Hindu Gods and Goddesses

One of the Trinities Vishnu - Lord of Maintenance

Vishnu is the Lord of protection, sustenance & maintenance. His consort Lakshmi is the possessor of wealth, which is a necessity for maintenance. Goddess Lakshmi represents not only material wealth, but the wealth of grains, courage, valour, offspring, success, luxurious life, eternal bliss. Vishnu and Lakshmi thus help the souls introduced into the life cycle by Brahma to survive in the cycle of life;  

Lord Vishnu is also called Nilameghashyamalan - possessing a complexion the colour of the dark clouds. As proof that opposites attract, Vishnu's outer appearance is dark while he is associated with the santha gunam, bringing light & peace to the world. 

He rests on the ocean on his bed of Adisesha (serpent with 1,000 heads). Any time Lord Vishnu sees great trouble, He takes an avataram to rescue the people from evils. He is all merciful, ever rushing to serve his devotees.  

In the form of Mahavishnu he has four arms wielding the chakra, conch, lotus & the gadha or mace in his four arms. Some of the main avatarams of Vishnu are enumerated as the Dasavataram (10 Incarnations).

Dasavataram of Lord Vishnu

Lord Vishnu being the protector of the Universe, comes down to the earth in some form or other to protect and save his devotees. The Lord says, that whenver there is an over abundance of evil on earth, He will take an avataram to restore the balance. In every one of his avatarams he conveys a valuable message. An asura, that is some form of evil is destroyed, restoring peace.  

Further, the Dasavatarams of Lord Vishnu follow the theory of evolution as understood by us today. There is a gradual development in the complexity of form taken by the Lord - fish in Matsyavataram, tortoise in Kurmavataram, boar in Varahavataram, half man half lion in Narasimhavataram, a dwarf in Vamanavataram, an angry man unable to control his anger in Parasuramavataram, the ideal human being in Ramavatram, friend, philosopher and guide ( Geethobadesam) in Krishnavataram. In Kalki avataram he is slated to destroy the world when evil becomes uncontrollable and thus establish the rule of dharma. 

Matsyavataram (Form of a fish)  
Kurmavataram (Form of a tortoise)  
Varahavataram (Form of a boar)  
Narasimhavataram (Form of a lion headed man)   
Vamanavataram (Form of a dwarf   
Kalkiavataram (yet to come)