Hi dear ones,
In Hinduism, an avatar is the incarnation (bodily manifestation) of an Immortal Being, or of the Ultimate Supreme Being. It derives from the Sanskrit word Avatar which means “descent” and usually implies a deliberate descent into mortal realms for special purposes. The term is used primarily in Hinduism, for incarnations of Vishnu the preserver, whom many Hindus worship as God. The Dashavatar are ten particular “Great” incarnations of Vishnu.
Unlike Christianity, and Shaivism, Vaishnavism believes that God takes a special human form whenever there is a decline of righteousness and rise of evil (from the Bhagavad Gita). Lord Krishna, according to Vaishnavism, an avatar of Vishnu, famously said in the Gita: “For the protection of the good, for destruction of evil, and for the establishment of righteousness, I come into being from age to age.”
The word has also been used by extension by non-Hindus to refer to the incarnations of God in other religions, notably Christianity, for example Jesus.
The ten Avatars or Dashavatar of Shri VISHNU
The Maha Avatar (Great Avatars) of Vishnu are usually said to be ten and this is popularly known as the Dashavatar (dasa (dasha) in Sanskrit means ten):
Matsya, the fish
Kurma, the tortoise
Varaha, the boar
Narasimha, the Man-Lion (Nara = man, simha = lion)
Vamana, the Intelligent Dwarf Brahmin
Parashurama, Rama with the axe
Rama, Sri Ramachandra, the prince and king of Ayodhya
Krishna (meaning dark or black; see also other meanings in the article about him.)
Balarama (meaning one who holds a plough) or Buddha
Kalki (“Eternity”, or “time”, or “The Destroyer of foulness”), who is expected to appear at the end of Kali Yuga, the time period in which we currently exist, which will end in the year AD 428899.