The occasion of Matsya Jayanti is celebrated to offer prayers and worship Lord Vishnu’s first incarnation, Matsya Avatar. The incarnation took place during the Sat Yuga in the form of an enormous fish. There is only one temple of Lord Vishnu’s Matsya Avatar in the state of Andhra Pradesh – Nagalapuram Veda Narayana Swamy Temple.
As per the Hindu calendar, this propitious occasion is celebrated in the month of Chaitra during the third day of Shukla Paksha and the Greogiran day predicts the day to fall in either March or April. It is being celebrated on April 15 this year.
The devotees on this special day take a holy bath after waking up early in the morning and also observe a fast in the name of Lord Vishnu’s Matsya avatar. The fast is kept a day before Matsya Jayanti and is closed during the evening of Matsya Jayanti after offering prayers to the deity. The Jayanti also observer various charities and donation drive to Brahmins and the poor segment of the society.
The day’s history stems from Lord Vishnu taking the form of a gigantic fish and saving King Manu and the Vedas from the great floods. The deity as per Hindu scriptures directed a king, Manu to construct a ship, gather seeds of all plants, animals, the god of snakes Vasuki and the sacred seven sages and aboard them all on a ship when the great flood arrives.
The scriptures also mention the Matsya Avatar as the first incarnation of Lord Vishnu who saved the universe from Hayagriva, a demon. The devotees believe that the deity saves them from all evils and the worshipping of Lord Vishnu’s Matsya avatar gets rid of all their sins in the past and present and guides them towards the path of righteousness.
Lord Vishnu is considered as the lord of preservation and the diety takes a distinctive form and saves the entire species of the world whenever there is a threat to the earth.
The Hindu scriptures mention that there have been 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu and his first incarnation came in the form of the Matsya Avatar.