First let us
know the difference between rebirth and Avataar (incarnation). An Avataar
represents the direct descent of God himself to the human level as His
free will in order to help the human beings to ascend to the divine level,
of which the liberated soul is a perfect example. While in reborth, a Jeev
is forced to take a body due to his past actions. Consequently, the in
rebirth the Jeev is not aware of his anhything, while in Avataar He is
always conscious of His mission and power. It is only He who can see both
the Absolute (Brahm) and the manifested world simultaneously and can teach
the world about the Absolute. Vedaant admits the God's manifestation as
the world, His omniscience as also omnipotence and grace. Hence there is
nothing unreasonable in the doctrine that He can also assume a special and
unique form as Avataar. God incarnates himself in response to the needs of
the times. So, there are no restrictions regarding either the number of
incarnations or the place.
There have been several
Avataar of several gods on this Prithvi. There are some Avataar in which Bhagavaan
Himself appeared just to do some specific purpose. After completing the purpose they
disappeared, but some of them lived for some time and set an example to people of how
to live life. Bhaagvat Puraan gives three lists of 22 names (1.3.6-22), 23 names (2.7)
and 16 names (11.4) and goes to the extent of declaring that the Avataar are innumerable.
(1.3.26). This is only for Vishnu. There is a belief that Shiv took 100 Avataar among
Shaivites. Among the 24 Avataar of Vishnu 10 Avataar are His main Avataar.
God is formless
Brahmaa is life-giver
Saraswatee has the power to grant wisdom
Vishnu is life sustainer
Lakshmee is to grant prosperity
Beficient Shiv is for dissolution
Durgaa is to grant physical strength
There are three ways to reach God - Gyaan, Karm and Bhakti (knowledge, action
and devotion). Everything changes its form and is incapable of retaining its
original form - it can be called transitory, hence everything except Brahm is
Introduction to Avataar-1
Introduction to Avataar-2
Introduction to Avataar-3
Introduction to Avataar-4
10 Main Avataar
Total 24 Avataar
||(1) Aadi Purush
- in this Avataar He produced Brahmaa to create world.
||(2) Sanakaadi Muni
- (Sanak, Sanandan. Sanaatan, Sanat Kumaar)
||(3) Varaah Avataar
- In this Avataar He killed
Naarad Jee - One of the
ten Maanas Putra of Brahmaa Jee.
- Sons of Dharm and Daksh's
- Son of Kardam Muni and Devahooti.
With this Avataar He preached Saankhya Shaastra to Devahooti.
- Son of Atri Muni and
||(8) Yagya Purush
- The son of Raajaa Naabhi and Sudevee
||(10) Raajaa Prithu
- In this Avataar Bhagavaan guided Muni's boat through Pralaya Kaal.
- In this Avataar Vishnu kept Mandaraachal Parvat on His back during
- In this Avataar Bhagavaan brought Amrit Kalash from the sea.
Appeared on Kaarttik Krishn 13 - Dhan Teras
- With this Avataar He distributed Amrit to Devtaa and liquor to Asur.
- With this Avataar He killed
Hiranyakashyap. Appeared on Vaishaakh Shukla 14
- When Brahmaa's night was approaching, he felt sleepy and yawned so the four Ved
came out of his mouth. Hayagreev named Raakshas grabbed them and ran away, so
Vishnu appeared as Hayagreev and brought those Ved back. In this Avataar His head
is of a horse (Haya) and rest of the body is of Naaraayan. Appeared on Shraavan
Puraan, 2/15 says that Hari took this Avataar to kill Madhu and Kaitabh Daitya.
- The son of Kashyap and Aditi. With this Avataar
He brought Indra Lok back to Devtaa from Daitya Raaj
Bali asking him the donation of three feet land.
- Son of Maharshi Jamadagni
and Renukaa. With this Avataar He destroyed evil Kshatriya on Prithvi 21 times.
- Son of Paraashar and
Satyavatee. With this
Avataar He divided Ved and created Bhaagvat Puraan, Mahaabhaarat etc books.
- Son of Dasharath and
Kaushalyaa. In this Avataar He killed
Raavan and Kumbhkarn.
Appeared on Chaitra Shukla 9
- Son of Vasudev and Devakee.
Through Sankarshan he was born to Rohinee, the other wife of Vasudev, that is why
he is called Sankarshan also.
|8. Krishn Avataar
- Son of Vasudev and Devakee. In this Avataar He killed
Appeared on Bhaadrapad Krishn 8
(23) Buddha - Son of King Shuddhodan
and Mahaamaayaa of Kapilvastu (now in Nepaal) on Vasant Poornimaa.
10. Kalki Avataar
||(24) Kalki (yet to come)
- Kalki Avataar - A future
Avataar. Born as the son of Vishnuyash Braahman in the end of Kali Yug to end Paap
and start Sat Yug.
3/32, says that Kalki Bhagavaan will be born on Maargshersh, Krishn Ashtamee
in the house of Vishnuyashaa and Vishnukeerti in Sambhal Graam. All Devtaa will
also be born at that time. he will ride horse taking sword and shield and will
kill Mlechchh. Then He will practice Yog and Prithvi will burn in it, later it
will rain and Prithvi will come up in the rains. Thus Sat Yug will start, Hari
will do Yagya, Kalki will produce Braahman from his mouth, Kshatriya from his
arms etc etc.... There is a
Kalki Puraan also in which all about this Avataar is written.
Some Special Characteristics
23 Avataar --
Varaah and Narasinh Avataar are Aaveshaavataar (incarnated out of anger)
- with 10-11 Kalaa
Koorm and Mohinee Avataar were purposeful Avataarin specific situations
to complete work at that time only.
Krishn Avataar was with 16 Kalaa
Only once there were two Avataar in one Yug
- they were Raam and Parashuraam,
that also a characteristic of that era; but when they came face to face,
the earlier Avataar Parashuraam had to leave - his Avataar period was
Other Gods' Avataar
There are many other Avataar
(incarnations) of other Devtaa, some names are given here ---
Paanchjanya Shankh's Avataar
of Vashisth Jee"
Shatrughn was the incarnation of Vishnu's Paanchjanya Shankh (conch).
Sudarshan Chakra's Avataar
Bharat was the incarnation was of Vishnu's Sudarshan Chakra. See
It is believed that
Sahastraarjun was the incarnation of Vishnu's Chakra.
Shesh Naag's Avataar
Shesh Naag's Avataar. He was Raam's younger brother, see
The elder brother of Krishn, Balaraam,
was also Shesh Naag's Avataar, although he has been counted as the 21st Avataar
of Vishnu, but when he leaves this Lok, he goes in the form of a serpent. This
shows that he was an incarnation of Shesh Naag.
the incarnation of Shesh Naag.
Shiv's 64 Avataar have been said, among them Sharabh's Avataar is the 30th one.
the Avataar of Shiv. He has "Goraksh Sahastra Naam Stotra", and
The most important and most well-known Avataar of Shiv is of
Hanumaan. He is known
as the Avataar of 11th Rudra. Tulasee Daas has written a lot about him - (1) Hanumaan
Chaaleesaa, (2) Sankat Mochan Hanumaanaashtak, (3) Bajarang Baan, (4)
Another Avataar is of Maharshi
Pippalaad who was the son of Maharshi
Aadi Guru Shankarachaarya
is also known as Shiv's Avataar. He has also written about Hanumaan - Hanumat Panchratn
Sharabh 30th Avataar)
When Veerbhadra fails to calm down Narasinh Bhagvaan, Shiv manifests himself as a human-lion
bird Sharabh. The story continues that
after that Narasinh becomes a great devotee of Shiv after being tied by Sharabh. It is said
that Sharabh is the 30th Avataar of Shiv from among his 64 Avataar.
Shiv created Veerbhadra, one
of his terrifying forms, to calm down Narasinh Bhagavaan.
Vashishth Jee had already left his body in Nimi's Yagya. This was his second birth
as the incarnation of Vaayu Dev. Read "
Rebirth of Vashisth Jee"
||Shraavan Poornimaa (Rakshaa
||Kaarttik Krishn 13
||Maargsheersh Krishn 8
||Bhaadrapad Krishn 8 (Janmaashtamee)
||Kaarttik Amaavasyaa (Deepaavalee)
||Vaishaakh Shukla 14
||Vaishaakh Shukla 3 (Akshaya
||Chaitra Shukla 9 (Raam Navamee)
||Bhaadrapad Shukla 11 in Shravan Nakshatra