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Lord vishnu incarnation

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 2:22 AM
1. Adi Purush Incarnation: Lord Vishnu took his first incarnation as the pre-eminent man, with a desire to commence creation. This incarnation of was full of all the sixteen supernatural powers (Kalas). This incarnation of Lord Vishnu is all-powerful, which can be seen only by the great sages who have attained divine knowledge. This incarnation is also the indestructible seed from which all the other incarnations manifest themselves. During the time of final annihilation of the world, every creation merges into him.

2) Sanatkumaras Incarnation: Lord Brahma had four sons Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatkumara and Sanatana. They were Manasputras (mind-born-sons) or spiritual sons of Brahma according to Puranic texts of Hinduism. Sanatkumara in Sanskrit means "eternal youth". Born from Brahma's mind, the four sons are described as great sages who undertook lifelong vows of celibacy against the wishes of their father. They engaged themselves in long penance. They are the source of inspiration regarding the values and importance of chastity and penance. They played an important role in a number of Hindu spiritual traditions, especially those associated with the worship of lord Vishnu.

3. Nara Narayana: Lord Vishnu took his fifth incarnation as sage Nara-Narayana by taking a birth from the womb of a woman named 'Kala'. Nara-Narayana is a Hindu deity. Nara-Narayana is the twin incarnation of Lord Vishnu on earth, working for the preservation of righteousness. The human soul Nara is the eternal companion of the Divine Narayana. Nara Narayana performed a tremendous penance by going to Badri and Kedar. Narayana is an important Sanskrit name for lord Vishnu. 

Lord Krishna and Arjuna are often referred to as Nara-Narayana in the Mahabharata and are considered incarnations of Narayana and Nara respectively. The legend of Nara-Narayana is also told in the scripture Bhagavata Purana. Hindus believe that the pair dwells at Badrinath, where their most important temple stands. 

4. Kapila Incarnation: Lord Vishnu's sixth incarnation was as sage Kapila, who was born to the sage Kardama and Devahuti. The objective of this incarnation was to compile all the divine knowledge that had been destroyed. Sage Kapila incarnation was taken by Lord Narayana (Vishnu) to teach the scientific Sankhya Yogam to the mankind. Lord Kapila’s first disciple was his mother Devahuti. The entire process was aimed at liberation of the individual from their karma and to attain salvation (nirvana). We celebrate him as the Father of Sankhya Yogam. Sage Kapila instructed his mother, Devahuti in the philosophy of yoga and devotional worship of Lord Vishnu, enabling her to achieve liberation. 

In the Mahabharata, lord Krishna says, he is sage Kapila among the greatest sages. Sage Kapila burnt sixty thousand sons of king Sagara to ashes. These sixty thousand men were searching for Ashwamedha horse and finally came to sage Kapila’s hermit. They started insulting the sage thinking he was the one who has stolen the horse. This enraged the sage and he turned all of them to ash. Much later, sage Bhagiratha, their descendant did extreme penance and brought river Ganga to the earth and washed away their sins.

5. Narada Incarnation: Sage Narada is a celestial musician and great devotee of Lord Vishnu. He is a manasaputra of Lord Brahma, referring to his birth 'from the mind of Lord Brahma. He is a divine sage, who played a major role in a number of the Puranic texts, especially in the Bhagavata Purana. 

 Sage Narada is portrayed as a traveling monk with the ability to visit distant worlds or planets. He holds a musical instrument known as a lute, which he uses to sing hymns and prayers as an act of devotion to Lord Vishnu. He is also known as Kalahapriya, as he playfully causes quarrels between gods and demons and a wandering seer who always moves with his lute chanting Narayana-Narayana. Sage Valmiki, the first poet of the world, wrote the Ramayana on the advice of Narada. A robber by profession, he became a poet after he started chanting the name of Rama. Sage Narada is a renowned teacher, inspirer of poets, counselor of kings and a divine messenger. The word 'Nara' means knowledge useful to mankind and 'Da' means 'a giver'. So 'Narada' means the one who gives knowledge to mankind and imparts right guidance.

6.Rishabh Incarnation: Lord Vishnu in his ninth incarnation as Rishabhdev was born to king Nabhi and Marudevi. He was born at Ayodhya in the Ikshvaku clan. He was the first of the 24 Tirthankaras. In Jainism, he is known from many names as such Adinatha, Rishabhanath, Rushabh, Rushabhdev, Adishwar or Kesariyaji. He lived before civilization developed. Because of this, he had the name of Adinath - the original lord. 

Lord Rishabh’s mother Marudevi was the daughter of Indra, the leader of the gods. Lord Rishabh was given the title of 'Jin'. His followers are known as Jains. Following the example of lord Rishabhdev many of his subordinate rulers as well as common people got inspired to embrace the ascetic way of life. It is mentioned in scriptures that with Rishabhdev four thousand others also took Diksha.

7.Prithu Incarnation: Lord Vishnu took this incarnation as per the wishes of the sages. The earth had concealed all the vegetation's within her and as a result the whole land had become barren. To protect the humanity, Lord Vishnu took incarnation as Prithu by milking the cow (earth). Prithu, like Rudra, is an ideal king, but with a violent side. Prithu's actions of chasing the earth-cow as a hunter and finally milking her, display the terrifying side of the king. Both, Prithu and Rudra are closely associated with sacrifice. He is said to have milked the earth and made her bear all vegetation, including vegetables and the grains. Prithu is also known as Pruthu, Prithi and Prithu Vainya (the son of Vena). He is primarily associated with the legend of chasing the earth goddess, Prithvi, who fled in the form of a cow and eventually agreed to yield her milk as the world's grain and vegetation.

The birth of Prithu is without female intervention. King Vena, from the lineage of the pious Dhruva, was an evil king, who neglected Vedic rituals. Thus the sages killed him, leaving the kingdom without an heir. So, the sages churned Vena's body, out of which first appeared a dark dwarf hunter, a symbol of Vena's evil. Since the sins of Vena had gone away as the dwarf, the body was now pure. On further churning, Prithu emerged from right arm of the corpse. To end the famine by slaying the earth and getting her fruits, Prithu chased the earth (Prithvi) who fled as a cow. According to the Manu Smriti, Prithvi is considered the wife of Prithu, not his daughter and thus suggests the name "Prithvi" is named after her husband, Prithu. After governing his kingdom for a long time, Prithu left with his wife Archi, to perform penance in the forest in his last days. He died in the forest, and Archi went Sati on his funeral pyre. 

Yagya Incarnation: Lord Vishnu in his eighth incarnation as Yagya (Yagna) was born to Prajapati and Akuti. In Hinduism, 'Yagya' is a ritual of sacrifice more commonly practiced during Vedic times. It is performed to please the gods. It involves pouring oblations into the divine fire (the sacrificial fire). Everything that is offered in the divine fire is believed to reach the gods. In the ancient times, the Kings and Brahmins to please gods and to avoid the natural calamities like flood, draught and earthquake performed Maha Yagyas (the great sacrifices).

According to the Bhagavata Purana, Yagya or Yagneshwara (Lord of yagya) is an incarnation of lord Vishnu. As Yagya, Vishnu is the embodiment of the Hindu fire sacrifice ritual or yagya. Performing yagya (sacrifices) is considered equivalent to please lord Vishnu. The Vishnu Sahastranama (Thousand names of Vishnu) also narrates Yagya as a name of lord Vishnu. Yagya is the son of Prajapati and Akuti, the daughter of Svayambhuva Manu, the first Manu (progenitor of mankind). Vishnu Purana tells that Yagya had a twin sister named Dakshina (donation). Later, Yagya married Dakshina and had twelve sons. The Bhagavata Purana identifies Yagya with lord Vishnu and Dakshina with goddess Lakshmi. After Yagya's birth, he lived at the house of his grandfather Svayambhuva Manu. 

8.Hayagriva Incarnation: Hayagriva is a horse-headed incarnation of lord Vishnu that appears in the Hinduism and Buddhism. He is depicted with a human body, white horse's head, wearing white garments and sitting on a white lotus. The main purpose of this incarnation of Lord Vishnu was to restore the Vedas, which were stolen by Madhu and Kaitaba. In this incarnation, lord Vishnu is worshipped in a human body with a horse head. Hayagriva is a very important deity in the Vaishnava tradition. His blessings are sought when beginning study of both sacred and secular subjects. Special worship is conducted on the day of the full moon in August (Shravana-Paurnami). The story of Haygriva incarnation represents the triumph of pure knowledge over the demonic forces of passion and darkness.

Hayagriva is one of the lesser known incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Hayagriva is considered to be the guardian of the Vedas. Hayagriva incarnation is mainly mentioned in the Shantiparva of the Mahabharat and the Puranas. This was lord Vishnu’s sixteenth incarnation.

The Legend of Haygriva Incarantion
In Hinduism, Hayagriva is also considered an incarnation of lord Vishnu. During the creation, the demons Madhu and Kaitaba stole the Vedas from Lord Brahma and lord Vishnu then took the Hayagriva form to restore the Vedas. 

According to another legend, Kashyapa Prajapati had a son named Hayagriva which means ‘one with a horse’s head.’ Through intense austerities, Hayagriva obtained a boon from the goddess Durga that he could only be killed by another Hayagriva. Armed with a sense of invulnerability he became obnoxious and began to expand his terror. He defeated the gods. The gods approached to lord Vishnu for help, but even he could not defeat Hayagriva due his boon. 

Lord Vishnu left the battlefield to take rest. He went to Vaikunta and started meditating using bow for his head support. The gods were worried at lord Vishnu leaving the battlefield and entering into a long meditation. They looked out for ways to wake him up and finally sort the help of termites to eat away the bow. While the termites were eating the bow, the string snapped and Vishnu’s head was cut off. Then the gods were mortified and prayed to the goddess Durga for guidance. Goddess Durga advised the gods to attach a head of a horse on Vishnu. Lord Brahma did the auspicious deed and thus Lord Vishnu became Hayagriva. He went to the battlefield and fought with the demon Hayagriva and killed him.

Hayagriva is a unique incarnation of lord Vishnu. In this incarnation, lord Vishnu is depicted with four hands, with one in the mode of bestowing knowledge; another holds books of wisdom and the other two hold the Conch and Discus. 

9.Sage Ved Vyas Incarnation: Sage Veda Vyas is perhaps the most revered of all the sages in India and is an incarnation of lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu took his nineteenth incarnation as sage Ved Vyas by taking birth from the womb of Satyavati. His father was sage Parashar. Ved Vyas is the profound author of one of the greatest epics Mahabharata. He also appeared as an important character in the Mahabharata. He was the grandfather of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. He was born on an island in the river Yamuna. He is responsible for classifying the four Vedas and wrote the 18 Puranas. In fact, the Mahabharata is often called as the fifth Veda. He was the guiding light to many in their times of need for over seven generations. Every year the Guru Purnima festival also known as Vyas Purnima is celebrated in honor of Ved Vyas. 

According to the Hindu scriptures, it is said that Ved Vyas is immortal and he never died. The life of Ved Vyas is an example to all in the modern times on how to be selfless and devote oneself entirely to the Lord in order to attain salvation (Nirvana). Ved Vyas received knowledge from the great sages like Vasudeva and Sanakadik. He described that the most important goal in one's life is to attain salvation. He taught the Vedas to his pupils with ardent devotion and dedication. Apart from the Mahabharata, he also wrote the Brahmasootra, one of his shortest theologies on Hindu philosophy.

Sage Ved Vyas is considered the supreme teacher. He fathered four well-known sons Pandu, Dhritarashtra, Vidura and Sukhdeva. Accordings to the Hindu mythology, Ved Vyasa grew into manhood shortly after his birth and was well versed in the Vedas, Shastras, Puranas, poetry, history and other branches of learning. Without sage Ved Vyas, there would be no Kauravas, no Padavas and no Mahabharata. It was Vyas himself who gave the story of Mahabharata to mankind. It is said that it was Lord Brahma who motivated him to write the story of the Mahabharata with the help of Lord Ganesha.All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

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