The Sanskrit word Avatar or Avatara (Avatâra) literally means 'descent'; Also the word 'incarnation' is used. Incarnation means embodied, but because in fact the Lord and the Soul do not incarnate and are unborn of nature, one preferably speaks of appearance or descent in matter (see also B.G. 2.20). So, with an Avatâra is meant the descent of the Supreme Lord (see also B.G. 4.7-8).
Basically there are two kinds: vibhûti- and aves'a/sâkshad-avatâras. Of the aves'a/sâkshad avatâras there are six categories (see below). One speaks of vibhûti if a special boon is granted by the Lord. Every living being that is endowed with the six qualities of being very powerful, beautiful, intelligent, prosperous, famous and detached can be recognized as a specially blessed, gifted soul, a vibhûti-incarnation (for example some translators of Bibles, paramparâ âcâryas (disciplic succession), qualified and authorized sannyâsîs and initiated persons).
A second general category are those divided in prabhâva, eternal, four-handed incarnations of Vishnu, or the four leading expansions called Vâsudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha, and the vaibhâva incarnations, or the time-bound appearances of God like for example the two-handed forms of Mohinî, Vyâsa and Hamsa. Next to it are Kûrma, Matsya, Nara-Nârâyana, Varâha and Hayagrîva also vaibhâva incarnations. There are in total twenty-four vaibhava-vilâsa incarnations (cc Madhya 20.191 & C.C. 20 176); For example Sankarshana is called prabhâva, but His manifestation as Balarâma is called vaibhâva. The same is true for Lord Vâsudeva in relation to His appearance as Krishna.
Dividing the different kinds of avatâras, the following basic terms are used:
- prabhâva: eternal incarnations of the four-handed Vishnu
- vaibhâva: temporary incarnations or appearances of God
- prâbhavav-prakâs'a: four-handed
- vaibhava-prakâs'a: two-handed
- cabbis'a: twenty-four
- vilâsa: expansions
- prakas'a: His (Krishna's) own form
- svayam rûpa: Krishna's personal embodiment
- aves'a: indirect appearances
- vibhuti: special blessed, gifted ordinary souls
- tattva: element, reality of, truth, essential nature, essence, principle of
- Vishnu-tattva: the status or category of Godhead, the reality of Vishnu
- Vishnu-tattva-avatâra: all incarnations of Krishna in matter as plenary portion with His full potency (as opposed to jîva-tattva: incomplete expansions with a limited capacity)
- das'a: divided in ten (see and listen to bhajan: S'rî Das'âvatâra Stotra by S'rî Jayadeva Gosvâmî; Bhajan for the Ten Avatâras).
- purna: complete, full in own form
- ams'a: partial own form
- channa: covert, hidden, unknown
- tad ekatma rûpa: in another form (for example fourfold)
Concerning Krishna (Vishnu-tattva-avatâra) one speaks of three different characteristics of appearance of His transcendental form:<br> - svayam rûpa - His personal form in Vrindâvana. These are divided in vaibhâva and prabhâva. Thus were the forms of Krishna during the râsadans with the gopîs (cowgirls) and with His 16108 women prabhâva (S.B. 10.33). Besides this there is a svayam prakas'a form.<br> - tad ekatma rûpa - an appearance in a form which differs from Him, like with the quadruple appearance and all quadruple forms derived therefrom.<br> - aves'a rûpa - an appearance in one of His expansions or in a form He entered into (s'akti-aves'a).<br>
Vilâsa refers to so-called expansions. Prakas'a refers to His personal forms. Prabhâva relates to His personal (transcental) pastimes and adventures in several different forms and Vaibhâva is referring to His emotional manifestations. From these identifications there are various combinations. Examples:
- The appearance Akrûra saw in the water (S.B. 10.39) along the road accompanying Krishna and Balarâma to Mathurâ was prabhâva prakas'a.
- The fluting Krishna form is a vaibhava prakas'a. It is the two-handed form Krishna showed His parents at His birth (S.B. 10.3) in prison or before Arjuna on the battlefield (B.G. 11: 50).
- The way Krishna acts in Mathurâ as a ruler taking over from Kamsa as a vedic noble, is that form called vaibhava vilâsa.
- Prabhava vilâsa are the (cabbis'a) twenty-four appearances (forms) of Vishnu with each time the attributes in his various hands.
So we speak of an avatâra when there is a descent of the Supreme Lord or if there is a qualified disciple or devotee or a partial expansion or blessed, gifted soul (jîva) from the Lord. It is an again and again appearing for a special occasion of the (Super-)soul: from the general to the particular. One then speaks of appearance in a deductive process (or avaroha) that is opposite to the ascending process that works from the particular to the general (or aroha).
There are also Channa-avatâras, a name for covert incarnations of Krishna in especially Kali-yuga wherein He acts as His own devotee: Son, Prophet or Sannyâsî (see also S.B. 7.9: 38). This as opposed to His tri-yuga status in which Krishna is not covertly operating, but can be recognized as a distinct personality excercising control. Tri-yuga is a description of Krishna as an descending (Vishnu-)avatâra in three eras. In the fourth era Kali-yuga He is thus channa: covered. A typical example of a channa-incarnation (in Dvâpara-yuga) is the appearance of Dattâtreya (the son of Atri, a powerful yogi of Lord Vishnu, see S.B. 11.9: 32), who is considered to be a partial ams'a incarnation of Him, appearing as an avadhûta (a saint of full renunciation, someone unconcerned about the things of the world like clothing or even being clean); He is described in chapter nine of the eleventh Canto of the Bhâgavata Purâna, see also 9.23: 24, 4.1: 15 and 4.1: 33. In this Canto make the chapters seven to twenty-nine for an alternative (Uddhava) Gîtâ wherein Krishna explains to His nephew Uddhava how to live His love after His demise and when He is difficult to recognize in Kali-yuga as a channa appearance.
Aves'a refers to indirect appearances of the Lord and sâkshad avâtaras are direct manifestations. The indirect aves'a avâtaras are empowered living beings like Nârada Muni, Buddha, Paras'urâma and Jesus Christ, also called s'akti-aves'a avatâras. In vaishnavism there is no consonance about these divisions. Another Sampradâya (S'rî Vaishnavisme) speaks of two kinds: Purna and Ams'a. The purna avâtaras are incarnations with full power (potencies) like for example Nrisimha, Râma and Krishna. Ams'a relates to partial incarnations; Thus a direct manifestation of Vishnu showing not full powers: The incarnations for example of Matsya and Paras'urâma. Another sampradâya (Madvacharya) asserts that these distinctions between the different Vishnu appearances leads to eternal damnation. Even they appear in different forms, they all possess the same powers. In the Purânas there is talk of different enumerations. In the Garuda Purâna (1.86: 10-11) there is a division in ten (the socalled das'a-avatâras, see also bhajan) and in S'rîmad Bhâgavatam (1.3) there is an enumeration of twenty two. In general, one speaks of six different kinds of avatâras. They all come, direct or indirect, forth from (Mahâ-)Vishnu:
The personal and impersonal of God united in the word purusha, can not be separated since the term God covers the complete of all dualities as a uniting category. So God is as well a person or integrity of material life, a Lord (Îs'vara), as well as the impersonal composition of the material universe understood as His gigantic form called the virâth rûpa (see also S.B. 2.1: 25) in Sanskrit, who came to life through the - male - principle of time (kâla) and the causal force field of the relative ether (âkâs'a).
Of the Purusha-avatâras there are three in number, the three Vishnus:
The first expansions of Krishna as the Original Person are expansions of Sankarshana. They are three appearances of Vishnu, all involved in the creation, maintenance and dissolution of the material universe. These are the primary expansions of Lord Vishnu:
- Kâranodakas'âyî Vishnu (or Mahâ-Vishnu) lies within the Causal Ocean and breathes out innumerable universes; (the ruler of time space); (see also S.B. 3.11: Division of time expanding from the atom);
- Garbhodakas'âyî Vishnu enters each universe and creates diversity; for each universe laying down on a snake bed and with Lord Brahmâ generating the complete diversity (the personification of the space order galaxy) (see also S.B. 3.8: Manifestation of Brahmâ from Garbhodakas'âyî Vishnu);
- Kshîrodakas'âyî Vishnu (the Supersoul) enters the heart of each separate living being, in the individuality of each atom and even in between the atoms. He is the Paramâtmâ, the local aspect of the omnipresent Supersoul. Paramâtma (the Supersoul, the transcendental nature of Krishna) or God in the heart; (concerning the 'curved space' around the sun and planets).
To clarify the above mentioned three Vishnus a description of the word ether (ether) is given here.
Actually is the ether just the empty space we normally know as a limited gravitational forcefield, like that of the sun ('curved space'), the Milky Way (ethereal space or the Force) or the special, not limited and the, according Hubble's so-called red-shift of the light spectrum, endlessly expanding, intergalactic space (the so-called space-time, or the original space or ether - without the time-differentiation of the linear v.s. the cyclic time - of undifferentiated matter just after the Big Bang, in Sanskrit to the oldest traditions called pradhâna). Thus seen there are different types of relativistic ether and space. The three main forms of the ether differing by locality as mentioned here are vedically known as the three forms of Vishnu: Kâranodakas'âyî Vishnu, Garbhodakas'âyî Vishnu and Kshirodakas'âyî Vishnu. With this has our primary thesis that deriving from the vedic concept of order would suffice then been confirmed. Already before Empedocles (490-430 v.Chr.) said: 'by the aether, the aether divine', was the truth of this element as being essential to the concept of the soul already acknowledged in the culture of Sanskrit.
Vedically one remembers this from (Satvata tantra) as the three manifestations from Vishnu: Mahâ-vishnu or Kâranodakas'âyî-vishnu, Garbodakas'âyî-vishnu and Ksîrodakas'âyî-vishnu. Vishnu has to be considered as the representation of the element ether, just like the ether must be seen as a manifestation of His reality as the original integrity of God from whom all existence came into being and confirmed by the Bhâgavata Purâna (S.B. 2.5: 25 and S.B.11.5: 19).
Uncountable incarnations, sometimes called kalpa-avatâras because they appear in each kalpa, (a day to the calculation of time of Lord Brahmâ, consisting of a thousand cycles of four eras or mahâ-yugas or: 4.320.000.000 years) like Matsya, Kûrma, Râma and Nrisimha, descending to display the spiritual adventure (lîlâ) in the material world of the Original Personality. The Lîlâ-avatâras are:
- 1 Catuhsana (the Kumâras): Sanaka (leader) Sanâtana, Sanandana and Sanat-kumâra (see S.B. 3.12: 4-7 and S.B. 3.15),
- 2 Nârada (S.B. 1.5: 23-31 and S.B. 7.15: 69-77),
- 3 Varâha (S.B. 3: 13),
- 4 Matsya (S.B. 8.24),
- 5 Yajña (S.B. 1.3: 12),
- 6 Nara-Nârâyana (S.B. 2.7: 6),
- 7 Kardama and Kapila (S.B. 2.7: 3),
- 8 Dattâtreya (S.B. 2.7: 4),
- 9 Hayagrîva or Hayas'îrs'â, (S.B. 2.7: 11 & S.B. 5.18: 1)
- 10 Hamsa (S.B. 2.7: 19),
- 11 Dhruvapriya or Pris'nigarbha (S.B. 2.7: 8 and (S.B. 4.8-13),
- 12 Rishabha (S.B. 2.7: 10),
- 13 Prithu (S.B. 4.15-19) and (S.B. 2.7: 9),
- 14 Nrisimha (S.B. 7.8),
- 15 Kûrma (S.B. 8.24),
- 16 Dhanvantari (S.B. 8.8),
- 17 Mohinî (S.B. 8.9),
- 18 Vâmana (S.B. 8.18),
- 19 Bhârgava Paras'urâma (S.B. 9.15-16),
- 20 Râghavendra ('leader of the Raghavas' or Râma) (S.B. 9.10-12),
- 21 Vyâsa (Krishna Dvaipâyana Vyâsadeva, also called Bâdarâyana; Filognosy -name Godcollect (S.B. 1.5-6),
- 22 Pralambâri Balarâma ('the enemy of Pralamba') (S.B. 10.18),
- 23 Krishna (S.B. 10.1-3),
- 24 Buddha, a Vishnu-avatâra at the beginning of Kali-yuga, who appeared to teach nonviolence to mankind and to make an end to the killing of animals and so to clear the way to liberation from material bondage (see S.B. 1.3: 24 and S.B. 2.7: 37).
According to many in modern times, the following divine personalities belong to this category:
- 25 Jesus Christ (The Christ of India by Swami Nirmalananda Giri),
- 26 Caitanya: (life force) name of the incarnation of Krishna as Krishna-bhakta in 1486 in Navadvîpa, West Bengal. Also named Mahâprabhu Krishna-Caitanya and Gauranga. An avatâra who ± 500 years ago in India appeared to teach mankind the yuga-dharma (the method of realization valid for a certain era or yuga) of our time, knowing the chanting of the holy names of God, to fight the corrupting influence of kali-yuga. Although He was Krishna Himself, did he play the role of Krishna's devotee, to show us how to awaken our love for Him. Reformer of the vedic culture to fight the false authority of dry book wisdom and the caste-system. In de West positioned against impersonalism and voidism. The incarnation of the Lord who descended into this world to teach by means of the sankîrtana-movement how to love God.
And nowadays the following three modern gurus are also considered authentic Lîlâ-Avatâras:
- 28 Shirdi Sai Baba (1838-1918), (The Same Baba) Source: Sathyam Sivam Sundaram - the biography of Bhagavân S'rî Sathya Sai Baba by N. Kasturi.
- 29 Bhagavân Sathya Sai Baba (Sathyanarayana Raju) - (1926-±2022); Two statements from Him concerning Himself:
- 30 Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho - 1931-1990),
And finally expected coming time:
- 31 Prema Sai (2030-....)
- 32 Kalki (Caitanya-caritâmrita, Madhya lîlâ 20:244 Purport).
The three incarnations directing material nature.
- Brahmâ rules the passion,
- Vishnu the goodness and
- S'iva the ignorance (see also S.B. 10.89: 18 and S.B. 12.8: 45).
Brahmâ or Brahmâjî: the Creator. Demigod. The personal representative of the creative aspect of God; God as the Creator. Father of the Kumâras (Catuhsana or the Kumâras as Lîlâ-avatâras) and all other living beings. The first created living being and secondary creator of the material universe. The Unborn One or Self-born one. Er bestaan meerdere Brahmâs. There is more than one Brahmâ. He's the first living being originating from the navel of Vishnu. Sits on Mount Meru in the middle of the lotus that is the creation. Aspect of Vishnu and origin of Lord S'iva (see also S.B. 3.12). (Mount Meru is the central, transcendental mountain, the highest mountain on which Lord Brahmâ is sitting. It is situated in 'Ilâvrita-varsha'', the central region. Must holistically be taken as the center of as well the spiritual as the material world, thus as well galactic, as the center of the universe, as spiritual, as the highest that one possibly can attain in contemplation and transcendence.
From the original Brahmâ were born the sons as his representatives among man: Marîci, Atri, Angirâ, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhrigu, Vasishthha, Daksha and the tenth, Nârada (S.B. 3.12: 22). Daksha, Nârada and Bhrigu not counted, one speaks also sometimes about the seven sages, who for each manvantara have different names (see also S.B. 8.13).
See also: <br>
Vishnu: God the maintainer, ruler over the mode of goodness. See further the texts below 1 Purusha Avatâras on this page.
S'iva or S'ambhu, lord S'iva as the beneficent, the auspicious: God of destruction, rules over the mode of ignorance. Originates from Brahmâ with more qualities than his 'father' himself (see S.B. 3.12: 7). Known with drum and japa and through his cosmic dance at the end of creation. Lord S'iva is known with many names; here an enumeration:
- S'ankara: causing prosperity,
- Bhava: of existence,
- Mrida: the compassionate,
- Rudra: the gruesome,
- Giris'a: the lord of the mountain (Kailasa),
- S'arva: he who kills with arrows,
- Mahâdeva: the great god.
From Brahmâ he received also the names: Manyu, Manu, Mahinasa, Mahan, Ritadhvaja, Ugraretâ, Bhava, Kâla (eternal and cosmic time), Vâmadeva and Dhritavrata. In S'rimad Bhâgavatam there are many chapters devoted to or dealing with lord S'iva. Below an enumeration:
- Daksha Curses Lord S'iva (S.B. 4.2)
- Talks Between Lord S'iva and Satî (S.B. 4.3)
- Brahmâ Satisfies Lord S'iva (S.B. 4.6)
- The Song Sung by Lord S'iva (S.B. 4.24)
- The Descent of the River Ganges (S.B. 5.17)
- Lord S'iva Drinks the Poison Churned with the Mountain Mandara (S.B. 8.7)
- Lord S'iva prays to see Mohinî Mûrti, gets bewildered and restores (S.B. 8.12)
- Lord S'iva Saved from Vrikâsura (S.B. 10.88)
Brahmâ and S'iva - Prayer by Satyâ (Nagnajitî) to Lord Krishna: (S.B. 10.58: 37): He of Whose lotuslike feet the one from the lotus (Brahmâ) and the master of the mountain (S'iva) together with the various rulers of the world hold the dust on their heads, He Who for His pastime with the desire to protect the codes of religion that He Himself instigated each time (that He's around) assumes a body, with what can He, that Supreme Lord, by me be pleased?'
From the Manvantara-avatâras, also named vaibhava-avatâras; the incarnations to the reigns of the Manus, of which there are fourteen in a day of Brahmâ (the creative personality devoted to Krishna; creates a world of his own, Father of the Kumâras and all other living beings) (S.B. 8.1), there are fourteen in number:
- 1 Yajña (Vishnu), (S.B. 8.1: 18)
- 2 Vibhu,(S.B. 8.1: 22)
- 3 Satyasena, (S.B. 8.1: 26)
- 4 Hari, (S.B. 2.7: 16)
- 5 Vaikunthha, (S.B. 8.5: 5)
- 6 Ajita, (am'sa or partial-incarnation) (S.B. 8.5: 9)
- 7 Vâmana, (S.B. 8.13: 6)
- 8 Sârvabhauma, (S.B. 8.13: 17)
- 9 Rishabha, (S.B. 8.13: 20)
- 10 Vishvaksena, (S.B. 8.13: 23)
- 11 Rudra-sâvarni (Dharmasetu), (S.B. 8.13: 27)
- 12 Svadhâmâ, (8.13: 27)
- 13 Yoges'vara (S.B. 8.13: 32) en
- 14 Brîhadbhânu (S.B. 8.13: 35).
Avatâras who in four different yugas (at their junctures) appear to propound the appropriate method of self-realization for the era in question:
- Râma (end of Tretâ beginning of Dvâpara),
- Krishna (end of Dvâpara beginning of Kali),
- Kalki (end of Kali, beginning of Satya).
- In Satya He is a celibate in a four-armed form preceding Tretâ yuga with matted hair, dressed in tree bark and a black deer skin to teach meditation. With different names as to the nature of dedication/devotion He is called Hamsa, Suparna, Vaikunthha, Dharma, Yoges'vara, Amala, Îs'vara, Purusha, Avyakta and Paramâtmâ (see explanation in (S.B. 11.5: 21-23).
The four yuga-avatâras are: (1) sukla (white) in Satya-yuga (S.B. 11.5: 21), (2) rakta (red) in Tretâ-yuga (S.B. 11.5: 24), (3) s'yâma (dark-blue) in Dvâpara-yuga (S.B. 11.5: 27) and (4) generally krishna (black) but in special circumstances pîta (yellowl) like Caitanya Mahâprabhu in Kali-yuga (S.B. 11.5: 32 and S.B. 10.8: 13).
The s'aktyâves'a-avatâras are categorized into (1) forms of divine absorption (bhagavad-âves'a), such as Kapiladeva or Rishabhadeva and (2) divinely empowered forms (s'aktyâves'a), of whom seven are foremost:
- 1 S'esha Nâga in the Vaikunthha world, empowered for the personal service of the Supreme Lord (sva-sevana-s'akti),
- 2 Anantadeva, empowered to bear all the planets within the universe (bhû-dhârana-s'akti),
- 3 Lord Brahmâ, empowered with the energy to create the cosmic manifestation (srîshthi-s'akti),
- 4 Catuhsana, or de Kumâras, specifically empowered to preach transcendental knowledge (jñâna-s'akti),
- 5 Nârada Muni, empowered to preach devotional service (bhakti-s'akti),
- 6 Mahârâja Prîthu, specifically empowered to rule and maintain the living entitie (pâlana-s'akti),
- 7 Paras'urâma, specifically empowered to cut down rogues and demons (dushtha-damana-s'akti).
Jesus Christ, but also Swami Prabhupâda and the prophet Mohammed are called s'akti-âves'a avatâras by some people.
(B.G. 4.7-8): <br> 7. Whenever and wherever there is a decline of righteousness and a predominance of injustice, o descendant of Bharata do I manifest myself. 8 To give the ones aching for the truth a life, and to put an end to the miscreants, do I appear, generation after generation, in order to reestablish the way of the human principles of truth, purity, penance and non-violent compassion.
(S.B. 1.3: 26-29): <br> 26. "O twice-born, from the ocean of goodness are the Lord His incarnations as innumerable as the thousands of streams found from the lakes. 27 All the powerful sages, the godly, the Manus and their progeny, as well as the Prajâpatis (founding fathers) are aspects of the Lord. 28 All these are part of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Lord (Bhagavân) in person who gives protection in all ages and worlds against the enemies of the king of heaven (Indra). 29 Those who in the morning and the evening carefully recite these mysterious births of the Lord, will find relief from all miseries of life.
(S.B. 1.4: 14): <br> Sûta Gosvâmî said: "When the second era ran into the third and thus ended, the sage (Vyâsa) was born as the son of Parâs'ara from the womb of the daughter of Vasu. He was a partial expansion of the Lord.
(S.B. 5.18: Prayers to the different Avatâras)
(S.B. 9.24: 58-60): <br> 58. Whatever He enacts through the material energy He does out of compassion in order to stop the (materialistic) reality of the birth, the duration and annihilation of the living entities and lead them back home, back to Godhead ('to meet with the true self', see B.G. B.G. 15: 7 and B.G. 13: 20-24). 59 By the military power which at great expense by the, actually for leadership unfit, unenlightened rulers is set up in order to attack one another, He paves the way for diminishing their numbers (see also S.B. 1.11: 35, S.B. 3.3 and S.B. 7.9: 43). 60 Even to the minds of the controllers of enlightenment (Brahmâ and S'iva) are the activities that by the Supreme Lord, the killer of Madhu, were performed with Sankarshana (Balarâma), beyond measure.
(S.B. 10.8: 12-15): <br> 12. S'rî Garga said: 'This indeed is the son of Rohinî who with His transcendental qualities is there to the pleasure of all his folk and thus will he be called Râma; so too will He be known as Bala for His extraordinary strength and will He for the fact that He unites both the families (of Nanda and Vasudeva, see also S.B. 10.2: 8) be known as Sankarshana (the unifier). 13 There are three colors your son has assumed in accepting forms according the yuga: white, red as well as yellow and now He is Krishna (Blackish). 14 Some time before was this child born as the son of Vasudeva and therefore will about this child of yours the ones who know thus also speak as the all-beautiful Vâsudeva. 15 Of this son of yours there are many names and forms according the nature of His qualities and activities; These are known to me, but not to the common people.
(S.B. 10.49: 28): <br> 28. In what way would a person be able to escape from what is ordained by the Controller, who to diminish the burden of the earth has descended in the Yadu family? (see B.G. 9: 8)
(S.B. 10.50: 9): <br> 9. This is the purpose of My descend: that from this earth the burden is removed, that the saintly are fully protected and that those who wage in opposition are killed.
(S.B. 10.59: 29): <br> 29. You, desiring to create o Master stand out Unborn (as Brahmâ), for annihilation You adopt the ignorance (as S'iva) and for maintenance You are (manifested as) the goodness (as Vishnu-avatâras) of the Universe (and yet are You) not covered (by these modes), o Lord of Jagat (the Living Being that is the Universe). Being Kâla (time), Pradhâna (the original state of matter) and Purusha (the complete as the Original Person) are You yet of a separate existence.
(S.B. 10.63: 27): <br> 27. You with various intentions indeed are there to take up missions of divine engagement (lîlâs) to maintain the godly, the sages, and the codes of conduct in the world and put to death the ones who left the path and live by violence; Your incarnating like this is there to relieve the earth of its burden (see also B.G. 9: 29 and B.G. 4: 8).
(S.B. 10.63: 38): <br> 38. You are the Original Supreme Person without a second, the Transcendental Self-manifesting Cause without a prior cause, the Ruler; yet are You, for the sake of the full manifestation of Your qualities, just as well perceived in the various transformations (of the different lifeforms, gods and avatâras) of Your illusory potency.
(S.B. 10.69: 17): <br> 17. S'rî Nârada said: 'It is not that surprising at all for You to show friendship with the people, o Almighty Ruler of All the Worlds who subdues all the envious, for You, widely acclaimed, are well known out of Your own will to have descended for the highest good of the continuation and the protection of the Living Being.
(S.B. 10.70: 27): <br> 27. You, the predominating authority of this universe, have descended with Your expansion (Balarâma) to protect the saintly and to subdue the wicked; we do not understand o Lord how any other person in transgression with Your law (like Jarâsandha) or else by dint of his own creativity (like us) would achieve that.
(S.B. 10.87: 46): <br> 46. S'rî Nârada said: 'My obeisances to Him, the Supreme Lord Krishna spotless in His glories, who manifests His all-attractive expansions for the liberation of all living beings (1.3: 28).'
(S.B. 11.4: The Activities of Nara-Nârâyana and the other Avatâras described)
(S.B. 11.13: The Hamsa-avatâra Answers the Questions of the Sons of Brahmâ)
(S.B. 11.31: The Ascension of Lord Krishna)
(S.B. 12.10: S'iva, Lord and Helper Glorifies Mârkandeya Rishi)
Only in Dutch: (Krishna en de Zingende Filosoof 4.7-13): <br> Natuurlijk is er maar één echte avatâra en dat is degene die (met consorten) Vishnu-tattva is. In het Nederlands: de nederdaling van de Oorsponkelijke Godspersoon als de werkelijkheid van Heer Vishnu. Men kan Hem onderscheiden door controle op Zijn volheden: heeft Hij alle mystieke vermogens (de siddhi's), is Hij van verzaking, is Hij vol van Zijn roem, is Hij de schoonheid toegedaan en de schoonheid zelve, is Hij vermogend in beschikking over al het nodige, is Hij in staat om blindelings uit alle heilige geschriften te kunnen citeren? Zo ja, dan hebben we met het spel en vermaak van een avatâra van Krishna te maken. Er kan er altijd maar één tegelijk op de wereld zijn, tezamen met Zijn Godsbroeder nummer één die ook Bhagavân is. In moeilijke tijden kunnen we volgens dit vers op Hem rekenen.
Above quote translated for this page: Of course there is only one real avatâra and that's the one who (with his associates/consorts) is Vishnu-tattva: the descending of the Original Personality as the reality of Lord Vishnu. One can distinguish Him by looking at His yogic perfections, His mystical potencies (siddhis), His renunciation, fame, beauty, wealth (His six opulences: riches, beauty, power, fame, knowledge and penance) and if He is capable to recite blindly from all the holy scriptures. If yes, then He is a Krishna (lîlâ)-avatâra. There can only be one avatâra on earth at the same time together with His godbrother first class also called Bhagavân. We can count on Him in difficult times, according this verse.
Drawing depicting the twenty-four Vishnu incarnations by the artist Dhirendra Jha.
- 'Krishna is the Source of All Incarnations' in: S.B. 1.3: 6-25
- 'Brief description of the past and coming avatâras' in: S.B. 2.7
- Vaishnava article: Avatara - the Science of the Lord's Descent: Part one and two.
- (in Dutch only): Krishna en de Zingende Filosoof De filosofie en muziek van de Caitanya-vaishnava's
- The Bhagavad Gîtâ of Order. The original text as close to the Sanskrit of the Mahâbhârata; Bhishma-Parva chapter 23-40, as possible.
- A Song of Fortune A Classical Gîtâ by Krishna Dvaipâyana Vyâsadeva
- A Song of Fortune A Modern Gîtâ written by Godcollect, translated by Foundationbliss
- S'rîmad Bhâgavatam The story of the Fortunate One - Bhâgavata Purâna by Krishna Dvaipâyana Vyâsadeva
- S'rîmad Bhagavad Gîtâ Lord Krishna's Divine Incarnations
- Vedic Knowledge online Incarnations and Expansions of the Lord
- Vedic knowledge Online An image showing the various different kinds of avatâras.
- Vahinis: 'The Divine Streams' which Swami or Bhagavân S'rî Sathya Sai Baba wrote Himself
- Bhagavad-Gita: The Divine Song. The original Sanskrit verses and (word for word translated) of the Mahâbhârata, Bhîshma Parva ch. 23-40, with comments taken from the writings of Bhagavân S'rî Sathya Sai Baba.
- Dharmakshetra: Categories of Avatars
- Avatar - Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
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