Manifestation of Vishnu as Fish ||2||

1Vasishtha said: O Brahma! Describe unto me the manifestations of Vishnu, such as the Fish etc., which are the cause of creation. Also narrate to me the Agni Purina as heard from Vishnu in the days of yore.
2Agni said: O Vasishtha! I shall describe to you the manifestation of Hari as a Fish. Listen. The manifestations are for the destruction of the wicked and for the protection of the pious.
3At the end of the past kalpa (of 432 million years), there was a periodical dissolution. Brahma was its instrumental cause. O sage! the earth and the people were submerged under the rising water.
4-5Vaivasvata Manu was practising penance for gaining objects of enjoyment and for release from mundane existence. Once when he was offering waters of libation in the (river) Kritamala, a small fish came in the waters in his folded palms. As he desired to throw it into the waters, it said “O excellent man t do not throw me away.
6Now I have fear from the crocodiles (and others). Having heard this (Vaivasvata Manu) put it into a vessel. When it had grown there in size, it requested him, “Get me a bigger vessel”.
7Having heard these words, the king put the fish in a. bigger vessel. Growing there again in size it requested the king, “O Manu! Get me a bigger place”.
8When it was put into a tank, it soon grew in size as big as it (the tank) and said, “Get me to a bigger place”. Then. (Manu) put it into the ocean.
9In a moment, it grew in size extending to a lakh of yojanas (one yojana 8 or 9 miles). Seeing that wonderful fish, Manu got surprised and said:
10“Who are you, but Vishnu? O Narayana (Vishnu) I salute you. Why do you stupefy me with your illusory power, O Janardana (Vishnu)”.
11Having heard the words of Manu, the Fish replied Manu who had been engaged in the protection (of the world), “I have manifested for the protection of this universe and for the destruction of the wicked.”
12-13On the seventh day, the ocean would flood the earth. Having put the seeds (of creation) etc. in the boat that would, approach you, you would spend the night (of 1000 mortal years) of Brahma on it being encircled by the seven sages. (You) bind this boat to my horn with the big serpent.”.
14Saying thus, the fish disappeared. Manu, who was waiting for the appointed hour, boarded the boat as the ocean commenced to swell.
15The fish now appeared with a single golden horn of one million yojanas in length. He tied the boat to its horn.
16-17After having praised it with adoration, he heard from the fish the Purana known as the Matsya which is capable of destroying the sins. Keshava (Vishnu) killed the demon Hayagriva , the destroyer of the Vedas of Brahman and thus protected the vedic mantras. And when the Vardhakalpa (one of the periods, of time) set in, Hari (Vishnu) assumed the form of a tortoise.