Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
Your Cart (0)
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Paintings > Folk Art > Madhubani > Matsya Avatara, the First Avatara of Vishnu
Displaying 1 of 301         Previous  |  NextSubscribe to our newsletter and discounts
Matsya Avatara, the First Avatara of Vishnu

Matsya Avatara, the First Avatara of Vishnu

Matsya Avatara, the First Avatara of Vishnu

Sold Out

Madhubani Painting on Hand Made Paper treated with Cow Dung
Artist Dhirendra Jha

10" x 14"
Item Code:
$35.00   Shipping Free
Notify me when this item is available
Notify me when this item is available
You will be notified when this item is available
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
Matsya Avatara, the First Avatara of Vishnu

Verify the characters on the left

You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 6940 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
The incarnations of Vishnu are divided into four ages: the Satya yuga or the age of Truth, the Treta yuga, the Dvapara yuga, and the fourth or present age, the Kali yuga. The Matsya or Fish-Incarnation of Vishnu belongs to the first age. The story behind this Avatara is as follows:

Once Manu, the father of present day humanity was making his daily ablutions in the river. Vishnu assuming the form of a very small fish glided into the hands of Manu. Manu, about to release the little fish, was addressed and asked by it not to expose it to the danger that might arise to it from the larger fish in the river, but to place it in his water-jar. The saint complied with its wish; but in one night the fish grew so large, that at its request he had to transfer it to a pond. Yet soon the pond also became insufficient to contain the fish, Manu had to chose a larger pond for its abode; and after successive other changes, he took it to the ocean. Manu now understood that the fish was no other than Narayana or Vishnu, and after he had paid adoration to the god, the later revealed to him the imminence of an impending deluge which would destroy the world. He was also told that a large vessel would appear to him, in which he was to embark together with the seven Rishis, taking with him all the plants and all the seeds of created things. Manu obeyed the behest of the god; and when the water covered the surface of the earth, the fish, which was of then of a prodigious size and a single horn, then swam to Manu, who fastened the vessel to the fish's horn, using the great serpent Remainder (Shesha-naga) as a rope; and he was conducted to safety when the waters had subsided. The Bhagvata Purana further relates that the fish fought in the ocean the demon Hayagriva who had stolen the Vedas from the sleeping Brahma. It was this theft of the Vedas that had brought about the deluge in the first place. By restoring the Vedas back to Manu, symbolic of all humanity, Vishnu thus restored order in life. He also gave Manu the principles of knowledge which would guide the human race during the four yugas.

The image here shows the four-armed Matsya Avatara holding the symbolic attributes of Vishnu in each of the four hands.

The upper-right arm holds the mace. The mace of Vishnu is known as Kaumodaki, which literally means "that which inebriates the mind." The mace thus represents the power of knowledge, because knowledge dazzles and intoxicates the mind. Also all physical and mental powers are derived from the power of knowledge. Nothing else can conquer time and itself become the power of time. As such the mace is identified with the goddess Kali, who is the power of time. According to the Krishna Upanishad "The mace is Kali, the power of time. It destroys all that opposes it."

The second right arm holds the lotus. The lotus represents detachment, for though this beautiful flower grows in muddy waters, neither water nor dirt are ever seen sticking to its petals. Like the lotus, Vishnu is the partaker of life's pleasures who never gets ensnared by the charms of the world.

The upper-left hand holds the discus. The discus of Vishnu is known as Sudarshana, which literally means beauteous-sight. It symbolizes a sharp instrument which severs obstacles in the attainment of enlightenment.

The other left hand holds the conch. The conch is the symbol of the origin of existence. It has the form of a multiple spiral evolving from one point into ever-increasing spheres. It is thus associated with the elemental waters. When blown, it produces a sound associated with the primeval sound from which creation developed.

Below the central figure can be seen the yantra of the Matsya Avatara.

This description by Nitin Kumar, Executive Editor, Exotic India.


Danielou, Alain. The Myths and Gods of India: Vermont, Inner Traditions International, 1991.

Garrett, John. A Classical Dictionary of India: Delhi, Low Price Publications, 1996.

Pattanaik, Devdutt. Vishnu - An Introduction: Mumbai, Vakils, Feffer and Simons Ltd., 1999.

Santiago, J.R. Sacred Symbols of Hinduism: Delhi, Book Faith India, 1999.

Post a Comment
Post Review
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Based on your browsing history

Loading... Please wait

Related Items

Varaha Avatar of Lord Vishnu
Water Color Painting On Paper
Artist: Kailash Raj
6.5 inches X 9.0 inches
Item Code: HK58
 With Frame (Add $90.00)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Matsya - The Fish Incarnation of Vishnu
Water Color on Paper
10.0 inches X 7.5 inches
Item Code: HJ56
 With Frame (Add $90.00)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Varaha Avatar of Lord Vishnu
Water Color Painting On Paper
Artist: Kailash Raj
6.8 inches X 4.8 inches
Item Code: HK57
Varaha Avatara (The Ten Incarnations of Lord Vishnu)
Watercolor on Patti
Artist Rabi Behera
11.0 inches X 17.0 inches
Item Code: PG53
Avatars of Vishnu
Orissa's Paata Painting
Artist Rabi Behera
Water Color on Patti
42.5" x 12.0"
Item Code: PE22
Matsya, the Fish Incarnation of Vishnu
Miniature Painting On Paper
7.0" X 9.5"
Item Code: HC06
Varaha - Incarnation of Vishnu
Water Color Painting On Paper
Artist: Kailash Raj
6.6 inch x 9 inch
Item Code: HN45
Varaha Avatara of Visnu In Art And Literature of Tamil Nadu
by S. Vasanthi
Hardcover (Edition: 2012)
Koshal Book Depot
Item Code: NAF840
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Dashavtar (Ten Divine Forms of Vishnu)
Hardcover (Edition: 2010)
Om Kids
Item Code: NAD522
Add to Cart
Buy Now
by Shakti M. Gupta
Hardcover (Edition: 1993)
Somaiya Publications Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: IDD854
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Vishnu (A Step Toward The Infinite)
Item Code: NAK974
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Devotees of Vishnu
by Anant Pai
Hardcover Comic Book (Edition: 2001)
Amar Chitra Katha
Item Code: ACK05
Add to Cart
Buy Now
VARAHA (In Indian Art, Culture and Literature)
by Shanti Lal Nagar
Hardcover (Edition: 1993)
Aryan Books International
Item Code: IDD880
Add to Cart
Buy Now


Thanks for sharpening our skills with wisdom and sense of humor.The torchbearers of the ancient deity religion are spread around the world and the books of wisdom from India bridges the gap between east and west.
Kaushiki, USA
Thank you for this wonderful New Year sale!
Michael, USA
Many Thanks for all Your superb quality Artworks at unbeatable prices. We have been recommending EI to friends & family for over 5 yrs & will continue to do so fervently. Cheers
Dara, Canada
Thank you for your wonderful selection of books and art work. I am a regular customer and always appreciate the excellent items you offer and your great service.
Lars, USA
Colis bien reçu, emballage excellent et statue conforme aux attentes. Du bon travail, je reviendrai sur votre site !
Alain, France
Madhu, USA
I love your site and although today is my first order, I have been seeing your site for the past several years. Thank you for providing such great art and books to people around the World who can't make it to India as often as we would like.
Heramba Ganapati arrived safely today and was shipped promptly. Another fantastic find from Exotic India with perfect customer service. Thank you. Jai Ganesha Deva
Marc, UK
I ordered Padmapani Statue. I have received my statue. The delivering process was very fast and the statue looks so beautiful. Thank you exoticindia, Mr. Vipin (customer care). I am very satisfied.
Hartono, Indonesia
Very easy to buy, great site! Thanks
Ilda, Brazil
All rights reserved. Copyright 2018 © Exotic India