Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ten Incarnations of Vishnu (Das - Avatars)

Vishnu who is known as the Preserver of the Universe , seeks from time to time to redeem the world and as an Avatãr (Incarnation) manifests his Divine Being into the life of man, whenever evil threatens it. Each of these Avatar's have significant impact on the timeline of occurance.
Till date there are 10 avatar's that Vishnu has taken or Dashavatar. They are as follows:-
  1. Matsya - The Fish
  2. Kurma - The Tortoise
  3. Varaha - The Boar
  4. Narasimha - The Man-Lion
  5. Vamana - The Dwarf
  6. Parashuram
  7. Ram
  8. Krishna
  9. Buddha
  10. Kalki

As Matsya the fish, saviour of srishti or creation. Through this form, Vishnu saved the four Vedas from destruction by flood.
As Kurma the tortoise, Vishnu helped the Devas, or pious celestial beings against the Asuras, or devils, when they tried to churn the mythical ocean for nectar that gauranteed eternal life.
As Varaha the boar, Vishnu saved the earth by lifting it on his tusks from the bottom of the ocean where it lay submerged during the fight between the Devas and the Asuras.
As Narasimha, half lion, half man, Vishnu saved his devotee Prahlad from his evil father Hiranyakashyapu.

As Vaman the dwarf, Vishnu asked King Bali for a mere three steps of the earth. When he assumed his real form, the covered the whole earth in one step, thus humbling the king.
As Parashurama or Ram with axe, Vishnu annihilated the demons in their battle with the gods. Another account holds that he took this form to rid the world of oppression by kings.
As Ram, Vishnu led the victory of good over evil. The epic Ramayan is based on this seventh incarnation of Vishnu.
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As Krishna, Vishnu became the hero of the battle between warring brothers, the Pandavas and the Kauravas, as related in the epic Mahabharat.

As Gautam Buddha, the Enlightened One, he showed the path of righteousness and set the course for a new religion, Buddhism.
Kalki, the tenth incarnation of Vishnu is yet to manifest itself. It is believed that it will be in the form of a horseman who will appear when the world is near its end and save it from extinction.