Does Shaiva or Shakta Agamas believe on Dashavatar of lord Vishnu? If yes is there any difference in references? If Yes what all differences are there?

My question rises because according to Agama there is only one supreme God, in that case existence of lord Vishnu could have only happened if it were lord Shiva will.

  • 1
    Do you mean Shaiva Agamas? If yes, then edit it to clarify. Because there are also agamas for Vaishnavas which are Pancharatra, Vaikhanasa etc., Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 19:33
  • Thanks for pointing that out. Will update now. @Sarvabhouma
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 19:35
  • Good question . Today I have learnt something new. Up voted Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 2:07

1 Answer 1


The Todala Tantram, which is a ShAkta Agama, talks about the 10 AvatAras of Lord Vishnu. The text also equates one MahAvidyA deity with one AvatAra.

The last chapter equates Vishnu’s ten incarnations with the ten Mahavidyas. Durga is the Kalki, the last of the avatars of Vishnu. He is yet to come, and when he does he will be born in Shambhala. He will ride a white horse and hold a sword which blazes like fire, bringing back to the planet harmony, according to the Agni and other Puranas. Kali’s consort is Krishna.

“Shri Devi said: Lord of gods, guru of the universe, tell me of the ten avatars. Now I want to hear of this, tell me of their true nature. Paramesvara, reveal to me which avatar goes with which Devi.

“Shri Shiva said: Tara Devi is the blue form, Bagala is the tortoise incarnation, Dhumavati is the boar, Cchinnamasta is Nrisimha, Bhuvaneshvari is Vamana, Matangi is the Rama form, Tripura is Jamadagni, Bhairavi is Balabhadra, Mahalakshmi is Buddha, and Durga is the Kalki form. BhagavatÌ Kali is the Krishna murti.” (Todala, chapter 10)

The page i am quoting from is just an overview of the said Tantram. I will give the Sanskrit verses tomorrow from books. Also, i am not sure about the Shaiva Agamas.


The Sanskrit verses from the Todala Tantram are as follows:

TArA devi minarupA bagalA kurmamurtikA |
DhumAvati varAha syAt chinnamastA nrisimhikA ||
Bhuvaneswari vAmanah syAnmAtangi rAmamurtikA |
TripurA jAmadagnyah syAd balabhadrastu bhairvai ||
Mahalakshmir bhavet buddho durgA syAt kalki rupini |
Swayam bhagavati kAli krishnamurtih samudbhavA ||
Iti te kathitam devAvataram dashamevahi |

The translation is already given above.

Now, there's difference of opinion as to this mapping. The MundamAla Tantram (which is another ShAkta Agama) gives a slightly different list as follows:

Krishnastu kAlikA sAkshAd rAmamurtishcha tArini |
VarAho bhuvanA proktA nrisimho bhairavishwari ||
DhumAvati vAmanah syachinna bhrigukulodbhavah |
KamalA matsyarupah syAt kurmastu bagalAmukhi ||
MAtangi bauddha ityeshA shodashi kalkirupini |

Here the mapping is as follows:

KAli-- Krishna
TArA-- RAma
Bhuvaneswari-- VarAha
Bhairavi-- Nrisimha
DhumAvati-- VAmana
Chinnamsta-- ParashurAma
KamalA-- Matsya
BagalAmukhi-- Kurma
MAtangi-- Buddha
Shodashi-- Kalki.

  • 1
    So all these 10 MahAvidyAs are inherently present in Lord Vishnu? Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 19:30
  • I have inferred the statement after reading your answer. :) Commented Feb 18, 2018 at 5:35
  • It doesn't say but I inferred Lord Vishnu might be taking avatar using these powers only. Commented Feb 18, 2018 at 5:38
  • Yes that's true.. Goddess Lalita creates the 10 Avatars from her finger nails.. @Rohith. So eventually all the powers (Shakti) has to come from the Primordial power (Adi Shakti).. and that is well explained in the VakSuktam of the Rig Veda.
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 18, 2018 at 5:42
  • Today I have accidentally stumbled upon your answer. Very informative. Now, I have understood as to why you had stated under my question that there is a reference of Vaishnavism in Tantras. Up voted. @Rickross Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 2:06

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