We all know that lord Sri Maha Vishnu incarnates and protects us whenever Dharma starts fading away. The great Geetacharya says the same as the following verse:-
Yada yada hi Dharmasya, Glanirbhavati bharata
Abyutthanama Adharmasya tadatmanam Srujamyaham
paritranaya Sadhunam Vinashaya Cha Dushkrutam
Dharma Sansthapanarthaya Sambhavami yuge yuge
Lord Vishnu has incarnated many times in many forms however, only 10 major incarnations have become famous and are called by the name 'Dasavataram'
The Dasavatara are as viz. Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narsimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Sri Rama, Sri krishna, Buddha and Kalki (who is yet to come).
If we analyse the incarnations we can observe that there is a striking similarity among the Avataras of Vishnu and the stages of Human life.
- Matsya, Kurma, Varaha :-They resemble embryonic stages of human when he is inside the mother's womb. If we read Biological books and study the human life process chapter, we would see that an embryo passes through various stages of development and resembles the above mentioned creatures till it fully develops into an infant.
- Narsimha :- This resembles the 'infant stage' where a baby knows only to cry aloud as like as a roaring lion and also to gobbles up milk from the mother's breast as like as the lord Narsimha drank the blood of Hiranyakashyap
- Vamana :- This stage resembles closely with childhood
- Parashurama :- This stage resembles closely with an IDeal student life. A life of a human where he remains in Brahmacharya Ashrama and leads a pious life of a student
- Sri Rama :- This Avatara points us to the Adulthood, a stage of an Ideal Gruhast Ashrama where a man follows ideals of married life and remains faithful/devoted to only one Wife.
- Sri Krishna :- This also resembles Adulthood and a life of a person in Gruhastha Ashrama, but it resembles that man who takes interest in romance and remains attached to many wives or ladies
- Buddha :- This incarnation resembles Vanaprastha / Sanyasi Ashramas where a man devotes his time in learning and preecing and tries to reach god through meditation
- Kalki :- This avatara represents the end of the human life cycle
This is the beauty of lord Vishnu's Avataras!!