Dashavatara – Indian mythology


Dashavatar is ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. In Indian mythology, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (Shiv) are symbols of creator, saviour and destroyer. Whenever there is a decline of religion and a rise of irreligion, Vishnu incarnates himself to protect the good, to destroy the wicked, and to re-establish religious principles. The famous ten incarnations of Vishnu are collectively called Dashavatar. The first four appeared in Satya Yuga. The next three appeared in Treta yuga, eighth incarnation in Dwapara yuga and ninth appeared in Kalyuga. The tenth incarnation is predicted to appear at the end of Kalyuga.
Dashavatar of Lord Vishnu – Indian mythology

Ten avatars of Vishnu are :

1. Matsya – The fish

2. Kurma – The Tortoise

3. Varaha – The Boar

4. Narasimha – Half lion and half man

5. Vamana – The dwarf

6. Parashurama – The warrior

7. Sri Rama – The king

8. Sri Krishna – The cowherd

9. Buddha – The Teacher

10. Kalki – The Slayer


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1. Matsya avatar The fish incarnation is the first incarnation of Vishnu. One day Brahma was sleeping, Hayagriva stole the holy vedas from under Brahma’s head. He then ran and hide in the depth of ocean. Brahma had to read the holy books to create universe. Since he was unable to do so he approached Lord Vishnu for help. Vishnu took the form of a fish and dived into the ocean to get back the vedas. After a fierce battle with the demon Vishnu was successful in bringing back vedas.

2. Kurma avatar Once during samudra manthan or great churning of sea by the Gods and the demons. This churning was to bring out the ‘amrita’ from the depth of ocean to help regain power and immortality. The huge mountain Mandara was used as a pole for churning of water, but as churning continued mountain began to descend into the sea. Then Vishnu incarnated himself into a huge tortoise and placed the mountain on his back then churning began and this time it continued smoothly.

3. Varaha avatar There was a demon named Hiranyaksha He was granted a boon by Brahma that no God or demon or man or beast would ever kill him. One day he snatched the earth and took it with him under the ocean. All Gods rushed to Vishnu for help. Vishnu remembered that Brahma has forgotten to grant Hiranyaksha immortality against varaha – the two tusked wild boar. Vishnu changed himself into a varaha and dived into ocean, after a fierce battle he killed Hiranyaksha ans brought back earth from the depth of ocean.

4. Narasimha avatar In satya yuga there was a wicked king named Hiranyakashyap. He prayed to Lord Brahma for immortality. He requested that neither at day nor at night could any God, demon man or beast could ever kill him. He also prayed that no instrument or weapon could ever destroy him. Impressed by his devotion Brahma granted him the boon. Hiranyakshyap then banned worship of God. But his son Prahlad was a devotee of Vishnu. This enraged Hiranyakashyapand he decided to kill Prahlad. After many unsuccessful attempts one evening he ordered his men to tie Prahlad to a pillar and behead him. However Vishnu took the form of Narasimha a creature that was half lion and half human, he came out of the pillar. He comes upon Hiranyakashyap at twilight (neither day nor night), on the threshold of courtyard (neither indoor nor outdoor), he put the demon on his thioghs (neither earth nor space) using his sharp nails (neither weapon nor instrument) he tore Hiranyakashyap’s chest apart and killed him.


5. Vamana avatar In Treta yuga Vishnu incarnated into a dwarf or vamana. Bali, grandson of Prahlad was a famous demon. By leading a austere life he had acquired the powers to rule the earth. Indra and other God got feared that someday Bali would conquer everything and defeat them so they asked Vishnu for help. Vishnu decided to be born in a household of a poor Brahmin one day he went to Bali and asked for alms. Seeing this young boy, Bali agreed to give anything the dwarf asked for. Vamana asked for entire land that would come under 3 steps. Bali agreed. The dwarf then grew in size and covered earth and heaven in two steps. Then he asked Bali where can he put his third steps. Bali reallised vamana was Vishnu incarnation and his pride was broken he offered his head for third step. Vishnu then blessed him and send him to neither world.

6. Parashuram Parashuram was the sixth incarnation of Vishnu had a violent temper. He was a master archer and desciple of Shiva. Vishnu appeared as parashuram in Tetrayuga to destroy warrior caste. When the king of the earth became despotic and started to harm people and saint in the forest. Vishnu incarnated as Parashuram and destroyed all the kings who were harassing people. Jamdagni a brahmin sage was Parashuram’s father, he had a divine cow kamadhenu. There was a king name Kartavirya arjuna (sahasrarjuna) has thousand arms. Once he and his army visited Jamdagni and demanded the magical cow kamdhenu but JAmadangi refused because he needed cow for his religious ceremonies, king forcible took the cow and devastated ashram. Angered at this Parashuram killed entire army and king after cutting his each hand. As a revenge king’s son killed Jamadagniin Parashuram’s absence. Furious at his father’s murder Parashuram killed all sons of Sahasrajuna. His thirst for revenge unquenched and he went on killing every adult kshatriya on earth not once but 21 times and filling 5 pond with blood. Ultimately his grandfther appeared and stopped him.

7. Rama Rama who was prince and king of Ayodhya was 7th incarnation of Vishnu that appeared in Tetra yuga. Lord Rama defeated and killed the king of srilanka, Ravana for capturing and imprisoning his wife Sita in Ashok garden in Srilanka.

8. Krishna In 8th incarnation Vishnu appeared in Dwapara yuga as Krishna. He is one of the most common worshipped deity in Hindu faith. Krishna killed Kansa and played a huge role in the battle of kurukshetra. He helped pandavas to defeat kauravas. Krishna is a significant character in mahabharat. He delivered Bhagwat Gita on battlefield to Arjun. Krishna is known for his bravery in destroying evil powers throughout his life.

9. Buddha Vishnu in his 9th incarnation appeared as mahavir buddha in Kalyuga to teach the lesson of following a middle path in life. Buddha means the ‘enlightened one’. he thought that all sorrow comes from attachment and desire so its better to curb all attachment in order to be happy.


16 thoughts on “Dashavatara – Indian mythology”

    1. Kaliyug is just an hypothetical cepcont .BR Ambedakar has written a book called Riddles in Hinduism’ in it he proves that several places the time period of kali yug is different and changed several times.Osho himself has called this type of thought to be reason for india’s backwardness(back in the 80 s but hopefully its developing now)It makes you think that good’ was only in the past and future is full of bullshit so better not innovate as it may be a sin because i am contributing to the deformed age of kaliFrom good arises good .From bad arises bad.If the past was really so beautiful then how come the present is so bullshit?

      1. The Kali yuga is not a concept. Ambedakar is attempting to rectify his spiritual beliefs in some different dagma, according to Shiva.

        I am the true and real Usher of Destruction for the kaliyug.

        I am the voice of the Exalted Great Creator of all Things and Destroyer of Evil.

        He wishes me to let you know that the past was good, really good. You should’ve been there, says Shiva. Sorry you missed it.

        Shiva has shown me that Osho was right. Why bother if there will not be a tomorrow?

        Truthfully, my friend, knowing what I know, I can empathize with them all.

        We are drawing up to the end of the kaliyug. But, there is no reason to stop your living.

        When the time comes, the ninth avatar of Vishnu, who, oddly enough is Vishnu, will return to collect up the rightous and rapture the true believers, and they will all be taken to another world much like this one was.

        Satyayug will begin anew, at that time. The grand yuga cycle will then begin its second incarnation.

        To be counted among the rightous, you need only believe.

        As for the date that kalki will descend to earth with his first sword on his white steed is truly known to Shiva and I alone. It was part of my task and destiny to make the day of calamity known to all, but the government of the united States has studied the prophecies and had evil plan to kill me and keep the date to themselves.

        Their plan to “discover” the comet too late, and let everyone perish while they saved themselves. Because of this, Shiva has requested that I make the day known to no one, and I am not one to not do what the great Creator wishes.

        I am in the employ of the fount of compassion and a love so vast as to have no beginning or end.

        I do what is asked of me.

        In any case, know there is an “End”, and that Shiva loves us all, no matter what.

    1. According to some beliefs, Balrama is considered to be an incarnation. Some beleifs state that Balram was Sheshnag’s avatar, just like Laxman. My observation here is Krishna and Balrama, two incarnations, happened at the same time?
      Wikipedia also lists Balrama in the main list, and Buddha alongwith Shri Krishna.

      1. Ritu,

        Balram was Krishna’s avatar, not Sheshnags.

        Laxman was Sheshnags avatar.

        Krishna and Balrama did exist concurrently.

        While I am not acquainted with the finer points of transmigration and avatara, I just myself happened to find an image where two individuals that I have embodied are seen together.

        You may be familiar with the image of Mohini metaphorically taking Shiva’s head off with a discus.

        I am the embodiment of Mohini and the 2000th avatar of Narad, as well, sitting to Shivas left, in the image.

        If you get it figured out let me know.

        Also, there is only one “dashavatara” and that is Vishnu. No one else is a dashavatara.

        Buddha is not an avatar of Vishnu. The ninth avatar of Vishnu is Vishnu. Go figure?

        Buddha is an avatar of Hanuman.

        Hanuman is an avatar of the trimurti.

    1. Hi Vishwanath, Buddha being a dashavatar is not an idea on this article. Rather scriptures have mentioned this. There are different school of thoughts, such as Balrama being a dashavatar. But, he was an incarnation of Sheshnaag, like Laxman. Also Rama was indeed a human being as Ravana did not have immunity against human being so lord vishnu took ramavatar. Hope this brings us on common platform.

    2. Mytholenny But the truth is that nothing is to believe in God, because Manu (The Brhamin Guru) writes whole Myth Stories about Gods (Brahma Vishnu Mahesh) even their existence are not…all the Gods are born in Brahmins and Kshatriyas they never born in untouchables or backwords..

    1. hi Jayanata, Balrama was an incarnation of Sheshnaag. Laxman was also an incarnation of Sheshnaag. They were the companions of Lord Vishnu’s incaranations, Lord Rama and Shri Krishna

  1. Hi Vishwanath, Buddha being a dashavatar is not an idea on this article. Rather scriptures have mentioned this. There are different school of thoughts, such as Balrama being a dashavatar. But, he was an incarnation of Sheshnaag, like Laxman. Also Rama was indeed a human being as Ravana did not have immunity against human being so lord vishnu took ramavatar. Hope this brings us on common platform.

  2. Its quite amazing to know that these predictions of the current Kali yuga was made some 5000 years ago. These predictions are a perfect example of the presence of a supreme power. Read about the legend of God Kalki, the 10th Avatar of Vishnu from this article

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