Faith

The Lord’s incarnations

The Gita explains the purpose of the Lord’s incarnations as primarily to protect the good, destroy the evil and to establish dharma in the world. The Lord can accomplish all this out of His mere Sankalpa even without taking an avatar. The Lord is ever free, unattached, distinct, birthless and deathless. But He chooses to be born out of His power of Maya. When He takes a human form as in Rama and Krishna avatars, it is not owing to any karma as is the case with jivatmas, pointed out Sri R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal in a discourse.

Like a doctor visiting a hospital to cure the patient, the Lord comes to the world to rid the samsara burden of the jivatmas. The sickness does not pertain to the doctor. To quote another analogy, the Lord’s avatars can be likened to the frequent visits of the official in charge of prisons, who, unlike the prisoner, is not a resident in it. Depending on the exigencies of the situation, there is variety in the ways He appears and the forms He assumes. He comes as Matsya, fish, Kurma, tortoise, and Varaha, boar, to save the Vedas and Dharma. He has taken an avatar as half lion and half man Narasimha to save His devotee Prahlada from Hiranyakasipu’s wrath. He comes out of a pillar in the most astonishing manner and makes true the child’s belief of the Lord’s omnipresence.

He explains to Arjuna that He too has assumed many forms in various births just as other jivatmas but out of His own divine Will. He is also fully aware of all the births of all jivatmas while the jivatmas are limited in their understanding of their own past births. Their births are controlled by their prakriti, ignorance and karma. Many eons ago in the hoary past He had instructed Vivaswan these truths which He now explains to Arjuna.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 6:22:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/the-lords-incarnations/article31901908.ece

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