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prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
RAMANA MAHARSHI’S VIEW OF AVATARS
Ramana Maharshi, one of the great sages of modern India, gained his Self-realization at the age of seventeen after only twenty minutes of inquiry. After this experience, he never departed from the Absolute and demonstrated a life of the highest character and knowledge. The lives of the founders of the world’s main religions contained more struggle and human error than his did, yet Maharshi did not claim to be an avatar and did not place much importance on the term.

When Maharshi was asked who the avatar was, he said that for him everyone is an avatar. He said that from the standpoint of jnana yoga, or the yoga of knowledge, there are no avatars, but only the One Self or One Reality in all the beings of the universe.

According to this line of thought, we should not let the avatar idea obscure the greater truth that all is God and that one who realizes the Self becomes one with everything, including all the avatars, whoever they may be. Self-realization rests upon our own sadhana, which is a matter of daily practice, not on seeking for a magical avatar whom we may never find.

RAMANA MAHARSHI’S VIEW OF AVATARS
Ramana Maharshi, one of the great sages of modern India, gained his Self-realization at the age of seventeen after only twenty minutes of inquiry. After this experience, he never departed from the Absolute and demonstrated a life of the highest character and knowledge. The lives of the founders of the world’s main religions contained more struggle and human error than his did, yet Maharshi did not claim to be an avatar and did not place much importance on the term.

When Maharshi was asked who the avatar was, he said that for him everyone is an avatar. He said that from the standpoint of jnana yoga, or the yoga of knowledge, there are no avatars, but only the One Self or One Reality in all the beings of the universe.

According to this line of thought, we should not let the avatar idea obscure the greater truth that all is God and that one who realizes the Self becomes one with everything, including all the avatars, whoever they may be. Self-realization rests upon our own sadhana, which is a matter of daily practice, not on seeking for a magical avatar whom we may never find.

 
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prasad1

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
Our own Mr. Sangom had written:
There is no reference to the concept of "Avatar" in the earlier parts, at least, of the Rigveda. There, the devas are apparently accessible to the worshippers, like people living in different parts of the same kingdom.

The avatar concept, IMO, was fabricated at a time when the worship of Krishna, most probably a folk hero with a Yadav (shepherd caste) background and much adored by the women of that group, held in high esteem by the general populace also, was to be positioned within the Vedic pantheon and elevated to divine status. I believe that the priesthood of that period, (read Brahmins, if you so think) — roughly 900 BCE or around that period — composed the Harivamsam, Bhagavatam, and also made suitable insertions into Mahabharata and also amplified Gita, and so on, and achieved this objective.

But the problem of how to fit in this new godhead as one among the then-existing pantheon was a stumbling block; Krishna was already well-known to the people in his folk-hero form and so it was difficult to radically alter that history and give him a divine birth. That was where our indigenous genius hit upon the avatar (descent of a godhead from heaven into this world) theory. Vishnu was chosen for the purpose probably because Saivism built around Siva (Rudra) was already known in some parts of the country at least and Brahma and Brahman had not probably separated well enough. Vishnu was given the portfolio of protection of the Jagat and avatar became an essential ingredient of the job. In order not to make Krishna a sudden avatar, 8 earlier ones were also created. Parashurama and Balarama happened to be coeval with Rama and Krishna respectively. Since the objective was to promote the two characters, Rama and Krishna, only, the other two had to be marginalized, and hence, the comparatively late, introduction of the idea of full and partial avatars.

 
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prasad1

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
Mr. Sangom says:
Since all these are fabricated stories, there was no need for any logical consistency. I am not sure whether Rama and Parasurama were born at, or near about the same time, but, in Valmiki's Ramayana, Parashurama has an encounter with Rama when the latter returns to Ayodhya after marriage to Sita. In that encounter, Parashurama is made to be defeated by Rama. Thus, one avatar gets defeated by the next avatar!

If therefore, Parashurama is reckoned as a half-avatar (nobody will take objection to this except the Bhumihar Brahmins, the Chitapavan brahmins, the Anavil Brahmins (Morarji Desai was one), Nambudiris and a few other castes, who hold Parashurama as their moolapurusha.), the same will apply to Balarama and so the total number of avatar strength will add up to 9, though the number of avatars will be ten only, something like the total marks scored by a student and the number of questions he attempted!

The half-avatars are not worshipped except in some remote corners.

 
In everybody's life when a very difficult situation arises and when one feels that every door is closed all of a sudden help comes at the correct time in the form of a person or a situation or money which helps one to tide over the crisis. Each such situation to me is God coming as an avatar to help us.
 
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