Dashavatar is the combination of two words Dasa, and avatar. Where Dasa means ten and Avatar means incarnation of God. The earthly embodiment of a God or a deity is an Avatar. According to Bhagawad Mahapurana, every time there are injustice and ‘adharma’ in the world, Lord Vishnu will incarnate to restore peace, justice, and dharma. Dashavatar names that are mentioned in the Hindu scriptures are Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parshuram, Ram, Krishna, Buddha, and Kalki.
Dashavatar List – 10 Avatars of Lord Vishnu
Srimad Bhagwad Purana has mentioned that there are innumerable incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Out of which, 24 important incarnations of Lord Vishnu are widely mentioned in total. Out of the innumerable incarnations, Hinduism recognizes the incarnation of various deities. The ten primary avatars of Lord Vishnu are known as Dashavatar.
In Matsya avatar, Vishnu took the form of half-fish and half-human. In the “Matsya Puran“, the story goes as Matsya informs Manu of the great flood. Manu was the leader of the humans. On being informed about the great flood, Manu built an arc and saved all the motile beings, the Vedas, and the seeds of all plants. Know more about Matsya Avatar
Kurma Avatar in the form of Vishnu when he assumed the avatar of half tortoise half-man. In Hindu mythology, during the famous churning of the ocean which is known as the ‘Amrit Manthan’, The Kurma Avatar balanced the mountain, Mt. Mandara on his back to aid the churning process. Know more about Kurma Avatar
Varaha Avatar is the half man and half boar avatar of Lordd Vishnu. This avatar was assumed by Lord Vishnu to slay the demon Hiranyaksha. He incarnated in this avatar to save “Bhudevi,” who was the personification of the earth. Lord Vishnu, in his Varaha avatar, brought Bhudevi back to the surface from a state of sinking by using his tusks. Know more about Varaha Avatar
Narasimha Avatar assumed the form of half lion and half-human. Lord Vishnu incarnated as Narasimha avatar to save his most beloved devotee Prahlad from his father’s never-ending endeavors of killing Prahlad. Demonic king Hiranya Kashyap was the father of Prahlad and he didn’t like his son’s devotion towards Lord Vishnu and hence made several attempts to kill Prahlad. After Hiranya Kashyap was killed by Narasimha, his demonic reign came to an end, and peace, righteousness, and dharma were reestablished on Earth. Know more about Narasimha Avatar
Vamana Avatar was was dwarf Brahmin which is the fifth avatar and first human avatar of Lord Vishnu. He came Earth to check the menacing power of the demonic king Mahabali. Indra and other Devas regained The Heavens because of this intervention of Lord Vishnu in the form of the Vamana Avatar. Bali was sent to the Patal Lok by Vamana. Know more anout Vamana Avatar
An ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, Parashuram was the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu and he was born in the Treta Yug, to Jamadagni and Renuka. Although the youngest of the four sons, he was the strongest of them all and the most powerful. He had received the ax as a gift from Lord Shiva as a result of his meditation. His arrival on this earth was to end the tyranny of the Kshatriyas. The Kshatriyas took advantage of their powers and made unjustifiable hardship for the others. Parashuram avatar was born to bring justice to this world. Know more about Parshuram Avatar
Ram was the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu and he incarnated in the Treta Yug to end all evil. One of the most prominent deities, Lord Ram was the lead character of Ramayana. Ram avatar is one of the most prominent deities in Hindu dharma and the lead character of the epic Ramayana. He was responsible for the death of Ravana, the most celebrated villain in Hindu dharma. Ram established morality by killing Ravana and freed his wife Sita from Ravana’s captivity. Know more about Ram Avatar
Lord Krisna is the eighth avatar of Vishnu was the most loved and worshipped. He was born to protect Dharma and to spread peace and love on earth. He ended the reign of his evil maternal uncle, King Kansa who kept Devaki who was also his sister, and her husband Vasudeva in captivity. He kept them captive because according to Akashvani, Kansa was destined to be killed by Devaki’s eighth son. So, Kansa killed all seven children before Krishna was born. Kow more about Krishna Avatar
He was also an avatar of Lord Vishnu. The story of Gautama, the Buddha is well known. He preached the four honorable truths which are also known as the Arya Satya. The four truths are ‘suffering’, ‘’its reason’’, ‘its obliteration’, and ‘the way to remove sorrows’.Buddha avatar left his family and all things material in search of the divine truth. He was the founder of Buddhism and he taught people to end sufferings with the noble eightfold paths. Know more about Buddha Avatar
Srimad Bhagwad Mahapuran mentions the 10th avatar of Lord Vishnu, Kalki avatar is yet to be born. By defeating the demon Kali he is believed to end all evil on earth. A new ‘yug’ will begin and it will be known as the Satya Yuga or Kalki. Kalki is imagined to be a warrior riding a white horse and carrying a majestic sword. Know more about Kalki Avatar
Types Of Avatars of Lord Vishnu
Lord Vishnu has two different types of avatars – Sakshaty Avatar and Avesa Avatar. Amsarup Avatar and Purna Avatar are sub-categories of Sakshaty Avatar.
Purna Avataras: It includes Lord Ram, Lord Krishna, and Lord Narasimha
Amsarup Avataras: It includes partial incarnations of Lord Vishnu like Matsya, Kurma, Varaha Avatara.
And then there was Avesa Avatar. The Avesta avatar was when Lord Vishnu empowered a living entity on earth to do his rightful duties, Avesa avatar took form.
Parashuram and Vyasa were the Avesa avatars of Lord Vishnu.