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Prithu Avatar 10th Vishnu Avatar

Prithu Avatar

King Vena, from the lineage of the pious Dhruva, was an evil king, who neglected Vedic rituals. Thus the rishis (sages) killed him, leaving the kingdom without an heir and in famine due to the anarchy of Vena. So, the sages churned Vena's body, out of which first appeared a dark dwarf hunter, a symbol of Vena's evil. Since the sins of Vena had gone away as the dwarf, the body was now pure. On further churning, Prithu emerged from right arm of the corpse. To end the famine by slaying the earth and getting her fruits, Prithu chased the earth (Prithvi) who fled as a cow. Finally, she cornered by Prithu, the earth states that killing her would mean the end of his subjects too. So Prithu lowered his weapons and reasoned with the earth and promised her to be her guardian. Finally, Prithu milked her using Manu as a calf, and received all vegetation and grain as her milk, in his hands for welfare of humanity. Before Prithu's reign, there was "no cultivation, no pasture, no agriculture, no highway for merchants", all civilization emerged in Prithu's rule. By granting life to the earth and being her protector, Prithu became the Earth's father and she accepted the patronymic name "Prithvi"

Vayu Purana records that when born, Prithu stood with a bow, arrows and an armour, ready to destroy the earth, which was devoid of Vedic rituals. Terrified, the earth fled in form of a cow and finally submitted to Prithu's demands, earning him the title chakravartin (sovereign). Prithu is the first king, recorded to earn the title.[3] The creator-god Brahma is described to have recognized Prithu as an avatar of Vishnu, as one of Prithu's birthmark was Vishnu's chakram (discus) on his hand and thus Prithu was "numbered amongst the human gods"

Atharvaveda credits him of the inventation of ploughing and thus, agriculture. He is also described as one who flattened the Earth's rocky surface, thus encouraging agriculture, cattle-breeding, commerence and development of new cities on earth

Prithu performed ninety-nine ashwamedha yagnas (horse-sacrifices), but Indra, kings of the demi-gods, disturbed Prithu's hundredth one. The yagya was abandoned, Vishnu gave Prithu his blessings and Prithu forgave Indra for the latter's theft of the ritual-horse. It also states that the Sanatkumaras, the four sage-incarnations of Vishnu, preached Prithu about devotion to Vishnu.

Prithu has a wife called Archi and five sons. Archi, emerged from Vena's body, along with Prithu and is considered as an avatar of goddess Lakshmi, the wife of Vishnu. Prithu's son Vijitswa, became the sovereign and controlled the middle of the kingdom. Prithu's other sons, Haryarksha, Dhumrakesha, Vrika and Dravina ruled the east, south, west and north of kingdom respectively

Prithu left with his wife Archi, to perform penance in the forest in his last days. He died in the forest, and Archi went Sati on his funeral pyre

Prithu is believed to have performed the Shraddha of his fathera at Prithudaka a town on banks of Sarasvati river. The town is referred as the boundary between Northern and central India and referred to by Patanjali as the modern Pihowa.

Lord Vishnu in his tenth incarnation as 'Prithu' came into existence after the body of King 'Vena'. Lord Vishnu took this incarnation as per the wishes of the sages. The earth had concealed all the vegetation's within her and as a result the whole land had become barren. To protect the humanity, Lord Vishnu took incarnation as Prithu by milking the cow (earth). This is considered that as a very supreme incarnation, because the earth has remained full of vegetation's after that.