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Matsya Avatara (Samskrit: मत्स्यावतारः) is the first and the foremost of the ten complete incarnations  Dashavataras (दशावताराः) of Mahavishnu. The ten avataras (incarnations) according to the Puranic Encyclopedia are as follows:<blockquote>''मत्स्यः कूर्मो वराहश्च नरसिंहश्च वामनः । रामो रामश्च रामश्च कृष्णः कल्किर् जनार्दनः ।।''</blockquote><blockquote>Matsyaḥ Kūrmo Varāhaśca Narasiṁhaśca Vāmanaḥ  । Rāmo Rāmaśca Rāmaśca Kṛṣṇaḥ Kalkir janārdanaḥ  ।। </blockquote>Meaning: Matsya (Fish), Kurma (Turtle), Varaha (Boar), Narasimha (Lion-man), Vamana (Dwarf), Rama (Parashurama), Rama (Sri Rama), Rama (Balabhadrarama), Krshna (Sri Krshna), Kalki (Yet to come). These are the ten incarnations of Janardana.<ref>Vettam Mani (1975), [https://archive.org/details/puranicencyclopa00maniuoft/page/492 Puranic Encyclopaedia], Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.</ref>
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== अग्निपुराणकथा ॥ Story in the Agni Purana ==
 
Once, Vaivasvata Manu was practising penance for gaining objects of enjoyment and for release from mundane existence. When he was offering water as a ritual in the river Krtamala, a small fish came from the waters into his folded palms. As he was about to throw it back into the waters, the fish requested him not to do so as there was fear of crocodiles in the waters. Having heard this, Manu put the fish into a vessel. When it grew in size, the fish requested for a bigger vessel. But soon, it outgrew the big vessel also and was put into a tank. And eventually, as it grew as big as the tank, Manu released the fish into the ocean and in a moment the fish grew in size extending to one lakh yojanas. Manu then realised the fish to be none other than Sri Vishnu and at his behest the lord in the form of a fish said, “I have manifested for the protection of this universe and for the destruction of the wicked. On the seventh day, the ocean would flood the earth. Having collected the seeds of creation in the boat that would approach you, you should spend a night of Brahma (equal to 1000 mortal years) on it being encircled by the saptarshis. And bind the boat to my horn with the big serpent (as the rope). Saying thus, the fish disappeared. As the appointed hour approached and the ocean began to swell, Manu boarded the boat as instructed. The fish now appeared with a single golden horn of one million yojanas in length. And Manu tied the boat to its horn. Manu praised the lord in the form of a fish with adorations. And it was at this hour that the Matsya Purana, capable of destroying papas, was revealed by the lord in the form of a fish to Manu. This story of the Matsya Avatara occurs in the second chapter of the Agni Purana.<ref>The Agni Purana ([https://archive.org/details/AgniPuranaUnabridgedEnglishMotilal/page/n7 Part 1]), Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited, First Edition: 1954, Reprint: 1998.</ref>
 
Once, Vaivasvata Manu was practising penance for gaining objects of enjoyment and for release from mundane existence. When he was offering water as a ritual in the river Krtamala, a small fish came from the waters into his folded palms. As he was about to throw it back into the waters, the fish requested him not to do so as there was fear of crocodiles in the waters. Having heard this, Manu put the fish into a vessel. When it grew in size, the fish requested for a bigger vessel. But soon, it outgrew the big vessel also and was put into a tank. And eventually, as it grew as big as the tank, Manu released the fish into the ocean and in a moment the fish grew in size extending to one lakh yojanas. Manu then realised the fish to be none other than Sri Vishnu and at his behest the lord in the form of a fish said, “I have manifested for the protection of this universe and for the destruction of the wicked. On the seventh day, the ocean would flood the earth. Having collected the seeds of creation in the boat that would approach you, you should spend a night of Brahma (equal to 1000 mortal years) on it being encircled by the saptarshis. And bind the boat to my horn with the big serpent (as the rope). Saying thus, the fish disappeared. As the appointed hour approached and the ocean began to swell, Manu boarded the boat as instructed. The fish now appeared with a single golden horn of one million yojanas in length. And Manu tied the boat to its horn. Manu praised the lord in the form of a fish with adorations. And it was at this hour that the Matsya Purana, capable of destroying papas, was revealed by the lord in the form of a fish to Manu. This story of the Matsya Avatara occurs in the second chapter of the Agni Purana.<ref>The Agni Purana ([https://archive.org/details/AgniPuranaUnabridgedEnglishMotilal/page/n7 Part 1]), Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited, First Edition: 1954, Reprint: 1998.</ref>
  
 
== References ==
 
== References ==

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Matsya Avatara (Samskrit: मत्स्यावतारः) is the first and the foremost of the ten complete incarnations Dashavataras (दशावताराः) of Mahavishnu. The ten avataras (incarnations) according to the Puranic Encyclopedia are as follows:

मत्स्यः कूर्मो वराहश्च नरसिंहश्च वामनः । रामो रामश्च रामश्च कृष्णः कल्किर् जनार्दनः ।।

Matsyaḥ Kūrmo Varāhaśca Narasiṁhaśca Vāmanaḥ । Rāmo Rāmaśca Rāmaśca Kṛṣṇaḥ Kalkir janārdanaḥ ।।

Meaning: Matsya (Fish), Kurma (Turtle), Varaha (Boar), Narasimha (Lion-man), Vamana (Dwarf), Rama (Parashurama), Rama (Sri Rama), Rama (Balabhadrarama), Krshna (Sri Krshna), Kalki (Yet to come). These are the ten incarnations of Janardana.[1]

अग्निपुराणकथा ॥ Story in the Agni Purana

Once, Vaivasvata Manu was practising penance for gaining objects of enjoyment and for release from mundane existence. When he was offering water as a ritual in the river Krtamala, a small fish came from the waters into his folded palms. As he was about to throw it back into the waters, the fish requested him not to do so as there was fear of crocodiles in the waters. Having heard this, Manu put the fish into a vessel. When it grew in size, the fish requested for a bigger vessel. But soon, it outgrew the big vessel also and was put into a tank. And eventually, as it grew as big as the tank, Manu released the fish into the ocean and in a moment the fish grew in size extending to one lakh yojanas. Manu then realised the fish to be none other than Sri Vishnu and at his behest the lord in the form of a fish said, “I have manifested for the protection of this universe and for the destruction of the wicked. On the seventh day, the ocean would flood the earth. Having collected the seeds of creation in the boat that would approach you, you should spend a night of Brahma (equal to 1000 mortal years) on it being encircled by the saptarshis. And bind the boat to my horn with the big serpent (as the rope). Saying thus, the fish disappeared. As the appointed hour approached and the ocean began to swell, Manu boarded the boat as instructed. The fish now appeared with a single golden horn of one million yojanas in length. And Manu tied the boat to its horn. Manu praised the lord in the form of a fish with adorations. And it was at this hour that the Matsya Purana, capable of destroying papas, was revealed by the lord in the form of a fish to Manu. This story of the Matsya Avatara occurs in the second chapter of the Agni Purana.[2]

References

  1. Vettam Mani (1975), Puranic Encyclopaedia, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.
  2. The Agni Purana (Part 1), Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited, First Edition: 1954, Reprint: 1998.