Forums Chat Annouce Calender Remote

The Avatar in the Vedic Tradition

                              The Avatar
                          Robert E. Wilkinson

Eastern spiritual and yogic tradition has developed over many millennia a 
specialized language which describes the evolutionary process in its 
individual and collective manifestation. A precise vocabulary has evolved 
categorizing states of consciousness, modes of perception, systems of energy 
and myriad occult laws and principles. In recent years, Western psychology 
has adopted many of these Sanskrit words and phrases in an attempt to 
conceptualize and language the more advanced stages of the transformational 
process. Quite a few of these highly complex terms have found their way into 
the vernacular of the "New Age" popular culture and among the most abused and 
misunderstood of these Indian buzzwords is the occult title of the "	
Avatar". Many well known "new age" teachers have assumed this title and 
numerous others have had this designation conferred upon them by enthusiastic 
students wishing to elevate their spiritual status. The result of this 
indiscriminate and  inappropriate use has been to reduce this sacred term to 
little more than an honorific bestowed on ones spiritual teacher or guru. 

     In its native language, this title refers to a Divine Incarnation, one 
in whom the Supreme Consciousness has descended into human birth for a great 
world-work. He is a realizer and an establisher of something essential and 
radical needed for the terrestrial evolution. The Avatar is not a singular 
incarnation but takes birth through a divine lineage stretched out over many 
millennia. These incarnations are linked through the substance of their 
mission which is the establishment of a reign of Truth Consciousness on the 
Earth. They take birth under particular time conditions corresponding to 
points in the Cosmic Harmony which illuminate certain archetypal patterns and 
designs. Their manifestation is both cosmogonic and paradigmatic revealing a 
profound knowledge of the workings of the Cosmos and reproducing on the human 
scale the myth of the eternal return. Through these Cosmic credentials and 
other unique symbols relating to their work and purpose, it becomes 
irrefutably evident that both Heaven and Earth have collaborated in the 
sacred event of their births.
      In the Puranic mythologies of ancient India, the legend of the Avatar 
is considered one of the most important myths of the Vedic culture. It is 
particularly associated with the God Vishnu, one of the principle deities of 
the Hindu trinity which also includes Brahma, the creator and Shiva, the 
destroyer. Vishnu is the preservation aspect of the trinity and represents 
that all-pervading power which maintains the universe and the cosmic order. 
He is considered to be the embodiment of goodness and mercy and periodically 
intervenes in terrestrial evolution by descending to earth in a human 
incarnation as the Avatar. The primary role of the Avatar is to re-establish 
stability and order on the earth and to introduce a new evolutionary impulse 
which will uplift mankind into a greater and more unified consciousness. 
Because their periodic manifestation is determined by an inherent association 
with the Time Spirit, they take birth at particular points in the cosmic 
cycle which correspond to the earths passage through the zodiacal ages. 
Vishnu is associated with the signs of preservation and appears every 6,480 
years during the Fixed periods of the earths precessional cycle. He 
incarnates on the earth in the signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and our present 
Age of Aquarius and comes at a time when the earth is under the influence of 
dark and evil forces. In the Bhagavad Gita, one of Indias most sacred 
scriptures the 8th Avatar Krishna reveals himself to his disciple, Arjuna and 
discloses something of this cosmic process,
 "Whenever the world declineth in virtue and righteousness; and vice and 
injustice mount the throne, then cometh I, the Lord and revisit my world in 
visible form, and mingleth as a man with men, and by my influence and 
teachings do I destroy the evil and injustice and reestablish virtue and 
righteousness. Many times have I thus appeared, and many times hereafter 
shall I come again." 
Legend has it that during these periods of darkness and destruction that the 
Earth calls out to Vishnu and asks for his help. He responds and also sends 
Durga, the Divine Mother to save the earth by means of her many powers. Durga 
willingly assists but owing to her great force, she sets in motion acts of 
tremendous destruction, which bring down the old order but which eventually 
result in the birth of a new world. 

     The legend of the Avatar like all myths is prophetic. It is not a mere 
allegory but an archetypal story describing the incarnations of living and 
conscious evolutionary forces. These mythic beings take birth on the earth at 
precise moments in order to help man and show him the way from his ordinary 
mortal state to an enlightened consciousness. Their identity may be 
authenticated by the quality of knowledge they brings to the earth, a 
knowledge which resolves the seemingly insoluable problems of past ages and 
establishes a new and integral vision of order in the world.

     In the 2nd century BC, the astronomer Hipparchus, described the slow 
continuous westward movement of the equinoxes around the ecliptic. This 
movement was the result of the precession of the earths axis and became the 
measure which determined the cosmological age. In 1926 the precessional cycle 
of the earth entered the sign Aquarius, a fixed Air sign and the appointed 
time for the appearance of Vishnus incarnation as the Avatar. It was a time 
of great crisis for the earth. The 1st World War had just ended, the great 
depression lay immediately ahead and World War II was soon to come. The Earth 
in her anguish called out to Vishnu to save her from the dark and evil forces 
which had overtaken the world. Vishnu responded and revealed his incarnation 
as the 9th Puranic Avatar. He had taken birth on the 15th of August, 1872 in 
the city of Calcutta. Swarnalata Ghose, wife of an Indian physician had given 
birth to a son who was to become the greatest of Indias spiritual lights. 
Sri Aurobindo as he was to be known, was educated in England and later 
returned to his native India where he became a leader of the independence 
movement and one of his countrys most respected citizens. In 1908, at the 
age of 36,  Sri Aurobindo received an inner command to withdraw from politics 
and devote his life to the practice of a new yoga which would revolutionize 
mans understanding of his spiritual possibilities. His new Integral Yoga 
promised to reverse altogether the traditional orientation of the spiritual 
quest and end thousands of years of nihilistic otherworldliness. 
He wrote over thirty volumes describing his new yoga and repeatedly 

 "the significance of our existence here determines our destiny", not an 
escape into a religious heaven or nirvanic void, but "a destiny which already 
exists in us, an emergent reality unrolling itself in Time, a Being that is 
Becoming and that becoming is our lifes significance."
     In 1910 Sri Aurobindo moved to the small coastal town of Pondicherry in 
southern India where he was to establish the seat of his work. For the next 
40 years under a supreme inner guidance, he practiced an intense yogic 
discipline which was eventually to lead to his realization of the Supermind. 
In 1914 he was joined by Mirra Richards, a French occultist, whom he was 
later to reveal as the living incarnation of the "Divine Mother". Knowledge 
of her unique mission came gradually, said the Mother, "it is as though I 
were born with it, and following my own growth, the precision and 
completeness of this consciousness grew." 

     In 1926 Sri Aurobindo announced that he had integrated the Overmental 
consciousness begun by Sri Krishna, the 8th Avatar and could now begin the 
establishment of the Supramental Force. His task was to bring about the 
descent of this truth consciousness and to prepare for its general 
manifestation in this apparently undivine world. The ultimate result of this 
manifestation was the transformation and divinization of Mind, Life and 
Matter. It was to bring about a leap in the evolution of man and his 
transfiguration into the Superman. 

In his 824 page epic poem, "Savitri", Sri Aurobindo described his yogic 
collaboration with the Mother:
                "When the hour of the Divine draws near, 
               the Mighty Mother shall take birth in Time,
                  and God be born into the human clay 
                in forms made ready by your human lives. 
              Then shall the Truth Supreme be given to men."

The "Truth Supreme" was the promise of a new evolutionary initiative. The 
mighty Mother, creatrix of Matter and the Avatar, a descent of the Divine 
upon earth, joined forces to introduce a new epoch in human experience. 
Through the collaboration of these Divine incarnations, the two ends of 
existence were linked. The Spiritual dimension and the Material creation were 
purposefully joined so as to interpenetrate the intermediate regions of Soul, 
Mind and Life. On 29, February, 1956, after a lifetime of the most intense 
yogic tapasya, the Mother announced, 

"The greatest thing that can ever be, the most marvelous thing since the 
beginning of creation, the Miracle has happened... A new world, yes, a 
completely new world is born and here. Yet even now, there are very few 
people who are aware of its birth and of the difference it brings into the 

     With these words, the manifestation of the Supramental Consciousness was 
born upon the earth. The evolutionary leap beyond our present mental species 
had begun. It was no longer a promise but a living fact, a reality. A new 
light had appeared, a new world was born and here, and yet there were only a 
few who could see what the many could not understand. Sri Aurobindo and the 
Mother had completed their part of this mythic adventure. Their work stands 
alone as the most integral and all embracing spiritual knowledge ever 
revealed to mankind. Sri Aurobindo had fulfilled  the form of the Avatar to 
perfection. He came at the prescribed time in the sign of Vishnu at the 
behest of a suffering world; he collaborated with Durga the Divine Mother 
to save the earth and bring about a new order of truth; he and the Mother 
left volumes of the most impeccable knowledge to testify to their 
evolutionary bona fides. And through her occult action, the Mother set in 
motion processes of tremendous destruction which we have witnessed in our 
time. The old world order has crumbled and the new, like the mythical Phoenix 
is now rising out of its ashes. 

     Some of the worlds greatest thinkers are only now beginning to realize 
the profundity of the Mothers statement. In the July 8th issue of the New 
York Times there was an article by Vaclav Havel, president of the Czech 
Republic, called "The New Measure of Man". In his article Havel writes,

"The modern age has ended, many things indicate that we are going through a 
transitional period, when it seems, that something is on the way out and 
something else is painfully being born. It is as if something were crumbling, 
decaying and exhausting itself, while something else, still indistinct, were 
rising from the rubble." 

     He goes on to suggest that the emergence of this new order is 
conditioned upon mans ability to rediscover himself as an "anthropic 
cosmological" being which means anchoring himself once more in the cosmos of 
which he is an integral part. Havel and many other seminal thinkers are aware 
that we are in the middle of a transition but are unable to formulate what 
this is leading to or how it will occur. They know for example that it 
involves a resacralization of the Earth and the recovery of a natural order 
which discloses mans intrinsic relationship with the cosmos. They speak and 
write about this in spiritual, mythic and often prophetic terms but realize 
at the same time that the solution lies beyond religious forms as we know 
them today. What is needed, they agree, is a spiritual renaissance, but how 
that is to occur takes us beyond the limits of our present mental species.

     The work of the Avatars in this 9th Manifestation is to introduce this 
renaissance. Their Supramental knowledge goes far beyond the fragmentary 
analysis of these modern intellectuals into a unified and integral vision of 
an emerging cosmos and a new world order. They not only define the critical 
issues which Havel and others struggle to articulate, but also answer the 
difficult questions and pose new solutions. Their goal in this Age is to 
conquer the hold of the Mental consciousness over the human species. Under 
their influence, political and religious ideologies which have so long 
divided the world will begin to give way to a new understanding of Unity and 
a wide embracing ecumenism. "What is necessary, says Aurobindo, to make this 
new creation a reality is that there should be a turn in humanity felt by 
some or many toward the vision of this change". He describes the nature of 
this apotheosis:

 "It is the sovereignty of the Spirit over its own instruments, a new 
consciousness in which humanity itself shall find its own self-exceeding and 
self-fulfillment by the revelation of the Divinity that is striving for birth 
within it." 

    As this Supramental consciousness becomes established on the Earth, 
humanity will enter the Third Millennium guided by an emergent Divinity which 
will at last fulfill the ancient prophesies of a "New Heaven and a New 

For those persons interested in learning more about the Supramental Avatars 
and their evolutionary work, please contact Robert E. Wilkinson at Aeon 
Group, P. O. Box 396 Accord NY 12404 or at our E-Mail address 

Advertise with us!
This site is part of Dharma Universe LLC websites.
Copyrighted 2009-2015, Dharma Universe.