दत्त: कुमार ऋषभो भगवान् पिता न: ।
विष्णु: शिवाय जगतां कलयावतीर्ण-
स्तेनाहृता मधुभिदा श्रुतयोहयास्ये ॥ १७ ॥
dattaḥ kumāra ṛṣabho bhagavān pitā naḥ
viṣṇuḥ śivāya jagatāṁ kalayāvatīrṇas
tenāhṛtā madhu-bhidā śrutayo hayāsye
haṁsa-svarūpī — assuming His eternal form of the swan incarnation; avadat — He spoke; acyutaḥ — the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead; ātma-yogam — self-realization; dattaḥ — Dattātreya; kumāraḥ — the Kumāra brothers, headed by Sanaka; ṛṣabhaḥ — Ṛṣabhadeva; bhagavān — the Lord; pitā — father; naḥ — our; viṣṇuḥ — Lord Viṣṇu; śivāya — for the welfare; jagatām — of all the world; kalayā — by His secondary personal expansions; avatīrṇaḥ — descending to this world; tena — by Him; āhṛtāḥ — were brought back (from the depths of Pātālaloka); madhu-bhidā — by the killer of the demon Madhu; śrutayaḥ — the original texts of the Vedas; haya-āsye — in the horse-headed incarnation.
The infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, has descended into this world by His various partial incarnations such as Lord Haṁsa [the swan], Dattātreya, the four Kumāras and our own father, the mighty Ṛṣabhadeva. By such incarnations, the Lord teaches the science of self-realization for the benefit of the whole universe. In His appearance as Hayagrīva He killed the demon Madhu and thus brought the Vedas back from the hellish planet Pātālaloka.
It is stated in the Skanda Purāṇa that the Lord of the universe, Hari Himself, once appeared in the form of a young brahmacārī named Kumāra and spoke transcendental knowledge to Sanat-kumāra.