In Hindu iconography, Vishnu is usually depicted as having a dark, or pale blue complexion and having four arms. He holds a padma (lotus flower) in his lower left hand, Kaumodakigada (mace) in his lower right hand, Panchajanyashankha (conch) in his upper left hand and the Sudarshana Chakra (discus) in his upper right hand. A traditional depiction is Vishnu reclining on the coils of the serpent Shesha, accompanied by his consort Lakshmi, as he "dreams the universe into reality".
Yaska, the mid 1st-millennium BCE Vedanga scholar, in his Nirukta (etymological interpretation), defines Vishnu as viṣṇur viṣvater vā vyaśnoter vā, "one who enters everywhere". He also writes, atha yad viṣito bhavati tad viṣnurbhavati, "that which is free from fetters and bondages is Vishnu".
The medieval Indian scholar Medhātithi suggested that the word Vishnu has etymological roots in viś, meaning to pervade, thereby connoting that Vishnu is "one who is everything and inside everything".