Do any one of the following scriptures contain the ten incarnations (dashavathara only) of Vishnu?

  1. Valmiki Ramayana

  2. Vyasa Mahabharata

  3. Srimad Baghavatham

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    Srimad Bhagavatam contains 24 incarnations of Krishna (Vishnu) May 27, 2019 at 15:34
  • I think the question lacks clarity. The questioner put Ramayana and Mahabharata together and Baghavatham separately. Does the questioner wants to say "Does Valmiki Ramayana or Vyasa Mahabharata or Srimad Baghavatham contain the names of ten incarnations?"@hanugm May 27, 2019 at 15:55
  • 1
    Ok, you can leave a comment under the answer saying what exactly you want. I already left a comment there saying this is not what you expected. May 29, 2019 at 0:00
  • 1
    What do you want here? (1) That these books say: “these are dashavatara”? (2) Or you want to know if they’re mentioned by name eg. Ramayana mentions matsya, varaha, etc.
    – Adiyarkku
    Jun 26, 2021 at 12:17
  • 1
    @hanugm okay understood. That’s not there in these books then. They have more than ten. :D
    – Adiyarkku
    Jun 26, 2021 at 12:19

2 Answers 2


Yes. Bhagavatam gives clear direction of 24 Avatars in Canto 1 Chapter 3.
A spiritual seeker should always remember the difference between BRAHMAN and BRAHMA, viz while Brahma is one of the Trinities, BRAHMAN referred to in Vedas and Upanishads refer to the Sachidananda swaroop of the Formless & Supreme Tatva - " SATYAM GNAANA, ANANTAM BRAHMA, who is The only Truth, pure Consciousness, and Eternal. Who has no form & not affected by Tri-gunas and beyond Space and Time.


I had already answered (https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/34975/3869) expressing my opinion that incarnation concept is Puranic but could not find place in Vedic Literature/Ramayana.

The episodes in Bala Kanda, Yuddha Kanda and Uttara Kanda, where Sri Rama was mentioned as the incarnation of Vishnu are interpolated stories.

However, there was a mention of Brahma, but not Vishnu or Shiva, taking the form, not an incarnation, of Varaha in Ramayana, caused the Earth to rise.

सर्वम् सलिलम् एव आसीत् पृथिवी यत्र निर्मिता | ततः समभवद् ब्रह्मा स्वयम्भूर् दैवतैः सह ||

(Ayodhya Kanda 110 Sarga 3rd Sloka)

"All was water only in the beginning from which element the earth was formed. After that, the self-existent Brahma with all the gods came into existence."

वराहः ततो भूत्वा प्रोज्जहार वसुंधराम् | असृजच् च जगत् सर्वम् सह पुत्रैः कृत आत्मभिः ||

(Ayodhya Kanda 110 Sarga 4th Sloka)

"Thereafter, that Brahma, assuming the form of boar, caused the earth to rise from water and with his sons of pure soul, created the entire world."


In Mahabharata, which followed Ramayana, did contain mentions about 3 incarnations of Vishnu.

However, as there is a debate whether the present available Mahabharata, which contains 1,00,000 slokas, was the original without any interpolations. It was mentioned in the Mahabharata itself that another shorter version containing 8,800 slokas with title "Jaya" was existing.


Any how, as mentioned above Mahabharata did contain mentions about 3 incarnations of Vishnu. For example in SECTION CII of Vana parva, Vishnu's 3 incarnations, Varaha, Nrishimha and Vamana were mentioned.

"..... And repairing unto the exalted and uncreate Narayana--that unvanquished god of Vaikuntha--the celestials sought his protection. And bowing unto the slayer of Madhu, the gods addressed him, saying, 'O lord, thou art the creator, the protector, and the slayer of ourselves as well as of the universe.

It is thou who has created this universe with its mobile and immobile creatures. O thou of eyes like lotus leaves, it was thou who in days of yore hadst for the benefit of all creatures raised from the sea the sunken earth, assuming also the form of a boar.

And, O best of male beings, assuming also the form of half-man and half-lion, thou hadst slain in days of yore that ancient Daitya of mighty prowess known by the name of Hiranyakasipu.

And that other great Asura also, Vali by name, was incapable of being slain by any one. Assuming the form of a dwarf, thou exiledest him from the three worlds. "



In respect of Bhagavatham, the incarnations of Vishnu were already mentioned at the following link.

Who are the 24 avataras of Lord Vishnu according to the Srimad Bhagavatam?

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    What is "&&&&&&" doing in your answers? I guess it's there in all your recent answers .. Does that expression have any special significance?
    – Rickross
    May 28, 2019 at 6:32
  • @Rickross: Nothing special :-). Actually it is for indicating separate para:-). Any other method available for this purpose? May 28, 2019 at 6:37
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    Oh ok :) .. Well I don't do anything special just space and and enter ... sometimes this code <br> is useful when the texts are within blocquotes
    – Rickross
    May 28, 2019 at 6:42
  • You can use <hr/> (horizontal rule) to separate content. May 28, 2019 at 20:09
  • I think this answer is more appropriate if OP was asking 'Are avatars mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana really the avatars of Vishnu?' but OP already assumed they are of Vishnu and wants an answer with that assumption. You might want to check this meta post. May 28, 2019 at 20:17

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