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Friday, October 9, 2015

Avatar: conceptualisation

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य, ग्लानिर्भवति भारत।
  अभयुत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम्।।
परित्राणाय साधुनां  विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम।
धर्म संस्थापनाथार्य सम्भवामि युगे युगे।।
"Whenever there is decay of righteousness, O Bharat (Arjun), and there is exaltation of unrighteousness, then I myself come forth; for the protection of the good, for the destruction of evil-doers, for the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, I am born from age to age" - Shri Krishn.
[Bhagvad Geeta; Chapter 4; Verse 7-8]

Shri Ram's incarnation installed dharm i.e. righteousness
Even a deprived soul is delivered to fruition with hope and faith listening to Shri Krishn's quote. Even after 5000+ years, it's relevance has never been subsided, rather it has enhanced. The above stated verse is his pledge and commitment, where he promises to redeem the beings off their sorrows and in every yug/eon he incarnates to live up to his words.

In Tretayug, when Raavarn's dread was on its extreme, Bhagwan Vishnu incarnated as Shri Ram and re-installed dharm, disseminating truth and serenity. Talking about Ramayan and other ancient legends, there have been confusions with regards to the concept of avatar. Whenever we converse about Ramavtar, people get in perplexity about Bhagwan Vishnu's incarnating and the devas fathering sons. Unlike Shri Ram; Bali, Sugreeve and others were not avatars but sons of the devtas. So, what's the difference? We will try to analyze it today, but first we must know the meaning of Avatar.

Theoretically, Avatar means a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth. The very word is a association of two words: ava i.e. down and tar i.e. to cross. Coming along, the two form avatar, i.e. descent.
It can be so inferred that only a God or Bhagwan can incarnate, as he is eternal. There are actually two gods; Vishnu and Shiv, these two are the supreme deities, whereas third one i.e., Brahmma is a post , so the person in position of Brahmm Dev is also considered a God being the creator, but even he is mortal. According to our scriptures Brahmm Dev has a lifespan of 100 years and currently it’s his 52nd year going on, his days and nights are usually a lot and lot larger than ours so there are plenty of eons to come before he departs and the next deity takes over the position. 
Another thing, talking about avatar; being the preserver, Vishnu ji incarnates in actual, as it comes under his domain. Shiv ji is the destroyer completing the trinity, but he doesn’t take any avatar as it is preserver’s incumbency.
But, there had been several instances like Kartikeya, Veerbhadra or KaalBhairav and others, they all shouldn’t be mistaken as avatar, rather, they emerged from his body or radiance, they were not avatars but his fraction, they can never be placed at par with Bhagwan Shiv.
In case of Bhagwan Visnhu's incarnations the case is different, they didn't emerged from his radiance, instead he reveals his radiance in avatar's form and when the purpose is accomplished, they merged in him and that is it. Bhagwati/Goddess Lakshmi is Bhagwan Vishnu's consort, in actual they are one and hence she also incarnates, here, in Ramavtar, she arrived in Sita's form and made it possible for Shri Ram to accomplish the motive.
But again, there is an constant insistence towards the subject of Bhagwan Shiv's incarnations. The most solid specimen being exhibited: Sharabh avatar of Bhagwan Shiv.

An illustrated view of Sharabh Avatar
A legend goes like this- when Bhagwan Vishnu incarnated in Narsingh's form to eliminate Hiranyakashyapu, he lost his composure and the whole world trembled with his wrath. Bhagwan Shiv then incarnated as Sharabh and suppressed Narsingh until he was stabilized. Various legends have further additions to it.
Okay, for once let's try to believe the legend. But then, there's one more legend that concludes the above mentioned story:

While the Sharabh felt confident that he was successful in suppressing the Narsingh, the latter took a more ferocious form, Gandaberunda and combat the Sharabh destroying him at the end.

Gandaberunda subduing the Sharabh
So, what to believe and what not to believe, if Sharabh avatar is true, then so is the Gandaberunda avatar. If you remember what I mentioned in my last blog; both Bhagwan Vishnu and Shiv are actually one. You worship Vishnu, Shiv's graciousness will fall upon you and vice-versa. The humans parted themselves into two groups and formed their versions.

So what actually happened - Narsingh was calmed by Prahlaad(Hiranyakashapu's son, devotee of Bhagwan Vishnu) and that's it, happy ending.
Why the devtas cannot incarnate? Very simple, they are the part of the creation like us humans and Bhagwan, well he is the alpha and the omega, every being exists on his will. Hence the devtas fathered divine children with the heavenly courtesans, monkey females.

I also come across to people who ask, if really God is there and such is his pledge then where is he. The world is suffering and the standards of morality are falling, hypocrisy has replaced precision and ethics, what is taking him so long, what exactly is he waiting for? It is so easy to raise your finger and question, rather trying from our very own end.
Bhagwan Ram's incarnation took place when everybody else failed. No human or dev or any other being had potentiality to face Raavarn's force. King Anaranya, forefather of Shri Ram fought bravely but at the end was killed. Bali and Kaartivirya Arjun who defeated Raavarn, befriended with him. It was then the Ramavtar occurred to guide the beings towards the right path, the path of righteousness.
What we can learn is that we have to fight our own battle, whatever state the world is at today, is been delivered by our ignorance and the tendency of following blindly, ultimately, we are responsible for our fate, whether good or bad. Reasoning and rationalization are becoming obsolete and that's the actual threat.
But things are not lost yet, from time to time, even today, there have been 'humans' who have lead humanity towards the right path. He will arrive for sure; when mankind will give up to adharm, he will descend and re-install righteousness. Until then, never stop trying!

We will end for today by commemorating the DASHAVATAR:
"He is always there for you, the only condition is - believe, never back down"


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