10.7.3: KRISHNAVATARA, THE MIRACULOUS: p.3
The word Avatar comes from the root word meaning ‘to descend’. The Upanishads might repeatedly declare: Brahman alone is Truth; it is the all-pervading, Self-luminous Spirit, the final cause of everything in the Universe; it is a vast ageless boundless ocean of which everything visible is just only a wave; you and I are only drops of water in that wave. But however repetitive and forceful these declarations may be, humanity does not shed its weakness, its ignorance and take the word of God. A ‘Son of God’ has to descend on earth in flesh and blood and show to the world that He also can take a name and form as a human being and show mankind how to live their lives.
There are two objections from a rationalist here.
One is, if God exists he should be supercosmic or extracosmic and so should not intervene in the affairs of the world.
We agree with the rationalist that the existence of God has to be a postulation. In fact nothing in this world can be transacted without some postulation. Even one’s father is a father only by hypothesis, postulated to us by the mother – which we take as a ‘proof’. To continue, the rationalist forgets that, having postulated God, he is contradicting himself. God is not God if He is not omnipotent. Such an omnipotent God cannot be limited by any of your rules with ‘must’ and ‘should’.
The second objection of the rationalist is: Why should an omnipotent God who is Master of the entire Universe who could make anything happen on earth, have to resort to miracles to achieve His objectives, --if He has any, that is? If He wanted to avoid somebody dying of cancer he could have prevented the man from contracting it in the first place instead of allowing him to contract it and then cure it by a miracle! Why did he create Kamsa first, allow him do all the mischiefs that the world could not tolerate and then take the trouble of ‘descending’ down to Earth in the miraculous way of a Krishna baby and go through all these tortures of struggle with the devil of a Kamsa to kill him? The only explanation could be that God creates men with a free will to do what they will but still expects them to behave like human beings out of their own choice; and only when adharma increases beyond proportions He decides to intervene.
But again there are Avatars and Avatars. Rama and Krishna were the two most famous Avatars of God but the two were entirely different. Each had its own purpose and its own natural style of behaviour and teachings.
Throughout his Avatar, Rama never declares himself God come down on Earth, though the rishis of his time believed him to be so. He behaves like an ordinary mortal, but exhibits extraordinary human qualities and lives the life of an ideal man.
On the other hand the Avatar of Krishna loses no time in declaring himself God on Earth and performs miracle after miracle, almost for the asking. His life is full of apparent contradictions. And only the really blessed ones recognize Him as the manifestation of the Supreme Lord. And even they at crucial times are so blinded by the divine MayA that they treat Him like an ordinary child or an ordinary person.
Coming to our own times we have it on the authority of personal experience of several devotees that fully evolved beings like Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo, Ramana Maharishi and Kanchi Mahaswamigal, cannot but be manifestations of the Supreme Divinity. Each of these had their own style and purpose. But the question arises: If all these are avatars of Divinity, why have all the problems of this suffering world not been solved? Why are people still suffering? If God has come down on Earth why does He allow suffering to continue? Why do we fight before His very eyes?
These questions certainly arise, at one time or another, in all thinking minds who are eager to understand Divinity and its purpose. But we forget we think of these questions only in relevance to an Avatar. Why is it the same questions are not asked in respect of the all-knowing omnipresent Divinity irrespective of whether He comes down on Earth as a manifestation or not? Even when Divinity is in its own heaven, surely it is aware of all the sufferings man is subject to. So why does it not remove our sufferings by a stroke of its magic power?
Thus posed the question looks childish. It now looks like the questions frequently asked by non-believers to throw doubts on the existence of God; namely,
If God exists but cannot remove our suffering then he is not God;
If God exists and would not remove our suffering then he is not kind;
If God exists and should not remove our suffering then he is not the boss;
If God exists and suffering also has to exist, then he is not the only truth.
These are only rhetorical statements which do not take into account the fact that a God, if He is really God, should not be judged from our human norms of right and wrong, justice and injustice – for the very simple reason that no human has the database or the holistic view that the divinity must surely have of the universe and its contents. Even in our day-to-day activities we do come across incidents which defy all explanations except the presence of a holistic objective in the powers that are beyond us.
The Descent of Divinity on Earth is to establish faith in the existence of a higher reality and the truth of spiritual laws, so that we may have the strength to turn towards Dharma and steadfastly work for our salvation. If the supreme Reality in the form of either the omnipotent Divinity or an Avatar solved all our problems of poverty, disease, fear and hate, do you think that would be the end of our problems? The cure of our bodily illnesses or of our poverty would still leave us at the same level of consciousness and spiritual evolution as before, so that very soon, we would again be at one another’s throats and the same chaotic world would continue.
If God had really a purpose in descending on Earth, it could not be to solve our mundane problems of illness and poverty. It would be to clear the way for our spiritual growth. But even when an avatar comes, if it comes at all, we may not rcognize it or respect it. The only way we may recognize it is through the awareness of certain miracles happening before our very eyes. The purpose of a miracle, from the view-point of Divinity, is not to prove itself, because Divinity has no purpose. Miracles are just a natural outflow of God’s infinite love for His children. If, in the process, we are attracted towards Him, we should only be more thankful to Him for allowing us to witness His leelA. The Lord Himself says: “My MayA is incomprehensible to the human mind. Don’t try to understand it intellectually. You can never do that. But pray for My Grace which will help you transcend that”.
In this process of worship and prayer He sometimes grants you things which are just mundane and trivial from the psiritual point of view. There is however nothing wrong in praying to God for the solution of your difficulties. What is important is not what you want but whom you ask for its fulfillment. The Avatar comes down on Earth to remind you of these truths and turn you inward. And whatever Avatar one considers none can deny the fact that whoever that came into even remote contact with that Avatar did change to a higher level of evolution.
Om ShAntiH ShAntiH ShAntiH