|February 20, 2005 |
God comes in whatever form He wants. A devotee sees God in all, and thus treats everyone with respect and positive loving feelings. Of the 24 major incarnations of Lord Vishnu, Varah was an incarnation in boar form (Bhagavat 3/13, 3/18-3/19), Matsya was an incarnation in fish form (Bhagavat 8/24), Nrusinh was an incarnation in half-lion, half-man form (Bhagavat 7/8-7/9), Vaman was an incarnation in dwarf form (Bhagavat 8/18-8/23), and Mohini was an incarnation as a woman (Bhagavat 8/9).
At the end of the previous day of Brahma, during Brahma's sleep, the Vedas which emanate from Brahma's mouth were stolen by the demon Hayagriva. During the first manvantar (or period of Svayambhuva Manu), the Matsya incarnation killed the demon Hayagriva and saved the Vedas. During the manvantar previous to the current one, there was a king named Satyavrata. (In this manvantar, Satyavrata, known as Sraddhadeva or Vaivasvata, the son of Vivasvan or the sun-god, was given the manu post.) When Satyavrata was performing austerities in the River Kritamala, a small fish appeared in the water in his palms and asked Satyavrata to protect him from the creatures of the ocean. Satyavrata took pity on the fish and took it home, but it repeatedly grew larger and larger, until it grew so big that Satyavrata had no place to put it and took it to the ocean. The fish again implored the king for protection. Satyavrata then asked it to reveal its true form. Matsya finally revealed itself as an incarnation of God and warned the king that on the seventh day, a great flood will submerge the world in waters and a great boat would appear. Satyavrata, along with the seven rishis, got on board with all types of seeds and living entities. Using the Vasuki serpent as a rope, Satyavrata attached the boat to Matsya's horn. Until the deluge was over, Matsya gave divine knowledge to Satyavrata and saintly persons on the boat.