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Introduction to Avataar-3

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Introduction to Avataar-3
See also   Prophecies for Buddh and Kalki Avataar

Avataar means incarnation. Avataar word is used normally in the reference of God. Krishn Himself has said in Geetaa that whenever Dharm deteriorates I take Avataar to correct the situation. If god himself comes, it is called His Avataar, but when a person who has already taken birth once on Prithvi, comes again, it is called Punarjanm, or Janmaantar Janm... so goes the Kaarmik cycle.

Bhaagvat Puraan, 1/3, describes 22 Avataar -

Avataar For
1. Sanakaadi Muni Sanak, Sanandan, Sanaatan and Sanak Kumaar
2. Varaah Avataar To take out Prithvi from Rasaatal; To kill Hiranyaaksh
3. Naarad Devarshi
4. Nar-Naaraayan As the son of Dharm and Moorti
5. Kapil Jee As the son of Kardam Rishi and Devahooti
6. Dattaatreya As the son of Atri Rishi and Anusooyaa
7. Yagya As the son of Ruchi Prajaapati and Aakooti
8. Rishabh Dev As the son of king Naabhi and Meru Devee
9. King Prithu As the son of Vane
10. Matsya Avataar In the end of Chaakshush Manvantar to protect Vaivaswat Manu of next Manvantar
11. Kashchap Avataar At the time of Saagar Manthan to lift Mandaraachal Parvat on His back
12. Dhanvantari Avataar To bring Amrit from the Sea
13. Mohinee Avataar To distribute Amrit to Devtaa and Daitya
14. Narasinh Avataar To kill Hiranyakashyap
15. Vaaman Avataar To give back Swarg to Indra from Bali
16. Parashuraam Avataar As the son of Jamadagni and Renukaa. Killed all Kshatriya 21 times.
17. Ved Vyaas Jee As the son of Paraashar and Satyavatee to divide Ved
18. Raam Avataar As the son of Dasharath and Kaushalyaa to kill Raavan and Kumbhkarn
19. Balaraam Avataar As the son of Vasudev and Rohinee
20. Krishn Avataar As the son of Vasudev and Devakee
21. Buddha Avataar As the son of Ajan
22. Kalki Avataar In the end of the Kali Yug, as the son of Vishnu Yash Braahman. He will be riding Devdatt horse When the Sun, the Moon and Jupiter are together in Cancer and all three enter in Pushya Nakshatra then the Sat Yug will start.

Here only 22 Avataar are given, but 24 Avataar are popularly known. Some complete the counting of 24 like this - Besides Raam and Krishn, there are 20 Avataar are given here; the remaining 4 Avataar are of Krishn only - Kesh, for Sutapaa and Prishni, Sankarshan, and Parbrahm.

Other learned people say, that besides the 22 Avataar given above, there are two more Avataar - Hans and Hayagreev.

10 Most Popular Avataar
The most popularly known 10 Avataar are counted like this. The following references are from Bhaagvat Puraan, but stories of all these Avataar are given here also --

(1) Varaah Avataar - Hiiranyaaksh was so powerful that he always looked for Vishnu to fight with. When he could not find Him, he took away Prithvi in Paataal Lok and hid her there. So when As Vishnu asked Brahmaa to create the world, Brahmaa said that Hianyakashyap had taken Prithvi in Paataal Lok. So Vishnu assumed Varaah form and brought Prithvi out from the depths of the sea. When Vishnu was bringing Prithvi back, He fought with Hiranyaaksh, killed him, and brought Prithvi up.
(2) Matsya Avataar - This Avataar He took in the end of Chaakshush Manvantar to save Manu for the next Manvantar.
(3) Kashchap Avataar - This Avataar He took to support Mandaraachal Parvat so that it should not shake while Devtaa and Daitya were churning the sea to extract Amrit.
(4) Mohinee Avataar - This Avataar He took to distribute Amrit to Devtaa only, so that Daitya should not get Amrit and should not become immortal.
(5) Nrasinh Avataar - This Avataar He took to kill Hiranyakashyap and protect His Bhakt Prahlaad from him. In this Avataar His face was of lion and the rest of the body was of a human being. The reason for this was the type of Var Hiranyakashyap got from Brahmaa Jee.
(6) Vaaman Avataar - This Avataar He took to get Swarg back from Raajaa Bali by asking only three feet land and measured the whole Tri-Lok in two feet and then sending him to Rasaatal.
(7) Raam Avataar - This Avataar He took to kill Raavan and Kumbhkarn. You may read Tulasee's Maanas or Vaalmeeki Raamaayan.
(8) Krishn Avataar - This Avataar He took to kill many Raakshas - Shishupaal, Dantvakra, Kans etc.
(9) Buddha Avataar -
(10) Kalki Avataar - This is a future Avataar - in the end of the Kali Yug. In this Avataar He will kill all evil people and establish Sat Yug.

Relationship of Avataar With Nava Graha
The unborn Lord has many incarnations. He has incarnated, as the 9 Graha (0 planets) to bestow on the living beings the results due to their Karm. He is Janaardan. He assumed the auspicious form of Graha to destroy the evil forces and sustain the divine beings.

From Soorya He is incarnated as Raam,
From Chandra He is incarnated as Krishn,
From Mangal He has incarnated as Narasinh,
From Budh He is incarnated as Buddha,
From Guru He is incarnated as Vaaman (Dwarf),
From Shukra He has incarnated as Parashuraam,
From Shani He has incarnated as Koorm (Tortoise),
From Raahu He has incarnated as Varaah (Boar); and
From Ketu He has incarnated as Meen (Fish) Avataar.

Out of these 9 Avatar, four incarnations Raam, Krishn, Narasinh and Varaah are wholly endowed with Paramaatmaa's Ansh while the others have in them Jeevaansh too. The beings with more Paramaatmaa's Ansh are called Divine beings. The beings with more Jeevatmaa's Ansh are mortal beings. The high degree of Paramatmaa's Ansh from the Graha, viz. Soorya etc. did incarnate, as Raam, Krishn etc. After completing the mission, the Paramaatmaa's Ansh (of the respective Avataar) Graha again merged in their respective Graha.

The Jeevaatmaa portions from the Graha take births, as human beings and live their lives according to their Karm and again merge in the Graha. And at the time of Great Destruction the Graha as well merge in Lord Vishnu.
[From Brihat Paraashar Horaa Shaastra (BPHS), Ch 2-Great Incarnations]

[From Devee Bhaagvat]
Chaakshush Manvantar -> Dharm Avataar, his sons were Nar and Naarayan
Vaivaswat Manvantar -> Dattaatreya Avataar

[From Bhavishya Puraan, 3/16]
Bhavishya Kalp -> Vaivaswat Manvantar -> 28th Dwaapar Yug -> Krishn Avataar

Characteristics of an Avataar
[From Chaitanya Charitaamrit]

Some of the Divine signs by which one may be able to recognize the Personality of the Godhead when He is manifest in the material world are described in the Chaitanya Charitaamrit as follows:--

Panch-deerghah panch-sookshmah sapt-raktah shad-unnatah,
Tri-hriswa prithu-gambheero dwa-trinsh-lakshano Mahaan.

There are 32 specific signs which distinguish the Supreme Being, viz., 5 long, 5 thin, 7 reddish, 6 raised, 3 short, 3 broad, and 3 deep.
The Panch-deergh signs are: long nose, long arms, long collar-bone long eyes, and long thighs.
The Panch-sookshm signs are: thin skin, fine hair, slender fingers and teeth, and fine body hairs.
The Sapt-rakt signs are: reddish eyes, pink feet and palms, reddish throat, rosy face and pink lips and nails.
The Shad-unnat are: bulging chest, raised shoulders, and prominent nails, nose, waist and mouth.
The Tri-hriswa are: close neck, short hips and ankles.
The Tri-gambheer signs are: deep navel, deep voice and deep (incomprehensible) behavior.

All these 32 divine qualities or signs found existing simultaneously in all their supra-mundane and eternal perfection signify the blessed person of the Supreme Lord.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 11/27/12