The Concepts Of Avatar And Multitude Avatars
*This brief exposition, on the concepts of ‘Avatar’ and ‘Multitude Avatars’, seeks to inform newcomers and devotees about Avatars and the Divine Mission, in the Kali Age – Dark Age. While this article is based on the understanding and actual experiences of the devotee, we encourage the sincere seekers, and even the curious, to read sacred scriptures, conduct research, and arrive at their own conclusions. Spirituality is a very personal experience and requires active participation and personal inquiry.*
In the Vedas and Sanathana Dharma, like all other religions, the presiding Ruler and Creator of the universe and everything in it is the Lord. The Lord, God, is considered the embodiment of all virtues and yet, at the same time, is said to be without attributes, formless, and beyond time and space. The Vedas and Sanathana Dharma also advocate the concept of Avatar – Incarnation. God, the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer of the Universe, assumes human form and descends onto Earth, when His presence is needed to restore Righteousness and remove wickedness. In this Kali Age – Dark Age, God has descended in multitude forms for the sake of His devotees.
The concepts of ‘Avatar’ and ‘multitude Avatars’ need exploration and explanation. The true spiritual seekers and even the curious are free and duly encouraged to delve into these concepts on their own, conduct their own research, and arrive at their own conclusions. We would like to offer a small explanation, which will suffice for the purpose of this introduction to Arulthiru Adigalaar Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, and Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
In Sanathana Dharma, the Vedas explain that, while the Lord is the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer of Creation, He has allotted spheres of responsibilities and influence to minor deities or demi-gods. Portrayed in various forms, such as Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (Preserver), Shiva (Destroyer), Indra (God of Rain and God of War), Kama (God of Love), Vayu (God of Wind), and Agni (God of Fire), these minor deities or demi-gods have the authority and responsibility to govern various aspects of the Lord’s Creation. In ancient times, whenever there were difficulties, like famines, droughts, pestilence, disease, or other troubles, the people performed the required Yagna or Yagnas (ritual worship, usually conducted by offering various items to a particular demi-god, via sacred fire) and the demi-god, who was in-charge of taking care of that particular problem, resolved the situation.
Unfortunately, as time went on and the Ages changed, people lost the ancient knowledge, the discipline required by the Vedas, and their deep faith in the Lord. The current age is known as the Kali Age – the Dark Age. In this age, people rarely listen to or simply turn a deaf ear to the wise counsel of saints and sages. Spiritual knowledge is rarely pursued in earnest interest. Cutthroat competition and a race to earn the highest of luxuries and the best of positions have taken over our lives. In such situations, when the demi-gods are helpless to assist mankind due to our overwhelming egos, the Master – the Lord – God – assumes a human form and descends onto Earth, with the mission of restoring Righteousness, fostering Vedic learning, and nurturing spiritual enquiry and faith. These human forms that are assumed by God are called Avatars.
An Avatar means an incarnation of the Supreme, the Divine, the Lord. The form, the time, the place, the circumstances, and the purpose are decided and set by God, the Divine. The actions and words of the Avatar are always for the good of mankind. Avatars are Sadgurus, the Supreme Masters. They embody the highest wisdom, the highest knowledge, the highest virtues, and display the highest conduct. Worshipping an Avatar and obeying His/Her word is the fastest way to attain Liberation, Salvation, or Moksha – Absolute Freedom. All that an Avatar does is for the good of humanity. Avatars can descend onto the Earth or anywhere else in Creation, at any time, and at any place, as per the wishes of God, the Divine. God comes from time to time, whenever and wherever God’s presence is required.
Having briefly explained the concept of Avatar, Incarnation, let us now look at the concept of ‘multitude Avatars’. Some enquirers and many people, in general, have some difficulty in believing or accepting, that the one Lord can and will incarnate as many times, in as many forms, and in as many places as the Lord pleases. A simple thought process is sufficient to expand the mind in this regard. If God can create demi-gods to take care of the smaller responsibilities, of managing Creation, then God can surely create multiple forms of the Divine, at any time, in any place, and as many times as God wills. Another question arises at this juncture. Even if we accept that God can incarnate as many times as God wills and pleases, why in the name of all things holy does God need to do so? Isn’t a single Avatar enough? Isn’t one Incarnation powerful enough to solve the world’s problems? If an Incarnation is not that powerful, then is God’s power limited? The last of those questions, though it rises only from the mouths of the pessimist, the atheist, and the unbeliever most of the time, is actually a logical and valid question. However, its foundation is erroneous at best and at worst, speaks volumes of ignorance.
Brief research will inform even a layperson that God is Love Incarnate. Although the Divine is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, God loves humanity very much; so much so, that God will not cause drastic upheavals among God’s children. In this Dark Age, people worship God in different forms, with varying rituals and modes of worship, and are quite attached to their ways. Even if they are not against other religions and modes of thought and worship, they will choose, at any cost, to continue worshipping God in their own way. Forcing a massive change upon people would only result in chaos, at best. Therefore, God incarnates in different places, in accordance with the circumstances and the nature of the people in that area, and works to improve our lives and our faith. The change, while gradual and perhaps ‘slow’, is very tangible and anyone, who has studied the Avatars – Sadgurus – of our Age sincerely, will see these positive changes and progress in society.
Each Avatar governs a certain section of people. The Avatar uplifts these people, changes their thought process, and brings them closer to the Divine. As the people in the nearby locality change, the influence of the Avatar widens, encompassing an even greater multitude. It is thus, that we have the great Sadgurus of our age, who guide us, guard us, teach us, and love us. They bring us closer to the Divine, many steps at a time. The more willing we are to learn from Them, the faster we reach our goal and attain Liberation – Salvation – Moksha – Absolute Freedom. Each Avatar is fully capable of fulfilling His or Her mission within a fraction of a second or less, but the change would be too drastic for us, humanity, to bear. Therefore, due to Their love and compassion for us, the Divine Missions are enacted in stages. Each moment with an Avatar is a golden moment for us. It is a moment of bliss, an opportunity to learn, and an incredibly rare chance to be close to God. It is truly a pity then, that so many of us forsake such a chance, whatever the reason.
*This brief exposition on the concepts of ‘Avatar’ and ‘Multitude Avatars’ has been written by Jaidev Kesavan, Creator and Owner of Angel Grove Studio, India. The explanations offered in this article are based on the author’s insight, study, and actual experience. We kindly request you, our dearest readers, to keep an open mind to all possibilities, when it comes to the Divine. Spirituality is a very personal experience and can be best understood through actual, personal experience.*