The Puranas recognize ten avatars. All avatars come from Vishnu as he
is the indwelling guiding cosmic lord and intelligence. He is the cosmic guru.
These avatars are the
Parashurama shows the man of power, Rama the Divine warrior and protector, Krishna the Divine
lover, Buddha the Divine sage, and Kalki the completer and saviour. In this
scheme we see the idea of the evolution of the soul from the animal realms to perfect spiritual
The idea of the messiah came to the western religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam from
the Zoroastrian religion of ancient Persia. Zoroastrianism has similar
incarnations of Vrithragna (Indra). Hence it is related to the avatar idea
of the Hindus.