Vishnu took on ten major forms called the Dashavatars to preserve humanity and balance.
- Matsya, a fish that saved the life of Manu, the first man
- Kurma, a turtle that helped the gods and demons churn the ocean for the nectar of immortality
- Varaha, a boar that kills Hiranyaksha, who stole Prithvi (the earth goddess) in her form of a cow
- Narasimha, a lion-man who kills Hiranyakashipu, brother of Hiraniyaksha
- Vamana, a dwarf who regains the three realms (heaven, earth and hell) from the demon king Bali
- Parashurama, a sage who killed the Ksatriyas
- Rama, a prince who defeats Ravana, the demon king of Sri Lanka
- Krishna, who fought in the Kurukshetra War
- Buddha, who founded Buddhism
- Kalki, whose coming will signal the end of our time period and the destruction of evil
Other avatars include his only female avatar, Mohini.
In Popular Culture
- Vishnu appears in the ongoing comic series God is Dead, published by Avatar Press.
Films and Television
- In a teaser trailer of Godzilla (2014), J. Robert Oppenheimer speaks of Vishnu. As he speaks, an undetermined location that has been damaged with large casualties is shown, along with the corpse of an unidentifiable monster is shown lying on the ground, looking similar to a centipede.
|Gods and Goddessess of Hindu Mythology|
|Trimurti||Creation: Brahma • Destruction: Shiva • Preservation: Vishnu|
|Tridevi||Wisdom: Saraswati • Motherhood: Parvati • Prosperity: Lakshmi|
|Main Devas||King: Indra • Sun: Surya • Moon: Chandra • Fire: Agni • Wind: Vayu • Ocean: Varuna • Sky: Dyaus • War: Murugan • Wealth: Kubera • Love: Kama • Death: Yama • Rain: Parjanya • Remover of Obstacles: Ganesh|
|Other Devas||Recorder of Fate: Chitragupta • Counsellor to Gods: Brihaspati • Architect of the Universe: Vishvakarman|
|Navagrahas||Sun: Surya • Moon: Chandra • Mercury: Budha • Venus: Shani • Mars: Mangala • Jupiter: Brihaspati • Saturn: Shukra|
|Main Devis||Earth/Nature: Prithvi • Love: Ratri • Dawn: Ushas • Night: Rati|
|Other Devis||Mother of the Gods: Aditi • Dusk: Saranyu • Death: Yami • Beauty: Sachi • River Ganges: Ganga|
|Avatars of Vishnu|
|Avatars||Matsya • Kurma • Varaha • Narasimha • Vamana • Parashurama • Rama • Krishna • Buddha or Balarama • Kalki|