24 Avatars beyond the known 10 Avatars of Lord Vishnu

1 Matsya Avatar Story
2 Kurma Avatar Story
3 Varaha Avatar Story
4 Narasimha Avatar Story
5 Vamana Avatar Story
6 Parashurama Avatar Story
7 Rama Avatar Story
8 Krishna Avatar Story
9 Buddha Avatar Story
10 Kalki Avatar Story
11 Sages Sankaadi Avatar Story
12 Sage Narada Avatar Story
13 Sage Kapila Avatar Story
14 Sage Veda Vyasa Avatar Story
15 Lord Nar-Narayan Avatar Story
16 Lord Dattatreya Avatar Story
17 Lord Rishabh Dev Avatar Story
18 King Prithu Avatar Story
19 Dhanvantri Avatar Story
20 Mohini Avatar Story
21 Lord Hayagriva Avatar Story
22 Sri Hari Avatar Story
23 The Yagya Avatar Story
24 The Hans Avatar Story


1. Matsya Avatar Story


  • Matsya in Sanskrit is Fish. Vishnu took the form of a fish to protect the physical world by saving the creatures. In addition to that, he also protected the Vedas by reviving it from the demon namely, Hayagreeva, who happened to be having the face of a horse. 
  • It all starts when a pious king called Satyavrata also called Vaivasvata Manu, who ruled the southern part of Bharat Varsha, visits a river to offer his prayers, sees a small fish. 
  • He takes the fish in his hands, it asks him to protect it from its place from bigger fishes that wants to eat it. The king obliges and takes it to his palace where he protects the fish by keeping it in a pot. 
  • When he visits the fish the next morning, he sees that the fish has grown bigger. So he summons the guards to get a bigger pot where he places the fish. Every day there will be a tremendous growth in the fish that it would need the following bigger places to live, like:
    • Bigger pot
    • Tub
    • Pond
    • Lake
    • River
    • Sea
  • When such strange things happen, the king realizes that it is no ordinary fish and asked to reveal who it was, to which the fish reveals that it was none other than Lord Vishnu himself. 
  • Lord Vishnu asks the king to come to a point with an animal, a plant from each of the species and the seven rishis. He also instructs him to get a ship to take them to a safe place, thereby protecting each of the species for the next Yuga. 
  • Vishnu immediately leaves that place to fight Hayagreeva. Vishnu fights Hayagreeva and kills him, brings the Vedas with him to the place where he would have asked the king to meet him.  A big cyclone indicating that the world has come to an end emerges. Lord Vishnu in the form of the big fish suddenly comes from nowhere to the rescue and takes them to a safe place.

Lord comes in the form of a big fish and saves every species on the earth so that it can populate again in the world, without which the world would have taken a lot of effort again to come back to its regularity. 

2. Kurma Avatar Story

Vishnu takes the form of a turtle to support the mountain from sinking. 

  • Sage Durvasa Muni, presents a garland to lord Devendra, who carelessly hands it over to his elephant which in turn puts it under its legs. 
  • Angered by the incident, Sage Durvasa curses the Suras (Devas), to lose strength at a very crucial moment in a battle. It so happens that they forget once in one of such occasions battling with the Asuras. 
  • Afraid of getting killed by the Asuras, the Devas, go as a refuge to Vishnu. Vishnu asks to churn the mountain Mandara adding some medicines to the ocean. Using Vasuki to churn, the result of which would be immortal nectar. 
  • The Devas offer the Asuras the nectar ideas as instructed by Vishnu. They start churning the ocean using Vasuki and Mandara Parvata. 
  • When churning mount Mandara starts to sink. To stop the mountain from sinking Vishnu takes the form of a huge turtle holding back the sinking mountain
  • When the churning finally results in the nectar that both of them were looking forward to, the Asuras take it away. To control the situation, Vishnu again takes the form of an apsara called Mohini. She seduces and brings the situation under control
  • Slowly bringing the situation under control, she distributes the nectar among the devas, thereby bringing back the lost strength among them

The Lord comes to support mount Mandara in sinking. He supports coming in the form of a turtle under the ocean and does not let the mount Mandara sink in any case. 

3. Varaha Avatar Story

Varaha is a kind of a boar that is very strong. 

  • The four sons of Brahma, Sanatkumaras, once plan to visit Vaikuntha, when the guards of Vaikuntha, Jaya, and Vijaya stop them from entering Vaikuntha. 
  • Angered by the incident, they curse Jaya and Vijaya to be born on earth. Realizing their mistake, they beg their pardon before the sages to which the sages revise their curses.
  • The sages now give two options as being devotees for 100 lives on earth or 3 lives as Vishnu’s enemies.
  • Since they both wanted to come back soon, they opted that they be enemies to Vishnu and come back soon
  • They were born in Satya Yuga as Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. Hiranyaksha was a great devotee of Brahma. He worshipped Lord Brahma for years. 
  • Pleased by this Brahma granted him a boon. Hiranyaksha asked for a boon where no animals or birds could kill him, thinking he would stay immortal. 
  • After getting the boon he shook the world by his giant stature. As his power grew day by day, he went on to occupy heaven. Devas had to flee from their places and take refuge in the caves on earth
  • Hiranyaksha did not even spare mother earth. He took mother earth and submerged her under the ocean. 
  • Manu and Shatarupa, who were ruling the earth had to go to Brahma. But since Brahma had given the boon and could not do anything about it, he meditated about Lord Vishnu. 
  • It appeared that something came out from the nostrils of Brahma as soon as he started to meditate. This again was none other than Lord Vishnu himself who had taken the form of a boar (because Hiranyaksha had missed out on one animal, a Boar)
  • Vishnu soon grew bigger than a mountain, jumped into where the evil Hiranyaksha appeared and killed him. Vishnu, instantaneously, revived Mother Earth by lifting her using his tusks. Mother Earth who is also called by the name Bhudevi, was thus revived. 

When the demon Hiranyaksha steals Vedas and hides mother earth Lord Vishnu arrives at the right moment to restore the submerged earth from the vast ocean of sins. This is the right meaning that we can arrive at from this avatar.

4. Narasimha Avatar Story

  • From the continuation of the previous story, Hiranyakashipu, who happens to be the brother of Hiranyaksha, is now angry on Vishnu, because of the fact that he killed his brother. 
  • Being a great devotee of Brahma gets a boon from him. Hiranyakashipu does not commit the mistake of naming any animal. He upgrades the boon of Hiranyaksha by asking Brahma about he be neither killed
    • By man or beast
    • In daylight or at night
    • Neither inside or outside a building

To which Brahma obliges. Now, he considers himself the supreme god and forbids the worship of any god, especially of that of Vishnu. 

  • On the contrary, Prahlada is an ardent fan of Lord Vishnu. This leads to Hiranyakashipu’s anger and further attempts on getting him killed in different ways. Like
    • Poisoning
    • Snakebite
    • Pushing from a cliff
  • But, Prahlada escapes unhurt in all the ways Hiranyakashipu tries to get him killed. Enraged by this, Hiranyakashipu, asks Prahlad dragging him into his palace. 

“Where is God?” He further asks if he is here in the palace, in the court, in the seats and finally Pillar. 

  • Prahlad answers yes to all his questions. At this instance, Hiranyakashipu takes out his mace and thrashes the pillar.
  • To his surprise, Lord Vishnu will be hiding inside the pillar in the form of a combination of Lion (which is a beast) and a Man (also called a Narasimha).   
  • As opposed to what the boon was about, Lord Vishnu will be present in the form
    • of neither a man nor a beast (it will be Narasimha)
    • on a day or night (it will be dusk)
    • that will neither be inside nor outside
      • He will be killed by the nails of the lion.

Narasimha is a combination of the trinity gods:

  • Brahma – the creator
  • Vishnu – the operator
  • Shiva – the destroyer

5. Vamana Avatar Story

  • After Kurma Avatar, the Asuras did not have any strength to fight. In the same lineage, after Prahlada, Prahlada’s grandson became the king of Asuras. He was a good king, but was defeated by Indra and lost his kingdom to him
  • With the desire of becoming the king again, he asks his Guru, Shukracharya, to show the way. Shukracharya asks him to perform “Maha Abhishek Vishwajeet Yagya” to get back all his powers
  • After performing the Yagya, he receives the following powers:
    • the golden chariot pulled by four horses that ran at the speed of the wind
    • quiver with numerous arrows
    • a flag post with lion’s head
    • a celestial armor
    • a garland of ever-blooming flowers
    • a conch shell whose battle cry is thunderous
  • Once he gets all this, Devas were no match for his strength. He easily defeats Indra and conquers his kingdom
  • Now that he has lost his Kingdom, Indra’s guru Brihaspati asks him to worship Lord Vishnu. Meanwhile, Indra’s mother Aditi goes to Vishnu and seeks help
  • For this Vishnu tells her that he will be taking birth as a Brahmin in Aditi’s womb. As told to Aditi she gives birth to a child and names it Vamana
Vamana Avatar
  • When Bali was doing Yagyas as a part of his maintenance of his kingdoms, as advised by his Guru, Vamana who grew up as a Brahmin comes to the place seeking for something
  • Bali welcomes the boy and asks him how he could help him. The boy Vamana told him he is not desirous of anything luxurious and he just wants the land that his three steps can cover. 
  • Bali confirms again if that is all the land that the boy wants and promises that he will give
  • The boy grows, grows and grows until he could cover the whole earth in one of his steps and said the earth is mine. From the second step that he stepped on Amaravati, he claimed Amaravati as his. 
  • Now came the question of Vamana’s third step. Unable to find a place for his third step, Vamana asked Bali to let him know where to keep his third step. For this, Bali tells that Vamana can keep his step on him. 
  • Pleased by this, Vamana appears to him as Vishnu and blesses him to rule Patala Loka forever

The most humble and innocent looking person can have a more spiritual strength that even the most powerful gods or kings possess. 

6. Parashurama Avatar Story

Parashurama, as opposed to an avatar, can be better classified as an Avesha Avatar. Parshuram was born to Renuka and Rishi Jamadagni who was from the lineage of that of Brahma himself.

  • When both the couples sat and meditated, Lord Vishnu assured that he would be their fifth son. The four sons Renuka already had given birth to were,
    • Vasu
    • Viswa Vasu
    • Brihudyanu
    • Brutwakanwa 

They named their fifth son as Ramabhadra. 

  • Renuka was known for her chastity. She used to use a clay pot that was unbaked to carry water from the river, due to her character. 
  • However, when one day she went to get some water using the unbaked clay pot, she saw some Gandharvas and apsaras taking bath in the river. For a moment, when she thought about how good a merry they are making, her pot got spoilt and all the water gushed out
  • This incident made her extremely worried and stopped her from going back to the hut. But, Jamadagni, by his yogic powers got to know about the incident and summoned his first son to behead her mother. When he insisted, he called the second, third, fourth and finally Ramabhadra. 
  • Only Ramabhadra went ahead and beheaded her mother’s head and killed all his brothers following his father’s words. Please by this act Jamadagni offered him two boons for which he asked his mother and brothers to be brought back to life. Since he used his axe he was called Parashuram.
  • After so many penances and acquiring strength and skills from Shiva, Indra, and other gods, Parashuarama became all-powerful.
  • A king named Kartavirya Arjun comes to Jamadagni’s hermitage to take shelter and rest after a battle. He is so impressed by the hospitality extended to him by the Rishi.
  • When the whole army of Kartavirya Arjun is served with abundant food, the king wonders how that was possible. For which Jamadagni reveals about his Yogic powers and Kamadhenu.
  • Hearing this the king orders that the Holy Cow Kamadhenu be sent to his kingdom. Upon restricting Muni Jamadagni received twenty-one cuts in his body and was killed
  • Learning about this Parashurama reached the place and decides to kill the king and other kshatriyas who were abusing their powers, roaming around the earth twenty one times, single-handedly
  • When Parashurama meets Sri Rama, his own incarnation, he retires from his incarnation and settles in Mahendra Mountains. 

The tyrannical and oppressing kings who were full of attitude were killed mercilessly by this Avatar thereby bringing back peace and prosperity on earth.

7. Rama Avatar Story

The story of Maryada Purushottam was born in Ayodhya to Dasaratha and Kausalya. Since we know Ramayan, let us try to understand some lesser-known facts about this great king who was in the forest for fourteen years on request by his father. Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity accompanies Lord Ram as Sita, his wife. 

  • Lord Ram exemplifies grand virtues of righteousness, auspiciousness, nobility, prosperity, and probity. 
  • He is the male who observes strict code of conduct, principled to the core, who parallelly observes Dharma
  • For him, his Dharma as a Kshatriya was more important than his beloved wife because of which he had to let her go through the Agni Pareeksha
  • Lord Rama was not a complete avatar, as he had the qualities limited only to fourteen, while a complete avatar such as Krishna has sixteen
  • While Vishwamitra had taken Rama and Lakshmana to get some demons killed by them, Rishi Vishwamitra woke up Rama who was asleep in a certain way which was later added to Sri Venkateswara Suprabhatam, as the first few lines
  • As a child, Rama at his playtime unintentionally hit the hunchback of Manthara for which she takes revenge of sending Rama to the forest.
  • There are three Upanishads dedicated to the Lord—viz. Ram Purvatapini Upanishad, Ram Uttar Tapini Upanishad, and Mukti Upanishad. The former two belong to the Atharva Veda tradition, and the third to the Shukla Yajur Veda tradition.

Ramayana happens to be from the Third yuga of the four Yugas that is a time scale measured in the Indian time system.

8. Krishna Avatar Story

That famous deity who is remembered for his wits and naughtiness in the form of butter and Knowledge and wisdom in the form of Bhagavad Geeta that he narrates to Arjuna. We all know the story and it is written in detail in Srimad Bhagavata, the story of Sri Krishna. Going through the Scripture is in itself a very interesting read. Knowing about Sri Krishna in itself a great source of wisdom. Let us find out some of the little know facts about Sri Krishna;

  • The first thing that comes to our mind is the name, Krishna. What does it mean? Krishna in Sanskrit means that which is “Dark” or “Black”. Krishna was dark in color and extremely attractive. After his birth, the word Krishna became synonymous with all-attractive.
  • Lord Krishna had 16,108 wives out of which there were eight who were his principal wives collectively called as “Ashta-Bharya”. They were:
    1. Rukmini
    2. Satyabhama
    3. Jambavati
    4. Nagnajiti
    5. Kalindi
    6. Mitravinda
    7. Bhadra
    8. Lakshmana
  • After Mahabharata, when he approached Gandhari and offers condolences to the mother of Kauravas, Gandhari was very furious and cursed Krishna about the end of the Yadu dynasty, to which Krishna after thinking for a while said Tathastu, inviting death for himself
  • In continuation of this, Krishna in his previous life as Rama kills Vali by shooting him from behind, and that he had to be killed by a hunter for his mistake
  • He was a small kid and was enjoying his initial days with Radha and other friends in Gokula. When it was time for him to get a larger picture of what he was there for, his guru Sandeepani Maharshi comes and asks him to climb the Govardhana hill. While coming back from the mountain, he realizes his goals of life and goes with him back to where he belonged and was much required.
  • Krishna was the cousin of Pandavas from the paternal side. Vasudeva, the father of Krishna was the brother of Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas. This way they were closely related to each other.
  • Ekalavya was Krishna’s brother in the sense that he was Vasudeva’s brother’s son. He was himself angry towards Drona for being so harsh on Ekalavya that Krishna gives him an opportunity in his next life to kill Drona. He takes birth as Drishtadyumna and kills Drona.

9. Buddha Avatar Story

Many of Buddha’s teaching was brought down to the next generation orally until four hundred years after which things came out to be documented. This is how things were being done in Sanatana Dharma.

  • He got married at the age of sixteen to his cousin called Yashodhara. Some of his relatives became his disciples on his journey. Like:
    1. Rahula – Youngest disciple at the age of seven was his son
    2. Ananda – Cousin who became his disciple and joined the community
  • In his initial days after he attained realization, he thought to himself that he will not be able to teach what he has realized, because of the following two things
    1. What he has attained is not easy for the people to understand
    2. It will be very tough for him to teach what he has learned from the realization
  • It was not easy for Gautama Buddha to attain enlightenment. He sat under a pipal tree which later came to be known as the Bodhi tree. He sat there and decided to meditate until he finds the ultimate truth. He took forty-nine days to do this. 
  • In search of a teacher, he tried hard after which he decided to go on as a wanderer. But unfortunately, he could not find anyone who could teach him. With this emptiness, he, with his self-discipline, attained what he was looking for without the help of any teacher.

10. Kalki Avatar Story

  • Every four yuga, Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga, and Kali will end. Kali Yuga especially ends with Kalki coming into the picture
  • Kali-yuga lasts for 432,000 years out of which 5000 years are already past from the Dwapara Yuga, which is when the Mahabharata battle was fought. So, in gross, there are only 427000 years left for Kali Yuga to end.
  • According to the shloka that we have mentioned here, Vishnu will come back when Dharma is out of bounds

11. Sages Sankaadi Avatar Story

The ancient four sages are collectively called as Sankaadi Sages. They are:

  • Sanatkumar
  • Sanak
  • Sanatsujaat
  • Sananda

They are born from the Mind of Brahma. Therefore, they are also called as Manasaputras. 

  • Sanatkumara was involved in teaching the greatness of Lord Vishnu to a demon called Vritrasura, who was the enemy of Indra and, the spiritual wisdom of Narada was an outcome of his teachings too
  • Sanatkumara was also the first person to have been taught by an avatar of Shiva, Kalagnirudra, as to how to wear the Tripundra, the three lines marked on the forehead of all Hindus
  • Sankhyashastra is attributed to Sananda even before the teachings of Kapila Maharshi, who is also an avatar of Vishnu
  • Dhritarashtra, the blind king from the Mahabharata was taught the spiritual wisdom by Sanatsujaat
  • Sanak is said to be an external companion of Lord Vishnu

12. Sage Narada Avatar Story

  • He is the manifestation of the supreme being’s (Brahma) Mana comprising of mind and its:
    1. Thoughts
    2. Intentions
    3. Hopes
    4. Desires
    5. Wishes
    6. Heart
    7. Emotions
    8. Sentiments
  • The beauty of Brahmanda is that the supreme being when wanting to implement its wishes, Sage Narada is used as the spokesperson. In continuation, there are many instances where Sage Narada approach all kinds of people, be it good and Satvik people or even bad or demonic. He approaches them and provides them with a solution that is best suited for them
  • Because he is Mana, he is attributed to the following qualities
    1. Fickle
    2. Unstable
    3. Transient
    4. Portable
Narada Muni

Further to this, he was welcomed by one and all and was unstoppable.

  • Once, when he looked after a hermit who had visited his place in the rainy season, with special care, he was blessed and taught about meditation and contemplation, besides initiating him to the path of the Lord.
  • This was the beginning of his Himalayan Journey. He did severe penance to attain access to the supreme being. He walked on and on without the darshan of the Lord and was exhausted. He then found shades of a tree where he rested and had some fruits. This is where the Lord revealed himself in his four-arm form. 
  • He wanted to view the Lord from his physical eyes as opposed to what he did while he was meditating. Then he heard a voice from behind where he was asked to show people the path of the Lord and eventually without his knowledge, he will be able to see
  • He followed as instructed, by showing people the path. After his time was over, he left the mortal to merge with Brahma, only to come back on the next Kalpa, from Brahma’s mind. 
  • When he started preaching renunciation to all the humans created by Daksha Prajapati, he was cursed by Daksha Prajapati not to stay in the same place for more than two Ghari (one Ghari is 24 mins). So he roams and roams in the Brahmanda.

13. Sage Kapila Avatar Story

  • The brother-in-law of Sage Vasishta, he was the most celebrated sage, compared to Lord Krishna in Bhagavata. He was the only son of Sage Kardama and wife Davaguti. 
  • From an extract of Bhagavad Gita, that he taught his mother with, is known as Kapila Gita. He expounded the philosophies of the following:
    1. Sankhya Shastra – one of the six schools of philosophy
    2. Ashtanga Yoga – the eight-fold path of Yoga
    3. Bhakti Yoga – the path of devotion for submission to the lord

14. Sage Veda Vyasa Avatar Story

  • Vyasa is the great-grandson of Vasishta and the grand-son of Shakti. He is the son of Paraashara and the father of Shuka.
  • More here

15. Lord Nar-Narayan Avatar Story

  • As the name itself indicates that this is a combination of Nar (which is a reference to man) and Narayan (which is a reference to the Lord himself). This avatar tries to talk about the nonduality of god. This means to say that God is not a different part of the cosmos that humans belong to. They both go hand in hand. 
  • This form of Vishnu was taken in order to establish the importance of Tapa (austerity and penance) and Vairagya (deluding the world by renouncing and total detachment from material charms)
  • They went to the Himalayas to do severe tapas. This was the region that is now called Badrikashram. This is where they were involved in tapas for over a thousand years. The king of gods (Indra) was jealous by their strong will power and tried everything possible to distract them
    1. Luring them with great boons
    2. Sending celestial beauties and the god of lust and passion
    3. Singing
    4. Music and Dance
  • They neither were angry about this nor did they get distracted. Such was their will power and concentration. In other words, this incarnation was taken to establish the virtues of:
    1. Tapa
    2. Vairagya
    3. Kshama
    4. Namrata
    5. Titiksha
    6. Shy away from Ahankar
  • It is because of their presence even today that when someone meditates in the himalayas they find an extreme sense of spiritual fulfillment and surging exhilaration. They added reverence to the Himalayas.

16. Lord Dattatreya Avatar Story

  • The word Dattatreya has several meanings. One of the first meanings is “that which is given to Maharshi Atri“. According to certain scriptures, at one point in time, Maharshi Atri and his wife Anasuya were desirous in having children. In this desire, they prayed and did severe penance. 
  • As a result, all three trinity gods appeared before them asking them for a boon. They expressed their desire for a child for which all the three gods came to the world in the form of their son
    1. Brahma became the moon god called Chandra
    2. Vishnu came as Dattatreya
    3. Shiva became the angry sage Durvasa muni
  • One more meaning of Dattatreya is when we split it into two parts.
    1. Datta – the lord that gives boons
    2. Treya – something that has three dimensions
  • Further, the second word can have several sub meanings related to the trinity
    1. Shiva – can refer to the three eyes that he possesses. 
    2. Brahma – can refer to the three forms Sakal, Nishkal, Sakal-Nishkal.
  • Dattatreya is said to be the person behind creating the Soma Plant whose juice is used in the fire sacrifices

17. Lord Rishabh Dev Avatar Story

  • When King Naabhi and his wife Merudevi had no son and did a great sacrifice, Yagya Purush (Lord Vishnu himself) appeared before them asking for a boon of their choice. They both requested that they are gifted with a son who would possess all the divine virtues as possessed by the Lord himself. Since there was no one similar to that of Vishnu, he told he will incarnate as their son
  • The King named his son Rishabh Dev meaning the “best one“. He was indeed one for his subjects as he righteously ruled the kingdom. He was once tested by the king of gods who stopped the rain. Then using his own mystical powers King Rishabh Dev brought rain to his kingdom.
  • After a certain period of his rule, he deliberately handed over his kingdom to his eldest son Bharata and went on to become a sanyasi. He even excelled after renunciation by becoming an Avadhut, followed by Paramahansa. These two are the highest levels of Sannyasa.
  • He sat down in a deep state of meditation and was burnt in a fire that lit itself in the surrounding forest of bamboo trees.

18. King Prithu Avatar Story

  • A Prajapati named Anga was married to Sunita, who was the Manas daughter of Mritu (the god of death). They both had a son called Ven. He was a pain for nature, animals and human beings. He was a pervert and an atheist. 
  • Some sages who suffered due to this guy employed a mystical method to kill him. After killing, from his dead body, they created another man who later became a king called Prithu.
  • He became a great king and a great administrator. Once, mother earth was affected by a great famine. This made Prithu warn the earth not to swallow but to produce the crop. Terrified by the warning mother earth appeared before them in the form of a cow. 
  • Using her they extracted the following:
    1. Agricultural crops
    2. Body of knowledge called the Vedas
    3. Soma juice for sacrifices
    4. Virtues of strength
    5. Music
    6. Offerings for oblations to god
    7. Spirit of dead ancestors
  • Prithu was instrumental in making the earth plain and livable. During his reign, mother earth became habitable and productive. Hence she came to be known as Prithvi, the daughter of emperor Prithvi.

19. Dhanvantri Avatar Story

  • He emerged from the churning of the ocean at the beginning of creation in search of Amrit along with other wealth and assets. 
  • We need to understand that the maintenance of earth and living beings have to be self-reliable, and Vishnu has to take care of the operations part. Since this eventually is the responsibility of the living beings on the earth all by themselves, there was a necessity of transferring the knowledge of handling how the diseases have to be overcome

20. Mohini Avatar Story

  • At the end of Kurma Avatar, after Vishnu came in the form of a turtle and protected the sinking of the mountain as a result of churning, the outcome was the nectar that everyone was waiting for
  • As soon as it resulted in the nectar, it was taken away by the then mighty Asuras who were very keen on having it. As usual, the Devas went to Lord Vishnu who took the most charming, bewitching, voluptuous, and beautiful incarnation as a lustful enchantress to deceive the demons and distribute the Amrit amongst the Devas.
  • This avatar was meant to convey that one should not fall prey to the worldly temptations. If one gets distracted to such things the Mukti of the person would be almost impossible even when it is ready at hand. 
  • The name Mohini comes from the word Moha meaning “Delusion

21. Lord Hayagriva Avatar Story

There are three stories associated with Hayagriva (neck/face of the horse), the god of knowledge. 

  • A demon named Hayagriva started worshipping Goddess Parvati. When she stood before him, he asked for immortality, which was not granted. The next boon he asked was about the person who would kill him would be of his same kind thinking that he is exclusive. But Ashvini Kumaras changed Vishnu’s head which was more like plastic surgery to take the form of a horse similar to the demon, and thus the demon was killed by Lord Hayagriva 
  • In the second story, due to the curse of his guru Vaishampayana, Yajnavalkya was deprived of the knowledge of Yajurveda. Then, he went on to do severe penance to please Sun god. Pleased by this Sun god taught him another version of the same Veda assuming the form of a deity with a horse head. Sun is a visible form of Lord Vishnu
  • According to the third story, Lord Vishnu took the form of a horse head to kill the two demons Madhu and Kaitabha, who had stolen the Vedas. Since Hayagriva killed them and restored the Vedas, he is worshiped in parallel to Saraswati who is the goddess of knowledge

22. Sri Hari Avatar Story

  • Hari means to steal. It is understood by this that god steals of the following things from his devotees
    1. Sorrows
    2. Worries
    3. Torments
    4. Evil effects
    5. Sins
  • With stability in whatever we do we can achieve these. This can be understood better by narrating the story of Dhruva
  • King Utthanapada had two wives Suniti and Suruchi, each blessed with a son, Dhruv and Uttama respectively
  • The king was partial towards the second queen Suruchi who was known for her beauty. She took advantage of this situation and was always against Dhruva meeting the king assuming that he would take the throne one day or the other
  • Following this habit, when one day Dhruva came and sat on the lap of his father, Suruchi shewed him away scolding him. When with this feeling, filled with deep sorrow, Dhruva came to his mother asking her the reason, she told that could be due to your past karma. Now, you always have the option of considering Lord Vishnu as your father. 
  • This triggered in him the very idea of doing severe penance, which resulted in two boons, one his kingdom back and the other a place called Dhruva Loka
  • In this way when something is done with consistency it is easier to acquire the same.

23. The Yagya Avatar Story

  • The daughter of Swayambhu Manu and Shatrupa was Aakuti. She was married to Prajapati Ruchi. To this couple was born an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who was called Yagya.
  • He was a very holy and divine right from his childhood days. He is regarded as the forefathers who initiated in doing the fire sacrifices as a means of both empowerment and harnessing of energy and power of nature.
  • He was also instrumental in tormenting the demons who disturbed his father and mother while they were doing tapas. 
  • His wife’s name was Dakshina, yes, a kind of donation that is given during the fire sacrifices. They both had twelve sons.
  • He had impressed the Devas and was even anointed to the throne of Indra, the king of heaven

24. The Hans Avatar Story

  • Lord Vishnu took the form of a swan (also called Hans in Sanskrit). The divine form that Vishnu took the form of, was for the Sankaadi who were the mental sons of the creator Brahma. 
  • When once, the Sankaadi, had a question related to Moksha. They asked this question to Brahma as to how one who wishes to have Moksha can effectively control their mind and subconscious and divert them away from the worldly charms and its sense objects, and towards the inner self, where the Atma, the pure consciousness, resides?
  • Brahma then redirected them to Vishnu who took the form of a Hans in enlightening them towards this. Hans represents knowledge and is also the vehicle of Saraswati

Phew, these were the stories of the twenty-four avatars of Lord Vishnu, that not many of us are familiar with. Hope this knowledge could initiate you to learn more about philosophy and diversity, the very backbone of this nation.

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