Lord Vishnu is the God of Preservation. Whenever the earth was in danger and when evil threatens to overpower good, Lord Vishnu descends from the heaven to incarnate on the earth. There are ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. [
In the Satya Yuga there was a king by name Manu. He was a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu. His greatest desire was to see Lord Vishnu with his own eyes. For this he performed severe penances for thousands of years.
The Satya Yuga was about to end and a great flood was to come and destroy all the life on earth to start afresh for the next
While Lord Brahma was sleeping an
Lord Vishnu saw this and was worried. If the Vedas were stolen by the
Wondering what to do, Lord Vishnu looked at Manu performing penance. Lord Vishnu smiled, realizing that he could complete quiet a lot than just save the Vedas…
The next morning, Manu went to the river to begin his prayers. He took the water in his hands and held it high above his head and offered it to the Lord Vishnu to mark the beginning of his prayer. He was about to pour the water into the river, when he heard a tiny voice from his hands. ‘O great king! Please do not put me back in the river…’
Surprised Manu stared at his hands. In the palms of his hands was a tiny fish, squirming. The fish looked at Manu, pleading, ‘Please do not put me back in the water. There are so many bigger fishes in the water, they will eat me. Please, O great king…’
Overcoming his surprise, Manu ran inside his palace to get a bigger vessel. The fish gulped few breaths and said softly, ‘Thank you, kind king.’
The fish gulped a few breaths inside water, ‘Thank you
The same routine followed again.
Finally, he dropped the fish inside the ocean, only to find that the fish grown
The fish smiled, ‘You wanted to see me and here I have come.’ Manu stared with tears in his eyes, as a huge horn grew on the head of the fish.
‘My Lord, you have granted me my only desire. I want nothing more. What do you want me to do now?’ Manu said prostrating before the fish.
One half of the fish’s work completed, the fish went to the other side to complete the other reason for the incarnation. On the other end of the ocean, the fish saw Hayagriva guarding the Vedas. Seeing the huge fish, Hayagriva was terrified. What a huge fish
After a brief and futile struggle, the
On the other side of the ocean Manu was building his ship. He had also brought the seven sages, with their families.
Soon there were torrential rains which washed away everything. The water level kept increasing and very soon there was a flood. The ship wobbled and many times were about to capsize, but Manu and that others were steadfast in their belief that Lord Vishnu would protect them.
Soon the fish came as promised, ‘Manu, use Vasuki as a rope to tie my horn to the ship’ It bellowed loudly, above the roar of the rain.
Once the fish was tied to the ship, the fish, guided the ship at sea and kept the ship safe while the storm raged outside.
While the boat was being dragged around by the fish, Manu asked Vishnu several questions. The answers that Vishnu provided forms the text of the Matsya Purana.