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Date: Thu Jan 04 1996 - 19:36:13 PST
The discussion over whether Parasurama and Buddha are part of the Dasavataara has since changed course and the discussion has centered around whether in fact they are Avataaras. For the purpose of Srivaishnavas the Dasavataaras are those that appeared to Thirumangai Azhwaar and have been present since then at the Dasavataara Sannidhi in Srirangam. Swami Desikan has put His stamp of approval on these vigrahas as representing the ten principal avataaras by composing His DasavatAra Stotram. For the purposes of Srivaishnavas it is very clear that Parasurama is one of the 10 principal avatAras while Buddha is not. Whether Buddha is or is not an avatAra is another issue altogether. The Srimad Bhagavatam mentions Buddha as one avatAram. I have read that this refers to Adi Buddha who appeared two Kali Yugas ago. Sriman Narayana can and does manifest in the bodies of surrendered souls. Swami Desikan has described all the Azhwars and Acharyas as avatAras because Lakshmi Hayagriva sit on their tongues and preaches to the whole world. We also cannot decide on the basis of the leelas of any of the avataaras whether Sriman Narayana would have acted like that or not. He is independent, owns everything and whatever He does is for the good of all. Parasurama does not have to be prayed to if one does not feel like it but since realized souls have accepted Him as an avatAra, we have to accept their word for it. Krishna for example not only killed the King of Kashi who sent a demon to Dwaraka to kill Krishna and the residents of Dwaraka, but also made the Sudarshana chakra destroy the whole city of Kashi and all the residents along with women and children. How is this different from what Parasurama did? Parasurama after only killed kings in battle. Yet Srimad Bhagavatam says that "Krishnastu Bhagavam Swayam" and is accepted by all Hindus as such. Similarly Satyabhama made life miserable for all around her. Yet the Vishnu Sahasranaama says "Rukmini Satyabhamabhyam Sahitam Krishnam Ashrayeh". The same Satyabhama appeared in Kali Yuga as Andaal. Also Sriman Narayana takes avataras all the time in the animal kingdom etc in order to redeem fallen jivatmas whose existence we do not even know about. These avataaras are just not manifest to us. We will be able to see them when we are ready and when Sriman Narayana decides to bless us with that realization. Even during Sri Krishna's time only a few realized that He was God and only these people were able to see the Vishvaroopam shown in Dhritarashtra's palace. The rest only saw a blinding light and looked upon Krishna as a mortal just as many Hindus look upon Narayana in vigraha form as a stone image today. Jaganath.