the 10 incarnations of vishnu

matsya (fish) - vishnu as a saviour of creation saved the four vedas from destruction by flood.

koorma (tortoise) - vishnu helped the devas,or the pious celestial beings against the devils or asuras, when they tried to churn the mythical ocean for nectar that guaranteed eternal life.

varaha (boar) - vishnu saved the earth by lifting it on his tusks from the bottom of the oceanwhere it lay submerged during the first fight between the devas and asuras.

narasimha (half lion, half man) - vishnu saved his devotee prahlad from his evil father hiranyakashyapu.

vamana (dwarf) - vishnu asked king bali for a mere three steps of the earth. when he assumed his real form, he covered the whole earth in one step, thus humbling the king.

parasurama (rama with ax) - vishnu annihilated the demons in their battle with the gods.

rama - as rama he led the victory of the good over the evil.

balarama - he was born as the elder brother of krishna.

krishna - he became the hero of the battle between the warring brothers, the pandavas and the kauravas, as related in the epic, the mahabharata.

kalki - the 10th incarnation is yet to manifest itself. it is believed that it will be in the form of a horseman who will appear when the world is near its end and save it from extinction.

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