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What are the 10 Avatars of Vishnu?

Learn about the 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu, collectively known as Dashavatara.
Manali Oak Mar 14, 2020

Matsya

Derived from matsa meaning fish, it is the first avatar of Vishnu.

Kurma

Derived from kurma meaning tortoise, it is the second incarnation and associated with the legend of Samudra Manthan.

Varaha

Varaha meaning boar is the third avatar of Lord Vishnu. In this incarnation he is believed to have lifted the Earth out of the Cosmic Ocean.

Narasimha

Derived from nara meaning man and simha meaning lion, in this half-lion, half-man incarnation, Lord Vishnu is said to have killed Hiranyakashyap, an Asura and the kind of Daityas.

Vamana

He was the fifth avatar of Lord Vishnu, who regained power over the universe by defeating Asura king Mahabali, who had previously won the heaven and Earth.

Parashurama

He is believed to have possessed the qualities of Brahmins as well as the warrior traits of Kshatriyas. In this avatar, lord Vishnu destroyed Kshatriya warriors who were abusing their power.

Rama

The central figure of epic Ramayana, he is known to have killed demon king Ravana. He is considered a maryada purushottama, that is having all the qualities of an ideal man, and is worshiped as a deity.

Krishna

He is the central character of epic Mahabharata as well as Bhagavata Purana and the Bhagavad Gita. The eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu, he is among the most widely respected Hindu deities.

Buddha

The ninth avatar of lord Vishnu, he is recognized as the founder of Buddhism.

Kalki

He is known as the avatar that destroys evil and gets back the Satya Yuga. He is the tenth avatar of Vishnu who will end Kali Yuga.
These 10 avatars of Vishnu are the most widely recognized incarnations that make the Dashavatara. They vary only slightly across traditions. Whenever evil prevailed on Earth, lord Vishnu came in the form of an avatar to restore good.