(in later Hinduism) “the Preserver,” the second member of the Trimurti, along with Brahma the Creator and Shiva the Destroyer.
(in popular Hinduism) a deity believed to have descended from heaven to earth in several incarnations, or avatars, varying in number from nine to twenty-two, but always including animals. His most important human incarnation is the Krishna of the Bhagavad-Gita.
“the Pervader,” one of a half-dozen solar deities in the Rig-Veda, daily traversing the sky in three strides, morning, afternoon, and night.
(Hinduism) the Pervader or Sustainer: originally a solar deity occupying a secondary place in the Hindu pantheon; later one of the three chief gods, the second member of the Trimurti; and, later still, the saviour appearing in many incarnations
C17: from Sanskrit Viṣṇu, literally: the one who works everywhere