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From: Krishna Kalale (
Date: Mon Jun 05 1995 - 12:53:09 PDT

I have included your question below:

the answer according to what I know is :

in the 4th chapter beginning,  in bhagawadgita, if you get a copy of
ramanuja bhasya you can confirm my thoughts.  what Sri Ramanuja bhasya
states is that - 

sva svaroopam ajahat -  ie. without leaving his original form and attributes
of jnana bala veerya aishvarya tejas ... and infinite other auspscious ones
Lord Srimannarayana has taken this form - using his own divine form - ie.
the body of avatharas are not made of same flesh, nerves and blood like
us. he just appears in front of us for the purpose of predominantly 
sadhu parithrana - ie. giving the saints and the good ones the opportunity
to actually touch, feel and interact with their object of utmost devotion
ie. God who is so difficult to even visualize for "Bramha - Siva, sanaka etc."
(Note dusta nigraha or killing of the non-dharmic people could be done
right from vaikunta - since he could have done it by his divine will

but the sadhu paritrana - had to be done by he himself descending to this
world to interact with his devotees and show them the form and nature
of Almighty to increase their devotion. or else they would become
devastated by the loss,  thinking that they have been meditating on 
someone who never bothers to show mercy.

Advaita - has the utmost reverence to avataras, but technically the view is

nirguna bramhan - ie taintless eternal pure one, does not bother or interact,
with this universe since for it nothing exists and neither does it knows
that it exists! since bramhan is never a knower but "pure mass of jnana"
"prajnana ghana". on the other hand, this pure bramhan is reflected in three
types of upadhis or - adjuncts (which are absolutely unreal themselves!),
these upadhis are satvic, rajasic, and tamasic. Ishwara or Saguna bramhan is
the reflection of Bramhan on this satvic upadhi. ie. in simple words - 

Nirguna bramhan appears as avataras or saguna bramhan and interacts (appears to!) in this world with his devotees. One has to get used to this two tier
reality model.  if there were only - lower tier truth ie. conventional reality
then  advaita in its conventional reality model accepts visistadvaitic view
of avataras!  but in its higher tier model it rejects absolute existence of
everything - avataras, world, and jeevas or souls!!

confusing!!  this is the best I can do to summarise what advaita is in short,

----- Begin Included Message -----

>From MFPD@UTCVM.UTC.EDU Mon Jun  5 09:40:01 1995
Date:         Mon, 05 Jun 95 09:31:10 EDT
From: Parthasarati Dileepan <MFPD@UTCVM.UTC.EDU>
Subject:      Avathaaram

Our tradition has it that our Lord resides in each
individual soul much like the individual soul
residing in the body.  What about the Lord's
avathaarams?  Does Brahman reside directly in the body
that the Lord takes on?  What is the position of
our tradition on this?  What does adhvaitham say about this?

Just curious,  Dileepan

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