Manu accepts the request, and puts the fish in a jar. When the fish outgrows it, Manu puts it in a pond, then a lake, and finally into the sea. Once there, the fish instantly expands to a gigantic size. Manu then realizes that the fish is Vishnu Narayana, and accepts he was previously deluded. The fish then informs the king that a flood is coming in seven days, to go collect all kinds of seeds and the seven sages, then board the boat that has been made for him. The fish with a horn appears. They tie the boat to the horn and the fish saves them. The fish then finds the asura Hayagriva, slays him, recovers the Vedas and gives it to the seven sages and Manu.
Matsya is generally enlisted as the first avatar of Vishnu, especially in Dashavatara ten major avatars of Vishnu lists. However, that was not always the case. Some lists do not list Matsya as first; only later texts start the trend of Matsya as the first avatar. Matsya is depicted in two forms: as a zoomorphic fish or in an anthropomorphic form. In the latter form, the upper half is that of the four-armed man and the lower half is a fish. The upper half resembles Vishnu and wears the traditional ornaments and the kirita-makuta tall conical crown as worn by Vishnu.
He holds in two of his hands the Sudarshana chakra discus and a shankha conch , the usual weapons of Vishnu. The other two hands make the gestures of varadamudra , which grants boons to the devotee, and abhayamudra , which reassures the devotee of protection. In some representations, Matsya is shown with four hands like Vishnu, one holding the chakra, another the shankha, while the front two hands hold a sword and a book signifying the Vedas he recovered from the demon.
Over his elbows is an angavastra draped, while a dhoti like draping covers his hips. In rare representations, his lower half is human while the upper body or just the face is of a fish. The fish-face version is found in a relief at the Chennakesava Temple, Somanathapura.
Matsya may be depicted alone or in a scene depicting his combat with a demon. A demon called Shankhasura emerging from a conch is sometimes depicted attacking Matsya with a sword as Matsya combats or kills him. The story of a great Deluge is found in many civilizations across the earth.
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It is often related to the Genesis narrative of the flood and Noah's Ark. Matsya is believed to symbolise the aquatic life as the first beings on earth. The Himalayas are treated as a boundary between the earthly existence and land of salvation beyond. The protection of the fish and its horn represent the sacrifices that help guide Manu to salvation. Treated as a parable, the tale advises a good king should protect the weak from the mighty, reversing the "law of fishes" and uphold dharma , like Manu, who defines an ideal king. There are very few temples dedicated to Matsya.
Matsya Narayana Temple, Bangalore also exists. Some kingdoms have used sacred matsya as their state emblem. There was a Matsya Kingdom during vedic era , which was one of the sixteen Mahajanapadas great kingdoms during as described in the hindu epic Mahabharta and 6th BCE Buddhist text Anguttara Nikaya.
After the Indian independence in , the princely states of Bharatpur , Dholpur , Alwar and Karauli were temporarily put together from to as the "United State of Matsya" , and later in March after these princely states signed the Instrument of Accession they were merged with the present state of Rajasthan. Jogyesa Buddhist Temple has colorful matsya relics. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For other uses, see Matsya disambiguation. Supreme deity. Important deities. Holy scriptures.
Related traditions. Main article: Flood myth. Retrieved 20 May Williams , pp. Dallapiccola Hindu Myths. University of Texas Press. Religion and Society in the Brahma Purana. Inner Traditions. Motilal Banarsidass. Williams , p. Oxford University Press. The history of Puranas. Bharatiya Kala. Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin Books India. Retrieved 12 January Mapin Publishing Pvt Ltd.
Retrieved 13 January Avatars of Vishnu. The two substitutions involve Balarama, Krishna and Buddha is considered the avatar of Vishnu. Krishna is almost always included; in exceptions, he is considered the source of all avatars.
Hindu deities and texts. Asuras Rakshasas Yakshas Vahanas.
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