According to Indian Epics, an Avatar is Supreme Consciousness incarnated on Earth for the specific purpose of upholding and rejuvenating Dharma and the forgotten sacred teachings. Vishnu is the name given to the protector and sustainer of the universe. Lord Vishnu has incarnated in various life forms through different yugas (ages or eons) in situations where Dharma was in danger, because of certain evil elements in the world. There are ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. These incarnations are termed as the Dashaavataaras of Lord Vishnu. During the various stages of human evolution, there have been times of great distress when Lord Vishnu has appeared on earth in different forms to provide divine help to save mankind and the sacred scriptures of India's ancient civilisation from evil demons. The Dashaavataaras reveal that divinity re-establishes Dharma or righteousness and destroys injustice from time to time, by appearing on earth in various incarnations. According to Hindu mythology, the nine incarnations of Vishnu, which have already appeared upon earth are: Matsya or the Fish incarnation : in this form Lord Vishnu saved the Saint Vaivaswata, humankind and creatures in the Hindu version of the Biblical Noah and his Ark (or vice versa). Kurma or the Turtle incarnation : at the Churning of the Ocean, Vishnu as Koorma (or Kurma) offered his back as a pivot on which to rest the Mount Mandara, used as a churning stick by gods and demons to retrieve the Nectar of Immortality which had been lost into the Cosmic Ocean.
Dashavatar – Incarnations Of Vishnu (Varaha Avatar)