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Top 10 Avatars of Lord Vishnu

Avatar of Pharma Musical Yog

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What are Avatars

a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher.  Especially Avatar is a Sanskrit word which means different forms and lives.  If we assume that evolution of life and Avatars of Lord Vishnu are both same, we can have brief study of evolution of life with the reference of Avatars of Lord Vishnu.

Once an American reporter asked, “Why only Indians have Avatars? why don’t have for others?” The answer is Indians didn’t forget all of those Avatars to keep in records and others forgot who had worked in their own land.  Avatar can be a person that help you to get out of our problems but with the time we forget those who helped us.  According to Hindu scripture, Avatar is a symbol of God, yet Avatar does not have any barriers of religion, races, caste.  In the case of Avatars of Lord Vishnu, all of those were born is different eras yet all worked to save human lives, morals and remembrance of God.  We will be going through all of these ten Avatars one by one according to scripture, Purana and Vedas called as Dash-avatar (Dash- 10, Avatar– Forms)

Matsya-avatar (Matsya – Fish)-

King Vaivasvata Manu finds a little fish in the palm of his hands when performing the Tarpana (water-offering). The fish asks Manu if his riches and power was enough to give the fish a nice home. Manu keeps the fish to give it a home, but the fish keeps expanding, which breaks Manu’s pride about his wealth. Eventually, he releases it into the ocean, realizing it is Lord Vishnu himself. Vishnu informs Manu of the coming destruction of the world, by means of fires and floods, and directs Manu to collect “all creatures of the world” and keep them safe on a boat built by the gods. When the deluge (Pralaya) comes, Vishnu appears as a great fish with a horn, to which Manu ties the boat, which leads them into safety.

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Matya-Avatar

 

 Kurma-Avatar (Kurma – Tortoise)

The Giant Tortoise Avatar. When the devas (Gods) and asuras (Devils) were churning the ocean of milk in order to get Amrit, the nectar of immortality, the mount Mandara they were using as the churning staff started to sink and Vishnu took the form of a tortoise to bear the weight of the mountain and save Amrit from Devils.  It would be hard enough to save the Earth from Asuras if it would have found them.  To understand this situation more please look at the image.

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Kurma Avatar

Varaha-Avatar (Varaha- Wild Swine)

He appeared to defeat  Hiranyaksha, a demon who had taken the Earth, or Prithvi, and carried it to the bottom of what is described as the cosmic ocean (much like in ether theory) in the story. The battle between Varaha and Hiranyaksha is believed to have lasted for a thousand years, which the former finally won. Varaha carried the Earth out of the ocean between his tusks and restored it to its place in the universe.

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Varah-Avatar

 Narasimha (Nar- Male, Simha- Lion)

The half-man/half-lion Avatar. Jaya and his brother Vijaya are cursed by the sage sanaka when they stop him from seeing Vishnu, and will be reborn three times as demons to be killed by Vishnu. In their first demonic birth they become Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu persecuted everyone for their religious beliefs including his son who was a Vishnu follower. he was protected by Brahma, and could by no means be killed. Vishnu descended as an anthropomorphic incarnation, with the body of a man and head and claws of a lion. He disemboweled Hiranyakashipu, and brought an end to the persecution of human beings including his devotee Prahlada.

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Narasimha

 Vamana (Dwarf man Avatar)

The fourth descendant of Vishnu, Bali, with devotion and penance was able to defeat Indra, the god of firmament. This humbled the other deities and extended his authority over the three worlds. The gods appealed to Vishnu for protection and he descended as a boy Vamana. During a yagya of the king, Vamana approached him and Bali promised him for whatever he asked. Vamana asked for three paces of land. Bali agreed, and the dwarf then changed his size to that of a giant Trivikrama form.  With his first stride he covered the earthly realm, with the second he covered the heavenly realm thereby symbolically covering the abode of all living beings. He then took the third stride for the netherworld. Bali realized that Vamana was Vishnu incarnate. In deference, the king offered his head as the third place for Vamana to place his foot. The avatar did so and thus granted Bali immortality and making him ruler of Pathala, the netherworld. This legend appears in hymn 1.154 of the Rugveda and other Vedic as well as Puranic texts.

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Vamana- Avatar

 Parashurama (Man with an Axe)

He is son of  Jamadagni and Renuka and was granted as boon, an axe after a penance to Lord Shiva. He is the first Brahmin-Kshatriya in Hinduism, or warrior-sage, who had to follow the Dharma of both, a Brahmin as well as a Kshatriya. Once, when king Kartvirya Arjuna and his hunting party halted at the ashrama of Jamadagni, the father of Parashurama, and the sage was able to feed them all with the aid of the divine cow Kamdhenu. The king demanded the cow, but Jamadagni refused. Enraged, the king took it by force and destroyed the ashram. Parashurama then killed the king at his palace and destroyed his army. In revenge, the sons of Kartavirya killed Jamadagni. Parashurama took a vow to kill every Kshatriya on earth twenty-one times over, and filled five lakes with their blood. Ultimately, his grandfather, Rishi Rucheeka, appeared before him and made him halt. He is a chiranjeevi (immortal), and believed to be alive today in penance at Mahendragiri. He also credited for creating coastal belt of Karnataka and Kerala throwing his mighty axe as per Hindu mythology. The place the axe landed in sea got its water displaced and the land which emerged thus came to be known as coast of Karnataka and whole of Kerala.

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Parashurama

Lord Sri Rama 

The Avatar of Morality and Rules, The Prince and King of Ayodhya. He is a commonly worshipped avatar in Hinduism, and is thought of as the ideal model of a common prince without super powers, despite being an incarnation. His story is recounted in one of the most widely read scriptures of Hinduism, the Ramayana. While in exile from his own kingdom with his brother Lakshman and the God Hanuman, his wife Sita was abducted by the demon king of Lanka, Ravana. He travelled to Lanka, killed the demon king and saved Sita. Rama and Sita returned home and were crowned. The day of the return of Prince Rama to the kingdom of Ayodhya is celebrated in the form of Gudhi Padwa (Hindi New Year) all over India.

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Sri Rama

 

 Lord Sri Krishna – 

Krishna was the eighth son of Devaki and Vasudeva and the foster-son of Yashoda and Nanda.  A frequently worshipped deity in Hinduism, he is the hero of various legends, particularly the Kansa-vadha and Mahabharata and embodies several qualities such as love, duty, compassion, and playfulness. Krishna’s birthday is celebrated every year by Hindus on Krishna Janmashtami according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar, which falls in late August or early September of the Gregorian calendar. Krishna is usually depicted with a flute in his hand. Krishna is also a central character in Mahabharat, Bhagavat Purana, and the Shri Madbhahavadgeeta.

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Shri Krishna showing Vishwarup Darshan to Arjuna

  Gautam Buddha

He is the founder of Buddhism, is commonly included as an avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism. Buddha is sometimes depicted in Hindu scriptures as a preacher who deludes and leads demons and heretics away from the path of the Vedic Scripture, but another view praises him a compassionate teacher who preached the path of Ahimsa(non-violence).  As earlier mentioned that there is no barriers of religion is satisfied in this avatar.

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Gautam Buddha

 Kalki Avatar

Kalki is described as the final incarnation of Vishnu, who appears at the end of each Kali Yuga. He will be atop a white horse and his sword will be drawn, blazing like a comet. He appears when only chaos, evil and persecution prevails, Dharma has vanished, and he ends the Kali Yuga to restart Satya yuga and another cycle of existence.

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Kalki Avatar

 

Evolutionary Interpretation – 

  • Matsya- fish (Paleozoic era)
  • Kurma- amphibious tortoise (Mesozoic era)
  • Varaha – boar (Cenozoic era)
  • Narsimha- man-lion, the last animal and semi-human avatar (Cenozoic era)
  • Vamana- growing dwarf and first step towards the human form
  • Parashurama- a hero, but imperfect human form
  • Shri Rama – another hero, physically perfect, befriends a speaking Vanara deity Hanuman
  • Lord Krishna- son of Devaki
  • Gautam Buddha- the Buddhism founder
  • Kalki- yet to happen and the savior, and is like Christian Advent, which Madame Blavatsky believed Christians “undoubtedly copied from the Hindus.

The Puranas speak of the different manifestations or incarnations of the Deity in different epochs of the world history.  The Hindu Avatar rises from the lowest scale of life through the fish, the tortoise, and the hog up to the perfection of humanity. Indian Avatarism is, indeed, a crude representation of the ascending scale of Divine creation. Such precisely is the modern theory of evolution.

 

*Here are numbering of Avatar are in incorrect manner, they are given from 10 to 1 but they are starting from 1 to 10.

 

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