Glories of Vibhava 

In the Vaishnava tradition, it is held that the Lord is manifest in five significant forms to enable people to know about Him and to seek Him. Para is His form in Vaikunta, while Vyuha refers to His specific manifestations in Parkadal. In Vibhava is included all His incarnations, while His indwelling presence in all objects and beings without any exception is known as Antaryami. Archa refers to His presence in the deities worshipped in temples.

In a discourse, Asuri Sri Madhavachariar drew attention to Vedanta Desika’s ‘Dasa Avatara Stotra’ that highlights the 10 main Vibhava incarnations of the Lord taken to achieve specific ends. These avatars also reveal His unlimited auspicious qualities. All His auspicious gunas, jnana, virya, shakti, balam, thejas, aishwarya, as well as His Saushilya, Saulabhya, Vatsalya, etc, are always present in Him in whatever form He incarnates. He can never be without them at any point of time. They are inherent in Him and constitute His very dharma. But in each avatar, in accordance to the demands of the situation, He might not choose to manifest all of them, and instead might opt to reveal some and hide some others. He takes the ferocious form of Narasimha, a combination of a lion and man, when He has to kill Hiranyakasipu who has wronged His bhakta Prahlada. He displays anger during the combat with Hiranyakasipu but at the same time He is the embodiment of compassion towards Prahlada who had reposed unshakable faith in Him.

It is also shown that apart from these 10 avatars, He has taken many more forms. As He has declared in the Gita, He takes birth time and again for the purposes of protecting the good people and destroying the evil doers while also establishing dharma and righteousness in this world. Meditating on the avatars of the Lord and His auspicious qualities can surely help us cross the sorrows of samsara.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2022 7:24:30 am |