Once, when lord Vishnu awakened from his yoga nidra, he found that the Vedas had submerged in the ocean as the result of Pralaya (deluge). He incarnated as matsya (fish) to retrieve the Vedas from  the  ocean-bed.  As  soon  as  lord  Matsya  entered  into  the  ocean,  He  attained  such  an enormous size that the deities became frightened.

All the deities then eulogized lord Matsya and requested him to regain his original form- “O Narayan- the imperceivable lord.  You manifest  yourself  in  each  and  every particle  of this Universe. You are omnipresent and exist even during the time of deluge when nothing else exist. O Lord! We are scared of your present form.”

On seeing the deities frightened, lord Matsya retrieved the Vedas from the sea-bed and transformed his appearance from the huge fish to that of lord Vishnu. The deities were filled with joy to see the divine appearance of lord Vishnu.


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