5 Incarnations of Lord Vishnu | Story of Matsya Avatar, Parashurama| Avatars of Lord Vishnu | Hamare Avatar Evam Devi Devta- Part 11

Yagna

After ruling for a long span, Manu retired to the forest along with his wife dedicating himself to the service of Bhagavan. A few hungry demons were about to attack Manu. Bhagavan incarnated as Yagna and consumed the demons who dared to attack his devotees.

Hari

In the Chaturtha Tamas Manvantara, Lord Vishnu appeared from the womb of Harini, the wife of Sage HariMedha. He was named Hari. He had redeemed Gajendra. The story goes- A vast pond was situated on the Trikuta Mountains, amidst the Ksheer sagar. Once a herd of elephants were enjoying water-sports in the cools waters. Suddenly a crocodile caught hold of the feet of their leader, Gajendra. Gajendra toiled hard to free himself from the suffocating clutches of the crocodile. The crocodile tried pulling him in the waters but Gajendra would try escaping from its clutches. His co-elephants couldn’t help him in any way. This combat between the crocodile and Gajendra lasted for many days. At last, Gajendra grew weak and stared losing his strength. The water was about to engulf him. In his previous birth, Gajendra was a king named Indradyumna. He was engrossed in worship when Maharshi Agastya arrived. The king didn’t bow before the sage, so the sage cursed him to enter into the elephant species. Gajendra suddenly remembered the pious deeds of his previous lifetime and his devotion for Bhagavan. He plucked a lotus from the pond with his trunk and cried loudly for his Bhagavan. At Gajendra’s heart wrenching call, Bhagavan immediately rushed to the spot and chopped off the head of the crocodile with his disk. Holding the trunk of Gajendra, Lord Vishnu lifted him from the water. At the touch of Bhagavan, Gajendra attained the divine 4-handed form of a Vishnu Parshada (Servant of Lord Vishnu).

Matsya

At the end of the Chakshushya Manvantara, a south Indian king named Satyavrata, performed his ablutions and bathed in the Krutamala river. All of a sudden, he spotted a tiny golden fish swimming on his palms. The king put the fish back into the waters. At this, the fish spoke in the voice of a human- “King, I have taken refuge under you. The bigger fishes shall eat me. So, don’t leave me here.” The King put the fish into his pitcher and returned to his cottage, but on reaching there, the fish had grown so large in size that it found difficulty to move. The King put the fish into a larger container. But the fish grew at an alarming pace. From the trough, it was transferred into a well, from the well into a pond, from the pond into a river, and finally the king got it transferred into the vast ocean. The fish spoke in its thunderous voice- “Oh King, if you throw me into the ocean. A crocodile shall eat me. Why do you forsake a surrendered soul?” Now, the King was astonished. He said- “I have neither heard nor seen someone grow at such a breath-taking pace. You are undoubtedly Sri Hari, the Lord of Maya. Please tell me the purpose of your incarnation and why you are deluding me by your words?” The fish replied- “You are right. I have come to bless you. From the Seventh day onwards, the ocean shall consume the entire earth and the mountains. Even the sun and moon shall disappear. Start you job from now itself. Collect a pair of each species, the seeds of plants, medicines, vegetation and all forms. of life On the seventh day, when the ocean shall rise upwards, a huge boat shall appear. The serpent king Vasuki and the Saptarishis will be sitting inside. You transfer the lifeforms into the boat and sit alongside. I shall come wearing horns. Using Vasuki serpent as a rope, tie the boat on my horns. I shall pull the boat and swim along the waters during the dark night.” The King busied himself in fulfilling Matsya’s order. Matsya dev dived back into the ocean. On the seventh day, the ocean started rising. The boat arrived. After transporting all the lifeforms, the king sat along with the Saptarishis. Lord Matsya arrived in his mountainous form wearing horns. The boat was tied to his horns with the Vasuki serpent. In the dark night, the effulgence of Bhagavan Matsya was the only torch that lit their path. On King Satyavrata’s appeal, Lord Matsya rendered the entire Matsya Puran to him. After the annihilation, the King transferred the seeds back onto the land. In the present Manvantara, the very same Satyavrata has become Vaivavasta manu, the son of Surya.

Hayasheersha

The day of Brahma was coming an end during the dark night. As Brahma retired to bed, the demon Hayagriva stole the Vedas and hid himself in the waters. At the time of creation, Bhagavan Matsya saved Satyavrata and transferred him onto the land. Later, He assumed the Hayasheersha form and killed the demon Hayagriva hiding in the waters. When Brahma awoke from sleep at the start of creation, he worshipped Bhagavan to obtain the Vedas. He performed Yajnas. The very embodiment of the Vedas, Lord Hayasheersha appeared from the sacrificial fire. The Vedas emerged from his breath. Brahma then received the Vedas from Him. Which is why we say- ‘मस्य निःश्वसितं वेदाः”

Parshurama

Bhagavan incarnated as the youngest son of Maharishi Jamadagni. He was named Rama. He was known for his mighty axe, hence is popular as Parashurama. Renuka, the wife of Sage Jamadagni went to fill water from the pond by her husband’s orders. She saw the sensual sight of a celestial gandharvas sporting with women in the waters. An upheaval arose in her mind. As she stood gazing the sight, she reported late in the hermitage. Her husband realised the reason behind her delay with his yogic powers. He at once ordered his sons “Kill this woman!” None of the sons obeyed his orders. Only Parashurama killed his mother and brothers at his father’s behest. Pleased by Parashurama’s obedience, his father insisted on him asking a boon. Parashurama in turn asked the lives of his family and thus got them alive. Once King Sahasrarjuna visited Sage Jamadagni’s hermitage along with his vast army. The sage satisfied all their needs owing to the miraculous Kamadhenu cow. Fascinated by the extraordinary cow, the King ordered Jamadagni to entrust the cow to him. On the sage’s refusal he forcibly abducted her. Parashurama was not present at that time. On learning the crime of the arrogant king, Parashurama waged a war and singlehandedly killed the king and his vast cavalry. He then gifted the cow to his father. The sons of Sahasrajuna had fled from the battlefield. In Parashurama’s absence, they beheaded his father, Jamadagni who was absorbed in meditation. Angered by the brutal murder of his father, Parashurama vowed to eradicate the entire warrior class. Except a few handful of Kshatriyas none could escape his wrath. After killing the Kshatriyas, he donated their land to the Rishis. The Rishis had nothing to do with administration. So they gifted the Kingdoms back to the Kshatriyas. Parashurama would again kill the Kshatriyas. Likewise, Parashurama assassinated the Kshatriyas 21 times and erased their footsteps from the entire phase of the earth. By performing a Yajna he instilled life into his departed father by bringing his chopped head close to his body. He then awarded his father Jamadagni a position in the Sapatarishi constellation. On his 21’s victory over the Kshatriyas, Parashurama donated the land to Kashyapa Rishi. Kashyapa Rishi clearly told him- “From now onwards, you must not spend the night on my land.” So Parshuramji headed towards South India on the western coast of the sea. There he acquired a piece of land given to him by the ocean god. He removed the waters for his stay. He resided in that place and performed penance. In the Dvapara yuga, Bhishma had learnt warfare from Parashurama. However when Bhishma refused to marry the princess of Kashi, Parashurama grew wild. A battle lasted for days together between the master and disciple. Finally the rishis pacified Parashurama. Since then, he vowed not to accept any Kshatriya as his disciple. Karna dressed himself as a Brahmin and learnt warfare from him. Once Parshurama was sleeping on his lap. A spider climbed on Karna’s lap and began to suck his blood. Karna sat motionless to ensure an undisturbed sleep for his master. On waking up, Parshurama questioned him “Who are you, A Brahmin can never possess such great tolerance levels” Karna revealed his true identity. Parshurama cursed him “You shall forget all your knowledge during the time of crisis.” Lord Parashurama is immortal. During the Kalki avatar. He shall be the mentor of Lord Kalki and teach him the art of warfare. In the future manvantara he shall acquire the position of a Saptarishi.

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