Part of Hinduism. Introduced 700 BCE.
Vaishanvism identifies Visnu as the Supreme Being. It is believed that Visnu is manifested in physical form in times of crisis or need. He has been incarnated as Krishna, 'the glorious lover', and Rama, 'the ideal king'.2 Both Visnu and his incarnations are worshipped.
Sectarian Vaishnavism had its beginnings in the cult of Vasudeva-Krishna, which began around 7th to 6th Century BCE.1
1: 'Vaishnavism' in Encyclopedia Britannica,
[accessed 19 July 2009].
2: Ninian Smart, The World's Religions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,