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Vishnu Home -› Hindu Trinity -› The Preserver -› Vishnu
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The seventh and eighth Avatars of Vishnu are those of most famous heroes of mythology, RAMA and KRISHNA. Rama was the son of Dasharatha, king of Ayodhya, who appeared to destroy the arch-demon Ravana, while Krishna, deemed to be the most perfect Avatar of Vishnu, came to the world to kill evildoers and to establish the rule of righteousness. These two incarnations are the best-known and most popular gods amongst the Hindus everywhere.

The ninth Avatar is that of BALARAMA, also known as BALA-BHADRA or BALA-DEVA, the elder brother of Krishna The story in Mahabharata narrates that Vishnu took two hairs, a white and a black one, and that these became Balarama and Krishna, the two children of Devaki. He was so powerful that he, single-handedly, at a very tender age killed the great demon, ASURA DHENUKA, who had the form of an ass. Another demon tried to carry off Balarama on his shoulders but the young boy beat out the demon's brain with his fists. When Krishna went to Mathura, Balarama accompanied him and manfully supported him till his younger brother killed Kansa. He also taught both Duryodhana and Bhima the use of the mace. His chief weapon is ploughshare (HAL) and he is therefore named HALDHAR too.

Those who hold the view that Balarama is not the incarnation of Vishnu but of the great serpent Shesh Nag, on whom Vishnu reclines, claim that the ninth Avatar of Vishnu is BUDDHA. In this case the phenomenal success of Buddha as a religious teacher seems to have persuaded the Brahmins to adopt him as one member of their own pantheon of gods.

kalkiThe tenth and the last incarnation of Vishnu that is yet to appear in the world at the end of the KALI-YUGA or the Machine Age is that of KALKI. This Avatar shall appear seated on a white horse with a drawn sword blazing like a comet. He shall come to finally destroy the wicked, to restart the new creation and to restore the purity of conduct in people's lives.

It is interesting to note the evolution of these incarnations from lower to higher forms of life and their reflection on the history of the evolution of mankind.

For example:
matsya Matsya, the fish incarnation symbolizes the forming of protoplasm and invertebrates.
Vishnu - the supreme being
kurma Kurma, the tortoise symbolizes the amphibian form.
varaha Varaha, the boar symbolizes the existence of mammals.
narasimha Narasimha, the half-man, half-animal incarnation shows the development of hands and fingers on animals and the evolution of the sub-human or ape form.
vamana Vamana, the dwarf reflects the incomplete development of man.
parasimha Parashurama, the Rama-with-the-axe incarnation symbolizes the Stone Age. The axe symbolizes the start of the use of metal by mankind.
rama Rama shows the ability of mankind to live in cities and to have an administration.
krishna Krishna (one who knows the sixty-four arts); reflects the development of the sciences.
buddha The Buddha incarnation reflects the intellectual and scientific development of man.
kalki Kalki the tenth and yet to come incarnation. In the years to come there will be a moral degradation in society and this future incarnation will save mankind.
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