When a mantra is given in the Puranas, it's usually preceded by a Dhyanam, which describes the appearance of the god whom you're supposed to meditate upon before reciting the mantra. For instance, in my profile page I quote the Sri Vishnu Stuti, which is part of the Dhyana shlokas of the Vishnu Sahasranamam. But now I'm interested in the Dhyana of another mantra.
This excerpt from the Narada Purana describes a mantra called the Keshava Nyasa, a hymn to Vishnu which was heard from the gods by the sage Narayana, an incarnation of Vishnu whom I discuss here. Here's the appearance of Vishnu you're supposed to meditate upon before reciting it:
On should worship Hari who is equipped with discus and other weapons, who is holding a vessel and a mirror. He is accompanied by Lakshmi who has the brilliance of lightning and who is adorned with a lot of ornaments.
My question is, why is Vishnu described as "holding a vessel and a mirror"?
First of all, what does "vessel" mean here? Does it mean a ship or a container of some kind? I'm not sure what Sanskrit word is being translated as vessel, but if someone can look in the Sanskrit version of the Narada Purana, available here and here, I'd appreciate it.
Are there any other scriptures which mention Vishnu holding a vessel and a mirror, and/or explain their significance? I suppose the mirror could signify that the individual soul is reflected in Vishnu, or something along those lines.