort those in need
The ocean of milk is the anthakarana (our inner subtle body).
The Lord resides in this "ksheerasagara" or the ocean
of milk (pure white consciousness in man). Man can only become
aware of his inner subtle body by the process by curbing negative
tendencies, controlling of senses and by the practice of
namasmarana, service and meditation.
Vishnu is depicted with a blue skin. The colour blue
symbolises the infinite expansion of the blue sky and the blue
ocean. Vishnu holds a conch or sankha which symbolises sounds of
creation. In another hand, he holds the cakra or the wheel of
time. Sometimes the cakra is called Sudarsana Cakra.
"Su" means good and "darshan" means vision.
This signifies that when a devotee looks towards God with a sense
of surrender, God will turn towards him. Thus the cakra is a
weapon with a mission to destroy ego and grant
Vishnu also holds the gada or mace which signifies strength -
all the strength is in God´s hands. His hand is held in
Abhaya (blessing) and confers protection and grace. Vishnu´s
abode is "vaikunta" which signifies " a place
where there is no shadow of grief. When God manifests in your
heart, all is full and free.