Just like Pisces concludes the zodiac for a new beginning, the fish (matsya) incarnation enabled the smooth transition of life from the last aeon (kalpa; one day of Brahma) to the current one. When the world was nearing an end and the continents began to submerge in water, the Lord, Who is present in all beings, incarnated as a huge fish to protect the devotee king Satyavrat and the seven sages along with cellular life and the seeds of agricultural plants. According to the Srimad Bhagavat Purana, as the ‘fish’ steered their ship, which was tied to it, to safety, the Lord gave the passengers onboard a discourse on the eternal yogas through which God can be reached. Additionally, the incarnation annihilated an asura, a symbol of ignorance, who had stolen Vedic knowledge from Brahma when he was about to call it a day and returned the knowledge to him as soon as he awakened.

Indian mythology and astrological symbology join hands to link Vishnu’s fish incarnation (avatar) to pure spirituality. Strong support comes from Parashara who correlates the energies of ketu (moon’s south node) with that of the fish incarnation of the Lord. Because ketu is the planet of spirituality – the ‘moksha-karaka’ in Vedic astrology, this energy matching intrinsically associates matsya with liberation and the loss of our sense of self. Moreover Pisces (fishes), being the last sign of the moksha-trine, stands for the dissolution (water) of the ego in both Vedic and Western astrology.

On the whole, this incarnation restores Brahma’s knowledge at the start of his new day, protects and transports vegetation and cellular life forms for the new world, and transfers knowledge to Satyavrata, a newly initiated disciple who is later reborn as Manu, the first human being in the new cycle of life on earth. The fish further secures spirituality in the modern world by leaving the knowledge of yoga with the seven sages (sapta rishi) of the Big Dipper who hold this light for everyone to this moment.

Categories: Spirituality


Pinky Mazumder · October 10, 2012 at 4:26 am

Did Matsya incarnate to complete the previous Kali yuga (drowning of the continents) and create the beginning of Satya yuga?

M. Shri · October 10, 2012 at 11:05 pm

This is certainly one way to look at it, though alternate viewpoints (including unnecessarily complex ones) also exist. A take-home message is that Vishnu has some cyclic timeline for his divine plays, which may be beyond human understanding.

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