21 incarnations of Lord Vishnu- part 2

This article is second in the series of 21 incarnations of Lord Vishnu. We see that some of the famous avatars of him appear here also such as fish and Narsingh incarnations.

8. The Rishabha deva Incarnation

Rishabha deva is eighth avtar of Vishnu. Rishabh Dev was born to king Nabhi and Marudevi. His mother Marudevi was the daughter of Indra. His most important lesson he taught mankind was that material possessions cause envy and unhappiness.

He attained that state of Paramhansa (an ascetic of highest order who has controlled his anger) which is an uphill task. He was given the title of ‘Jin’ which means a ‘ a knower’. His followers are known as Jains.


 9. The Incarnation of Raja Prithu

The ninth incarnation of Vishnu was as a king. Lord Vishnu took this incarnation on the request or (prarthana) of sages hence, he got the name Prithu. King Prithu was son of an evil king Vena. Vena was killed by the sages  leaving the kingdom without an heir and in famine due to the anarchy of Vena So, the sages churned Vena’s body, out of which first appeared a dark dwarf hunter, a symbol of Vena’s evil.  On further churning, Prithu emerged from right arm of the corpse.  To end the famine Prithu chased the earth (Prithvi) who fled from his wrath as a cow. Prithvi said if you will kill me it would mean an end to his subkects too. Thus,Prithu lowered his weapons and promised to be her guardian. Finally, Prithu milked her using Manu as a calf, and received all vegetation and grain as her milk, in his hands for the welfare of humanity. This is considered that as a very supreme incarnation, because the earth has remained full of vegetation’s after that. Earth was named Prithvi after King Prithu.

10. The Fish Incarnation

All the oceans had unified into a single ocean in the ‘Manvantara’ of ‘Chakshusha’. At this time, the whole world  was flooded with water.  The Manu who ruled over this manvantara was known as Vaivasvata Manu.  As a fish, Vishnu told Vaivasvata Manu to build a boat and save himself and the rest of humanity from the waters of the flood. Lord Vishnu in his 10th incarnation as a Matsya (Fish) rescued the earth from ‘Maya’ the demon.

11. The Tortoise Incarnation

At the time of churning of Ocean (samudra manthan) Vishnu incarnated as turtle. The gods (devas) and demons (asuras) churned the ocean with Mount Mandara as a churning rod. But this would not have been possible had there not been a base on which Mount Mandara could rest.  This base was provided by the back of the turtle.

12. The Dhanvantari Incarnation

As the churning continued  Dhanvantari came out with a pot of amrita ( a life-giving drink) in his hands, which he gave to the Gods. Dhanvantari was Vishnu’s twelfth incarnation. Dhanvantari was also the originator of all medical science.

Lord Dhanvantari

Lord Dhanvantari

13. The Mohini Incarnation

Lord Vishnu took his thirteenth incarnation as a most enchanting woman enchanted the demons by his beautiful appearance of a woman, and took away the pot filled up with ambrosia from them and gave it to the deities. The deities were thus protected from the demons.

Read the full story of Mohini avatar here

14. The man – lion incarnation (Narasimha Avtar)

Lord Vishnu took his fourteenth incarnation as half man and half lion. Vishnu incarnated as Narsimha, upper portion was that of a lion and the lower portion was that of a human. In this Incarnation Vishnu protected Prahlad from his father Hiranyakashipu a demon. . Lord Brahma has blessed Hiranyakashipu that a human being can not kill him. Vishnu incarnated this form and killed Hiranyakashipu by tearing his body apart  by his nails.