The Fish Incarnation
Very long ago,Long ago during the Pralaya which took place at the end of the sixth Manvantara, when Brahmaa was about to sleep, the great Asura Hayagreeva stole the Vedas from his mouth. In order to restore them, Thou decided to incarnate as a fish.According to the Matsya Purana, the king of pre-ancient Dravida and a devotee of Lord Vishnu, Satyavrata who later becomes known as Manu who was doing penance subsisting on water alone, making the ritual offering of water of God. when a little fish swam into his hands and pleaded with him to save its life As satyavrata scooped water from the flowing river, he espied a tiny fish in the water he had scooped. When he tried to put it back into the river, the Fish entered the sage not to do so as it would be eaten up by the big fishes in the river. Satyavrata took pity and took it into his Kamandalam and went back to his hermitage. Overnight, the Fish grew too big to be in the Kamandalam.
The next morning when sathyavrata looked it up, the Fish requested him to remove him to a larger vessel. Satyavarta did so but soon the fish became too big for the larger vessel also. Addressing the Sage, the Fish said that he should protect him and find a suitable living space for it. Satyavarta then emptied the vessel into a large pond near the hermitage along with the Fish He then moved it to a tank, a river and then finally the ocean but to no avail. one larger than the other, the Fish kept growing and bigger and bigger. It went on asking for larger and larger living space.
Sathyavarata got vexed and decided to put it into the ocean. While he reached the ocean, the Fish addressed him thus: "oh King do not put me into the ocean, Satyavarta became suspicious now. He was despairing to know how a fish could in a day grow so big as the largest lake and still find it not big enough for it to live there. In a flash, he realised that it was Lord Vishnu in the form of Fish.
Satyavrata immediately prostrated before the Fish and prayed to be told why God had appeared in the form of Fish. The Lord told his devotee, "Just a week from now, the ocean will rise and inundate the entire Universe for the dissolution of creation. At that time you will see a spacious boat approaching you. Do collect all the seeds, plants and animals required for the next spell of creation and get into the boat and await me. Take VASUKI, the kind of Serpents, also with you. The SAPTHA RISHIS (seven Sages) will also be with you".
As foretold by the DIVINE FISH, PRALAYA (deluge) set in and on the turbulent waters, a boat appeared. Sage Satyavrata, the Saptha Rishis and all the living creatures found haven in the boat. The Fish in the colour of gold and now with a horn came by and ordered that the boat be tied to its horn using VASUKI as a rope. While the boat floated safely on the rising and enveloping waters, VISHNU taught the Rishis the highest form of Truth. This collection of truth has come to us in the form of MATSYA PURANA.
पुरा हयग्रीवमहासुरेण षष्ठान्तरान्तोद्यदकाण्डकल्पे ।
Dasakam32 Shlokam: 01
Dasakam32 Shlokam: 01
निद्रोन्मुखब्रह्ममुखात् हृतेषु वेदेष्वधित्स: किल मत्स्यरूपम् ॥१॥
puraa hayagriiva mahaasureNa ShaShThaantaraantOdyadakaaNDakalpe |
nidrOnmukha brahma mukhaaddhR^iteShu vedeShvadhitsaH kila matsyaruupam || 1
Very long ago,Long ago during the Pralaya which took place at the end of the sixth Manvantara, when Brahmaa was about to sleep, the great Asura Hayagreeva stole the Vedas from his mouth. In order to restore them, Thou decided to incarnate as a fish.
Dasakam32 Shlokam: 02सत्यव्रतस्य द्रमिलाधिभर्तुर्नदीजले तर्पयतस्तदानीम् ।
कराञ्जलौ सञ्ज्वलिताकृतिस्त्वमदृश्यथा: कश्चन बालमीन: ॥२॥
satyavratasya dramilaadhibharturnadiijale tarpayatastadaaniim |
karaa~njalau sanjvalitaakR^itistvamadR^ishyathaaH kashchana baalamiinaH || 2
Sage Satyavrata, the king of Dravida, was doing Tarpana in the waters of the river Kritamaalaa. In his joined palms, then, Thou appeared as a lustrous indescribable form of a shining tiny fish.
Dasakam32 Shlokam: 03
क्षिप्तं जले त्वां चकितं विलोक्य निन्येऽम्बुपात्रेण मुनि: स्वगेहम् ।
स्वल्पैरहोभि: कलशीं च कूपं वापीं सरश्चानशिषे विभो त्वम् ॥३॥
kshiptaM jale tvaaM chakitaM vilOkya ninye(a)mbu paatreNa muniH svageham |
svalpairahObhiH kalashiiM cha kuupaM vaapiiM sarashchaanashiShe vibhO
tvam || 3
Oh Thou Omnipresent One ! Seeing Thee trembling as if in fear, when put back in thewater, the royal sage took Thee home in his water bowl; in a few days time Thou grew in size to fill the water bowl and then to the size of a well, still again to the size of a tank and finally Thou fish big enough to fill a lake
Dasakam32 Shlokam: 04
योगप्रभावाद्भवदाज्ञयैव नीतस्ततस्त्वं मुनिना पयोधिम् ।
पृष्टोऽमुना कल्पदिदृक्षुमेनं सप्ताहमास्वेति वदन्नयासी: ॥४॥
yOgaprabhaavaadbhavadaaj~nayaiva niitastatastvaM muninaa payOdhim |
pR^iShTO(a)munaa kalpadidR^ikshumenaM saptaahamaasveti vadannayaasiiH || 4
Then at Thy command sage Satyavrata took Thee to the ocean by means of his yogic powers. On his expressing a desire to see the Pralaya, Thou asked him to wait for seven days. Then Thou disappeared.Dasakam32 Shlokam: 05
प्राप्ते त्वदुक्तेऽहनि वारिधारापरिप्लुते भूमितले मुनीन्द्र: ।
सप्तर्षिभि: सार्धमपारवारिण्युद्घूर्णमान: शरणं ययौ त्वाम् ॥५॥
praapte tvadukte(a)hani vaaridhaaraa pariplute bhuumitale muniindraH |
saptarShibhiH saardhamapaaravaari NyudghuurNamaanaH sharaNaM yayautvaam || 5
As promised by Thee, on the seventh day, the rains came and the entire earth was submerged in the waters of the deluge. The royal sage, along with the Saptharshis,being tossed and turned in the boundless waters, took refuge in TheeDasakam32 Shlokam: 06
धरां त्वदादेशकरीमवाप्तां नौरूपिणीमारुरुहुस्तदा ते
तत्कम्पकम्प्रेषु च तेषु भूयस्त्वमम्बुधेराविरभूर्महीयान् ॥६॥
dharaantvadaadeshakariimavaaptaaM nauruupiNiimaaruruhustadaa te |
tatkampakampreShu cha teShu bhuuya stvamambudheraavirabhuurmahiiyaan || 6
Ever obedient to Thee the earth in the form of a boat approached at Thy command which they then boarded. And when they were terrified by the boat's trembling, Thou again appeared in the ocean in the form of a huge fish.
Dasakam32 Shlokam: 07
झषाकृतिं योजनलक्षदीर्घां दधानमुच्चैस्तरतेजसं त्वाम् ।
निरीक्ष्य तुष्टा मुनयस्त्वदुक्त्या त्वत्तुङ्गशृङ्गे तरणिं बबन्धु: ॥७॥
jhaShaakR^itiM yOjanalakshadiirghaaM dadhaanamuchchaistara tejasaM tvaam |
niriikshya tuShTaa munayastvaduktyaa tvattungashR^inge taraNiM
babandhuH || 7The sages were delighted to see Thee of exceeding glory in the form of a fish about a lakh of yojanas in length. At Thy command, they tied the boat to Thy high prominent horns.
Dasakam32 Shlokam: 08
आकृष्टनौको मुनिमण्डलाय प्रदर्शयन् विश्वजगद्विभागान् ।
संस्तूयमानो नृवरेण तेन ज्ञानं परं चोपदिशन्नचारी: ॥८॥
aakR^iShTa naukO munimaNDalaaya pradarshayan vishvajagadvibhaagaan |
samstuuyamaanO nR^ivareNa tena j~naanaM paraM chOpadishannachaariiH || 8
As Thou pulled the boat, Thou showed the sages the various regions of the world. The great king Satyavrata sang hymns of Thy glory, and Thou moved about bestowing on him the knowledge of the Aatman.Dasakam:32 Shlokam: 09
कल्पावधौ सप्तमुनीन् पुरोवत् प्रस्थाप्य सत्यव्रतभूमिपं तम् ।
वैवस्वताख्यं मनुमादधान: क्रोधाद् हयग्रीवमभिद्रुतोऽभू: ॥९॥
kalpaavadhau saptamuniin purOvat prasthaapya satyavratabhuumipaM tam |
vaivasvataakhyaM manumaadadhaanaH krOdhaaddhayagriivamabhidrutO(a)bhuuH || 9
At the end of the Pralaya, Thou installed the seven sages in their places as before. The king Satyavrata was installed as the Vaivasvata Manu. Then Thou attacked the demon Hayagreeva in great rage.Dasakam:32 Shlokam:10
स्वतुङ्गशृङ्गक्षतवक्षसं तं निपात्य दैत्यं निगमान् गृहीत्वा ।
विरिञ्चये प्रीतहृदे ददान: प्रभञ्जनागारपते प्रपाया: ॥१०॥
svatungashR^ingakshata vakshasaM taM nipaatya daityaM nigamaan
viri~nchaye priitahR^ide dadaanaH prabha~njanaagaarapate prapaayaaH ||
Thou with Thy great horns tore apart the chest of the Asura Hayagreeva and killed him. Then recovering the Vedas, handed them over to the delighted Brahmaa. O Lord of Guruvaayur! Protect me.