Is ‘Ten Avatar Story’ Real or Fake?
“Udayji, is there any analogy between the ten-Avatars (DashAvatar) of Vishnu with the theory of evolution?” a question from the reader.
The actual Avatars were not strictly in chronological or evolutionary order of the occurrence. There are 24 Avatars of the Vishnu, according to Srimad Bhagavatam, the authentic scripture followed in Vaishnava tradition.
Among those, the first one is Adi Purush and the second is Four Kumars. The first one in the popular ten Avatar list, Fish (Matsya) comes as 11th Avatar in the actual one. Clearly, someone had handpicked ten Avatars from the 24 and listed (coincidence or factual?) according to the evolution theory.
However, we don’t have to depend upon the DashAvatar or any puranic stories to prove that our ancestors, the sages, knew about the science of evolution. They didn’t create idiotic stories like “God created man”. Instead, they followed science and truth.
Patanjali in his yoga sutra said: “Jatyantar Parinama Prakritya Purat”
The highly evolved nature of species (incidentally, Jati in Sanskrit means species and NOT caste, as some pseudo-intellectuals say) is the result of the transformation process. Do you need any better explanation for the theory of evolution?
Thousands of years before Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Charles Darwin, Hindu scriptures revealed that man has passed through 84 lakhs (8.4 million) births as plants, animals, inferior species and then came the ancestors of developed man existing today (Padma Purana). The saged also admitted advanced theory that this evolutionary process is generally progressive, although there can be reversals.
“So, Udayji, how many Avatars does Vishnu have?”
Bhagavatam says the Avatars of Vishnu are innumerable. It is to teach the simple truth “Isha vasyam idam sarvam”
(everything is cosmos or Brahmam). Vishnu had taken countless Avatars, partial and complete, some of the Avatars multiple times. Avatars are classified as two kinds – direct (sakshat) and indirect (avesa).
‘Avatar’ is mostly translated into English as “incarnation”, but more accurately it is “appearance” or “manifestation”. Avatar = descent, in Puranas
From the unlimited manifestations of Vishnu, in a later stage, our sages selected ten and popularised it. The concept of ten Avatars was first introduced in Garuda Purana. Jayadeva Goswami’s 12th-century list of ten is arguably the most popular, but there are several DashAvatar lists in the Vaishnava tradition.
The most popular ten Avatars are Matsya(Fish), Kurma (Turtle), Varaha (Boar), Narasimha (Lion Man), Vamana( The Dwarf), Parashurama, Rama, Balarama, Krishna, and Kalki. And Rama, Balarama, and Krishna were historical characters.
All of these Avatars are portrayed as having interacted with humans. Even during the first Avatar of fish, the existence of human beings had been recorded – so the Avatars are not about the theory of evolution, but it explains the theory of how human civilization is evolved. (Please check http://udaypai.in/dashAvatar-is-not-the-theory-of-evolution/).
Remember, when the rest of world strongly believed that “the earth is flat” till 17th century when Galileo Galilei proved the Copernican theory that the earth was not the center of the universe and it is a globe, Varah Avatar depicted as carrying “bhoo gola” (earth in globe form) in between his tusks.
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