In Hindu Dharma, Lord Vishnu reincarnates over and over again to protect the universe from evil, especially when the evil has grown sturdier and dysbalanced the cosmic universe. After all, he is said to be “the protector and preserver” of the trinity (others being Shiva and Brahma). Here is an excerpt from the Bhagavad Gita that talks about Vishnu:
“Whenever righteousness wanes and unrighteousness increases, I send myself forth.For the protection of the good and for the destruction of evil, And for the establishment of righteousness,I come into being age after age.”
Hinduism is pretty much scientific; it is full of advanced scientific concepts and modern science has accepted most of them as facts. As part of that, there is a parallel relation between Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and Hinduism, and it is evident on how Vishnu reincarnated in different forms thousands of years ago. Along with that, it also shows how humans developed along through civilization. Monier Monier-Williams says, “Indeed, the Hindus were …. Darwinians, centuries before the birth of Darwin, and evolutionists, centuries before the doctrine of evolution had been accepted by the Huxleys of our time, and before any word like evolution existed in any language of the world.”
According to Garuda Purana, here are 10 Avatars of Vishnu in consecutive order, and each of them shows how evolution, along with human civilization, took place.
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1. Matysa – Fish
Hinduism: In the myth, it states that the earth was only primeval water. So, when Vishnu made his first incarnation, he appeared as matsya, an aquatic form during the Satya Yug.
Evolution: The first class of vertebrates originated in water and evolved during the Silurian period.
2. Kurma – Amphibian
Hinduism: The Turtle God which used Chakra is the second avatar of Vishnu.
Evolution: After developing the capacity to live in both land and water, amphibians had evolved during the Devonian period.
3. Varaha – Mammal
Hinduism: The Boar from the Satya Yuga is the third avatar of Vishnu.
Evolution: Wild, mammals were evolved after Amphibians, and this indicates the mammal’s origin in the Triassic Period.
4. Narasimha – Half Man, Half Animal
Hinduism: With a human torso and lower body with face and claws, Narasimha was incarnated as the third incarnation of Vishnu.
Evolution: Half human and half animals indicate the emergence of human thoughts and intelligence in the wild.
5. Vamana – Short Human
Hinduism: He is the first avatar to appear as human, but appear as a dwarf.
Evolution: Premature human beings
6. Parashurama – Early Human
Hinduism: This sixth avatar of Vishnu appeared during the last Treta and Dvapara yugas. He wielded an axe and was a warrior.
Evolution: Early humans using weapons and living in forests
7. Rama – Human
Hinduism: Central figure of Ramayana, Ram was the prince and later the king of Ayodhya in the form of human.
Evolution: Indicates civilization and how humans evolved to live in a civil society.
8. Balarama – Human
Hinduism: Balarama is the elder brother of Lord Krishna
Evolution: He may have originated in Vedic times as a deity of agriculture and fertility.
Balarama is included as the eighth avatar of Vishnu in the Sri Vaishnava lists, but Amar Chitra Katha’s Dashavatar book lists Krishna as 8th and Buddha as 9th avatar of Lord Vishnu. Balarama is also considered as an avatar of sheesha naag.
Amar Chitra Katha’s Dashavatar book lists Krishna as 8, Buddha as 9 and Kalki as 10.
9. Krishna – Human
Hinduism: Lord Krishna was the master tactician, cow herder and a warrior, and the eight avatars of Vishnu.
Evolution: Indicates humans living in politically advanced society, and also practicing animal husbandry
10. Kalki – Human
Hinduism: While this avatar has not been incarnated yet, according to the books. But it is said that Lord Vishnu will appear as Kalki as the destroyer of Kalki at the end of this Kali Yuga. He is said to be riding a white horse and drawing the sword that blazes like a comet.
Evolution: How humans and nations have developed weapons of mass destruction