The metamorphosis of Lord Vishnu and the evolution of life
|Avatara||Meaning of Avatara||The Interpreated evolutionary meaning|
|Matsya||Fish||Adaptation medium is water: the first source of life|
|Kurma||Turtle||Mostly lives in water; comes to land to lay eggs; adaptation to land and air|
|Varaha||Boar||Mostly lives in land; inherent ability to swim; mammal;|
|Narasimha||Lion faced man||Evolution of beast into man; first signs of savage man; usage of nails as weapons|
|Vamana||Man of developed intellect||Signs of possessiveness of land etc.|
|Parasurama||Civilized man||Usage of weapons (axe);|
|Rama||King||Formation of kingdoms; morality, virtue and chastity honored|
|Krishna||Politician||War between mankind; politics; ; Needs drive survival|
It is very interesting to note that only Varaha, Narasimha, Rama & Krishna (40%) are worshipped as Gods. Why havent the other avatars evolved into Gods remains a mystery to me. Logically Matsya is the first avatar and should have had a greater significance in Indian folklore. But as much as I know there is nothing except that he saved other gods from a deluge.
1It is difficult to believe that Buddha is the avatar of Vishnu, but there are evidences in Indian literature treating Buddha as 9th avatar of Vishnu. The 15thcentury poet from Bengal - Jayadeva's Dashavatara mentions Buddha as an avatara. Some sects of Hinduism dont accept Buddha as an avatar. For eg. Madhvacharya did not accept it. Instead they say it is Balaram (brother of Krishna, though I dont comprehend how or why Vishnu should have taken two avatars at the same time). We may take such things as the result of sectarianism. If we dive deep into the avatars we may find things that would have occurred in nature and later became folklores. For eg, motion of lands mentioned in Varaha avatara could even mean "formation of tectonic plates" ! (just kidding... but who knows ?).
2Not the current homo sapien who declares himself as Kalki.