Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Ten Avatars

Logging into Blogger after quite some time though I did reflect on a lot of things during the time in between :-)

I was over to one of my relatives house accompanying my wife (as a chaffeur) for Navarathiri. I happened to see the Dasvatharam Bommais (Mini Idols of the ten incarnations of Vishnu). I was gazing at them for quite some time and to me the ten incarnations seemed to have a deeper meaning.

Though the Gita says that Vishnu takes an avatar whenever there is a threat to dharma, to me they seem to have a close link with several stages in the evolution of the universe, the evolution of mankind. What a nice way of building stories around each stage and carrying it forward over generations? Our ancestors seem to have been way ahead scientifically when other races were roaming around as savages. We seem to have lost our way somewhere and wasted time and money in pompousness, thanks to some foolish kings in between.

Here are the Ten avatars

Matsya - Lord Vishnu as a fish
Koorma- Lord Vishnu as a tortoise
Varaha- Lord Vishnu as a Boar
Narasimha-Lord Vishnu with the face of a lion and body of a man
Vamana- Lord Vishnu as Vamana. Primitive Man, very short
Parasurama - Lord Vishnu in human form with an axe as his weapon. Stone age?
Rama - Lord Vishnu in human form with bow and arrow as his weapon.Balarama - Lord Vishnu in human form with plough as weapon. Advent of agriculture.
Krishna – Lord Vishnu with Chakra a fully metal weapon. Early Bronze age
Kalki – Lord Vishnu with the face of a horse. This is yet to happen as per Hindu mythology but what scares me is that it indicates that we are going back from human form to an animal form.

As is evident, after Krishna comes a big gap given that Kalki is yet to happen. That is when the Industrial revolution happened in other parts and India was blissfully ignorant of what was happening elsewhere.

I am not that good at history, so some of my interpretations might be wrong but I still feel the avatars are a way of depicting the evolution of mankind. What do you think?

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