the 10 incarnations of vishnu
(fish) - vishnu as a saviour of creation saved the
four vedas from destruction by flood.
(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.
(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.
lion, half man) - vishnu saved his devotee prahlad
from his evil father hiranyakashyapu.
(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.
(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.
- 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
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.