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Avatars

By:Andrew Hain
Date: Thu,15 Jun 2023
Submitter:Andrew Hain
Views:683

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“On the lush alien world of Pandora live the Na'vi, beings who appear primitive but are highly evolved. Because the planet's environment is poisonous, human/Na'vi hybrids, called Avatars, must link to human minds to allow for free movement on Pandora.” That is the scenario for the hugely successful recent film “Avatar”.

Is this really what an avatar is? Or could it be as described in “Avatar: the last Airbender”: “The four nations of Air, Water, Earth and Fire lived in harmony until the Fire Nation declared war. A century later, there is still no end in sight to the destruction, then, an Avatar named Aang discovers that he has the power to control the four elements. He joins forces with Katara, a Waterbender, and her brother, Sokka, to restore balance and harmony to their world.” Is this a more fitting description?

An avatar is a computer user's representation of themselves in a computer game or three dimensional virtual environment. It is usually a three dimensional graphical representation of the user in such spaces.

So which of the above is the real version? They are all modern inventions which have taken the word and applied it to their creation. I suppose the computer usage of the word is closest to its “spiritual” meaning in that it is a personal representation of the user.

However, the true meaning of ‘avatar’ is to be found In Hinduism, which defines it as the incarnation of a deity in human or animal form to counteract an evil in the world. It usually refers to 10 appearances of Vishnu, including an incarnation as the Buddha?Gautama and Kalkin (the incarnation yet to come). The doctrine appears in the Bhagavadgita in the words of Lord Krishna to Arjuna: “Whenever there is a decline of righteousness and rise of unrighteousness then I send forth Myself.”

“Avatar” comes from the Sanskrit word avatara meaning “descent”. Within Hinduism, it means?a manifestation of a deity in bodily form on earth, such as a divine teacher. For those of us who don't practice Hinduism, it technically means “an incarnation, embodiment, or manifestation of a person or idea”.
There are ten avatars in Hinduism, nine of whom have already manifested. Matsya; Kurma; Varaha; Narasimha; Vamana; Parashurama; Rama; Krishna; Buddha; and Kalki will be the final avatar (incarnation) of the Hindu god Vishnu, and is yet to appear. At the end of the present Kali yuga (age), when virtue and dharma have disappeared and the world is ruled by the unjust, Kalki will appear to destroy the wicked and to usher in a new age.

The founders of religions—particularly Christ, Buddha, and Mohammed—are regarded by many as avatars, but this is a departure from the classic concept, as none of the avatars of Vishnu ever founded a new religion. The Buddha is regarded an avatar of Vishnu by the Hindus not because he founded a religion but because he propounded the ancient teaching of dharma or natural law.
It is interesting to note that Kalki is depicted as a white horse.

St. John the Divine also prophesied the coming of the Avatar in his Book of Revelations: “I saw the heavens open and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him is He who makes faith and knowledge true, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed in a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called the WORD of God. And out of mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of almighty God. And he hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, ‘King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.’” [Revelations 19:11-16]

From a theosophical point Alice Bailey writes of the Avatar of Synthesis, which she defines as “a powerful being living inside the sun serving the Solar Logos called the Avatar of Synthesis.”

In “A Treatise on Cosmic Fire”, she is given a prophesy by the Master D.K. (also known as the Tibetan) that is remarkably similar to St John's description quoted above: “From the gates of gold down to the pit of earth, out from the flaming fire down to the circle of gloom, rideth the secret Avatar, bearing the sword that pierceth. Naught can arrest His approach, and none may say Him nay. To the darkness of our sphere He rideth alone, and on His approach is seen the uttermost disaster, and the chaos of that which seeketh to withstand. The Asuras veil their faces, and the pit of maya reeleth to the foundations. The stars of the eternal Lhas vibrate to that sound, —the WORD uttered with sevenfold intensity.”

Bailey explains that the 'utmost disaster and chaos' is caused by resistance to change and from the fact that the first ray of spiritual Will, Power, and Synthesis is also the ray of divine destruction, destroying the old crystallized forms so that a New World may arise, Phoenix like, from the ashes.
?The 'Asuras,' (described in Hinduism as power-seeking demons, and, in its Buddhist context, the word is sometimes translated "titan", "demigod", or "antigod") who try to hide, are, according to Bailey, the 'Brothers of the Dark Face,' who have taken a stand against the spiritual evolution of the world. The 'pit of maya' (maya = illusion) is the physical plane, the lowest of the three planes of maya. (Lhas are Spirits of the highest spheres, from whence derives the name of Lhasa, capital of Tibet, and the traditional residence of the Dalai-Lama.) They have responded to the cries of Earth with the WORD, sounded forth 'with seven fold intensity,' reflecting the opening words of John's Gospel.
Later, in Revelations 19:11-15, John writes, “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”
Edgar Cayce, in his commentary on the Book of Revelations, states that the Horse, which the White Horse Rider rides, is the Christ.

In all ?the religious and esoteric scriptures concerning the coming Avatar -- Buddhist, Hindu, Persian, Christian, and the Ancient Mysteries—He is depicted as riding a white horse. This symbolizes the overshadowing of the lesser Avatar by the greater. H.P. Blavatsky says that Vishnu will return, not as, but on Kalki, the White Horse, the last Avatar. The Tibetan hints at this interpretation when speaking of the lesser Avatar and the ‘Rider on the White Horse,’ when he says that in an earlier cycle, the then initiates spoke of the ‘sacrificial horse.’ According to certain Tibetan myths relating to the coming Avatar, the Horse on which He rides is an incarnation of a great Bodhisattva.
This could possibly explain why H.P. Blavatsky speaks of the Kalki Avatar, the powerful warrior who rides on a white horse from Shamballa (1st Ray) and Lord Maitreya (the Christ and the coming Buddha, 2nd Ray) as being the same. Helena Roerich in one of her letters states that the Kalki/Maitreya is the Lord of Shamballa and the author of the Agni Yoga Books. The books themselves seem to indicate three names as the author, Morya, Maitreya, and Rigden. Rigden is the name or title of the kings of Shambhala.?It is the last Rigden, Rigden Dragpo, also known as Kalki Rudracakrin, who according to the highly esoteric Buddhist scripture, the Kalachakra Tantra, will ride forth on a white horse from Shambhala at the end of the Dark Age (the Kali Yuga) to destroy the evil in the world.

The Hindu scriptures also say that the Kalki Avatar will come forth from Shambhala to destroy the evil kings of the world. Edwin Bernbaum in his fascinating book “The Way to Shamballa” writes: "In the Kalki Purana, (an ancient Hindu text), a sage King named Maru [Morya], a descendant of an earlier incarnation of Vishnu, lives there in the Himalayas, awaiting the end of the age of discord [Kali Yuga]. When Kalki comes to liberate the world, this sage will join him in the final battle against the barbarians. After their victory over the forces of evil, Maru will gain a throne and assist Kalki in establishing a golden age." A similar prophecy can be found in the?Vishnu Purâna?(BookIV, Chapter 4) where it is stated that there was in the Sorya Dynasty a king called "Maru, who, through the power of yoga, is still living in the village called Kalapa," in the Himalayas and who "in a future age, will be the restorer of the Kshatriya race in the solar dynasty." The term kshatriya comes from kshatra and implies temporal authority and power which was based less on being a successful leader in battle and more on the tangible power of laying claim to sovereignty over a territory, and symbolising ownership over clan lands. This later gave rise to the idea of kingship. Kalapa is considered to be on the northern side of the Himalayas. (There is a Kalapa Hermitage which was established in the fourteenth century by the Jonang monk Puntsok Pelzang in the Penyul region north of Lhasa, but this, I suggest, is a purely coincidental naming.)

In that great wordless picture book of the ancient Mysteries, The Book of Thoth? the thirteenth hieroglyph depicts much the same symbolism.
On looking at the card it is easy to note that the Rider is greeted by the Hierophant, the one who confers initiation into the sacred Mysteries, and that the ‘city of Light,’ reminiscent of the ‘New Jerusalem’, lies in the forward distance or future. The death and destruction implied here pertains to that which is obstructing the natural currents of Evolution.

The prospect of Vishnu arriving on the Kalki Avatar might seem like a welcome solution to the many problems the world is currently facing, such as pandemics, climate change and great political upheaval, with what we are experiencing fitting very well with the characteristics of Kali Yuga, which are moral and spiritual decline, chaos, and suffering.

However, according to Hindu tradition the Kali Yuga will last for 432,000 years (1,200 divine years). According to this tradition, the Kali Yuga began 5,124 years ago and has?426,876 years left to run as of 2023 CE: Kali Yuga will therefore end in the year 428,899 CE. Those of us who hope to witness the arrival of Vishnu astride the Kalki Avatar have many more reincarnations to live through before we will be able to do so.


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