Advaitam and Science

OM, Purnamata purnamitam purnat purnamutachyate, purnasya purnamataye purnamevavasishyate – Bri.Up V.i.1



Avatars (incarnations) are a unique concept in sanatana dharma.  The supreme consciousness with the help of its inherent power, maya, passing through different stages of manifestation, takes a form and live in the world for a certain period of time and for a definite purpose.  In a way we all are avatars of the supreme consciousness.  The difference between us and the divine incarnations are the difference in the level of Self consciousness.  We human beings are not aware of our Self.  We are more conscious of our body and mind and our worldly activities which are absolutely needed for the transactional world.  However, the divine incarnations are absolutely conscious of their Self.

When we read the scriptures we come across various reasons for the supreme consciousness taking avatars.  In this article I will give a few of them.

  1. Sadhaka anugraha – sadhaka means devote and anugraha means the blessings; to bless the devotees the Lord takes avatars.  Some people practice spirituality with devotion and determination.  They have a form of the Lord in their mind and the Lord appears in that form before them just like how he appeared before the young child Dhruva.  They get direction and protection from the Lord directly.
  2. Siddha dharshanam – the Lord shows his form before the sages and siddhas, because he has to appear before a sincere devotee.  Just to bless them he appears before the siddhas.
  3. Samashti prarthana pooranam – many people worship the Lord by meditation, poojas and yagnas to bring back dharma to sustain the world. The Lord takes avatar and appears in a form and lives among them to sustain the creation; just like how he appeared as Lord Krishna.
  4. Marga dharshanam – the Lord takes avatar to guide the devotees and show them the right path; just like how he gave us the Baghavad Gita as a life guide.
  5. Bhakta rakshanam – when a true devotee is in danger or when he calls the Lord in dangerous situation, then the Lord takes a unique form and appear before him and help him to come out of the dangerous situation.
  6. Dushta sikshanam – he takes avatar to correct the wrong doers and establish peace and harmony in the creation.  He corrects them by destroying their form (killing them) and helping them to acquire a new form.
  7. Ajana papa haranam – he removes the ignorance of his devotees by teaching them the right path.  He appears among them as a teacher or a guru.
  8. Jnana puniya pradhanam – he gives knowledge to his devotees and in that way he elevates the mind of his devotees and helps them to escape from rebirths.  Here also he appears as a teacher or a guru.
  9. Dharma rakshanam – he takes form to maintain dharma (righteousness) in the world and thus help to sustain this creation.

These are some of the reasons given in the scriptures as the purpose and need for the Supreme consciousness to take avatars (incarnations).


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