avatara

avatara (ăv"utâru) [Skt.,=descent], incarnations of Hindu gods, especially Vishnu. The doctrine of avatara first occurs in the Bhagavad-Gita, where Krishna declares: “For the preservation of the righteous, the destruction of the wicked, and the establishment of dharma [virtue], ...
Found on http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/society/A0805438.html
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