Matsya Avatar: Lord Vishnu Took the Fish Incarnation

Matsya Avatar is the first incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the sustainer and preserver of the universe. He is one of the principal deities in Indian mythology. Vishnu is seen holding his divine conch shell, Panchjanya, an edgy discus, Sudarshana Chakra, a lotus flower, a mace, and Kaumodaki in four arms.

He is so beautiful that one cannot take his eyes off his charming face and personality. His face is so calming and immediately pours the smoothness of Yamuna into the hearts of the devotees, famously known as Krishna, the Brij Gopala.

According to the Hindu scriptures, Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is the sustainer, and Shiva is the destroyer. In Vaishnavism, people praise him as the supreme god. He takes several avatars to continue life.

Out of the ten widely famous avatars,

  1. Matsya Avatar(fish)
  2. Kumra (tortoise)
  3. Varaha (boar)
  4. Narasimha (man-lion)
  5. Vamana (dwarf)
  6. Parashurama (Rama with an axe)
  7. Rama (loyal, dedicated, and truthful)
  8. Krishna (the intelligent one)
  9. Buddha (the enlightened one)
  10. And Kalki (the future avatar of Kaliyuga)

However, we at Vedic Story will discuss the first avatar, Matsya.

Matsya Avatar is the first avatar of Lord Vishnu and takes place at the beginning of the golden age of Satya Yuga, the era of truth. People on Earth begin to live immoral and selfish lives. The gods realized there was no way to save these people from their activities, and thus they decided to flood the world and restore Dharma.

Brahma is the creator of the world. It was his duty to bring back the accordance of Dharma mentioned in the Vedas, the source of all wisdom and knowledge. 

Seeing the immorality of people, Brahma got tired and fell asleep in the middle of his creative world. Through his nose, he saw a demon called Hayagriva with the head of a horse. He stole the Vedas and escaped. Vishnu witnessed the descent of the demon on Earth.

The Story of Matsya Avatar: The First Incarnation of Lord Vishnu

Lord Vishnu took the form of a tiny fish and appeared before King Vaivasvat Manu.

At the beginning of Sat, or Satya Yuga, King Manu ruled the earth with righteousness, dedication, and truth. He was so kind. One day, Vaivasvat Manu was offering prayers to the sun on the banks of the Cherivi River in the Badri forest. Suddenly, he heard a weak voice asking for help. Vaivasvat Manu looked around and found a small fish.

The tiny fish was pleased with his help. It said. O, the great king of the earth, you are powerful. You must have been small and helpless like me at some point and lived a safe life until you grew up. I am a little fish in this huge and scary river. Other fish who are bigger than me cause me to fear. How could I grow up in such a dangerous environment?

Manu was deeply impacted by the narration of the fish. He promised to protect the fish, and so he brought it to his palace.

Matsya in the Bowl

After reaching the palace, Manu put the fish in a bowl and ordered his staff to take good care of it. Under such amazing hospitality, the fish grew up quickly.

Matsya in the Palace Pool

Soon the bowl turned small for the fish, and Manu had to move it to the palace pool. Within a few more months, the pool also turned small for the fish. Then Manu ordered his minister to construct a bigger pool for the fish.

Vishnu’s Matsya Avatar in the River

When Matsya found the news, he got touched. Then the fish asked Manu to shift him into the river, as he became big enough to survive there and had no fear for life. By then, Manu had become attached to the fish and said he would miss their conversations. The fish also confessed his feelings and promised they would meet at the river once a month.

Matsya was set free in the bank for several years, and they continued to meet. The fish continued to grow, and one day he told Manu that the river had again turned small. He was not able to live comfortably. Thus, he needed to travel to the sea and explore.

Matsya Incarnation in the Sea

Manu supported the fish and understood the decision. Before shifting to the sea, Matsya disclosed a sad and disturbing fact to him. It said. Soon, a flood is about to come, and the sea levels will rise until they flood the entire Earth, destroying lives, vegetation, and everything else. The fish then told Manu to build a huge boat and be ready to witness the day happen.

The Destruction Begin

Matsya asked Manu to build the boat by putting all his energy and resources into surviving the waters.

The Day of Flood

On the day of the flood, Manu and the great scholars collected a variety of grains, a pair of all living beings, plants, trees, and flowers. When the water level rose, Lord Vishnu’s fish incarnation asked him to tie a rope to the boat so it could save them and the other end.

Lord’s Matsya avatar dragged them all to the high mountains. After reaching the dry land, Manu and his scholars, along with other species, decided to settle there. And thus, the life and empire of Manu flourished again. 

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