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The 1st Incarnation of Lord Vishnu
In our first Indian mythological stories for kids, we bring the story of the 1st Avatar of Lord Vishnu. Touching upon the ten forms of Lord Vishnu, the Dashavatara, we narrate the story of Matsya Avatar.
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Matsya is one of Lord Vishnu's ten avatars. Vishnuji's took the form of a fish with a human head to save Manu, the first man, from a massive flood.
According to the Bhagvad Purana, Lord Brahma met Lord Vishnu one day and warned him that he had foreseen a Pralaya (disaster). Therefore, he was concerned about the protection of the Vedas, which might be destroyed or stolen. Lord Vishnu then guaranteed Brahmaji that he would take care of all of it.
Once Lord Brahma was resting for a while. Taking advantage of this, the Asuras stole the Vedas, the sacred book of Hindus, and hid them in the ocean. At the same time, there was a noble king Manu, who was known for his great service to the world. One day, when he was offering prayers to his ancestors in a river, a tiny fish got on his palm and surprisingly spoke to him. The fish requested to save him from the other giant creatures of the river. The kind king put it in a pot and took it with him. The fish had outgrown itself by the next morning.
He then put it in a big tank. But within a few hours, the fish was as large in size as the tank. It was then put in a well but it grew huge enough for the well too. It was put into river Ganga and then to the ocean for his gigantic size. It was no ordinary fish but the first incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Lord Vishnu appeared in front of him and told him that there would be a great flood soon and King Manu has a job to do. He was asked to collect each of the species like insects, animals, herbs, plants, seven great sages, and them all in a boat.
Lord Vishnu left to get the Vedas after addressing Satyavrata. Fear overtook the asura as he saw the enormous fish approaching him, but he knew that if he opened his mouth, the Vedas would be gone. He crammed the Vedas into his mouth. But the Divine Fish quickly destroyed him and reclaimed the Vedas which was then returned to Lord Bramha.
A few years later everything was getting drowned in water. Lord Vishnu appeared again in the form of a fish and took the boat safely to the Himalayas. On their way, Lord Vishnu and King Manu had a long conversation. This conversation is called “Matsya Purana”. Lord Vishnu rescued his faithful devotees from pralaya in this way, allowing them to pass on their divine wisdom to future generations, as well as saving the Vedas from destruction and ensuring creation after devastation.
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