Vishnu appears on earth in various avatars, but only Rama and the Buuddha play a significant role. He contains and balances good and evil and preserves the divine order of the universe. He wears a seven-headed cobra and holds a lotus flower, conch shell, spinning disc and a mace. He also has a caste mark on his forehead.
An Indian painting, 1790-1810, depicting Krishna, an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, the preserver, with his symbolic attributes of a flute and blue skin, with Radha under a tree with cows and footprints with auspicious symbols. (British Museum)