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Re: avathAram
Date: Thu Jan 04 1996 - 10:18:32 PST

     Salutations to all !
     I would like to add to this discussion regarding the avathArams.
     a) vEdAntins would not find it tenable to accept budDha as
     an avathAram, because it denies the very existence of something 
     called "Athman" (let alone paramAthman). I think all vEdAntins
     (advaithins, vishishtAdvaithins and dvaithins) do not accept the
     "nairAtmavAdam" of the boudDhamatham.
     And I dont think, a budDhist too would find it tenable to accept
     budDha as an avathAram.
     My guess is that at some point in History (may be jayadhEva of
     ashtapadhi fame) a need for such a synthesis was felt, and it was
     done. I dont think we have a pramANa for accepting budDha as an
     avathAram. On the contrary we have a number of pramANas listing
     the dashAvathAras explicitly, such as svAmi dEsikan's sthotram.
     b) Let us consider the motivation for Him to descend as an avathAram.
      i) Someone already mentioned that it is a part of His leela (sport)
     ii) I would also like to recall that famous verse in Gita:
               "parithraNAya sAdhUnAm vinAshAya cha dhushkruthAm
                dharmasamsthApanArThaya samBhavami yuge yuge"
        Observe the word cha (AND). It is not vA (OR). He Himself says that
        "I manifest myself (descend as an avathAram) to
               1) protect the good,
               2) destroy the evil
               3) to well-establish the dharma"
        How can 
        He, who is the essence of the vEdas
        descend as an avathAra of       
        budDha, who rejected the vEdas ?
        If He did, would not He not be contradicting reason #3 ?
     I am sure the learned scholars in this group will see
     this logic, and establish the truth. 
     c) This is not directly relevant to this topic. But I thought I should 
     share this with the group. I remember a discourse (I think Sri Krishna 
     Premee's) where a witty and humourous samadhAnam was answered to this 
     hypothetical question:
     Question: Why does He not take avathArams these days ? After all some 
     of our politicians are worse than rAvaNa and the other asurAs !
     Answer: True, there may be some people today, who could match the 
     asuras of yore. Yet, he does not take an abvathAram. In that 
     Gitashloka, He also has another condition - "to protect the good" !
     May be, there is not a single "good" person; for otherwise how would
     He (who rushed to the rescue of Gajendra, Prahlada and Draupadi)
     keep quiet ? Probably there are "good" persons too; but they dont seem
     to ask Him for help with full confidence in Him ! That's why He
     has gone "out of business" these days !
     vAchaka dOshaha kshanthavyAha.
     adiyEn maDhurakavidhAsan,
     Ramesh Srinivasaraghavan