As many as forty specific avatars of Vishnu are mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana, though the book adds that the number is innumerable. Twenty-two avatars of Vishnu are listed numerically in the first book:
1. Four Kumaras (Catursana) the four Sons of god Brahma and exemplified the path of devotion.
2. Varaha the Lord lifted the earth out of the ocean and battled Hiranyaksa.
3. Narada the divine-sage who travels the worlds as a devotee of Vishnu
4. Nara-Narayana – the twin-sages
5. Kapila – a sage and one of the founders of the Samkhya school of philosophy
6. Dattatreya – the combined avatar of the Hindu trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. He was born to the sage Atri became a great seer himself.
7. Yajna – the lord of fire-sacrifice, who took was the Indra – the lord of heaven
8. Rishabha – the father of King Bharata and Bahubali
9. Prithu – the sovereign-king who milked the earth as a cow to get the world's grain and vegetation and also invented agriculture
10. Matsya he appeared to Manu and saved him from the flood.
11. Kurma he supported the process of amrit-manthan.
12. Dhanvantari – the father of Ayurveda medicine and a physician to the Devas.
13. Mohini – the enchantress
14. Narasimha he vanquished Hiranyakasipu to save Prahlada, his devotee.
15. Vamana he was born to Aditi and brought out the humility in Mahabali.
16. Parashurama he cleaned the earth of all Kshatriyas three times over.
17. Vyasa the compiler of the scriptures – Vedas and writer of the scriptures Puranas and the epic Mahabharata
18. Rama he vanquished the Rakshasa Ravana.
19. Balarama – brother of Lord Krishna
20. Krishna he participated in the Mahabharata and is the protagonist of many stories and parables.
21. Buddha (avatara) preaching false views in order to delude demons or others, and criticizing animal sacrifice.
22. Kalki he will incarnate at the end of the current Kaliyuga with Parashurama as his guru.
Besides these, another four avatars are described later on in the text as follows:
1. Prshnigarbha – the son of Prshni
2. Hayagriva – the horse-faced avatar
3. Hamsa – the swan, he expounded on the Vedas to Sage Narada.
4. Golden avatra – the avatara in Kali-yuga for propagating hari-namasankirtan.