I read answers about Krishna and Rama as source of all avatars on this site. Are there any verses that support Vishnu as source of all avatars? Since there are different Vishnus and such complexity in pancharatra, I want to know about root Vishnu from whom all other Vishnus and avatars emanate. Which Vishnu is talked about when we say Vishnu's 10 avatars. Please quote Sanskrit verse and translation.
The Lord Visnu took the incarnations of Matsya (fish), Kurma (tortoise), Varaha (boar) Nfhari (Man-lion), Vamana (Dwarf) the powerful ParaSurama, Rama son of Dalaratha Krsna, Buddha and Kalki for the destruction of demons and ogres. In the same way the manifest and unmani- fest form of the primordial Gadadhara. GP 1.86.10-11
Yes. There is.
In Ananda-Ramayana (Saara-Kanda Sarga 3), we get:
अष्टावंशेन विधृता अवताराश्च विष्णुना। रामकृष्णावतारौ च पूर्णरूपेण तौ धृतौ॥
meaning: Avarataaras are born out of one- eighth parts'Kalaas' of Vishnu, Rama and Krishna beingnPurna-Avataaras.(quoted in Pranava-Preama-Pijusha Bhashya of Srimad-Bhagavad-Gita, Sitaramdas Omkarnath, Mahamilan Math, vol.2, page 48)
Sri Shankaracharya writes in His Vishnushatpadi (Ref:Stavakusumanjali, Swami Gambhirananda(Edited) Udbodhan, page 246:)
O lord Vishnu, You protect this world by assuming different forms of Avataaras as Matsa, Kurma etc: "Matsyadibhi ravatarair avataa avata yada vasudhaam.
Regarding 'which Vishnu is being referred to, we have to know the meaning of the word 'Vishnu'.
"vebeshti vyaapnoti vishwam yah sa vishnuh" meaning He who is all-pervading >is Vishnu.Alternatively, "veshati sinchati aapyaayante vishwam iti va" meaning Who entertains or enters into ALL beings is Vishnu. >Thirdly,"vishnaati vijunakti bhaktaan mayaapasarena samsaaraadid iti ba" >meaning Who removes the maya and uplifts devotees from the worldliness is >Vishnu. Fourthly, "yasmaad vishwam idam sarvam tasya shaktyaa samudbhavah/ >tasmaadevochchyate vishnur vishadhaatoh praveshanaat" meaning He Whose Power >has created the entire universe, or who is in everything is Vishnu".So Vishnu is the name of the Supreme Godhead.(Ibid, vol 1, page 295)
Are there any verses which say Vishnu is source of all avatars?
Yes. There are several scriptures that state Vishnu to be the source of all avataras. I am giving two examples, for instance.
1. Padma Purāṇa.
Chapter 229, Uttara-Khaṇḍa, Padma-Purāṇa
इत्यंतर्य्याम्यवस्थायामंतर्य्यामित्वमात्मनः । मत्स्यः कूर्म्मो वराहश्च नरसिंहोऽथ वामनः ॥ ४० ॥ रामो रामश्च कृष्णश्च बुद्धः कल्की च ते दश । एते तु विभवावस्था ब्रह्मणः परमात्मनः ॥ ४१ ॥ नृसिंहरामकृष्णेषु षाड्गुण्यं परिकीर्तितम् । परावस्था तु देवस्य दीपादुत्पन्न दीपवत् ॥ ४२ ॥ सा ह्यवस्था हरेरस्य शृणुष्व गिरिजे शुभे । वैकुंठं परमं लोकं विष्णुलोकमनुत्तमम् ॥ ४३ ॥ श्वेतदीपं स्वरूपं तु क्षीरसागरमुत्तमम् । एवं चतुर्द्धा व्यूहं तु सम्यगुक्तं महर्षिभिः ॥ ४४ ॥
- 40-44. Thus the state of the inner-controllership of self consists in his being the innermost soul. Matsya, Kūrma, Varāha, Narasiṃha, Vāmana, Rāma, Paraśurāma, Kṛṣṇa, Buddha, and Kalki are the ten Vibhavas (incarnations) of Brahman, the highest soul. The group of six qualities is said to exist in Nṛsiṃha, Rāma, and Kṛṣṇa. The highest state of the god is like one lamp being produced (i.e. lighted) from another lamp. O auspicious Girijā, that is the state of this Viṣṇu. Listen. The highest heaven Vaikuṇṭha, the excellent Viṣṇuloka, his own form Śvetadvīpa, the excellent Milky Ocean are said to be the four-fold Vyūha (manifestation of god) by the great sages.
2. Bṛhat Parāśara Horāśāstra
In reply to Maitreya's question, Rishi Parāśara says the from Vishnu proceeds all the avataras.
- Great Incarnations of the Lord.
रामकृष्णादयो ये ह्यवतारा रमापतेः । तेऽपि जीवांशसंयुक्ताः किंवा ब्रूहि मुनिश्वर ॥ १॥
Matireya asked: "O sage, are the incarnations of Vishnu viz. Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, etc. endowed with Jeevamsa?
रामः कृष्णश्च भो विप्र नृसिंहः सूकरस्तथा । एते पूर्णावताराश्च ह्यन्ये जीवांशकान्विताः ॥ २॥
Parāśara said - "O Brahmina, the four incarnations, viz. Rāma, Kṛṣṇa, Nṛsiṃha, and Vārāha are wholly with the Parmatmamsa. The other incarnations (other than these, out of the ten), have Jeevamsa with them.
English Translation by Dr. R. Santhanam
Which Vishnu is talked about when we say Vishnu's 10 avatars?
As regards the question, from which vyuha does the avataras originate?
The answer is - Aniruddha. He is the one who reclines on the Shesha in the Śvetadvīpa, and from whom the avataras is said to originate since he is the one who's responsible for the Maintenance & Protection of the Universe, as clear from the below verse.
Verse 6.229.37,38, Padma-Purāṇa
अनिरुद्धश्च भगवाञ्छक्तितेजः समन्वितः । मनूनां पार्थिवानां च कालस्य च जनस्य च ॥ ३७ ॥ स्थितिं करोति भगवानंतर्य्यामित्वमास्थितः ।
Lord Aniruddha, endowed with power and luster, and having got the position of the inner controller of Manus, kings, time, and people, he looks after the maintenance.
English Translation by N.A Deshpande
This is from Mahabharata, Adi parva, 1.57, which states that Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu -
anugrahArthaM lokAnAM viShNurlokanamaskRRitaH | vasudevAttu devakyAM prAdurbhUto mahAyashAH || 83|| anAdinidhano devaH sa kartA jagataH prabhuH | avyaktamakSharaM brahma pradhAnaM nirguNAtmakam || 84|| AtmAnamavyayaM chaiva prakRRitiM prabhavaM param | puruShaM vishvakarmANaM sattvayogaM dhruvAkSharam || 85|| anantamachalaM devaM ha.nsaM nArAyaNaM prabhum | dhAtAramajaraM nityaM tamAhuH paramavyayam || 86|| puruShaH sa vibhuH kartA sarvabhUtapitAmahaH | dharmasa.nvardhanArthAya prajaj~ne.andhakavRRiShNiShu || 87||
Translation by van Buitenen - Visnu, whose fame is great, who is worshiped by all the worlds, the Unmanifest, Aksara, Brahman, and Cause, to favor all the worlds became manifest in Devaki by Vasudeva–God without beginning or end, the Lord Maker of the universe, who is without attributes as well as the imperishable Soul, and Nature, the ultimate Source, the Man, the Maker of all things, the Yoker of Being, the stable Intransient, the Unending, Unmoving God, the Swan, the Lord Nārāyana, whom they call the unaging, sempiternal Place, supreme and everlasting. He is the ubiquitous Man, Maker, and Grandfather of all creatures; and so in order to further the growth of the Law, he was born amidst the Andhaka-Vršnis.