Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Lord Buddha are the 7th, 8th and 9th incarnations of the preserver Lord Vishnu and prior to them was the 6th Lord Parshuram, before that Lord Vishnu came in the form of a Lion, a tortoise, a fish and so on – quite in line with the Darwinian Theory of Evolution.
The fish incarnation, incidentally, is the story where king Manu and his subjects including animals were led to safety in the great flood – interesting that a similar story comes under Noah of the Abrahmic religion.
It might be opportune here to elaborate on the Manu dynasty here in that Brahma created the first 4 men to head the 4 original civilisations, the Caucasian, the Chinese, the Red-Mongloid and the Negro. These men were called Manu’s and each has a name in the scriptures but for the Caucasians the Adi-Manu was given the knowledge in Sanskrit to civilise his race and those are detailed in the Manu-Samriti – again it is interesting that Adi-Manu resembles the word Adam but the two stories are completely different. Adam’s story is not at all like Adi-Manu’s who was the first civilised man among many created to establish God’s law, even prior to the first Satyug era.
Adi-Manu established created 4 different groups of activity,
– Trade and agriculture,
And the names of these professions he categorised as Brahmins, Kashtryias, Vaishyas and Shudras. At the time these were interchangeable professions – in the period of Rama we had the sage (Rishi) Valmiki who was born into a Shudra family but became a sage whom everyone sought fit to worship – but later with time these professions became very rigid in hereditary. The British coming form a class based society named these as castes. The Sanskrit word is Varuna which means activity or profession. All systems in society degenerate if not reformed continuously and some of the bad aspects of this system are now under reform through Government policy.
One positive aspect of the even degenerated system has been that the practice of slavery remained alien to the Indian culture.
One very important aspect of Hinduism is that man and woman are given equal status. Brahman created the male as the potential energy and the female as the kinetic energy in universe. The male cannot move without the female, they are equally important to achieve anything complete in life. Hence if there is a God there is an equivalent Goddess. The consort of Lord Vishnu is Goddess Laxmi, of Brahma it is Saraswati and Lord Shiva’s wife is the Goddess Paravti. The Goddess is called as Mother and represents Shakti (strength and security). Goddess Durga Ma is revered the most among Hindus.