God incarnates on Earth to save mankind from any unrighteous activities or anything evil happening to them. Through the incarnation, God restores the cosmic order. Lord Vishnu too incarnated many times to save the Earth. There are various fascinating stories in Hindu mythology. Among those, one is of ten avatars of Lord Vishnu.
Lord Vishnu is the preserver of the Universe. He has always saved mankind from any danger. He incarnated nine times in different avatars and the last one all expect to appear in the Kali Yuga.
List of Ten avatars or incarnations of Lord Vishnu
Lord Vishnu took the form of Matsya and saved Manu from the Great flood at the beginning of Satya Yuga. Manu is regarded as the first human on Earth.
Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of a giant tortoise when Mandrachala, the huge mountain was about to drown in the ocean. Initially, Mandrachala helped to churn the ocean. Vishnu descended on Earth and carried the huge mountain.
Lord Vishnu saved the earth from going to the bottom of the sea. A demon named Hiranyaksha took the whole earth to the bottom of the sea when Vishnu came in the form of a wild boar put the Earth to its original location. This Avatar is known as Varaha Avatar.
The demon Hiranyakashyap had a blessing that neither a human nor an animal will kill him, neither inside nor outside the house, nor during the day or at night, not on earth nor in the sky, and not with any weapon. So, Lord Vishnu came in the form of half lion and half-human to kill the demon Hiranyakashyap at dusk using his nails on the threshold of his house, keeping the demon on his thighs.
When demon-king Bali captured three different worlds Lord Vishnu incarnated as Brahmin. He asked for three feet of land to end the rule of the kind demon-king.
Bali offered his head realizing it was Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu stepped over Bali’s head and granted him moksha.
It was the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu to end the autocratic rule of unrighteous kings. He acquired an Axe from Lord Shiva through prayers to fight the Kshatriya warriors who were misusing their powers. He corrected the cosmic order by destroying the Kshatriya warriors twenty-one times.
7. Lord Rama:
Ram is another avatar of Lord Vishnu who appeared to kill the demon-king Ravana. This is a story of the victory of good over evil where Lord Rama defeats Ravana after a fierce battle. This is the seventh form of Lord Vishnu.
8. Lord Balarama:
Lord Vishnu’s eighth incarnation was Balarama, the elder brother of Lord Krishna. He is compared with the Adisheesha, the serpents on whom Vishnu rests. Balaram was the protector of Lord Krishna and helped in finding peace in their lives.
9. Lord Krishna:
In the Dwapara yuga, Lord Vishnu incarnated himself in two forms for two significant events. First, He incarnated as Lord Krishna to kill his maternal uncle Kansa.
Second, as the mentor of the Pandavas during the Kurukshetra war.
The last incarnation of Lord Vishnu is yet to appear. There is a belief that the lord will appear on a white horse with a mighty sword to destroy the evil in the Kali Yuga. Thus, the entire cycle of the four worlds will start again after the end of Kali Yuga.
The above mentioned are the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu who saved mankind from various evils and maintained a cosmic equilibrium on the Earth.