Matsya (devanāgarī: मत्स्य) (Fish in Sanskrit) was the first Avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism. Lord Matsya is generally represented as a four-armed figure with the upper torso of a man and the lower of a fish.
Lord Matsya revealed himself to Vaivasvata, the seventh Manu and progenitor of the human race, and told him a deluge would occur within seven days that would destroy all life. He instructed Manu to build a giant boat and, accompanied by the seven Rishis, take all medicinal herbs, all the varieties of seeds, along with the serpent Vasuki and other animals.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky wrote that "the Matsya Avatar of Vishnu and Vaivasvata’s Deluge are correctly connected with an event that happened on our Earth during this Round". Also: "Vaivasvata Manu is the one human being—some versions add to him the seven Rishis—who in the Matsya Avatar allegory is saved from the Deluge in a boat, like Noah in the Ark."
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 369.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 69, fn.