Vishnu is one of the triad of gods in Hinduism that represent three aspects of the supreme or absolute spirit, the Brahman. (Brahma is the creator of the cosmos, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer.) Vishnu supposedly had nine incarnations, one of which was as Krishna. Vishnu's steed is the supernatural Garuda, shown in a wood carving (left, about 23" tall); at right is a painted wood carving of Vishnu riding Garuda (made in Indonesia). For a discussion of Hinduism, see Merle Severy, editor, Great Religions of the World, Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 1971.