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Re: Historical origins of Dashavatara ?

In <2refk7$kjv@ucunix.san.uc.edu> sureshk@watson.ibm.com (Suresh Kumar) writes:


>I was wondering about the historical origins of the Dashavatara concept in
>mythology- when (and by whom) did the ten avataras of Vishnu become "fixed"
>and popular? I dont seem to find any trace of exactly ten avataras in the
>Ramayana, and certainly Krishna himself seems to allude that there will be
>many avataras (Yada yada hi dharmasya ...), not just ten.

>Also, it appears that only Sri Narasimha, Rama and Krishna are popularly
>worshipped. Why is it that the rest (Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Vamana, Parashurama
>etc) are not widely worshipped?

>Another interesting fact seems to be that Buddha is generally taken to be the
>ninth avatara (although some traditions seem to hold Balarama as the ninth,
>"proxy" avatara). Is there any basis in literature (Upanishads etc) for this?
>Both Jayadava in his song, Dashavatara, and Madhva(?) in Davadasha Stotram
>refer to Buddha as one of the avataras.


In the Srimad Bhagawatam, it goes through all the avataras.  Supposedly,
according to Praphupada, Buddha was written about in the Bhagawatam even
before he was manifested as an avataar, and even his village and family
name were predicted.  I don't know how true this is, though.  But you will
find descriptions of all ten avataras in the Bhagawatam.

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