Vishnu is the preserver of the universe. In order to restore cosmic order, he descended on earth in ten different forms or Dashavatar. In each of his lifetimes, he eradicated evil and revived dharma. The Dashavatar of Vishnu in different yugas are:. Matsya is the first of the Dashavatar. It is depicted as a giant fish or as half human torso connected to the rear half of a fish.
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Vishnu is said to descend in the form of an avatar to restore cosmic order. The list of included avatars varies across sects and regions, particularly in respect to the inclusion of Balarama brother of Krishna or Gautama Buddha. Though no list can be uncontroversially presented as standard, the "most accepted list found in Puranas and other texts is [ In traditions that omit Krishna, he often replaces Vishnu as the source of all avatars.
Some traditions include a regional deity such as Vithoba  or Jagannath  in penultimate position, replacing Krishna or Buddha.
All avatars have appeared except Kalki, who will appear at the end of the Kali Yuga. The order of the ancient concept of Dashavataras has been interpreted to be reflective of modern Darwinian evolution. According to Swami Parmeshwaranand, although the avatars of Vishnu are countless in number, due to the curse of a Rishi called Bhrgu , and includes hermits , Manus , sons of Manus, and other Devas gods , most are only partial i. The Dashavatara is a list of the ten complete i. Various versions of the list of Vishnu's avatars exist, varying per region and tradition.
The following table summarises the position of avatars within the Dashavatara in many but not all traditions:    . Those who recite them near the diseased are called relatives. The mythologies of the Buddha in the Theravada tradition and of Vishnu in Hinduism share a number of structural and substantial similarities. Similarly, the Buddha is claimed in the Theravada mythology to have been born when dharma is in decline, so as to preserve and uphold the dharma.
These similarities may have contributed to the assimilation of the Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu. The adoption of Buddha as an avatar in Bhagavatism was a catalyzing factor in Buddhism's assimilation into Vaishnavism's mythic hierarchy.
According to this tradition, the first was the ninth avatar of Vishnu, while the second was the historical Buddha. In traditions that emphasize the Bhagavata Purana , Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead , from whom everything else emanates. Gaudiya Vaishnavas worship Krishna as Svayam Bhagavan , or source of the incarnations. Mahanubhavas also known as the Jai Kishani Panth, considers Lord Krishna as the supreme God and don't consider the list of Dashavatara while consider another list of Panchavatara 5 Avatars.
The term ' Jyotisha ' refers to Hindu or Vedic astrology , one of the six Vedangas or ancillary disciplines linked with the Vedas. All other incarnations that these are through the Grahas. The beings with more Paramatmamsa [i.
Rama, Krishna, Narasimha and Varaha] are called divine beings'. Notably, according to the Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra - an important Smriti Sastra or compilation of Indian astrology for prediction i. Rama, Krishna, Narasimha and Varaha. The sun is the soul of all. The Moon is the mind. Mars is one's strength. Mercury is speech-giver while Jupiter confers knowledge and happiness. Venus governs semen potency while Saturn denotes grief.
Of royal status are the Sun and the Moon while Mars is the army chief. Prince-apparent in Mercury. The ministerial planets are Jupiter and Venus. Saturn is servant. Rahu and Ketu form the planetary army. Some modern interpreters interpret Vishnu's ten main avatars as an ascending order from simple life-forms to more complex life-forms, and see the Dashavataras as a reflection, or a foreshadowing, of the modern theory of evolution. Such an interpretation was first propounded by Theosophist Helena Blavatsky in her opus Isis Unveiled , in which she proposed the following ordering of the Dashavataras:  .
Blavatsky believed that the avatara-related Hindu texts were an allegorical presentation of Darwinian evolution. Keshub Chandra Sen  stated in , . 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.
Similarly Aurobindo regarded "Avataric Evolutionism" as a "parable of evolution", one which does not endorse evolutionism, but hints at "transformative phases of spiritual progress". The Dashavatara concept appealed to other scholars. Monier Monier-Williams wrote "Indeed, the Hindus were Darwinians centuries before the birth of Darwin, and evolutionists centuries before the doctrine of evolution had been accepted by the Huxleys of our time, and before any word like evolution existed in any language of the world.
Haldane suggested that Dashavatara gave a "rough idea" of vertebrate evolution: a fish, a tortoise, a boar, a man-lion, a dwarf and then four men Kalki is not yet born. Deshmukh also remarked on the "striking" similarity between Darwin's theory and the Dashavatara. Some Vaishnava Hindus reject this "Avataric Evolutionism" concept.
Rama and Krishna are supremely divine, each right and perfect for the circumstances they appeared in, states Prakashanand.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ten major incarnations of Vishnu, the Hindu god of preservation and life. For other uses, see Dashavatar disambiguation. Supreme deity. Important deities. Holy scriptures. Related traditions. Main article: Puranas. Wood and S. Vishnu Dashavatara inscription. Main article: Buddha in Hinduism. Santhanam , Chapter 2, Verses . Santhanam , Chapter 3, Verses . Dalal: "The standard and most accepted list found in Puranas and other texts is: [ Doniger: "Visnu is generally said to have had ten incarnations [ Flood: " These are [ Klostermaier: "The most common tradition speaks of ten such avataras [ Krishna: "Krishna [ Lochtefeld: "Although there is some variation in the list of Vishnu's Avatars, the gnerally accpeted list is as follows [ Balarama, Buddha Nagaswamy, N.
The Hare Krsnas refer to the eight avatar both as Krsna and as Balarama. It is the earliest known stone inscription about the ten avatars of Vishnu, and prior to that they are found in older texts.
The stone inscription mentions the Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu in a Hindu temple. It also does not mention Krishna, but Balarama consistent with old Hindu and Jain texts of South India, the former equating Krishna to be identical to Vishnu. They also argue that sugata is not an ephitet for Gautama Buddha, and that "Sugata Buddha" refers to the Buddha-avatar of Vishnu. In this view, Sugata Buddha and Gautama Buddha were two different persons. This way, "There is no evidence whatsoever that Sugata Buddha, Lord Vishnu's incarnation, was in any way connected with atheism.
Arunchandra S. The Gazetteers Dept, Government of Maharashtra first published: Archived from the original on 16 October Retrieved 3 November Retrieved 20 March Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Puranas. Shastri, G. Bhatt 1 January Agni Purana Unabridged English Motilal vol 1. Shastri Linga Purana - English Translation - Part 2 of 2. A Siva Purana - English Translation - Part 4 of 4. The Garuda Purana.
An Account of the Gifts for the Dying". Retrieved 31 October Soifer State University of New York Press. Textual Sources for the Study of Hinduism.
Dashavatar – Hindu Gods and Deities
One day as he was performing ablutions with river water, a small fish came into his hands and just as he was about to throw the fish back into the river, the fish requested the king to save its life. Heeding its request, the king put the fish into a jar of water but the fish started growing and very soon the jar was not big enough for it. Then the king threw it into the river, but it soon it outgrew the river and the king then threw it into Ganges and then into the ocean. The king realised that it was Lord Vishnu himself and then the lord made an appearance and made a special request to the king. It predicted that the world would come to an end by a huge flood in seven days and requested the king to build a huge boat and take the seven sages hermits , seeds of all plants, one animal of each type. The Matasya avatar story is as follows. The Satya Yuga was about to end and a great flood was to come and destroy all the life on earth to start afresh for the next Yuga.
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Dashavatar: The Ten Incarnations of Lord Vishnu
Lord Vishnu, has incarnated in various life forms through different yugas ages or eons in situations where Dharma was in danger, because of certain evil elements in the world. There are ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. These incarnations are termed as the 'avatars' of Lord Vishnu. Each avatar of Lord Vishnu shall be presented below with appropriate details of the situation under which the lord was compelled to appear on the earth. While many explanations are given for the 10 avatars of Vishnu, one can see striking similarity of these stories with the theory of evolution of life.