Vishnu is one of the principal Hindu deities, worshiped as the protector and preserver of the world and restorer of dharma (moral order). He is the husband of Lakshmi, and is part of the trinity between he, Shiva, and Brahma. He is known chiefly through his avatars (incarnations), particularly Rama, Krishna and Buddha. In theory, Vishnu manifests a portion of himself anytime he is needed to fight evil, and his appearances are innumerable; but in practice, ten incarnations are most commonly recognized. Vishnu appears to be a prime example of how older gods and cults have been absorbed into Hinduism. Thought to be linked with an earlier sun god, Vishnu’s ten incarnations may also be examples of older gods that have been amalgamated. Below is a list of Vishnu’s ten reincarnations.
Matsya the Fish - Saved humanity and the sacred Veda text from the flood.
Kurma the Turtle - Helped create the world by supporting it on his back.
Varaha the Boar - Raised the earth out of water with his tusks.
Narashima, half-man, half lion - Destroyed a tyrant demon king.
Vamana the Dwarf - Subdued king Bali, a powerful demon.
Parashurama the Brahmin - Destroyed the warrior caste.
Rama - Rescued his with Sita and killed the demon Ravana.
Krishna - told the Epic poem Bhagavad-Gita to the warrior Arjuna.
Buddha - The enlightened one.
Kalki the Horse - Yet to come to the earth.