|4 Overview of Lord Vishnu’s Incarnations|
To one of the queries of Bhu Devi about the instances when Lord Vishnu assumed various forms as extreme situations were faced by the Universe, especially when injustice and evil forces reached a point of no return, the reply from Lord Varaha was quite positive. In an earlier case, Lord Vishnu assumed the form of ‘Matsya’ or a Giant Fish. As the Lord found in His Yoga Nidra at the time of ‘Pralay’ that The Four Vedas were being destroyed, He took the very first Incarnation to rescue the Sciptures. Even Dieties were frightened to find the collossal form of ‘Matsya’ and after the retrieval of the Vedas from the Ocean bed, euloguised and entreated the Lord to reduce the size of the Fish. On another occasion, Lord Vishnu assumed various other forms such as ‘Kurma’ (Tortoise) at the time of Ocean-churning to balance the Manthara Mountain by using the Great Serpent Vasu as the huge string as both ‘Devas’ and ‘Danavas’ toiled to fetch ‘Amrit’
(Ambrosia). On occasions following the ‘Varaha Avatar’, Lord Vishnu incarnated as ‘Narasimha Avatar’ (The Man-Lion form) to destroy Demon Hiranyaksha and save the highly dedicated devotee of Vishnu. The Lord assumed ‘Vamana Avatar’ (The Dwarf) to control the ambitions of King Bali and threw him down under the Sub-terranian world. In a conscious effort to obliterate the clan of ‘Kshatriyas’ or Rulers who oppressed and tormented the contemporary world and became tyrannical, Lord Vishnu incarnated as ‘Parasurama’ and vindicated Virtue against Vice. Bhagavan Vishnu incarnted as‘Shri Rama’ - a ‘Maryada Purusha’ or a Model Man of Dignity and Valour who established bench- marks to humanity and annihilated the clan of Demons in Lanka headed by Ravana who not only terrorised the world but trampled all limits of decency by abducting Lady Sita and performing endless acts of cruelty. In Dwapara Yuga, the most charismatic was the Avatar of Sri Krishna, the Central Figure of the momerable Epic Maha Bharata who declared: Yada Yadahi Dharmasya glanir bhavati Bharata! Abhyuthana madharmasya tadatmanam srijamyaham/ (As and when Virtue is trampled and Wickedness dominates, I incarnate myself to correct the balance); Paritranaya Sadhuunam vinasaayacha dushkrutam Dharma Samsthapanaardhaaya Sambhavaami Yuge Yuge/ (I make my presence felt in various Yugas to save the Virtuous and root out the Wicked). In the earlier phase of Kali Yuga, Lord Buddha was born to preach the triumph of Dharma (Virtue), Nyaya (Justice) and Ahimsa (Non- Violence) and popularised Buddhism as a powerful tool in the quest of Truth and Self-Realisation. The tenth incarnation of Lord Vishnu at the termination of Kali Yuga is to be that of Kalki Avatar brandishing a sword on a horse back to herald a New Age of Dharma.
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