This day is celebrated as Matsya Jayanti. The Matsya Puran authored by Ved Vyas, details narrations of the various pastimes of this incarnation of the Lord.
Our presiding deity (Ishtdev) Lord Shree Swaminarayan performed various pastimes/divine actions (Leelas) on this Earth through His various Incarnations (Avatars). The divine pastimes of these incarnations can be found in various Holy Scriptures.
In the 3rd Vachanamrut of Gadhda Pratham Prakan the Lord says, ‘“Even a person who can constantly see the form of the Lord in his heart, should recall the pastimes performed by Him in His different incarnations in different places.’
This article highlights mentions of this Avatar in the following holy texts:
1. Shree Vasudeva Mahatmya from Skand Puran, Vishnu Khand
2. Shreemad Bhagwat - Canto 8 Chapter 24 - The Lord's Incarnation as a Fish
3. Shree Vishnu-sahasranam from Shanti Parva of Maharahabharat
4. Shreemad Satsangi Jeevan
5. Shree Vachanamrut
6. Shree Harileelamrut Kalash
7. Premanand Kavya
8. Nishkulanand Kavya
9. Shree Thakorji ni Seva riiti
In a dialogue with Bhrama, Lord foretells His various incarnations and pastimes.
When your day ends and night comes, I will bear the earth full of herbs, Manus and others throughout the night like a ship, in the form of a great fish.
Ved Vyas – Skand Puran, Vishnu Khand, Vasudeva Mahatmya, Chapter 18, Line 18
Suta Purani narrates the various incarnations of the Lord to the revered Sages.
When there was a complete deluge after the period of the Cākṣuṣa Manu and the whole world was submerged within water, the Lord assumed the form of a fish and protected Vaivasvata Manu, keeping him up on a boat. ||15||
Ved Vyas - Shreemad Bhagwata, Canto 1, Chapter 3, Line 15
Lord Swaminarayan enlightens Acharyas Ayodhyaprasadji and Raghuvirji festivals celebrated in the Chaitra Month with one of them being Matsya Avatar Janmotsav.
Lord Swaminarayan - Shreemad Satsangi Jeevan, Canto (Prakran) 4, Chapter (Adhyay) 60
In the divine nectar of discussions, Lord Swaminarayan Himself enlightens His devotees of the worship of Matsya Avatar.
“To the north of Meru, there are three continents: Ramyak-Khand – where Matsya is worshipped, and Sãvarni Manu is the main Devotee; …”
Lord Swaminarayan – Vachanamrut, Bhugol Khagol
On Wednesday Kartik Sud 12, 1881, Lord Swaminarayan established various forms of Himself in the Vadtal Temple. One of them was Matsya Avatar. He then with various Devotees offered prayers to these forms and also performed Aarati to all of them at the same time.
The Prayer to Matsya Dev:
You manifested as a fish so strong and annihilated wicked Shankhasur;
You saved the Vedas and gained fame;
Seeing such prowess of Yours, Devotees offer their worship unto You;
Please be seated here (In Vadtal), the abode of righteousness ||47||
Acharya Viharilalji Maharaj – Harileelamrut, Kalash 8, Vishram 28, Line 47
Revered Sadguru Nishkulanand Swami describes the pastimes of Matsya Avatar amongst various others in the Avatar Chintamani.
He who is known as Murari (Bearer of the Flute), incarnated as a fish (Matsy-avatar) || Thus protected the Vedas and annihilated the demon Shankhasur ||30||
Nishkulanand Swami - Nishkulanand Kavya, Avatar Chintamani, Line 30
Service to the Lord Shree Vithalnathji, son of Shree Vallabhacharya prescribes the services to the Lord on this auspicious day.
Vithalnathji - Shree Thakorji ni Seva Riti - Page 74
In the 3rd Vachanamrut of Gadhda Pratham Prakan the Lord says, ‘“Even a person who can constantly see the form of the Lord in his heart, should recall the pastimes performed by Him in His different incarnations in different places.