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I read somewhere that Vishnu killed Bhrigu's wife at the instigation of Indra and Bhrigu cursed Vishnu that he would have to be born several times on earth. These apparently are Vishnu’s avataras (incarnations). Which scripture says this?

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    "O Visnu! I curse you now to take frequent births, suffer very frequently in different wombs, in the earth and thus suffer the pains of remaining in the wombs." ― Devi Puraana also contains this story of Bhrigu 's curse – user14995 Apr 16 '18 at 8:17
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This story occurs in Padma Purana Brahma Khanda chapter 57. It was one of the consequences of battle between Gods and demons.

Indra and the gods wanted to kill the demons in the battle. Demons had realised that they will not be able to defeat the demons in the battle and went to Bhrigu's hermitage. Their guru Shukracharya was not present to save them because of a penance to Lord Shiva. So, they surrendered to Shukracharya's mother instead. She gave shelter to them. She paralysed Indra so that he cannot move any further. Looking at this, gods fled from there. But Vishnu did not. He said

  1. When the hosts of gods had fled, Visnu said to Indra, "Enter me, God bless you, O best of gods, I shall protect you."

  2. Indra, thus addressed, entered Visnu. Seeing him protected by Visnu the enraged goddess said (these) words:

  3. "O Indra, I shall now with force burn you along with Visnu, when all the beings are looking on; see the might of my penance!"

  4. The two gods, Indra and Visnu, were overpowered by her. Visnu said to Indra: "How should I get free with you?"

  5. Indra said: "Kill her as long as she does not burn us, O lord; I am especially subdued by her; kill her; do not delay."

  6. Then observing her, Visnu determined to do the evil deed of killing a woman (?) and the lord quickly approached the distressed Indra.

243-244. Then Visnu, struck with fear and moving with speed, and knowing the cruel act desired to be done by the goddess got angry, took his disc and through dread cut off her head. Seeing that dreadful murder of the woman Lord Bhrgu got angry.

245-246. Then Vishnu was cursed by Bhrigu for his wife's murder.Bhrgu said: Since you, knowing Dharma, have killed a lady who should not have been killed, therefore you will be born among human beings seven times.

After cursing Vishnu, Bhrigu brought back the life of her wife using his power got from penance.

  1. Then due to that curse he is repeatedly born among human beings for the well-being of the world, when Dharma disappears from it. Then, after having spoken to Visnu, himself bringing the head, and bringing her body and holding (the head and the body) in his hand he said:

  2. "O goddess, I am reviving you, who were killed by Visnu. If I know the entire sacred law or have practised it, and if I am telling the truth, (forsooth) come back to life."

  3. Then having sprinkled her with cold water, he said: "Come back to life, come back to life."

  4. When he spoke (thus) the goddess came back to life.

This curse by Bhrigu is one of the causes Lord Vishnu took incarnations. There will be many reasons why he incarnates on earth as human. If we find other Puranas, there will be other curses by others and boons conferred to devotees by the Lord. For example, there are many curses in various associated with Rama avatar. Many deeds and curses will be answered by a single incarnation. Many deeds are associated with Krishna avatar too. Curse is only a reason for the Lord to incarnate. We can say it is his Leela.

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