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Re: gurus, avatars, etc.

In article <31hpt4$996@vixen.cso.uiuc.edu>,
geitner@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu (Lorin Geitner) wrote:
> Can anyone out there answer these questions?
> I have heard of certain Indian gurus who are believed to be
> avatars, such as Sai Baba and Mother Meera. I would like to
> learn more about them. I do have some specific questions:
> 1. Besides the two whom I have mentioned, I understand there
> are others. What are their names....what do they teach?

Namaste!  Here is a description of the ten Avataar(s), but its
strongest points -- brevity and translation into this language --
are also its weakest:

 1. Matsya, the Fish 
     - inhabits te cosmic ocean between successive re-creations.
 2. Kurma, the Tortoise 
     - provides support for the churning implement as the Gods and
       demons churn the ocean of milk for the nectar of immortality.
 3. Varaaha, the Boar
     - rescues the globe of earth from beneath the cosmic sea where
       she has been lost.
 4. Vaamana, the Dwarf
     - alike Vishnu, takes three strides and defeats the demon Bali
       and regains earth for Gods' dominion.
 5. Narasingh, the Man-Lion
     - defeats demon Hianyakashipu
 6. Parashuram
     - treats Kshatriyas accordingly after they persecuted Brahmins
 7. Raam
     - defeats demon Raavan of Lankaa and rescues Seeta
 8. Krshn
     - advises Arjun in the Mahabharat in wat is the Bhagvat Geeta  
 9. Buddh
     - leads mankind in a certain direction during this Kali Yug
10. Kalki
     - yet to come

Sources: Garud Puraan; Matsya Puraan; Vishnu Puraan; Kurma Puraan,

> 2. I understand the concept of an "avatar". What signs are
> supposed to indicate such a person. How do Mother Meera, Sai
> Baba, and the others manifest these?

When contemporary society designates someone to be an Avataar,
yours truly perceives that designation more accurately stated as

> 3. I know the old saying, "when the student is ready, the
> teacher will emerge", or words to that effect. How do you "get
> ready" without a teacher? I have been seeking for a number of
> years....I have met one or two gurus...yet none have struck a
> chord with me.

To "get ready without a teacher," one consults the Guru, or
teacher, within. Paramatma, the Supreme, Bhagavaan, God, Cosmic
Intelligence, the Supreme Soul -- they are omniscient, omnipresent
and omnipotent. Thus they pervade all there is and are also
> 4. A question about Sai Baba in particular....I have met people
> who have witnessed his miracles. These were credible people,
> and I am willing to credit that the miracles do occur. One
> thing does concern me, though. I understand that as one
> approaches enlightenment, sidhhas will emerge. But I have
> always heard that such siddhas (sp.?) were not to be dwealt
> upon, because they are potentially dangerous obstacles to
> enlightment per se. So why has Satya Sai made them such a focus
> of his ministry?
Siddhis, or "extraordinary powers" in this context, can be weapons
of destruction in the hands and minds of the untrained -- much like
a healing surgeon's scalpel can be an instrument of injury and
death in the hands of a murderer.

> One further comment: You will note from my name that I am not
> Indian. Please do not consider me an interloper. I ask the
> above questions sincerely. At this point in my life, I have
> read about most of the major bodies of mysticism, Christian,
> Sufi, Zen, et al. -- tried different forms of
> prayer/meditation. But of all of them, Indian mysticism has
> struck a special chord. (A friend once speculated that I may
> have been Indian in a recent incarnation. I don't know, having
> no memories of past lives, but it would explain a lot....)

There are several calculations and procedures within the science
of Jyotish, Vedic astrology, which help us describe the preceeding
and succeeding incarnations of a being. However, the New Age-ish
supposition that humans must have been humans in past lives
chooses only one part of the principles of incarnation and
neglects to consider the others -- such as those of

> Besides, I have read the Gita, a number of Upanishads, etc.,
> and have the greatest respect for India's culture and
> traditions.    
> -- Lorin Geitner (Geitner@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu)

Please do enlighten us with the messages you have received from
these texts.

-=Om Shanti=-  Jai Maharaj
                 Jyotishi, Vedic Astrologer

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