Are Avatars Real ?


Question : In India there is a concept of Yugas — Kritha, Thretha, Dwapara, and Kali. Do these Yugas really exist ? Could we take that the Avatars listed in mythology were also real beings ? Kindly enlighten .


Sage TGN : Every religion has three aspects :

1.      Philosophy, without which the Intelligentsia will not be convinced;

2.      Mythology to teach basic truths to children and the uneducated, and;

3.      Rituals to keep common people on the track of virtue, with promises of incentives in Heaven for good folk and threats in Hell for wrong-doers.


The concepts of Yugas and Incarnations are part of Mythology and they are the products of fertile and purposeful imagination on the part of the Sages who had the task of guiding the society. Every Religion has its quota of legends — if the water-god is Varuna in Hindusthan, his counterpart is Neptune in Rome, and Aquarius in Greece. Puranas came at a much later period to the Vedas, which recognise only one Origin of the Universe and call it Brahman. The multiplicity of deities or personal Gods with form and weapons does not have the sanction of the Vedas or the Upanishads, which are the pristine fountainheads of all knowledge.


     Swami Dayananda Saraswathi, the militant monk of the 19th century, who founded the Arya Samaj, researched into the scriptures and published the authentic version of the Vedas. This voluminous Satyartha Prakash available in English translation in standard libraries should be read in order to get cleared all our doubts of gods and avatars.


     Swami Dayananda, who is hailed as the Architect of Modern India by no less a person than Mahatma Gandhi, states categorically that whoever is born on this Earth is born only through a channel; and whoever is born has to die at the appropriate time either of old age or disease or through accident.


     There were some rare role-models for society who conducted themselves on lofty principles and they came to be worshipped by others. Rama and Krishna were such exemplars and no wonder legends came to be spun around them in later times. Is there not a temple for Mahatma Gandhi in Gujarat and shrines for Narayana  Guru in South India? Rama and Krishna too lived out their allotted span. The former was drowned in the Sarayu river and the latter fell to a hunter’s arrow at the age of 82.


     The western countries, much behind India in civilisation, were however ahead in modern science. Their scientific temperament enabled them to outgrow the concepts of Neptune and Aquarius, whereas due to want of the rational curriculum in India, we cling to the puranas believing them to be real accounts.



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