Animiṣa (Animisha) is one of the names of Viṣṇu (Vishnu). The Sanskrit word nimiṣa (nimisha) or nimeṣa (nimesha) means ‘to bat the eyelids’ as well as ‘the time it takes to bat the eyelids’. Therefore, literally animiṣa refers to the one who does not bat his eyelids or never closes his eyes. Viṣṇu as the protector of the world keeps a close watch on well-being of every creature. Not even an action of a second can evade his eye, as he never closes his eyes. If the word nimiṣa is taken as a term signifying a measure of time, then animiṣa refers to the one above or beyond time. The Supreme Being is eternal, existing from before the very conceptualisation of ‘time’ itself and would continue to exist even after the cosmos is destroyed. This essence of timelessness which he illustrates cannot be encapsulated within the small confine of time – nityaprabuddha-svarūpatvāt animiṣaḥ. Out of this very concept, Viṣṇu, the Supreme Being manifest, has come to be known by the name of Animiṣa. As the Hindu mythology records, Viṣṇu also incarnated as a fish (matsya avatāra; matsya avatara). Śaṅkarācārya (Sankaracharya) comments, from the fact that the eyes of fish has no eyelids stems the term animiṣa as one of the epithets of Viṣṇu.