Lord Vishnu is part of the Hindu trinity (along with Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva) and is known as "the creator". The shaanta-kaaram mantra is a prayer in praise of the various attributes of Lord Vishnu, whose many incarnations have graced the earth over the millenia. The two most recent and well known incarnations are Lord Rama and Lord Krishna.
shaanta-kaaram bhujaga-shayanam padma-naabham suresham
vishwa-dhaaram gagana-sadrisham megha-varanam shubhaangam.
lakshmi-kaantam kamala-nayanam yogi-bhi-dhyaana-agamyam
vande vishnum bhava-bhaya-haram sarva-lokaika-naatham.
Meaning of the Vishnu Mantra
I sing praise to Lord Vishnu.
He who has the peaceful (shaanta-)
demeanor and visage (-kaaram).
He who sleeps and reposes (-shayanam)
on the serpents (bhujaga-).
He who has a lotus shaped (padma-) navel (-naabham).
He who is the master and lord
of all the gods (suresham).
I pray to the Lord Vishnu.
He who holds (-dhaaram) the
universe (vishwaa-) in his hands.
He whose vision (-sadrasham) exceeds
beyond all the skies (gagana-).
He whose color and visage (-varanam) is
changeable like the clouds (megha-).
And he who is filled with goodness (shubh-)
in every part (-aangam) of his body.
I sing praise to the Lord Vishnu.
He who is the husband (-kaantam)
of the goddess of wealth (-lakshmi).
He whose eyes (-nayanam) are surreal
like a lotus flower (kamala-).
And he who yogis yearn to reach (-agamyam)
through meditation (-dhyaana).
I sing praises (vande-) to the Lord Vishnu (-vishnum).
He who removes (-haram) all our fears (-bhaya)
due to our inborn nature (-bhava).
And he who is the master (-naatham) of the
entire (-sarva) universe and creation (-lokaika).