The engraving shows the first four incarnations (avatars) of the Hindu god Vishnu. According to the Bhagavad Gita, each of Vishnu’s ten avatars saved the world. The first avatar was a fish that lifted the vedas from the ocean. The second was a turtle that carried the world on its back to ensure its stability. The third was a boar that rescued the Earth, which had been thrown into the ocean by demons. The fourth was a half-lion, half-human creature that tore the demon Hiranyakashapu to pieces.