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The term avatar (avatara) literally means “divine descent” and refers to the manifestation of a Hindu deity on earth. It is roughly similar to the Christian concept of incarnation, except an avatar does not become human but simply appears in human form (as well as numerous other forms) during a particular historical event. Avatars generally appear in order to give guidance to humanity or to accomplish great deeds. Vaishnavites, who devote their worship to the god Vishnu as the Supreme Being, utilize the doctrine of avatars in their theology more than any other branch of Hinduism, making scriptures about the avatars of Vishnu central to their beliefs. Vishnu is believed to have had ten avataras so far and it is widely acknowledged that he will incarnate again when humanity needs guidance. However, many other gods, such as Shiva and Ganesha, have had avatars, and the belief in avatars spans across the Hindu tradition. The Bhagavad Gita, in which Krishna is an avatar of Vishnu, first solidified the idea of avatars in Hinduism, with further elaboration coming in the scriptures known as Puranas.