Which is the Ninth Avatar of Vishnu?
I have received 3977 answers. Most of them said Krishna, Buddha, and Balarama. Can’t say those answers are completely wrong. Even if you name any other Avatar, I would say, it may be correct. In a way, it is.
However, according to Srimad Bhagavatam, the authentic scripture followed in the Vaishnava tradition, there are 24 Avatars of the Vishnu. Raja (king) Prithu (also known as Jalpeswara) is considered the Ninth Avatar of Maha Vishnu. Only 5 readers sent this answer.
24 Avatars of Vishnu – Four Kumars (Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana, and Sanatkumara), Varaha, Narada, Nara-Narayana, Sage Kapila (or Cakradhanus, avatar to expound Sankya philosophy), Dattatraya, Yajna, Rishabha, Prithu, Matsya Avatar, Kurma Avatar, Dhanvantari, Mohini, Hayagriva, Manu, Narasimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Rama (Sri Ramachandra), Vyasadeva (Krishna Dwaipayana), Balarama, Krishna, Buddha, and Kalki
The concept of the ‘Ten Avatars’ or DASHAVATAR was later introduced in the Garuda Purana. Jayadeva Goswami’s 12th-century list of ten is arguably the most popular, but there are several Dashavatar lists in the Vaishnava tradition itself. In the Agni, Garuda, Padma, Linga, Skanda, Narada, and Varaha Puranas, Buddha is featured as one of the Vishnu Avatars. The Shiva Purana mentions Balarama as Avatar in its list. Some scriptures even neither mention Buddha nor Balarama in their list of Dashavatar. Vayu Purana replaces them with Dattatreya and Vedavyasa.
So, if someone asks you anything about Avatars, you can politely tell: “According to which Purana?”
Let’s be proud that we have a quite lot of Puranas with a different list of Avatars. It is not contradictory, but complimentary. That’s the real beauty of Hinduism. It reveals the Upanishad message: Isavasyam idam sarvam See divinity in everything, every being.
And there is ample proof that the most popular Avatars Rama and Krishna were historical characters. However, those who wrote Indian history (to please their masters) for textbooks, omitted them from the history. We’re being misfed that those names are just mythological fictional characters. Unfortunately, many historical shreds of evidence and documents are destroyed during the invasions in India. But the truth will always prevail. We still have Harivamsa Purana which describes the history of the kings of the Solar and Lunar dynasties.
Prithu was a king of the early medieval period in the present-day state of Assam, India, and Bangladesh. The Manu Smriti considers Prithvi (earth) as Prithu’s wife. Earth remained full of vegetation after his Avatar. Chinese scholar Hiuen Tsang records the existence of the town Pehowa, named after Prithu, “who is said to be the first person that obtained the title Raja”
Because they all lived a Dharmic life, we elevated (Avatar) Rama, Krishna, Prithu, etc to the status of Vishnu. That’s how Avatar happens.
That’s right. Vishnu sustains Dharma. Whoever upholds Dharma thus becomes Vishnu’s Avatar too.
The popular sloka about Dashavatar is Matsya, Kurma, Varaha cha Narasimha cha Vamana, Ramo Rama cha Balarama, Krishna Kalki
Please take this opportunity to learn more about our vast wealth of Puranas instead of going by hearsay. Puranas are so simple that anyone can read and understand them. (Message No: 341)
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