Vishnu incarnated as Kurma, the tortoise,on whom was placed a mountain as a churning pole,and Vasuki, the great venom-spewing serpent,was wrapped around it and used to churn the ocean.
Lord Vishnu is usually depicted in four hands. The four arms indicate His omnipresence and omnipotence. He holds a Sankha (conch shell) in the upper left hand indicating spread of the divine sound “Om”. He has on his upper right hand the ‘Sudarshana Chakra’ which reminds of the wheel of time and to lead a good life. He has a Gada (mace) in his hand indicating the power and punishing capacity of the Lord when discipline is ignored. On the other hand he holds a Padma (lotus) which is an example of glorious existence. Lord Vishnu also has a bow called Sarnga and a sword called Nandaka. His vehicle is Garuda which can spread Vedic knowledge with great courage. Maha Vishnu is often represents resting on the coiled serpent Shesha with the Lord’s consort Goddess Mahalakshmi massaging his feet. The dark color of the Lord represents the passive and formless ether, a great quality for a pervading god..