God Vishnu protects the order of things ( Sanatan dharma) and, when necessary, Vishnu Avatar and God Vishnu appear on earth in various incarnations or avatars to fight demons and fierce creatures and so maintain cosmic harmony.
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God Vishnu is one of the most important and strongest gods in the Hindu religion from Sanatan Dharm and, along with God Brahma and God Shiva, is considered a member of the holy trinity ( Trimurti ) of Hinduism. God Vishu is the most important god of Vaishnavism, the largest Hindu sect. Indeed, to illustrate Vishnu’s superior status, Brahma is, in some accounts, considered to have been born from a lotus flower which grew from Vishnu’s navel. A complex character, Vishnu is the Preserver and guardian of men who are also known as Narayana.
Vishnu who married to Mata Lakshmi, Mata Sarawati, and Maa Ganga. However, unable to live with the quarrels between his three wives, God Vishnu eventually sent Maa Ganga to God Shiva and Maa Sarawati to God Brahma. In some accounts, another wife of Vishnu is Bhumi-Devi. He is considered to live in the city of Vaikuntha which is also know as Vaikunthnath.
Vishnu has twenty-four avatars or worldly appearances, which are people, animals, or a mix of both. He is Buddha, Krishna, Rama and Parashurama Avataar, Nara-Simha or Narasimha, Vamana, Matsya (the fish), Kurma (the tortoise), Varaha (the boar) and finally, he will be Kalki, who will appear when the world ends, riding a white horse and heralding the start of a new golden age.
24 Avatars of Bhagwan Vishnu
1st Avatar of Vishnu is Adi Purush Avatar
Lord Vishnu took his 1st Vishnu Avatar as the pre-eminent man Adi Purush Avatar, with a desire to commence creation. This first incarnation of Lord Vishnu was full of all the sixteen Kalas (Supernatural powers).
Lord Brahma manifested from the navel of Lord Vishnu in his (Lord Vishnu) state of Yoganidra (deep meditation). The creation, as well as the expansion of the creation, commenced from the organs of Lord Brahma. The first incarnation of Lord Vishnu is all-powerful, which can be seen only by the yogins and sages who have attained divine knowledge. This incarnation is also the indestructible seed from which all the other incarnations manifest themselves. During the time of the final annihilation of the world, every creation merges into him.
2nd Avatar of Vishnu is Four Kumaras
The Four Kumaras namely: Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, and Sanat Kumara are traditionally the four mind-born sons of Lord Brahma. Famous throughout the Puranic literature, they are found also in the Upanishads. They are renowned yogis,
These four Kumaras are vastly learned, and they preached the philosophical way of understanding the Absolute Truth. Sankya. Later on, they became unalloyed devotees of Lord Vishnu, and now have their sampradaya, or party, and is called the Sanakadi-sampradaya. Some refer to this Sampradaya as the Nimbarka - Sampradaya.
There is no greater pilgrimage like the river the Ganges, no greater teacher like one's own mother, no deity like Lord Vishnu, and the Guru is the greatest of all. There is no other brother like peace, no other penance like truth, no other gain better than the salvation of the soul and there is no river like the Ganges. Charity, enjoyment, and destruction are the only three movements of wealth. The wealth which is neither used in doing charities nor is cherished gets destroyed. Plants too have lives and nourish and protect human society with its fruits, roots, and branches. If a man does not chant the holy, then he is like a dead person.
Bhagavan (Krishna) means, one who is full of all the splendors, all the virtuousness and religiousness, all the fame, all the knowledge, all the wealth and fortune, and also possesses all the apathy and who also knows the cause of the creation and destruction. One who has the knowledge of all these 6 things is entitled to be called learned.
One must follow the rules as it has been described in the sacred texts on Dashami (Tenth Day), Ekadashi(Eleventh Day), and Dwadashi (Twelfth day). One should avoid the following ten things on Dashami day- pots and vessels made of bronze, eating grains, honey, spinach, pumpkin, lentils, and food given by others, having food for the second time in a day and making sexual contacts with the wife. On Ekadashi, the following should be avoided- gambling, sleeping, chewing beetle leaves, brushing of teeth, violence, copulating, and untruthfulness. On Dwadashi, the following should be avoided- items made of bronze, wine, honey, oil, untruthfulness, doing exercise, going abroad, having food twice during the day, copulating and touching those things which are not worth touching and eating lentils.
One who has is self-realized neither sees the death of the body, diseases nor the sorrows because he understands that the real self is the soul (Atma). When the diet is pure then the inner self becomes pure and when the inner self becomes pure then he acquires remembrance of his past lives (Smriti) and he attains eternal knowledge about the permanence of the soul and the ephemeral nature of the physical body. Fools and ignorant people are fearful of thousands of things but the learned man who has attained self-realization is not affected by the fear. Death and fear have been conquered. The material environment becomes friendly and serves the devotee with folded hands.
3rd Avatar of Vishnu is Varaha Avatar
Lord Vishnu took his third incarnation as a boar. In this incarnation, Lord Vishnu rescued the earth which had submerged in the ocean and brought it out from the ocean. The whole creation started only after that. A demon by the name of Hiranyaksha had abducted the
earth and carried it to the ‘Rasatala’ (the second-lowest of the world). The earth is considered to be as a ‘Woman’ and since it is a crime to abduct a woman, therefore, Lord Vishnu in his incarnation of a boar killed the demon Hiranyaksha and liberated him the earth from his clutches.
4th Avatar of Vishnu is Narada Avatar
Lord Vishnu took his fourth incarnation as Narada. Narada by becoming a ‘Devarishi’ among all the sages, achieved liberation from all of his Karma’s (action). Narada was the one who gave discourses to the Vaishnavas (followers of Lord Vishnu) on ‘Pancharatra Tantra’.Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Narada, showed that devotion is the best mean of getting liberated from all the bondages of ‘Karma’s’. He also said that a devotee of Lord Vishnu is the supreme among the devotees in the same way as Devarishi Narada among the Sages.
5th Avatar of Vishnu is Nara - Narayana Avatar
Lord Vishnu took his fifth incarnation as sage Nara-Narayan by taking a birth from the womb of a woman named ‘Kala’. He performed a tremendous penance by going to Badri and Kedar. He showed the importance of Penance (Labour), and also that nothing can be achieved in this world without it.
6th Avatar of Vishnu is Kapila Avatar
Lord Vishnu’s Sixth incarnation was as sage Kapila. The objective of this incarnation was to compile all the divine knowledge that had been destroyed. He was the pro founder of Sankhya Shastra (rationalism) which helped the Brahmins, who had forgotten their duties to rectify their mistakes. He also gave a discourse to his own mother.
7th Avatar of Vishnu is Dattatraya Avatar
Lord Vishnu’s 7th Vishnu Avatar was as Dattatraya. He was born to Ansuya and his father was Sage Atri. He was the one who had given Spiritual Knowledge to King Alarka and Prahlada. He had twenty-four teachers. He believed that in the world, a man can learn from each and everything, so he accepted twenty-four objects like water, bird, air, an unmarried girl, and even a prostitute, etc.
8th Avatar of Vishnu is Yajneshwara Avatar
Lord Vishnu in his 8th Vishnu Avatar as Yagya was born to Prajapati and Akuti. He had rescued a ‘Devagana’ (celestial and supernatural being) named Yama and also the Manvantar named as ‘Swayambhuva’. The main thrust of his teaching was based on the values of helpfulness and protecting each other during the time of crisis.
9th Avatar of Vishnu is Rishabh Avatar
Lord Vishnu in his 9th Vishnu Avatar as Rishabh Dev was born to king Nabhi and Marudevi. His mother Marudevi was the daughter of Indra. He attained that state of Paramhansa (an ascetic of the highest order who has controlled his anger) which is an uphill task. He was given the title of ‘Jin’ which means an ‘ a knower’. His followers are known as Jains.
10th Avatar of Vishnu is Prithu Avatar
Lord Vishnu in his 10th Vishnu Avatar as ‘Prithu’ came into existence after the body of King ‘Vena’. Lord Vishnu took this incarnation as per the wishes of the sages. The earth had concealed all the vegetation’s within her and as a result, the whole land had become barren. To protect humanity, Lord Vishnu took incarnation as Prithu by milking the cow (earth). This is considered that as a very supreme incarnation because the earth has remained full of vegetations after that.
11th Avatar of Vishnu is Matsya Avatar
All the oceans had unified into a single ocean in the ‘Manvantara’ of ‘Chakshusha’. Lord Vishnu in his 11th Vishnu Avatar as a Matsya (Fish) rescued the earth from ‘Maya’ the demon. He gave discourses to Satyavrat along with the seven sages, while they were sitting on the boat. He also showed them his illusionary powers. This was his eleventh incarnation.
12th Avatar of Vishnu is Kachhap Avatar
Lord Vishnu in his 12th Vishnu Avatar as a tortoise, held the mountain ‘Mandarachala’ on his back, during the time when the deities and the demons were churning the ocean. He stopped the mountain from going to the netherworld. This was Lord Vishnu’s twelfth incarnation.
13th Avatar of Vishnu is Dhanvantari
Lord Vishnu took his thirteenth Vishnu Avatar as Dhanvantari. He manifested from the ocean holding a vessel filled with ambrosia. He was the founder of medicinal science.
14th Avatar of Vishnu is Mohini Avatar
Lord Vishnu in his fourteenth Vishnu Avatar as a most enchanting Narsimha Avatarwoman 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.
15th Avatar of Vishnu is Narasimha Avatar
Lord Vishnu took his fifteenth incarnation as Nrisimha, having an upper portion of his body in the form of a lion and the lower portion resembling a man. In this incarnation, he protected Prahlada from his father Hiranyakashipu the demon. He killed Hiranyakashipu by tearing his body apart by his nails. Lord Vishnu had to attain this form because Lord Brahma had blessed Hiranyakashipu, that a Human being could not kill him.
16th Avatar of Vishnu is Hayagreeva Avatar
Once Lord Brahma becoming tired of his creative activities, he wanted to rest. The night of the Brahma was approaching. Because of his tiredness, Lord Brahma yawned. All the four Vedas came out from his opened mouth. A demon who used to live near him in disguise abducted the Vedas. Lord Vishnu took his sixteenth incarnation as Hayagreeva to protect the Vedas. In this incarnation, his face resembled that of a horse and the rest of his body resembled that of Sri Narayan with all of his four hands. He killed the demon and protected the Vedas.
17th Avatar of Vishnu is Vamana Avatar
Lord Vishnu took his seventeenth incarnation as a Dwarf when Bali the king of the demons had captured the entire three worlds. Indra and all the other deities were wandering all around after losing heaven. To help the deities regain control over heaven. Lord Vishnu disguised as a dwarf went to Bali when he was busy performing a ‘Yagya’ and demanded earth measured by his three steps. When ‘Bali’ agreed, he transformed his form from a small dwarf to a giant. Consequently, he covered all three worlds with his two steps. Ultimately he regained heaven for the deities.
18th Avatar of Vishnu is Parshuram Avatar
When the Kshatriya kings became ruthless and started exploiting their subjects. Lord Vishnu took his eighteenth incarnation as Parshurama and annihilated the Kshatriyas kings for seventeen times and consequently donated the earth to the Brahmins.
19th Avatar of Vishnu is Vyas Avatar
Lord Vishnu took his nineteenth incarnation as Sage Vyasa by taking birth from the womb of ‘Satyavati’. His father was a sage Parashar. He made the division of Veda and made the extension of its branches. He also wrote eighteen Mahapuranas and the Mahabharata.
20th Avatar of Vishnu is Ram Avatar
Lord Rama is considered to be the twentieth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. In this incarnation, he constructed a bridge over the ocean with the help of the Vanars (monkeys) and after crossing over to Lankas killed many demons like Ravana, Kumbhakarna. He accomplished many astonishing feats and saved the deities. He taught the value of morality.
21st Avatar of Vishnu is Balaram Avatar
Balrama is considered to be the twenty-first Vishnu Avatar. In this incarnation, he killed Pralambasura the demon and he killed many more demons.
22nd Avatar of Vishnu is Krishna Avatar
Lord Krishna born in Mathura was the twenty-second incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Krishna is Avatar of Vishu and he fought against the exploitation right from his childhood and killed many demons like Kalayavan, Kansa, Jarasandh, etc. He gave divine knowledge to Arjun during the battle of Kurukshetra.
23rd Avatar of Vishnu is Buddha Avatar
The twenty-third Vishnu Avatar as Lord Buddha. In the Kaliyuga the demons were completely subjugated by the deities. Shukracharya the teacher of the demons instigated the demons to perform Yagya so that they could regain power and authority. Fearing this the deities prayed to Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu took incarnation as Buddha and dissuaded the demons from performing Yagya as it involves violence the demons stopped Kalki Avatarperforming Yagyas.
24th Avatar of Vishnu is Kalki Avatar
At the end of Kaliyuga, when the sins would be 80, all-pervading that the kings would themselves become thieves then Lord Vishnu would take his twenty-fourth incarnation as Kalki by taking birth in the village of ‘Shambhala’. He would take birth in a Brahmin family of Vishnuyash. By killing and destroying the sinners, he would re-establish the superiority of Virtuosity and religiousness.