Dasavatāras: Matsya, Kurma, Varāha, Nrisimhadev, Vāmana, Rāmacandra, Krishna, Vishnu, Buddha & Kalki.
The Sanskrit word Avatar or Avatara (Avatāra) 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 Avatāra is meant the descent of the Supreme Lord (see also B.G. 4.7-8).
Basically there are two kinds: vibhūti- and aves'a/sākshad-avatāras. Of the aves'a/sākshad avatāras there are six categories (see below). One speaks of vibhūti 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 vibhūti-incarnation (for example some translators of Bibles, paramparā ācāryas (disciplic succession), qualified and authorized sannyāsīs and initiated persons).
A second general category are those divided in prabhāva, eternal, four-handed incarnations of Vishnu, or the four leading expansions called Vāsudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha, and the vaibhāva incarnations, or the time-bound appearances of God like for example the two-handed forms of Mohinī, Vyāsa and Hamsa. Next to it are Kūrma, Matsya, Nara-Nārāyana, Varāha and Hayagrīva also vaibhāva incarnations. There are in total twenty-four vaibhava-vilāsa incarnations (cc Madhya 20.191 & C.C. 20 176); For example Sankarshana is called prabhāva, but His manifestation as Balarāma is called vaibhāva. The same is true for Lord Vāsudeva in relation to His appearance as Krishna.
Dividing the different kinds of avatāras, the following basic terms are used:
- prabhāva: eternal incarnations of the four-handed Vishnu
- vaibhāva: temporary incarnations or appearances of God
- prābhava-prakās'a: four-handed
- vaibhava-prakās'a: two-handed (Vaibhava-prakās'a: the perfection of the Lord to expand Himself in more than one form and act simultaneously as happens in 10.33: 20, 10.69: 41, 10.13: 18, and 10.86: 26.)
- cabbis'a: twenty-four
- vilāsa: expansions
- prakas'a: His (Krishna's) own form
- svayam rūpa: 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-avatāra: all incarnations of Krishna in matter as plenary portion with His full potency (as opposed to jīva-tattva: incomplete expansions with a limited capacity)
- das'a: divided in ten (see and listen to bhajan: S'rī Das'āvatāra Stotra by S'rī Jayadeva Gosvāmī; Bhajan for the Ten Avatāras).
- purna: complete, full in own form
- ams'a: partial own form
- channa: covert, hidden, unknown
- tad ekatma rūpa: in another form (for example fourfold)
Concerning Krishna (Vishnu-tattva-avatāra) one speaks of three different characteristics of appearance of His transcendental form:
- svayam rūpa - His personal form in Vrindāvana. These are divided in vaibhāva and prabhāva. Thus were the forms of Krishna during the rāsadans with the gopīs (cowgirls) and with His 16108 women prabhāva (S.B. 10.33). Besides this there is a svayam prakās'a form.
- tad ekatma rūpa - an appearance in a form which differs from Him, like with the quadruple appearance and all quadruple forms derived therefrom.
- aves'a rūpa - an appearance in one of His expansions or in a form He entered into (s'akti-aves'a).
Vilāsa refers to so-called expansions. Prakās'a refers to His personal forms. Prabhāva relates to His personal (transcental) pastimes and adventures in several different forms and Vaibhāva is referring to His emotional manifestations. From these identifications there are various combinations. Examples:
- The appearance Akrūra saw in the water (S.B. 10.39) along the road accompanying Krishna and Balarāma to Mathurā was prabhāva prakas'a.
- The fluting Krishna form is a vaibhava prakās'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 Mathurā as a ruler taking over from Kamsa as a vedic noble, is that form called vaibhava vilāsa.
- Prabhava vilāsa are the (cabbis'a) twenty-four appearances (forms) of Vishnu with each time the attributes in his various hands.
So we speak of an avatāra 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 (jīva) 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-avatāras, a name for covert incarnations of Krishna in especially Kali-yuga wherein He acts as His own devotee: Son, Prophet or Sannyāsī (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-)avatāra in three eras. In the fourth era Kali-yuga He is thus channa: covered. A typical example of a channa-incarnation (in Dvāpara-yuga) is the appearance of Dattātreya (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 avadhūta (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 Bhāgavata Purāna, 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) Gītā 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 sākshad avatāras are direct manifestations. The indirect aves'a avatāras are empowered living beings like Nārada Muni, Buddha, Paras'urāma and Jesus Christ, also called s'akti-aves'a avatāras. In vaishnavism there is no consonance about these divisions. Another Sampradāya (S'rī Vaishnavisme) speaks of two kinds: Purna and Ams'a. The purna avatāras are incarnations with full power (potencies) like for example Nrisimha, Rāma 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'urāma. Another sampradāya (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 Purānas there is talk of different enumerations. In the Garuda Purāna (1.86: 10-11) there is a division in ten (the socalled das'a-avatāras, see also bhajan) and in S'rīmad Bhāgavatam (1.3) there is an enumeration of twenty two. In general, one speaks of six different kinds of avatāras. They all come, direct or indirect, forth from (Mahā-)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 (Īs'vara), as well as the impersonal composition of the material universe understood as His gigantic form called the virāth rūpa (see also S.B. 2.1: 25) in Sanskrit, who came to life through the - male - principle of time (kāla) and the causal force field of the relative ether (ākās'a).
Of the Purusha-avatāras 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:
- Kāranodakas'āyī Vishnu (or Mahā-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'āyī Vishnu enters each universe and creates diversity; for each universe laying down on a snake bed and with Lord Brahmā generating the complete diversity (the personification of the space order galaxy) (see also S.B. 3.8: Manifestation of Brahmā from Garbhodakas'āyī Vishnu);
- Kshīrodakas'āyī 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 Paramātmā, the local aspect of the omnipresent Supersoul. Paramātma (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 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 pradhāna). 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: Kāranodakas'āyī Vishnu, Garbhodakas'āyī Vishnu and Kshirodakas'āyī 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: Mahā-vishnu or Kāranodakas'āyī-vishnu, Garbodakas'āyī-vishnu and Ksīrodakas'āyī-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 Bhāgavata Purāna (S.B. 2.5: 25 and S.B.11.5: 19).
Uncountable incarnations, sometimes called kalpa-avatāras because they appear in each kalpa, (a day to the calculation of time of Lord Brahmā, consisting of a thousand cycles of four eras or mahā-yugas or: 4.320.000.000 years) like Matsya, Kūrma, Rāma and Nrisimha, descending to display the spiritual adventure (līlā) in the material world of the Original Personality. The Līlā-avatāras are:
- 1 Catuhsana (the Kumāras): Sanaka (leader) Sanātana, Sanandana and Sanat-kumāra (see S.B. 3.12: 4-7 and S.B. 3.15),
- 2 Nārada (S.B. 1.5: 23-31 and S.B. 7.15: 69-77),
- 3 Varāha (S.B. 3: 13),
- 4 Matsya (S.B. 8.24),
- 5 Yajńa (S.B. 1.3: 12),
- 6 Nara-Nārāyana (S.B. 2.7: 6),
- 7 Kardama and Kapila (S.B. 2.7: 3),
- 8 Dattātreya (S.B. 2.7: 4),
- 9 Hayagrīva or Hayas'īrs'ā, (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 Kūrma (S.B. 8.24),
- 16 Dhanvantari (S.B. 8.8),
- 17 Mohinī (S.B. 8.9),
- 18 Vāmana (S.B. 8.18),
- 19 Bhārgava Paras'urāma (S.B. 9.15-16),
- 20 Rāghavendra ('leader of the Raghavas' or Rāma) (S.B. 9.10-12),
- 21 Vyāsa (Krishna Dvaipāyana Vyāsadeva, also called Bādarāyana; Filognosy -name Godcollect (S.B. 1.5-6),
- 22 Pralambāri Balarāma ('the enemy of Pralamba') (S.B. 10.18),
- 23 Krishna (S.B. 10.1-3),
- 24 Buddha, a Vishnu-avatāra 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 Navadvīpa, West Bengal. Also named Mahāprabhu Krishna-Caitanya and Gauranga. An avatāra 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 sankīrtana-movement how to love God.
Bhagavān S'rī Sathya Sai Baba
And nowadays the following three modern gurus are also considered authentic Līlā-Avatāras:
- 28 Shirdi Sai Baba (1838-1918), (The Same Baba) Source: Sathyam Sivam Sundaram - the biography of Bhagavān S'rī Sathya Sai Baba by N. Kasturi.
- 29 Bhagavān 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-caritāmrita, Madhya līlā 20:244 Purport).
The three incarnations directing material nature.
- Brahmā rules the passion,
- Vishnu the goodness and
- S'iva the ignorance (see also S.B. 10.89: 18 and S.B. 12.8: 45).
Brahmā or Brahmājī: the Creator. Demigod. The personal representative of the creative aspect of God; God as the Creator. Father of the Kumāras (Catuhsana or the Kumāras as Līlā-avatāras) 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 Brahmās. There is more than one Brahmā. 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 Brahmā is sitting. It is situated in 'Ilāvrita-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 Brahmā were born the sons as his representatives among man: Marīci, Atri, Angirā, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhrigu, Vasishthha, Daksha and the tenth, Nārada (S.B. 3.12: 22). Daksha, Nārada 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).
Vishnu: God the maintainer, ruler over the mode of goodness. See further the texts below 1 Purusha Avatāras 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 Brahmā 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,
- Mahādeva: the great god.
From Brahmā he received also the names: Manyu, Manu, Mahinasa, Mahan, Ritadhvaja, Ugraretā, Bhava, Kāla (eternal and cosmic time), Vāmadeva and Dhritavrata. In S'rimad Bhāgavatam 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 Satī (S.B. 4.3)
- Brahmā 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 Mohinī Mūrti, gets bewildered and restores (S.B. 8.12)
- Lord S'iva Saved from Vrikāsura (S.B. 10.88)
Brahmā and S'iva - Prayer by Satyā (Nagnajitī) to Lord Krishna: (S.B. 10.58: 37): He of Whose lotuslike feet the one from the lotus (Brahmā) 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-avatāras, also named vaibhava-avatāras; the incarnations to the reigns of the Manus, of which there are fourteen in a day of Brahmā (the creative personality devoted to Krishna; creates a world of his own, Father of the Kumāras and all other living beings) (S.B. 8.1), there are fourteen in number:
- 1 Yajńa (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 Vāmana, (S.B. 8.13: 6)
- 8 Sārvabhauma, (S.B. 8.13: 17)
- 9 Rishabha, (S.B. 8.13: 20)
- 10 Vishvaksena, (S.B. 8.13: 23)
- 11 Rudra-sāvarni (Dharmasetu), (S.B. 8.13: 27)
- 12 Svadhāmā, (8.13: 27)
- 13 Yoges'vara (S.B. 8.13: 32) en
- 14 Brīhadbhānu (S.B. 8.13: 35).
Avatāras who in four different yugas (at their junctures) appear to propound the appropriate method of self-realization for the era in question:
- Rāma (end of Tretā beginning of Dvāpara),
- Krishna (end of Dvāpara beginning of Kali),
- Kalki (end of Kali, beginning of Satya).
- In Satya He is a celibate in a four-armed form preceding Tretā 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, Īs'vara, Purusha, Avyakta and Paramātmā (see explanation in (S.B. 11.5: 21-23).
The four yuga-avatāras are: (1) sukla (white) in Satya-yuga (S.B. 11.5: 21), (2) rakta (red) in Tretā-yuga (S.B. 11.5: 24), (3) s'yāma (dark-blue) in Dvāpara-yuga (S.B. 11.5: 27) and (4) generally krishna (black) but in special circumstances pīta (yellowl) like Caitanya Mahāprabhu in Kali-yuga (S.B. 11.5: 32 and S.B. 10.8: 13).
The s'aktyāves'a-avatāras are categorized into (1) forms of divine absorption (bhagavad-āves'a), such as Kapiladeva or Rishabhadeva and (2) divinely empowered forms (s'aktyāves'a), of whom seven are foremost:
- 1 S'esha Nāga 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 (bhū-dhārana-s'akti),
- 3 Lord Brahmā, empowered with the energy to create the cosmic manifestation (srīshthi-s'akti),
- 4 Catuhsana, or de Kumāras, specifically empowered to preach transcendental knowledge (jńāna-s'akti),
- 5 Nārada Muni, empowered to preach devotional service (bhakti-s'akti),
- 6 Mahārāja Prīthu, specifically empowered to rule and maintain the living entitie (pālana-s'akti),
- 7 Paras'urāma, specifically empowered to cut down rogues and demons (dushtha-damana-s'akti).
Jesus Christ, but also Swami Prabhupāda and the prophet Mohammed are called s'akti-āves'a avatāras by some people.
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):
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 Prajāpatis (founding fathers) are aspects of the Lord. 28 All these are part of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Lord (Bhagavān) 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. 5.18: Prayers to the different Avatāras)
(S.B. 9.24: 58-60):
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 (Brahmā and S'iva) are the activities that by the Supreme Lord, the killer of Madhu, were performed with Sankarshana (Balarāma), beyond measure.
(S.B. 10.8: 12-15):
12. S'rī Garga said: 'This indeed is the son of Rohinī who with His transcendental qualities is there to the pleasure of all his folk and thus will he be called Rāma; 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 Vāsudeva. 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. 10.50: 9):
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):
29. You, desiring to create o Master stand out Unborn (as Brahmā), for annihilation You adopt the ignorance (as S'iva) and for maintenance You are (manifested as) the goodness (as Vishnu-avatāras) of the Universe (and yet are You) not covered (by these modes), o Lord of Jagat (the Living Being that is the Universe). Being Kāla (time), Pradhāna (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):
27. You with various intentions indeed are there to take up missions of divine engagement (līlās) 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):
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 avatāras) of Your illusory potency.
(S.B. 10.69: 17):
17. S'rī Nārada 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):
27. You, the predominating authority of this universe, have descended with Your expansion (Balarāma) 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 Jarāsandha) or else by dint of his own creativity (like us) would achieve that.
(S.B. 11.4: The Activities of Nara-Nārāyana and the other Avatāras described)
(S.B. 11.13: The Hamsa-avatāra Answers the Questions of the Sons of Brahmā)
(S.B. 11.31: The Ascension of Lord Krishna)
(S.B. 12.10: S'iva, Lord and Helper Glorifies Mārkandeya Rishi)
Only in Dutch: (Krishna en de Zingende Filosoof 4.7-13):
Natuurlijk is er maar één echte avatāra 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 avatāra van Krishna te maken. Er kan er altijd maar één tegelijk op de wereld zijn, tezamen met Zijn Godsbroeder nummer één die ook Bhagavān 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 avatāra 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 (līlā)-avatāra. There can only be one avatāra on earth at the same time together with His godbrother first class also called Bhagavān. We can count on Him in difficult times, according this verse.
- 'Krishna is the Source of All Incarnations' in: S.B. 1.3: 6-25
- 'Brief description of the past and coming avatāras' 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 Gītā of Order. The original text as close to the Sanskrit of the Mahābhārata; Bhishma-Parva chapter 23-40, as possible.
- A Song of Fortune A Classical Gītā by Krishna Dvaipāyana Vyāsadeva
- A Song of Fortune A Modern Gītā written by Godcollect, translated by Foundationbliss
- S'rīmad Bhāgavatam The story of the Fortunate One - Bhāgavata Purāna by Krishna Dvaipāyana Vyāsadeva
- S'rīmad Bhagavad Gītā 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 avatāras.
- Vahinis: 'The Divine Streams' which Swami or Bhagavān S'rī Sathya Sai Baba wrote Himself
- Bhagavad-Gita: The Divine Song. The original Sanskrit verses and (word for word translated) of the Mahābhārata, Bhīshma Parva ch. 23-40, with comments taken from the writings of Bhagavān S'rī Sathya Sai Baba.
- Dharmakshetra: Categories of Avatars
- Avatar - Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
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