Lord Vishnu is considered to be the Supreme God in Hinduism, who governs the universe and masters everything within it.
According to the tradition, Vishnu becomes incarnate when the World is threatened by chaos. His most famous incarnations on earth (called "Avatars") are Rama and Krishna. However, the Bhagavad-Gita (one of the most fundamental texts of Hinduism) talks about 10 avatars, inluding Buddha:
- Matsya, the fish
- Kurma, the turtle
- Varâha, the wild boar
- Narasimha, the lion-man
- Vamana, the dwarf
- Krishna (meaning "dark" or "black")
- Siddhartha Gautama, Buddha (representing the wisdom)
- Kalkî who is an apocalyptic figure. Obviously this last avatar is still to come...