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Baba and the Concept of Avatarhood
Why should the Lord incarnate?

In Bhagavad-Gita Lord Sri Krishna declares:

"Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya Glanirbhavathi Bharatha Abhyudhanamadharmasya Thadathmanam Srujamyaham"
"Parithranaya Sadhunam Vinashayacha Dhushkrutham Dharmasamsthapanarthaya Sambhavami Yuge Yuge"

Whenever there is decline of Righteousness and rise of evil, the Lord incarnates from time to time to uphold Righteousness, to protect the Virtuous and to uproot evil. The avatar appears whenever the world is passing through a spiritual and moral crisis. The avatar comes in order to uphold dharma and to reveal the next evolutionary step in creation. It is easy to see how the modern world, through its moral regress and decline of values, is ripe for avatars.

One may ask why should the Lord Himself Incarnate? Why should he not set about the task of restoring Dharma through the many minor gods that he has at His command? Akbar himself posed this question before the courtiers, for, he laughed at the Hindu idea of the Formless adopting Form and descending into the world, as an Avatar to save Dharma. Tansen asked for a week's time and got it granted by His imperial majesty. A few days later, when he was in the pleasure boat of the emperor, sailing across the lake with his family, Tansen threw overboard a doll made to look like the emperor's little son, crying at the same time, "O, the prince has fallen into the water!" Hearing this, the emperor jumped into the lake to rescue his son!

Tansen then disclosed that it was only a doll and that the son was safe. He allayed the anger of Akbar by explaining that he had perforce to enact this drama, in order to demonstrate the truth of the Hindu belief that God takes human form Himself, to save Dharma, without commissioning some other entity to carry out that task. Dharma is like the son, God loves it so dearly. Akbar could have ordered one among the many personnel he had on board, to jump in and rescue his son: but, his affection was so great and the urgency so acute that the emperor himself plunged into the lake, to pull out the "son". The decline in Dharma is so acute a tragedy, the intensity of affection that the Lord has for good men is so great, that He Himself comes.

Who is an Avatar?

Sage Suka gives a picture of Sri Krishna, such as would be painted by a good observer: "He treated the world as a puppet-show. He was always radiant with his smile. He never knows anxiety, disappointment or distress. He behaved some times as a common man, some times as an innocent child, at other times as a near Kinsman, or as an intimate friend, or as a masterful monarch. He had the capacity and cleverness to play all roles with a unique distinction." The impression that one finally has of an avatar is the unique blend of the human and the divine, - attributes that go to make up aishvarya or divinity and all those human qualities that make him so sweet and lovable, qualities that may be summed up as madhurya or sweetness.

Baba has been Subramanya, Sakti and all the Masters for many of his devotees. Each avatar is a manifestation of the Divine. And the Divine is all encompassing, for He is the substance of all the multifarious forms that He takes.

When Baba writes about Sri Krishna in Bhagavata Vahini we get to know what an avataric personality has to say about an Avatar. Baba makes Arjuna say, after the self-slaughter of the Yadavas, when he had to return alone tragically from Dwaraka: "We have failed to understand his play. With that deluding human form he moved with us, mixed with us, behaved with us as if he was our Kinsman and well-wisher, our friend and guide and saved us from many a calamity. We were carried away by pride that we had His Grace. We sought from him mere external victory and temporal benefits. We ignored the vast treasures with which we could have filled our hearts. We never contemplated His real reality."

Baba on Avatarhood:

"This avatar has no destructive weapon in His possession, like the Kodanda (bow) of Rama, or the Chakra(discus) of Sri Krishna. He relies on education, rather than elimination; instruction rather than destruction. The good are encouraged to become better, the better to enter the region of the best and the blessed. The bad are encouraged to shed the coil of cowardice, which keeps them in fear."

"The optical sense cannot visualise the truth. It gives only false and fogged information. For example, many observe my actions and start declaring that my nature is such and such. They are unable to gauge the sanctity, the majesty, and the eternal reality that is Me. The power of Sai is limitless; it manifests forever. All forms of 'power' are resident in this Sai palm."

"My power is immeasurable; My truth is inexplicable, unfathomable. I am announcing this about me, for the need has arisen. Let me tell you that emphatic declarations of the truth by Avatars were made so clearly and so unmistakably only by Krishna. In spite of the declaration, you will notice in the career of the same Krishna that he underwent apparent defeat in his efforts and endeavours, on a few occasions; you must also note that those defeats too were part of the drama that he had planned and that he himself directed. For example, when many kings pleaded with him to avert the war with the Kauravas, he confessed that His mission to the Kaurava Court for ensuring peace had 'failed'! But he had not willed that it should succeed! He had decided that war would be waged! His mission was intended to punish the greed and iniquity of the Kauravas and to condemn them before the whole world.

Now, I must tell you that, during this Sai Avatar, there is no place for even such 'drama' with scenes of failure and defeats! What I will, must take place, what I plan must succeed. I am Truth, and Truth has no need to hesitate, or fear, or bend."

"Since I move freely among them, talking and singing, even intellectuals are unable to grasp my truth, my power, my glory, or my real task as Avatar. I can solve any problem however knotty; I am beyond the reach of the most intensive enquiry and the most meticulous measurement. Only those who have recognised my love and experienced that love can assert that they have glimpsed my reality. For the path of Love is the royal road that leads mankind to me."

"Man extols God as omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, but he ignores his Presence in himself. Of course, many venture to describe the attributes of God and proclaim Him such and such; but these are their own guesses and the reflections of their own predilections and preferences.

Who can affirm that God is this or that? Who can affirm that God is not of this form or with this attribute? Each one can acquire from the vast expanse of the ocean only as much as can be contained in the vessel he carries to its shore. From that quality, they can grasp but a little of that immensity. Each religion defines God within the limits it demarcates and then claims to have grasped Him. Like the six blind men who spoke of the elephant as a pillar, a fan, a rope or a wall, because they contacted but a part and could not comprehend the entire animal, so too, religions speak of a part and assert that its vision is full and total.top



Give Love and Receive Love.

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