Among the avatars of Vishnu, the ten best known are collectively called as the Dasavatara. According to the vernacular language the term means “ten avatars”.
In the Garuda Purana (1.86.10″11), this list is proudly included. In the Satya Yuga (Ages in the time cycle described within Hinduism or the first of the four Yugas), the first four are mentioned to have largely appeared.
In the Treta Yuga, the next three avatars have appeared; in the Dvapara Yuga is the eighth descent and in the Kali Yuga is the ninth. At the end of the Kali Yuga, the tenth, named Kalki, is largely predicted to appear.
The Dashavatara of Lord Vishnu is as follows:
- The fish-avatar who saved Manu is Matsya. In the Matsya Purana, this avatar related story can be found.
- The tortoise-avatar is Kurma who assisted in the churning of the ocean or in the Samudra manthan. In the Kurma Purana, this avatar related story can be found.
- The boar-avatar is Varaha who successfully rescued the earth direct from the ocean, through killing her kidnapper named demon Hiranyaksha. In the Varaha Purana, this avatar related story can be found.
- The half man-half lion avatar is Narasimha, who successfully killed the tyrant demon-king named Hiranyakashipu, in order to rescue the demon’s son Prahlada, a Vishnu-devotee.
- The dwarf-avatar is Vamana, who really subdued the king named Maha Bali. In the Vamana Purana, this avatar related story can be found.
- A sage with the sharp axe who successfully killed the thousand-armed king named Kartavirya Arjuna is Parashurama.
- The hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana and later the king of Ayodhya is Rama
- The elder brother of Krishna is Balarama.
- The king of Dwarka is Krishna.
- At the end of Kali Yuga, Kalki is expected to appear.