Samvavami yuge yuge — I body Myself forth from age to ageSri Krishna now declares himself an Avatar. An Avatar is the direct descent of God. In the world of manifestation, he embodies the Infinite.
In India, there was a spiritual master who declared himself to be an Avatar. Unfortunately he became an object of merciless ridicule, both in the West and in the East. As he could not put up a brave fight against this biting sarcasm, he finally had to change his unsuccessful policy. His proud statement went one step further: “Not only I, but everybody is an Avatar.” Since everybody is an Avatar, who is to criticise whom? Lo, the self-styled Avatar is now heaving a sigh of relief.
It may sound ridiculous, but it is a fact that in India practically every disciple claims his Guru to be an Avatar, the direct descent of God. A flood-tide of enthusiasm sweeps over them when they speak about their Guru. The spiritual giant Swami Vivekananda could not help saying that in East Bengal, India, the Avatars grow like mushrooms. On the other hand, to pronounce that there has been and can be only one Avatar, the Son of God, is equally ridiculous.
Each time an Avatar comes, he plays a different role in the march of evolution according to the necessity of the age. In essence, one Avatar is not different from another. A genuine Avatar, Sri Ramakrishna, has revealed the Truth: “He who was Rama, he who was Krishna is now in the form of Ramakrishna.”
There are two eternal opposites: good and evil. According to Sri Krishna, when wickedness reaches the maximum height, God has to don the human cloak in the form of an Avatar. Sri Krishna’s advent had to deal with the darkest evil force, Kamsa. Similarly Herod, the peerless tyrant, needed the advent of Jesus Christ. Christmas, the birth of Christ, demanded the extinction of the life of ignorance. Janmashtami, the birth of Krishna, is celebrated throughout the length and breadth of India, with a view to leaving the sea of ignorance and entering into the Ocean of Knowledge.
The easiest and most effective way to conceive of the idea of a personal God is to come into contact with an Avatar and remain under his guidance. To have an Avatar as one’s guru is to find a safe harbour for one’s life boat. In this connection, we can cite Vivekananda’s bold statement: “No man can see God but through these human manifestations. Talk as you may, try as you may, you cannot think of God but as a man.”
According to many, as the Buddha is the most perfect man, so is Krishna the greatest Avatar the world has ever seen.
There are also Anshavatars (Partial Avatars). But Sri Krishna is a Purnavatar (Complete Avatar) in whom and through whom the Supreme is manifested fully, unreservedly and integrally. When human aspiration ascends, the divine Compassion descends in the cloak of an Avatar.
“As men approach me, so do I accept them.” There can be no greater solace than this to the bleeding heart of humanity. If we accept Krishna with faith, he illumines our doubting mind. If we accept Krishna with love, he purifies our tormenting vital. If we accept Krishna with devotion, he transforms the ignorance-night of our life into the Knowledge-Sun of His eternal Life.
Sri Krishna now wants our mind to be riveted on caste. He says that it was he who created the fourfold order of the caste system according to the aptitudes and deeds of each caste. There are people who give all importance to birth and heredity and deliberately ignore those who are abundantly blessed with capacities and accomplishments. The result is that society has to suffer the ruthless buffets of stark confusion. True, birth and heredity bring in importance, especially in the heart of society. But this so-called importance cannot offer us even an iota of light and truth. It is by virtue of action, serene and noble, that we grow into the Highest and manifest the Deepest here on earth.