It is believed that when brahma goes to sleep, he lodges the eternal vedas safely inside his body, so that he can rese the world of creation after waking up. Once, while falling asleep, brahma yawned and the vedas began to flow out of his mouth.  A wicked demon named Hayagriva had been watching all this.  Hayagriva was a powerful demon and had a secret wish to become immortal. As soon as he saw the vedas flowing out of brahma’s lips, he had an idea. “If I gulp down the vedas, I will be invincible!” thought Hayagriva. So, he opened his mouth wide and gulped down the vedas. Then, he hid in the depths of the ocean.

Vishnu's matsya avatar 2

Vishnu, who had been witnessing Hayagriva and his evil deed, became worried. “Vedas are the basis of all creation, ” he thought. “How will brahma resume his work without the vedas? I must do something to retrieve the vedas.” So, Vishnu assumed the form of a fish and dived into the ocean. This manifestation of vishnu was called ‘Matsya Avatar ‘. The fish attacked the demon and killed him. Vishnu then retrieved the vedas from the demon’s belly and restored them to brahma. Brahma woke up and resumed creation at the appropriate time. 

Vishnu's matsya avatar 3

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