In Bhagavata Purana, it is mentioned that whenever evil triumphs over good, darkness take over light, and tyranny rules over justice, and Lord Vishnu will reincarnate on earth to restore Dharma and guide the people in the right path.

24 Vishnu Avatars

Even though there are innumerable incarnations of the Lord Vishnu, some of the important ones are mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1 chapter 3.

Altogether, Vishnu has reincarnated 23 times, and every time, he’s taken a different form. It is predicted that he will appear one last time at the end of Kaliyuga, making the number 24.

The List of Vishnu Avatars

Here is the complete list of all those 24 avatars of Lord Vishnu, and how they were different from each other. (Dashavatara List – 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu)

1. Adi Purush

Adi Purush is the first and the primary avatar of Lord Vishnu. Also known as Lord Narayana, he is depicted laying on the curls of a serpent. He is the source of all creation in the universe. The all-powerful; it is from his navel that the lotus sprouts, where Brahma resides.

2. Four Kumars

Four Kumars_24 Avatars of Vishnu

Four Kumars were the first four conscious beings created by Lord Brahma. Named Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana and Sanat Kumara, they appeared like infants and their purpose was to assist Brahma in the creation of life.

3. Narada

With the appearance of a sage and a khartal and tambura in his hands, Narada has this special ability to travel between realms in moments. A storyteller and musician, often he is considered as the messenger of the gods and the first journalist.

4. Nara Narayana

Nara and Narayana are the two twin sage avatars of Lord Vishnu. They were born to ensure truth, justice, righteousness, and other elements of Dharma on Earth. The brothers were so mighty that they were able to overpower Pashupathastra, a destructive weapon of Shiva, through their meditation.

5. Kapila

Kapila is a Vedic sage mentioned in the Mahabharata. He is said to have founded the Samkhya School of Philosophy. Samkhya is the formula for gaining knowledge, which includes perception, inference, and testimony of the sources.

6. Dattatraya

Dattatreya

Dattatreya, also known as Trimurti, is a sage and the master of Yoga. He is depicted as a saint with three heads, each representing Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, and six hands. He is a combined representation of the three deities in Hinduism.

7. Yajna

Also known as Yajneshwara, he is the personification of Yajna, a ritual where the fire is lighted and sacrifice is made to make wishes to the deities. In few texts, Indra, the king of gods, has also been referred to as Yajna.

8. Rishabha

Rishabha was a preacher and a spiritual leader. He is considered as the founder of Jainism. It was believed that he had escaped the cycle of birth and death and used to guide people to the path of salvation.

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9. Prithu

Prithu_Chasing Prithivi_24 Avatars of Vishnu

Prithu was the first sacred king. He is the one responsible for all the greenery, and the cultivation of all the crops, on the face of the earth. He dedicated his life to the service of God and taught people the ways of religion.

10. Dhanvantari

Dhanvantari_24 Avatars of Vishnu

Dhanavantari is the god who emerged, holding a pot of Amrit (nectar of immortality) in his hand, after the gods and the demons finished churning the ocean. He is also known as the god of Ayurveda and is worshipped for gaining sound health.

11. Mohini

Mohini With Amrit- Samundra Manthan

Mohini is a female avatar of Vishnu. She tricked the demons into handing her the Amrit, which they forcefully took from the gods after the churning of the ocean. She, then, distributed it among the gods. Vishnu as Mohini was also responsible to cut off the head of Rahu with Sudarshan chakra which is today famous as the 2 planets in Jyotish Shastra as Rahu and Ketu.

12. Hayagreeva

Hayagreeva_24 Avatars of Vishnu

Hayagreeva is worshipped as the god of wisdom and knowledge. He has a fair man’s body, with the head of a horse. He restored to light and wisdom, and defeated darkness, by retrieving the Vedas that had been stolen by demons known as Madhu and Kaitaba.

13. Vyasa

Veda-Vyasa

Also known as Veda Vyasa, he is an immortal sage who is considered responsible for the compilation and composition of many Vedas. He authored Mahabharata, and also introduced himself as a character in it, the father of Pandu and Dhritarashtra.

14. Matsya Avatar

Matsya-Vishnu

Matsya is the half fish, a half-human form of Vishnu. According to Matsya Puran, Matsya informs Manu, the leader of the humans, of the great flood, and helps him save all the motile living beings, the Vedas, and the seeds of all plants.

15. Kurma Avatar

Kurma_24 Avatars of Vishnu

Kurma is the half tortoise half-man form of Vishnu. During the churning of the ocean, he balances Mt. Mandara on his shell to assist the gods and the demons in the churning process. He is also believed to have supported the weight of the cosmos on his back.

16. Varaha Avatar

Varaha is the half man and half boar avatar of Vishnu. In Hindu dharma, he slays the demon Hiranyaksha to save Bhudevi, the personification of earth, and restores her back to the surface from a sinking state using his tusks.

17. Narsimha

Narsimha is the half lion and a half-human avatar of Vishnu. He was born to end the reign of the demonic king Hiranya Kashyap and establish peace, order, righteousness, and other elements of dharma on earth.

18. Vamana

Vamana and Mahabali

Vamana was a dwarf Brahmin. This avatar of Lord Vishnu comes to check the growing power of the demonic king Mahabali, which he does by tricking him during a sacrificing ceremony and sending him to the underworld.

19. Parashurama

Parshurama is a Brahmin Kshatriya. He is depicted as a sage with an axe in his hand. He was born to end the tyranny of the evil Kshatriyas, who misused their powers and made others’ lives miserable and bring them to justice.

20. Rama

Lord Rama

Lord Rama is one of the most significant and powerful deities of Hindu dharma and the lead character of the epic Ramayana. He kills the evil king Ravana to end his terrorizing rule, and to free his wife Sita, whom Ravana had kidnapped.

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21. Balarama

Balarama-Bhim-Duryodhana

Balarama appears in Mahabharata as the elder brother of Krishna. He is known for his strength, for carrying a plow and was Duryodhana and Bhima’s guru in teaching the ‘Gada’ (the weapon). He shares many adventures with Krishna, which includes bringing a tyrannical ruler Kansa to justice.

22. Krishna

Sri Krishna

Lord Krishna is yet another major form of Vishnu. He is known to end the reign of his tyrannical maternal uncle Kansa, and for his role as the advisor or the Pandavas and the charioteer and guide of Arjuna in Mahabharata.

23. Buddha

Born in Lumbini as Siddhartha Gautam, later to be known as Gautam Buddha left his family and all material possession in search of enlightenment. He founded Buddhism and taught people ways to end all kinds of suffering through Noble Eightfold Paths.

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.24 talks about Buddha avatar of Lord Vishnu. 

तत: कलौ सम्प्रवृत्ते सम्मोहाय सुरद्विषाम् ।
बुद्धो नाम्नाञ्जनसुत: कीकटेषु भविष्यति ॥ २४ ॥

tataḥ kalau sampravṛtte sammohāya sura-dviṣām
buddho nāmnāñjana-sutaḥ kīkaṭeṣu bhaviṣyati

Translation: Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Añjanā, in the province of Gayā, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist.

24. Kalki

Kalki_24 Avatars of Vishnu

Kalki is the only avatar of Vishnu that is yet to be born. It is said that he will end all evil by defeating the demon Kali and start a new Satyayuga or Kalkiyuga. Kali is all the negative emotions and elements personified into one. Kalki is depicted as a warrior riding a white horse and holding a shining sword.

Despite the difference in form, or time, all his incarnations had one common goal, i.e. to end all evil and to re-establish Dharma, the path to salvation. It is for this reason that Lord Vishnu is known as the protector and preserver of the universe.

(Last Updated On: July 11, 2020)
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Sanjoy Aich
Sanjoy Aich
March 18, 2019 7:39 pm

This is very important information for all Hindu. But, I don’t mind Rishabha is an Avatar of Shree Vishnu.

Amrit Pal Singh
Amrit Pal Singh
June 6, 2020 5:31 pm
Reply to  Sanjoy Aich

Rishabh will be Avatar of Vishnu after Many Kalpas from now. Next Vishnu Avatar After Kalki is Sarvabhauma and after that Rishabh.

biraj Bajrccharya
biraj Bajrccharya
May 29, 2019 4:56 pm

Balram is a avtar of Shesanaga
He was not a avtar of Vishnu.
V ishnu’s other avtar is Arjuna. One Brother of Pandav. The third son of Pandu and Kunti With bless of God Indra.

Parth verma
Parth verma
June 21, 2020 1:20 pm

Shesanaga is an ansh of lord vishnu therefore balram is an avtar of lord vishnu.

Parth verma
Parth verma
June 21, 2020 1:32 pm

Yes, We all are ansh of lord vishnu, Same time, All are souls there around the world which connects to lord vishnu, So arjuna is the same. but belongs to devatas with his tap aur bhakti.

images - 2020-06-21T101500.926.jpeg
Parth verma
Parth verma
June 21, 2020 1:35 pm

Shesanaga is an ansh of lord vishnu, therefore balram is an avtar of lord vishnu. Jai Shree Krishna.

images - 2020-06-21T101500.926.jpeg
Vani
June 19, 2019 11:36 pm

Rama Bhagwan is a main avatar of Vishnu DEv

ashwin
July 7, 2019 5:35 pm

if arjun is the avtar of vishnu then what was sri krishna? wasn “t he the avatar of vishnu??
if yes then can a soul(atma) have two avtar at a same time?

something may be wrong

Shelvin Lal
Shelvin Lal
August 2, 2019 4:37 am
Reply to  ashwin

Wasn’t Parshuram, Ram present at the same time????Its not Atma its Param..atma…

mprasadb
mprasadb
July 2, 2020 1:21 pm
Reply to  Shelvin Lal

Parashuram Avatara is existant in multiple yugas
hence he is mentioned in many of the hisories of Hindus

Mayur Thorat
Mayur Thorat
May 28, 2020 9:42 pm
Reply to  ashwin

Vishnu had taken avatar of twins nar and Narayan two bodies and one soul, those brother became Krishna and Arjun in next birth

Parth verma
Parth verma
June 21, 2020 1:33 pm
Reply to  ashwin

Yes, We all are ansh of lord vishnu, Same time, All are souls there around the world which connects to lord vishnu, So arjuna is the same. but belongs to devatas with his tap aur bhakti.

deepthi
deepthi
July 24, 2019 10:32 pm

arjuna is not a vishnu avatar

Rohan
Rohan
June 3, 2020 5:07 pm
Reply to  deepthi

Yes Arjun was Avatar of Indra, reference-as per ramanand sugar’s Krishna serial.

Uvsssrk
Uvsssrk
July 1, 2020 12:23 pm
Reply to  Rohan

Arjuna is son of Indra, but he is vishnu Avatar, Krishna and Arjuna are the nar naryana from previous Avatar.
In previous Avatar, they fought sahrakavacha(may have spelt it wrong, sorry) who had 1000 armours as a boon from sun. When he was left with only one armour he ran to lord Surya, seeking his protection. So, lord Surya gave him protection, but he was cursed that he’ll be born as human, and even though he will have good values of surya, he’ll suffer all his life. He was born as karna.

Last edited 11 days ago by Uvsssrk
Rushil
Rushil
June 11, 2020 7:47 pm

Where is raja priti

Kanika
June 17, 2020 2:50 pm

Sri Krishna , Balram ji , vedvyasa and
Pashuram were all together in time of Mahabharata and all r avatar of Bhagwan VISHNU

palamirtam marimuthu
palamirtam marimuthu
June 23, 2020 7:33 am

the world needs Balaraam…..the God of power and agriculture with tools ….for grains and vegetables…..enough spilling blood….23/6/20