(yet another favourite example of mine to illustrate the advantages of cultural cross-pollination)
Two, a significant avataar is omitted in both of the popular variants, and this needs to be addressed.
[As an atheist, I also enjoy my mythology unadulterated by actual history. Treating a real-life historical character like the Buddha as an avataar of Vishnu is, to my mind, a bit like saying Noam Chomsky is a member of the Justice League. While I admire both Chomsky and the superheroes of the Justice League, I prefer them in separate compartments.]
1. To distract the asuras (demons) when amrit (the nectar of immortality) is being served to the devas (gods)
2. To turn the power of the demon Bhasmaasura against himself, and thereby save Shiva
I would say the world is currently in transition from the Era of Krishna to the Era of Mohini.