According to Hindu mythology, the world and universe as we see around us today has evolved from the vacuum and as the cycle of time shall end the eternity of all this would return to the same vacuum. However, in the meanwhile of the process of creation and destruction, there is the incarnation of the guardian and preserver of human existence, Lord Vishnu in different forms, commonly known as the Dashavatar.
According to historical documents concerning Hindusim, nine of these incarnations have already completed their purpose while the final embodiment shall take place at the end of the Kali Yuga when the world would be on the verge of destruction in the form of Kalki and save the righteous souls from the destruction.
The Dashavatars are as follows:
This is the first among the list of avatars to follow the great evolution of human beings. In this form, Shri Vishnu had the appearance of a fish and this marked the beginning of the living organisms on Earth.
The Supreme took this avatar amid the Samudra Manthan between the Devas and Asuras. In this avatar, the Supreme had the physical form of a turtle. Thus, marking the beginning of beings that could co-exist inside the water and as well as the land.
The Lord took this avatar to exterminate the demon Hiranyaksha who has abducted the Mother Earth thus threatening the existence of humankind. In this avatar, God undertook the form of a boar which was a mammal and had four limbs. This further marked the advancement of human beings.
This avatar was undertaken to kill the king Hiranyakashyap, who was a sworn enemy of Shri Vishnu and have declared himself to be a God and also defeated Indra ad took control over the Indrashan. The physical form of this incarnation represented half human and half animal.
This was incarnated in the Second stage, i.e. in the Treta Yuga. This avatar was undertaken to restore Indra to his kingship of the Swarga which has been taken by Mahabali. This firm represented a small human who had small limbs, this was the first appearance of the Supreme in the form of a human being.
This avatar was in the form of a primitive man who lived in the forest and represented the human qualities in the transition to be developed to a civilized human.
This incarnation was to slay the demon Ravan who had grown mighty. This avatar also communicated the qualities of an ideal human as he was called ‘Maryada Purshotam.’
This incarnation was versed with the 16 kalayas and was perfect and specialized in various fields. This avatar also gave the human civilization through his discourse to Arjun in the battlefield of Mahabharata, the Sri Bhagvat Gita.
The first-ever Buddha is considered to be an avatar of Lord Vishnu himself, the incarnation lighted the path to humans for attaining moksha and gave us in numerous teachings and learning. This incarnation also highlighted the dark abysm due to the scourge of war and the path of ahimsa.
This is the last in the list of ten avatars of Shri Vishnu. This incarnation as mentioned in the Puranas shall take birth to restore the peace and order in the world as the Kali Yuga reached its peak.