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Dasavatara:

The Ten Incarnations of Lord Vishnu

Matsya

pralaya-payodhi-jāle dhritavān asi vedam
vihita-vahitra-caritram akhedam)
kes“ava dhrita-mīna-s“arīra jaya jagadīs“a hare

O Kesava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of a fish! All glories to You! You easily acted as a boat in the form of a giant fish just to give protection to the Vedas, which had become immersed in the turbulent sea of devastation.

 

Kurma

kshitir iha vipulatare tishthati tava prishthe
dharani-dhārana-kina-cakra-garishthe
kes“ava dhrita-kūrma-s“arīra jaya jagadīs“a hare

O Kesava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of a tortoise! All glories to You! In this incarnation as a divine tortoise the great Mandara Mountain rests upon Your gigantic back as a pivot for churning the ocean of milk. From holding up the huge mountain a large scar like depression is put in Your back, which has become most glorious.

 

Sukara

vasati das“ana-s“ikhare dharanī tava lagnā
s“as“ini kalaģka-kaleva nimagn
kes“ava dhrita-s“ūkara-rūpa jaya jagadīs“a ha re

O Kesava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of a boar! All glories to You! The earth, which had become I,merged in the Garbhodaka Ocean at the bottom of the universe, sits fixed upon the tip of Your tusk like a spot upon the moon.

 

Narsimha

tava kara-kamala-vare nakham adbhuta-s“rīngam
dalita-hiranyakas“ipu-tanu-bhrīngam
kes“ava dhrita-narahari-rūpa jaya jagadīs“a hare

O Kesava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of half-man, half-lionl All glories to You! lust as one can easily crush a wasp between one's fingernails, so in the same way the body of the wasp like demon Hiranyakasipu has been ripped apart by the wonderful pointed nails on Your beautiful lotus hands.

 

Vamana

chalayasi vikramane balim adbhuta-vāmana
pada-nakha-nīra-janita-jana-pāvana
kes“ava dhrita-vāmana-rūpa jaya jagadīs“a hare

O Kesava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of a dwarf-brahmana! All glories to You! O wonderful dwarf, by Your massive steps You deceive King Bali, and by the Ganges water that has emanated from the nails of your lotus feet, You deliver all living beings within this world.

 

Parasurama

kshatriya-rudhira-maye jagad-apagata-pāpam
snapayasi payasi s“amita-bhava-
kes“ava dhrita-bhrigupati-rūpa jaya jagadis“a hare

O Kesava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of Bhrgupati [Parasurama] ! All glories to You! At Kuruksetra You bathe the earth in the rivers of blood from the bodies of I he demoniac ksatriyas that You have slain. The sins of the world are washed away by You, and because of You people are relieved room the blazing fire of material existence.

 

Rama

vitarasi dikshu rane dik-pati-kamanīyam
das“a-mukha-mauli-balim ramanīyam
kes“ava dhrita-rāma-s“arīra jaya jagadis“a hare

O Kesava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who haze assumed the form of Ramacandra! All glories to You! In the battle of Lanka You destroy the ten-headed demon Ravana and distribute his heads as a delightful offering to the presiding deities of the ten directions, headed by Indira. This action was long desired by all of them, who were much harassed by this monster

 

Balarama

vahasi vapushi vis“ade vasanam jaladābham
hala-hati-bhīti-milita-yamunābham
kes“ava dhrita-haladhara-rūpa jaya jagadis“a hare

O Kesava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of Balarama, the yielder of the prowl All glories to You! On Your brilliant white body You wear garments the color of a fresh blue rain cloud. These garments are colored like the beautiful dark hue of the River Yamuna, who feels great fear due to the striking of Your plowshare.

 

Buddha

nindasi yajna-vidher ahaha s“ruti-i-jātam
sadaya-hridaya dars“ita-pas“u-ghātam
kes“ava dhrita-buddha-s“arīra jaya jagadīs“a hare

O Kesava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of Buddha! All glories to You! O Buddha of compassionate heart, you decry the slaughtering of poor animals performed according to the rules of Vedic sacrifice

 

Kalki

mleccha-nivaha-nidhane kalayasi karavālam
dhūmaketum iva kim api karālam
kes“ava dhrita-kalki-s“arīra jaya jagadīs“a hare

0 Kesava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of Kalki! All glories to You! You appear like a comet and carry a terrifying sword for bringing about the annihilation of the wicked barbarian men at the end of the Kali-yuga.

 

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Suprava Mishra Suprava Mishra
Supriya Mishra Aum Arts Dance Academy

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Last updated April 07, 2004