[Advaita-l] Re: Dasa Avatars

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Fri May 16 15:59:53 CDT 2003

On Mon, 5 May 2003, B. Shankar wrote:

> In my humble opinion, this is the crux of the matter. My instinct tells me
> that it is based on logical symbolism – and this should work at multiple
> levels – pertaining, for example, to the Cosmic circle – from creation to
> eschatological motifs, to the essence of Karma, to Kundalini yogic states,
> to the very nature of the Vyavaharika universe.

While tidying up I found some pictures from a while back when I said
Bhagavata katha at my local mandir.  I was asked a question, Why does it
say that Krishna Bhagavan stole butter and ate dirt?  After some thinking
my reply was:

"Because He was a naughty boy."

Let me explain.  To worship God as Lord of the universe is easy.  Who
would not fail to be dazzled when e.g. Krishna Bhagavan displayed His
Vishwarupa to Arjuna?  However one of the tenets of Advaita Vedanta is
that names and forms (namarupa) are Maya.  We worship Bhagavan by
Sahasranamas but He is not exhhausted in 1000 names or even one billion
names.  So too with forms.  We may favor some particular forms for the
purpose of upasana but actually all things moving and still are His forms
-- the naughty boy who exasparates his mother as much as the universal
ruler.  But as Humans we tend to be heedless of the usual noticing only
the unusual.  Ma Yashoda got so fed up at one point, she tied Krishna
Bhagavan to a tree so she could get her work done.  But He easily broke
free.  But when she began watching Him like a hawk, fixated on his every
move, immediately noticing even when he surreptiously put some dirt in His
mouth, He rewarded her with the vision of His mouth containing not some
dirt but the entire universe.  Thus even ordinary parental duties became
upasana when directed to God.

The relevance to this current conversation is that we should realize not
the extraordinariness of the avatars but their ordinariness.  Bhagavan in
so many names and forms repeatedly fights against Adharma and restores
Dharma.  Although untainted by action Himself, he constantly pervades the
universe in the form of action (See Gita 3.22) And we too are avatars.
We too must fight against Adharma and restore Dharma.  This in my
opinion is the message the Puranic kathas attempt to convey.  One
shouldn't get hung up in accounting.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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