Balarama vs. Buddha (was Re: avatAra of Adishesha ?)
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed Apr 26 23:57:10 CDT 2000
On Wed, 26 Apr 2000, Aravind Krishna wrote:
> There are many incarnations of Bhagavan apart from the main 10 like Kapila
> Vasudeva, Dattaatreya, Rishaba yogishvara and so on. Srimad Bhagavatam lists
> many such incarnations.
This is the list of 24 mentioned in 2.7, it is quite interesting. Of
course even this list isn't exhaustive because as the Gita reminds us His
avatars are innumerable.
1. Varaha -- Boar
2. Suyajna -- The son of Ruchi Prajapati who became Indra
3. Kapila -- The author of the samkhyadarshan
4. Dattatreya -- (Actually an avatar of the whole trimurti)
5-8. Sanakadi -- The four sons of Brahma: Sanaka, Sadananda, Sanatana and
9-10. Nara-Narayana -- The two sages who live at Badarikashram
11. Prthu - Son of Vena
12. Rshabhadeva -- The Jains consider him one of their tirthankaras or gurus.
13. Hayagriva -- An important figure in Tantra
14. Matsya - Fish
15. Kacchapa - Tortoise
16. Nrsimha -- Man-Lion
17. Vamana - Brahmana boy
18. Dhanvantari -- The founder of Ayurveda
19. Parashurama -- The son of Jamadagni who killed all the kshatriyas
20. Shri Ramachandra
21-22 Balarama and Shri Krishna
24. Kalki -- Who will destroy the world at the end of the Kaliyuga
> The order of the 10 main incarnations are also
> different in Bhagavatam. The first avatar is Varahavatara as per Bhagavatam.
> There is a reference to Buddha avatara in Bhagavatam as well as in
> ViShNupurANa, but both are totally different. And both do not point to the
> famous Gautama Bhuddha. Bhagavatam considers Bhuddha as a bhavishya avatara
> and denotes that the lord will incarnate in kali as Bhuddha in Bihar for
> deluding the enemies of devas.
>From the point of view of the Bhagavata Purana which takes place at the
beginning of the Kaliyuga, the Buddha avatar is a future event.
> tataH kalau sampravR^itte sammohaaya suradviShaam |
> buddho naamnaajanasutaH kiikaTeShu bhaviShyati || 1.3.24 ||
> The reference in ViShNu purANa also has nothing to do with the conventional
All the commentators seem to think it refers to the historical Buddha as
they use terms such as Saugata and Shakyamuni for him.
> Historically in around Gupta period Gautama Buddha was linked to the
> Buddha specified in shastras. Jaya deva kavi who wrote Sri gIta govinda
> mahakavya (who was before Chaitanya and Vallabha) remarks Gautama Budhha as
> an avatara.
This is from his Dashavatara stuti which is in the 1st sarga of the
Gitatagovinda. (btw Balarama is spoke of in the previous shloka)
Nindasi yajnavidherahaha shrutijaatam |
sadayahrdaya darshitapashughaatam |
keshava dhrtabuddhashareera jaya jagadeesha hare || 9 ||
You criticized the sacrificial rituals taught in Shruti
When your merciful heart beheld the killing of animals therein
Keshava! You took the form of Buddha. Victory to Hari Lord of the world.
This is noteworthy because it is one of the few times a Hindu author has
had anything good to say about Buddhism. Jayadeva lived in Bengal in the
12th century so perhaps he was acquainted with the last remnants of Indian
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam
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