Avatar - the Science of the Lord's Descent -1

Lesson One

[ - A.T. Das ] In the Srimad Bhagavatam it is stated, ane ca sams!rtatmano vidhina a"hihitena te
a#anti tvan maas tvamvai "ah$m$rt e!am$rti!am %Lord &rishna sas' There are others, (ho are
)$rified and c$*t$red so$*s, (ho " $nderstanding m different forms as mse*f, as one )ersona*it in
vario$s forms and feat$res, (orshi) me according to their s)irit$a* $nderstanding and convictions
fo**o(ing the r$*es of (orshi) as given in the +edas., -ach )rocess of (orshi) given in the vedic
scri)t$res invo*ves $nderstanding the different forms of the Lord, "$t the $*timate )$r)ose is to
(orshi) the same one S$)reme Lord .imse*f. The vario$s forms of the Lord (hich are $n*imited "$t
one and the same are descri"ed in the vedic *iterat$res as fo**o(s' Sri &rishna , the S$)reme
/ersona*it of 0odhead manifests .imse*f in three feat$res in .is transcendenta* form'
svaam r$)a - .is )ersona* form,
tad e!atma r$)a - different form "$t .imse*f,
avesa r$)a - form into (hich .e has entered. The svaam r$)a is the form in (hich Sri &rishna is
direct* $nderstood, .is )ersona* form. The tad e!atma r$)a is that form (hich most resem"*es the
svaam r$)a, "$t there are some differences in the "odi* feat$res. The avesa r$)a is (hen &rishna
enters either his o(n e1)ansions or some s$ita"*e 2$a*ified *iving entit to re)resent .imse*f in an
one or more of .is o)$*ences or )o(ers. This is a*so !no(n as sa!tavesa incarnation. +as$deva,
the identit " (hich Lord Sri &rishna is !no(n as the origina* /ersona*it of 0odhead, th$s e1)ands
.imse*f " inn$mera"*e forms, (hich are a** transcendenta* to matter, !no(n as sat 3eterna**
e1istent4, chit 3f$** conscio$s4 and ananda 3f$** "*issf$*4. The )ersona* form of &rishna can "e
divided into t(o' svaam r$)a and svaam )ra!asa. As far as .is svaam r$)a or )astime form is
concerned , it is in this form that .e remains a*(as in .is )ersona* a"ode, +rindavana, (ith the
inha"itants of +rindavana 3vra#a vasis4. This svaam r$)a form can "e f$rther divided into )ra"hava
and vai"hava forms' 3a4 5hen &rishna e1)anded .imse*f into m$*ti)*e forms d$ring the rasa dance in
order to dance (ith each and ever go)i (ho too! )art in the dance. 3)ra"hava e1)ansions4 3"4 At
D(ara!a &rishna e1)anded .imse*f into 16,178 forms in order to accommodate .is 16,178 (ives.
-ach s$ch e1)ansion (as a se)arate individ$a*, $n*i!e (hen some ogis e1)and themse*ves into eight
forms (here a** of them act as one individ$a* 3if one (a*!s the others have to, if one sits the others
a*so sit etc4. 5hen 9arada 3(ho is himse*f a ogi, (ho can do s$ch tric!s *i!e e1)anding "odi*
feat$res into eight forms4 visited D(ara!a, he (as so astonished to see that in each of the 16,178
)a*aces , Sri &rishna (as acting in different (as (ith .is 2$eens. I one )a*ace .e (as engaged in
)*aing (ith .is chi*dren, and in et another form .e (as )erforming some ho$seho*d (or!.
3vai"hava e1)ansions4 -ach of these categories can a*so "e f$rther divided into )ra"hava )ra!asa
3)astime manifestation forms4, )ra"hava vi*asa 3)astime e1tension forms4, vai"hava )ra!asa
3emotiona* manifestation forms4 and vai"hava vi*asa 3emotiona* e1tension forms4' a4 5hen A!r$ra
(as accom)aning "oth &rishna and Ba*arama to :ath$ra from 0o!$*a, he entered into the (aters
of the ;am$na river and sa( (ithin the (aters of ;am$na a** the )*anets of the s)irit$a* rea*m. .e
sa( the +ishn$ form as (e** as 9arada and the fo$r &$maras (ho (ere (orshi)ing him. This is a
)ra"hava )ra!asa categor of e1)ansion. "4 5hen &rishna a))eared "efore .is mother Deva!i in .is
fo$r handed form of 9araana #$st "efore .is divine "irth in :ath$ra, .e a))eared in .is )ra"hava
)ra!asa form. c4 5hen he changed .imse*f to a t(o handed form at the re2$est of .is )arents, .e
a))eared in .is vai"hava )ra!asa form. d4 In .is )ersona* form, &rishna is #$st *i!e a co(herd "o
and .e thin!s of .imse*f in that (a. This is a vai"hava )ra!asa. e4 5hen .e is in :ath$ra as a
!satria )rince .e thin!s and acts as a )rince* administrator. This is a vai"hava vi*asa form. 3In this
+as$deva form, sometimes .e gets attracted to .is o(n co(herd "o form, as descri"ed in some
vaishnava *iterat$res4. The Lord )erforms man (onderf$* )astimes in .is incarnations in the
materia* rea*m. The different as)ects of these )astimes are each a manifestation of certain 2$a*ities of
the different categories of his e1)ansions in the s)irit$a* rea*m. Th$s man categories of e1)ansions
of the Lord ma manifest themse*ves (ithin a )artic$*ar incarnation in order to )erform certain
)astimes. These )astimes e1hi"it the distinct 2$a*tities of that categor of e1)ansion. There are a*so
forms of &rishna (hich are a *itt*e different from the svaam r$)a categor. These are !no(n as tad
e!a atma r$)a forms 3same )erson (ith different feat$res4. These are f$rther c*assified into vi*asa
3e1)ansion form4 and svamsa 3o(n )ortion4 forms. D$e to the distinct feat$res "oth these
c*assifications can "e f$rther divided into )ra"hava and vai"hava forms. 5hen &rishna e1)ands
.imse*f into +as$deva, /rad$mna, Anir$ddha and San!arsana .e a))ears as )ra"hava vi*asa, $nder
tad e!a atma r$)a categor. <rom these origina* )rinci)a* fo$r handed forms there are t(ent fo$r
)rinci)a* forms manifest, (hich are vai"hava vi*asa $nder tad e!atma r$)a categor. In the
Siddhartha samhita the t(ent fo$r forms are named according to the )osition of sm"o*s 3vi=,
conch, disc, mace and *ot$s4 in Their fo$r hands. These t(ent-fo$r forms are !no(n as )ra"hava
vi*asa forms identified " the sm"o*s he*d in Their fo$r hands. The fo$r )rinci)a* manifestations of
&rishna are fo$nd in each )*anet in the s)irit$a* rea*m, and these )*anets are ca**ed 9araana*o!a or
+ai!$ntha*o!a. In the +ai!$ntha *o!a .e is manifested in the fo$r-handed form of 9araana. <rom
each 9araana the forms of +as$deva, San!arsana, /rad$mna and Anir$ddha are manifested. The
9araana is the center and the fo$r forms of +as$deva , San!arsana, /rad$mna and Anir$ddha
s$rro$nd the 9araana form. -ach one of these fo$r forms again e1)and into three'
+as$deva - &esava, 9araana, :adhava
San!arsana - 0ovinda>, +ishn$, :adh$s$dana
/rad$mna - Trivi!rama, +amana, Sridhara
Anir$ddha - .rsi!esa, /admana"ha, Damodhara [>This 0ovinda is a fo$r handed form different
from the vai"hava )ra!asa 0ovinda, son of 9anda :ahara#a, in +rindavana.] The fo$r )rinci)a*
manifestations a*so have their vi*asa 3e1)ansion4 forms'
+as$deva - Adho!sa#a, /$r$sottama
San!arsana - ?)endra, Ac$ta
/rad$mna - 9rsimha, @anardhana
Anir$ddha - .ari, &rishna> [>This &rishna is fo$r handed vi*asa form, different from the origina*
svaam r$)a form of &rishna.] In the .aasirsa /ancaratra it is mentioned that there are nine other
forms )rotecting the :ath$ra and Dvara!a )ortions' +as$deva, San!arsana, /rad$mna and
Anir$ddha )rotect :ath$raA 9araana, 9rsmha, .aagriva, +araha and Brahma 3this is a fo$r
handed form of &rishna different from the creator Brahma (ho is a #iva4 )rotect Dvara!a. These nine
forms are different manifestations of )ra!asa and vi*asa forms of Lord &rishna, distinct from the
e1)ansions (ith same names mentioned "efore in the ta"*es a"ove. In the s)irit$a* rea*m a** the
)*anets dominated " the 9araana feat$res are eterna*. The to)most )*anet is ca**ed &rishna*o!a
30o*o!a4 and is divided into three )ortions' 0o!$*a, :ath$ra and Dvara!a. The conc*$sion is that
the S$)reme Origina* /ersona*it of 0odhead is &rishna. .e is ca**ed *i*a-)$r$sottama 3)*af$*
)erfect )erson4 and .e resides )rinci)a** as the son of 9anda. .e has inn$mera"*e forms and
categorica** the are descri"ed in vario$s scri)t$res es)ecia** the /ancaratra scri)t$res. [A"o$t
+edic, /ancaratric and Tantric scri)t$res refer to the co$rse on +edic *iterat$re.] A** of these forms
have their +ai!$nta )*anets in the s)irit$a* rea*m and are sit$ated in eight different directions.
A*tho$gh a** of them are ever sit$ated in the s)irit$a* rea*m, some of them are nonethe*ess manifest in
the materia* (or*d a*so. The different categories of e1)ansions in the S)irit$a* (or*d are sim)* to
faci*itate the re*ationshi)s (ith his se)arated e1)ansions 3the *iving "eings in the s)irit$a* rea*m4
thro$gh vario$s me**o(s. To cite a fe( e1am)*es' The svaam r$)a form 3the sim)*e co(herd "o
form4 of the Lord is to enhance the )arenta* affection of 9anda and ;asoda (ho are .is eterna*
)arents in the +rindavana )ortion of 0o*o!a. The )ra"hava e1)ansions of the Lord in the rasa *i*a are
to enhance the con#$ga* satisfaction of the go)is (ith (hom .e dances. The vai"hava e1)ansion of
the Lord in :ath$ra as a )rince is to enhance the )arenta* affection of Deva!i and +as$deva. Some
of the Lord's forms e1)and thro$gho$t the materia* rea*m as deit incarnations 3arca-avatara4 to
)rotect vario$s areas. These deit incarnations are manifested to give faci*it to the devotees of the
Lord so that the can (orshi) .im in that )artic$*ar deit form to (hom the have deve*o)ed
attraction. <or e1am)*e, .aasirsa in Bhadrasva-varsa, :atsa in Cama!a-varsa, &esava in
:ath$ra and /admana"ha in Anandarana 3Trivandr$m4. In the :ath$ra )ortion of the 0o*o!a 3the
to)most a"ode of &rishna in the s)irit$a* rea*m4 a form !no(n as &esava is sit$ated. This form is
a*so re)resented in earth* :ath$ra. Simi*ar* there is a /$r$sottama form in the s)irit$a* rea*m at
the o$ts!irts of 0o*o!a (hich is re)resented in @agannatha /$ri on o$r earth. Some other e1am)*es
of this !ind of re)resentation are the /admana"ha in Anandarana 3Trivandr$m of &era*a in India4,
and .ari in :aa)$r 3near Da*c$tta in 5est Benga* in India4 (hich is the "irth )*ace of Lord Sri
Dhaitana. :an other forms are a*so sit$ated in vario$s )*aces on earth. 9ot on* in this ?niverse
"$t in a** other $niverses as (e**, the forms of &rishna are distri"$ted ever(here. It is indicated that
this earth is divided into seven is*ands, (hich are the seven continents, and it is $nderstood that on
each and ever is*and there are simi*ar forms, "$t in the recent )ast these seem to "e )resent on* in
India. <rom the vedic *iterat$res (e can $nderstand that there are forms in other )arts of the (or*d
a*so. Thro$gh the activities of the (or*d(ide .are &rishna :ovement, man of these )*aces are ver
recent* retraced and the (orshi) of vario$s forms of Lord Sri &rishna are re-esta"*ished on a*most
a** the continents of the earth. The different forms of &rishna (hich are distri"$ted th$s thro$gho$t
the $niverse are there to give )*eas$re to the devotees. It is not that devotees are on* in the eastern
(or*d or in India. There are devotees in a** )arts of the (or*d, "$t at times the sim)* forget their
identit. These forms manifest not on* to give )*eas$re to the devotees "$t to reesta"*ish the
constit$tiona* devotiona* service and )erform other activities (hich vita** concern the S$)reme
/ersona*it of 0odhead. ada ada hi dharmasa g*anir "havati "harata a"h$tthanam adharmasa
tadatmanam sri#am aham %5henever and (herever there is a dec*ine in re*igio$s )ractice, O
descendant of Bharata, and a )redominant rise of irre*igion - at that time I descend :se*f.,
)aritranaa sadh$nam vinashaa ca d$s!ritam dharma-samsta)anarthaa sam"havami $ge $ge %To
de*iver the )io$s and to annihi*ate the miscreants, as (e** as to reesta"*ish the )rinci)*es of re*igion, I
:se*f a))ear, mi**enni$m after mi**enni$m., #anma !arma ca me divam evam o vetti tattvah
ta!tva deham )$nar #anma naiti mam eti sEor#$na
%One (ho !no(s the transcendenta* nat$re of : a))earance and activities does not, $)on
*eaving the "od, ta!e his "irth again in this materia* (or*d, "$t attains : eterna* a"ode, O Ar#$na.,
- Bhagavad-gita F.G-H The Brahma samhita 3I.F64 sas' di)arcir eva hi dasantaram a"h$)eta
di)aate vivrta-het$-samana-dharma as tadrg eva hi ca visn$taa vi"hati govindam adi-)$r$sam tam
aham "ha#ami %The *ight of one cand*e "eing comm$nicated to other cand*es, a*tho$gh it "$rns
se)arate* in them, is the same in its 2$a*it. I adore the )rimeva* Lord 0ovinda (ho e1hi"its .imse*f
e2$a** in the same mo"i*e manner in .is vario$s manifestations., S$ch e1)ansion of forms are made
)ossi"*e " .is vario$s energies. .is energies are a*so m$*tifario$s, and .is interna* energies are
s$)erior and e1terna* energies are inferior in 2$a*it. As e1)*ained in Bhagavad 0ita 3G.F-64' "h$mir
a)o Jna*o va$h !ham mano "$ddhir eva ca ahan!ara itiam me "hinna )ra!ritir astadha %-arth,
(ater, fire, air, ether, mind, inte**igence and fa*se ego - a** together these eight constit$te :
se)arated materia* energies., a)aream itas tv anam )ra!ritim viddhi me )aram #iva-"h$tam maha-
"aho aedam dharate #agat %Besides these, O might-armed Ar#$na, there is another, s$)erior
energ of :ine, (hich com)rises the *iving entities (ho are e1)*oiting the reso$rces of this materia*,
inferior nat$re., etad-onini "h$tani sarvanit $)adharaa aham !rtsnasa #agatah )ra"havah )ra*aas
tatha %A** created "eings have their so$rce in these t(o nat$res. Of a** that is materia* and a** that is
s)irit$a* in this (or*d, !no( for certain that I am "oth the origin and the disso*$tion., Th$s .is
e1)ansions of vario$s forms (hich ta!e )*ace via .is interna* energies are s$)erior forms (hereas
the e1)ansions (hich ta!e )*ace via the e1terna* energies are inferior forms. The *iving entities are
a*so .is e1)ansions. The *iving entities (ho are e1)anded " .is interna* )otenc are eterna**
*i"erated )ersons, (hereas those (ho are e1)anded in terms of the materia* energies are eterna**
conditioned so$*s. In a )rison ho$se, there are the )risoners (ho are $ndergoing )$nishment and the
managers (ho staff the )rison ho$se. -ven tho$gh "oth these categories are "o$nd " the *a(s of
)rison ho$se ordained " the !ing, the )risoners have no freedom and are there for )$nishment 3the
conditioned so$*s in the materia* (or*d, e1)anded in terms of e1terna* energ4. The managers have
freedom, the are there sim)* to ma!e s$re that the *a( and order is maintained 3the invisi"*e
contro**ers of the materia* (or*d, !no(n as demigods. A*so e1)anded in terms of e1terna* energ4.
Sometimes a missionar comes to )reach to the )risoners, he a*so has to fo**o( a certain code of
"ehavior $nder the *a(s of the )rison, "$t he is free and he tries to correct the )risoners so that the
can "ecome free or at *east "ehave "etter so that the (ont s$ffer too m$ch in the )rison 3the
eterna** *i"erated so$*s, e1)anded in terms of interna* energ, (ho come to de*iver the conditioned
so$*s from the materia* creation are *i!e these missionaries4. B$t the !ing himse*f sometimes visits
the )rison ho$se. .e is never "o$nd " the *a(s of the )rison, neither he needs to fo**o( an code of
cond$ct (hi*e visiting the )rison. .e is tota** a"ove a** the *a(s of )rison, and sim)* he visits so
that everthing goes on )ro)er* as ordained " his *a(. 3The Lord is *i!e the !ing, a*(as
transcendenta* to the *a(s of the materia* (or*d4. The Lord is a** s)irit$a* and has nothing to do (ith
the 2$a*ities of the materia* (or*d, (hich are 2$a*itative* distinct from the a** s)irit$a* 2$a*ities of
the Lord. Beca$se the ca$sa* and effect$a* energies re2$ired for the creation of the materia* (or*d
are a*so .is energies, f$** $nder .is contro*, .e is never affected " the materia* modes of nat$re.
.is )osition is a*(as transcendenta* even (ithin the materia* manifestation. .e is a*so s$)erior and
transcendenta* to the eterna** *i"erated so$*s (ho are e1)anded " .is interna* energ "eca$se .e is
the /$r$sa $ttama 3/erfect Origina* /erson, so$rce of "oth interna* and e1terna* energies4' dvav ima$
)$r$sha$ *o!e !saras ca!sara eva ca !sarah sarvani "h$tani !$ta-stho J!sara $cate %There are t(o
c*asses of "eings, the fa**i"*e and the infa**i"*e. In the materia* (or*d ever *iving "eing is fa**i"*e, and
in the s)irit$a* (or*d ever *iving entit is ca**ed infa**i"*e., - Bhagavad-gita 1I.16 asmat !saram
atito Jham A!sarad a)i cottamah Ato Jsmi *o!e vede ca /rathitah )$r$sottamah %Beca$se I am
transcendenta*, "eond "oth the fa**i"*e and the infa**i"*e, and "eca$se I am the greatest, I am
ce*e"rated "oth in the (or*d and in the +edas as the S$)reme /erson., - Bhagavad-gita 1I.18 The
*iving entities are se)arated )arts and )arce*s of the Lord , and the conditioned *iving entities, (ho
are $nfit for the s)irit$a* rea*m, are stre(n (ithin the materia* (or*d to f$*fi** their desire to en#o
matter to the f$**est e1tent.

As the eterna* friend of the *iving entities, the Lord e1)ands as /aramatama the S$)erso$* 3one of
.is )*enar )ortions4. Accom)aning the *iving entities to g$ide them in their )$rs$it of materia*
en#oment and to "ecome (itness to a** their activities, so that the can rea) s$ita"*e reactions for
their materia* activities in their m$*ti)*e *ives in matter. The :$nda!a ?)anisad K.1.1 descri"es the
so$* and S$)erso$* as t(o "irds in a tree. One eating the fr$it of the tree (hi*e the other is #$st
(itnessing the actions. cva s$)arna sa$#a sa!haa samanam vr!sam )arisasva#ate taor anan
)a))*am svadv att anasnann ano ' a"hica!asita Th$s the conditioned so$* is contro**ed " the *a(s
of materia* nat$re, "$t the S$)erso$* is the contro**er of "oth the s)irit$a* and materia* energies. Th$s
+as$deva, the origina* /ersona*it of 0odhead " one of .is )*enar )arts e1)ands .imse*f a** over
the materia* (or*d not on* " accom)aning the conditioned so$* in a** *ives in different materia*
"odies 3n$m"ering in 8,F77,777 s)ecies4, "$t a*so (ithin the atoms, (hich com"ine to form the
materia* "odies and the (ho*e materia* $niverse. :atter, antimatter, )roton, ne$tron etc are a**
sim)* different effects of this S$)erso$*, or /aramatma feat$re of the Lord. The gross materia*
"odies of the *iving entities are com"ination 3in different )ro)ortions4 of five gross e*ements 3the
atoms (hich are )ervaded " .is )resence (ithin them4 and the s$"t*e "odes consist of mind ,
inte**igence and fa*se identit 3(hich are directed " .is )resence as S$)erso$* , /aramatma4.
Bhagavad gita confirms that the Lord is the father of a** *iving entities (ho are conceived (ithin the
(om" of the materia* nat$re' sarva-onis$ !a$ntea m$rtaah sam"havanti ah tasam "rahma mahad
onir aham "i#a )radhah )ita %It sho$*d "e $nderstood that a** s)ecies of *ife, O son of &$nti, are
made )ossi"*e " "irth in this materia* nat$re, and that I am the seed-giving father., - Bhagavad-gita
1F.F Since the *iving "eings are .is sons, the s$fferings and en#oments of the sons are a*so indirect*
the s$fferings and en#oments of the father, even tho$gh the <ather is not an(a direct* affected.
Being so !ind .e accom)anies the *iving "eing as S$)erso$* a*(as tring to divert the attention of
them to(ards their constit$tiona* nat$re, (hich is one of rea* ha))iness, ananda 3"*iss4. There are
inn$mera"*e materia* $niverses, and in each and ever $niverse there are inn$mera"*e )*anets
inha"ited " different grades of *iving entities in different modes of nat$re, in 8,F77,777 s)ecies of
"odies. The Lord incarnates .imse*f in each and ever one of them and in each and ever t)e of
*iving s)ecies. .e manifests .is transcendenta* )astimes amongst them #$st to create a desire in them
to go "ac! to the s)irit$a* rea*m, "ac! home, "ac! to 0odhead. This science of incarnations, their
a))earance and disa))earance is nice* descri"ed in the 0o)a*a Ta)ani ?)anisad as fo**o(s'
avir"hava tiro"hava sva)ade tisthati tamasi ra#asi satvi!i man$si vi#nanadhana anandadhana
saccidanandai!arase "ha!tioge tisthati The Lord does not change .is origina* transcendenta*
)osition, "$t .e a))ears to "e different* manifested according to the )artic$*ar time, circ$mstance
and societ. .e is $nderstood " the *in!ing )rocess of Bha!ti, )$re devotiona* service. 5hatever
conditions the *iving "eings $ndergo in the materia* rea*m d$e to their im)risoned sit$ations, the Lord
a*so manifests .is incarnations )ertaining to those sit$ations. Starting from the one ce** entit !no(n
as indrago)a $) to the most e*evated Brahma 3the demigod in charge of creation4, different sages
have o"served different t)es and n$m"ers of incarnations , (hich are revea*ed in the vedic
*iterat$res. The are seen as eight, ten, eighteen and t(ent fo$r t)es " different scri)t$res. In the
Dat$rveda Si!ha it is stated' vas$deva san!arsana )rad$mnoE nir$ddhoham matsa !$rma varaho
nrsmho vamano rama ramo "$ddha !a*!ir aham iti %The S$)reme Lord Sri &rishna said' I am
+as$deva, /rad$mna, Anir$ddha and San!arsana. I am a*so the ten incarnations, vi=., :atsa,
&$rma , +araha, 9arasimha, +amana, /aras$rama , Camacandra , B$ddha,and &a*!i., Ten different
definite conditions of *iving "eings are constr$ed genera**, from the "eginning of their "ondage $) to
the end .
Inverte"rate - :atsa
Testaceo$s, she** - &$rma
+erte"rate - +araha
Drect* verte"rate, .a*f man ha*f "east - 9arasimha
:ani!in - +amana
Bar"aric - /aras$rama
Divi*i=ed - Camacandra
5ise - &rishna
?*tra-(ise - B$ddha
Destr$cive - &a*!i Sometimes .e incarnates .imse*f or em)o(ers some s$ita"*e *iving "eing to
act for .im 3sa!t avesa avatara - em)o(ered incarnation4. In either case the )$r)ose is one and the
same. The s$ffering *iving "eing sho$*d go "ac! home, "ac! to 0odhead. The ha))iness that the
*iving "eings are han!ering for is not "e fo$nd (ithin an corner of the inn$mera"*e $niverses in an
materia* )*anet. The eterna* ha))iness (hich the *iving "eing (ants is on* o"taina"*e in the !ingdom
of 0od, "$t the forgetf$* *iving "eings $nder the inf*$ence of the materia* modes have no information
of the !ingdom of 0od. The Lord therefore, comes to )ro)agate the message of the !ingdom of
0od, either )ersona** as an incarnation or thro$gh .is "ona fide re)resentative as the good son of
0od. S$ch incarnations or sons of 0od are not ma!ing )ro)aganda for going "ac! to 0odhead not
on* (ithin the h$man societ, "$t a*so amongst the higher h$man "eings ca**ed demigods as (e** as
amongst *o(er s)ecies s$ch as anima*, )*ant , "ird , insect and a2$atic . This is ho( the vedic
*iterat$res descri"e the descents of the Lord, the Incarnations. There are a*so svamsa 3.is o(n,
$nse)arated4 forms of &rishna, different from the forms in the s)irit$a* rea*m, and these have t(o
divisions, the San!arsana division and the *i*a 3)astime4 avatara 3incarnations4 division. <rom the
San!arsana division come the three )$r$sa-avataras 3/ersona*ities (ho are the so$rce and contro* for
materia* creation4 and from the *i*a avatara division come the incarnations *i!e matsa-fish, !$rma-
tortoise etc. The Satvata tantra descri"es that &rishna's energies are divided into three as)ects'
thin!ing, fee*ing and acting. .e is !no(n different* in these three as)ects'
Thin!ing - &rishna
<ee*ing - +as$deva
Acting - San!arsana Ba*arama The materia* creation is d$e to the thin!ing, fee*ing and acting of
San!arsana Ba*arama. -ven tho$gh there is no creation in the s)irit$a* rea*m (here everthing is
eterna*, the (ho*e s)irit$a* rea*m a*so de)ends on the acting energ of Ba*arama. -verthing there is
manifested " the Ba*arama or San!arsana form. As far as the materia* creation is concerned, the
forms " (hich the energ of materia* nat$re (or!s to "ring a"o$t creation is ca**ed the San!arsana
form, and it is $nderstood that this cosmic manifestation is created $nder the s$)erintendence of the
S$)reme Lord. This is f$rther e1)*ained in the Srimad Bhagavata /$rana 317.F6.K14' etam hi
visvasa ca "i#a-oni ramo m$!$ndah )$r$sah )radhanam anvia "h$tes$ vi*a!sanasa #nanasa
cesata ima$ )$rana$ %These t(o Lords, :$!$nda and Ba*arama, are each the seed and (om" of the
$niverse, the creator and .is creative )otenc. The enter the hearts of ever *iving "eings and
contro* their conditioned a(areness. The are the )rimeva* S$)reme.,
Avatara - the Science of the Lord's Descent - B
Lesson T(o
[ - A.T. Das ] There are si1 !inds of incarnations'

14 the )$r$sa avataras
B4 the *i*a avatararas
K4 the g$na avataras
F4 the manvantara avataras
I4 the $ga avataras
64 the sa!tavesa avataras

14 /$r$sa avataras'
&rishna first incarnates as the three )$r$sa avataras name*'
&aranoda!asai +ishn$ - LThe Lord (ho is *ing on the ca$sa* oceanL.
0ar"hoda!asai +ishn$ - LThe Lord (ho is *ing on the $niversa* oceanL. &siroda!asai
+ishn$ - LThe Lord (ho is *ing on the mi*! oceanL.This is descri"ed in the Satvata tantra.
&aranoda!asai +ishn$, 3:aha +ishn$4 - the first )$r$sa incarnation.
The e1)ansions of &rishna (ho come to the materia* creation are ca**ed avataras or incarnations.
This means Jone (ho descends from the s)irit$a* rea*mE. <rom the inn$mera"*e )*anets in the
s)irit$a* s!, some e1)ansions of the Lord descend into the $niverses.
The first descent of the S$)reme /ersona*it of 0odhead from the e1)ansion of San!arsana
3Ba*arama4 is the first )$r$sa incarnation, !no(n as :aha +ishn$, or &aranoda!asai +ishn$. It
is confirmed in the Srimad Bhagavata /$rana 31.K.14'#agrhe )a$r$sam r$)am "hagavan mahad-
adi"hih sam"h$tam sodasa-!a*am ada$ *o!a-sisr!saa%In the "eginning of the creation, the
Lord first e1)anded .imse*f in the $niversa* form of the )$r$sa incarnation and manifested a** the
ingredients for the materia* creation. And th$s at first there (as the creation of the si1teen )rinci)*es
of materia* action. This (as for the )$r)ose of creating the materia* $niverse.,:aha +ishn$ *ies
(ithin the Da$sa* ocean - this ocean is the s)irit$a* (ater that emanates from the gigantic "od of
:aha +ishn$, in (hich a** the $niverses are f*oating.
-*ectrified " the )o(er of :aha +ishn$ the materia* nat$re at once creates inn$mera"*e
$niverses in this ocean. Th$s it is ca**ed as &arana - Da$sa* ocean..e is the origina* incarnation
(ithin the materia* (or*d. .e is the Lord of time, nat$re, ca$se and effect, mind, ego, the five
e*ements, the three modes of materia* nat$re , the five senses, and the $niversa* form.
A*tho$gh .e is the master of a** o"#ects mova"*e and immova"*e in the materia* (or*d, .e is
tota** inde)endent.
The materia* creation is effected " the interaction of the three modes of materia* nat$re set in
action " the Lord. .e e1ists "efore the modes of materia* nat$re are set in motion.
The sr$ti mantra confirms this' that on* 9araana 3one (ho *ies in the (ater emanating from .is
"od - i.e., :aha +ishn$4 e1isted "efore the creation' e!o vai naraana asin na "rahma na isano
na)o nagni-sama$ neme dav-a)rithivi na na!satrani na s$rahLIn the "egining of the creation
there (as on* the S$)reme /ersona*it 9araana. There (as no "rahma, no Siva, no fire, no
moon, no stars in the s!, no s$n.LSrimad Bhagavatam 3B.H.174 descri"es the Da$sa*
ocean')ravartate atra ra#as tamas taoh sattvam ca misram na ca !a*a-vi!ramah na atra
maa !im $ta)are harer an$vrata atra s$ras$rachitah%In that )ersona* a"ode of the Lord, the
materia* modes of ignorance and )assion do not )revai*, nor is there an of their inf*$ence in
goodness. There is no )redominance of the inf*$ence of time, so (hat to s)ea! of the i**$sor,
e1terna* energA it cannot enter that region. 5itho$t discrimination, "oth the demigods and the
demons (orshi) the Lord as devotees.,
The first )$r$sa avatara, :aha +ishn$ g*ances over the materia* nat$re , and the materia* nat$re
"ecomes agitated " this g*ance. Th$s the /$r$sa avatara im)regnates matter (ith *iving entities.
This act of g*ancing is descri"ed in the ?)anisads %sa i!sate,
Sim)* " the g*ance of the first )$r$sa incarnation, conscio$sness "ecomes )resent (ithin the
matter . This conscio$sness is !no(n as
mahat tattva. This created conscio$sness is then divided into three de)artmenta* activities according
to the three
g$nas, goodness 3sattva4, )assion 3ra#as4, and ignorance3tamas4, the modes of materia* nat$re.The
cosmic manifestation is a com"ination of a** three modes and their )rod$cts of creation and in this
(a inn$mera"*e $niverses are created.B the "reathing of :aha +ishn$ a** the $niverses are
generated in seed form and grad$a** deve*o) into gigantic forms (ith inn$mera"*e )*anets
(ithin each and ever $niverse. The seeds of $niverse s deve*o) into gigantic forms in the same (a
as seeds of a "anan tree deve*o) into n$m"er*ess "anan trees.
These $niverses are )rod$ced from the )ores of the "od of :aha +ishn$. As .e "reathes o$t,
the come o$t and (hen he inha*es the enter into .im again. So the d$ration of e1istence of each
$niverse is on* a "reath time of the first )$r$sa incarnation, :aha +ishn$.
In the Brahma samhita it is stated' asai!a-nisvasita-!a*am athava*am"a #ivanti *oma-vi*a#a
#agad-anda-nathah visn$r mahan sa iha asa !a*a-viseso govindam adi-)$r$sam tam aham
"ha#ami%Brahma and other *ords of the m$ndane (or*ds, a))earing from the )ores of hair of :aha-
+ishn$, remain a*ive as *ong as the d$ration of one e1ha*ation of the *ater [:aha-+ishn$]. I adore the
)rimeva* Lord 0ovinda of (hose s$"#ective )ersona*it :aha-+ishn$ is the )ortion of )ortion.,
Th$s :ahavisn$ " "reathing ca$ses the seeds of $niverses to come o$t of the )ores of .is
gigantic "od, and " g*ancing im)regnates the materia* nat$re (ith *iving entities.
A** of the energies of :aha +ishn$ are tota** s)irit$a*, and the have nothing to do (ith the
materia* energ.
The )rocess " (hich .e interacts (ith the materia* energ for the )$r)ose of creation, name*
im)regnating the materia* nat$re (ith the *iving "eings and the $niversa* seeds (i** "e e1)*ained in
g$na avatara section.0ar"hoda!asai +ishn$ - the second
)$r$sa incarnation'
The second )$r$sa incarnation enters into each and ever $niverse. .e s)reads (ater from .is
"od, and .e *ies do(n on .is divine sna!e "ed 3this sna!e form is another e1)ansion of the Lord,
in the
avesa categor, !no(n as Ananta-sesa4.
<rom .is nava* , the stem of a *ot$s f*o(er gro(s, and (ithin the stem of that *ot$s f*o(er are the
fo$rteen divisions of )*anetar sstems. The *ot$s f*o(er on the to) is the )*anet of Brahma, !no(n
as Sata*o!a.
In the Srimad Bhagavatam 31.K.B64 this is descri"ed'asam"hasi saanasa oga-nidram
vitanvatah na"hi-hradam"$#ad asid "rahma visva-sr#am )atih%A )art of the )$r$sa
*ies do(n (ithin the (ater of the $niverse, from the nave* *a!e of .is "od s)ro$ts a *ot$s stem, and
from the *ot$s f*o(er ato) this stem, "rahma, the master of a** engineers in the $niverse, "ecomes
5ithin each $niverse 0ar"hoda!asai +ishn$ is )resent and .e maintains each $niverse and tends
to its needs. A*tho$gh .e is (ithin the materia* $niverses, the inf*$ence of materia* energ cannot
to$ch .im.
.e is (orshi))ed as the .iranagar"ha 3go*den so$rce4 S$)erso$*, .e is the master of the
$niverse. The vedic hmns descri"e .im as one having tho$sands of heads. The $niverse is descri"ed
as a form of this +ishn$ -
virat r$)a 3gigantic form4.
&siroda!asai +ishn$ - the third )$r$sa incarnation.
The third incarnation of +ishn$, &siroda!asai +ishn$ resides on the is*and !no(n as Sveta-
dvi)a 3(hite is*and4 in the midd*e of the ocean of mi*! (ithin the $niverse. .e is the S$)erso$* of a**
*iving entities 3seated in their heart4 and a** materia* o"#ects 3seated in ever atom4.
.e is an e1)ansion of 0ar"hoda!asai +ishn$ and from .im a** incarnations (ithin the
$niverse are e1)anded.visnos t$ trini r$)ani

)$r$sa!han atho vid$h

e!am t$ mahatah srastr

dvitiam tv anda-samsthitam

trtiam sarva-"h$ta-stham

tani #natva vim$cate

%<or materia* creation, Lord &rishnaEs )*enar e1)ansion ass$mes three +ishn$s. The first
one, :aha-+ishn$, creates the tota* materia* energ, !no(n as the mahat-tattva. The second,
0a"hoda!asai +ishn$, enters into a** the $niverses to create diversities in each of them. The
third, &siroda!asai +ishn$, is diff$sed as the a**-)ervading S$)erso$* in a** the $niverses and is
!no(n as /aramatma. .e is )resent even (ithin the atoms. Anone (ho !no(s these three
+ishn$s can "e *i"erated from materia* entang*ement.,

B4 Li*a avataras'
A *ist of *i*a avataras 3)astime incarnations4 is given in the Srimad Bhagavatam'

14 &$maras
B4 9arada
K4 +araha
F4 :atsa
I4 ;a#na
64 9ara-9araana
G4 &ardami
84 Dattatrea
H4 .aasirsa
174 .amsa
114 Dhr$va)ria or /rsniggar"ha
1B4 Csa"ha
1K4 /rth$
1F4 9rsmha
1I4 &$rma
164 Dhanvantari
1G4 :ohini
184 +amana
1H4 Bhargava /aras$rama
B74 Camacandra
B14 +asa
BB4 /r*am"hari Ba*arama
BK4 &rishna
BF4 B$ddha
BI4 &a*!i
O$t of these .amsa and :ohini are momentar incarnations (ithin the materia* (or*d. The do
not reside in the s)irit$a* rea*m.
&a)i*a, Dattatrea, Csa"ha and Dhanvantari are eterna* forms from the s)irit$a* rea*m and are
more ce*e"rated.
&$rma, matsa, 9ara-naraana, +araha, .aasirsa, /rsnigar"ha and Ba*arama are considered as
vai"hava 3e1)ansions of emotion4 incarnations.
&rishna is confirmed as the so$rce of a** these incarnations' ete camsa-!a*ah )$msah !rishnas
t$ "hagavan svaam indrari-va!$*am *o!am mrdaanti $ge $ge %A** of the a"ove-
mentioned incarnations are either )*enar )ortions or )ortions of )*enar )ortions of the Lord, "$t
Lord Sri &rishna is the origina* /ersona*it of 0odhead. A** of them a))ear on )*anets (henever
there is a dist$r"ance created " the atheists. The Lord incarnates to )rotect the theists.,- Srimad
Bhagavatam 1.K.B8 K4 0$na avataras'
<or the )$r)ose of creation, maintenance and annihi*ation of the $niverse, the Lord incarnates
2$a*itative*, as in-charge of the three materia* 2$a*ities, vi=., goodness, )assion and ignorance.
0oodness' The third )$r$sa incarnation, &siroda!asai +ishn$ acts as the incarnation in the
mode of 0oodness a*so, even tho$gh .e is a*(as sit$ated a"ove the modes. .e is the master of the
mode of goodness in each $niverse. B$t in no (a in to$ch (ith the inf*$ence of the modes.
/assion' 0ar"hoda!asai +ishn$ direct* em)o(ers a ver 2$a*ified *iving entit 3#iva4 as the
)rima* *iving entit of the $niverse, to "e the chief engineer of the creation. .e is !no(n as Brahma.
.e is manifested from 0ar"ho"a!asai +ishn$ on the *ot$s that emanates from +ishn$'s nava*. In
the Brahma samhita Brahma is *i!ened to va*$a"*e #e(e*s inf*$enced " the ras of the s$n, and
0ar"hoda!a +ishn$ is that s$n.
If there is no s$ita"*e *iving entit ca)a"*e of serving as Brahma, 0ar"hoda!asai +ishn$
.imse*f e1)ands as Brahma for creation (ithin the $niverse.
Ignorance' B e1)anding as Lord Siva, the Lord "ecomes the annihi*ator of the $niverse (hen
needed. Lord Siva in association (ith :aa, 3the e1terna* materia* energ of the Lord4 has man
forms , (hich are categorica** n$m"ered at e*even, !no(n as r$dras 3angr )erson4
Lord Siva is not one of the *iving entities 3*i!e Brahma4. .e is more or *ess, &rishna .imse*f.
The e1am)*e of mi*! and og$rt is given in this regard. ;og$rt is a )re)aration o$t of mi*! , "$t
sti** in that form it cannot "e $sed for the )$r)ose of mi*!.
Simi*ar* in the C$dra as)ects of Lord Siva , (ho is a g$na avatara
of &rishna, one cannot see! s)irit$a* restoration as one can from &rishna. The essentia*
difference is that Lord Siva as in-charge of the de)artment of annihi*ation is in connection (ith the
materia* nat$re, (hereas +ishn$ or &rishna has nothing to do (ith the materia* nat$re. siva sa!ti-
$ta sasvat tri-*ingo g$na-samvrtah vai!ari!as tai#asas ca tamasas cet aham tridha %Lord
Siva is a*(as $nited (ith his )ersona* energ, the materia* nat$re. :anifesting .imse*f in three
feat$res in res)onse to the entreaties of nat$reEs three modes, he th$s em"odies the threefo*d
)rinci)*e of materia* ego in goodness, )assion and ignorance.,
F4 :anvantara avataras'
Brahma's da - 1,777 cat$r $gas - is divided into fo$rteen )eriods of the r$*e of :an$s
3fathers of man!ind4 !no(n as manvantaras. The incarnations d$ring these
manvantaras are *isted as fo**o(s'

14 ;a#na
B4 +i"h$
K4 Satasena
F4 .ari
I4 +ai!$ntha
64 A#ita
G4 +amana
84 Sarva"ha$ma
H4 Csa"ha
174 +isva!sena
114 Dharma
1B4 S$dhama
1K4 ;ogesvara
1F4 Brhad"han$
;a#na and +amana are a*so *i*a avataras. A** the fo$rteen of them are
vai"hava categor.
:an$s, the fathers of man!ind and the r$*ers of the manvantaras, are a*so incarnations of
&rishna in the categor of manvantara avataras. There are fo$rteen man$s in a da of Brahma. In
the *ife time of Brahma there are I7F,777 :an$s. -ach :an$ of the fo$rteen are descri"ed " a
different name'
14 Svaam"h$va :an$, son of BrahmaA B4 Svarocisa :an$, the son of Agni, the fire godA
K4 ?ttama :an$, the son of &ing /riavrataA F4 Tamasa :an$, the "rother of ?ttama
:an$A I4 Caivata :an$, the "rother of TamasaA 64 Da!s$sa :an$, the "rother or Tamasa,
"$t son of Da!s$A G4 +aivasvata :an$, the son of +ivasvan, the s$n god 3the )resent
:an$4A 84 Savarni :an$, a*so a son of s$n god, "orn of (ife DhaaA H4 Da!sasavarni
:an$, the son of +ar$naA 174 Brahmasavarni :an$, the son of ?)as*o!aA 114C$drasavarni
1B4 Dharmasavarni 1K4 Devasavarni
and 1F4 Indrasavarni :an$s are a** sons of ?)as*o!a.
I4 The ;$ga Avataras'
There are fo$r $gas (hich come in cc*es'

Sata $ga, *asting 1,GB8,777 ears
Treta $ga, *asting 1,BH6,777 ears
D(a)ara $ga, *asting 86F,777 ears
&a*i $ga, *asting FKB,777 ears
In each of these $gas the Lord incarnates (ith a different "od co*o$r according to the
asan varnas trao h asa grhnato Jn$$gam tan$h s$!*o ra!tas tatha )ita idanim
!rishnatam gatah
%&rishna a))ears as an incarnation in ever mi**enni$m. In the )ast, .e ass$med three
different co*ors - (hite, red and e**o( - and no( he has a))eared in a "*ac!ish co*or.,- Srimad
Bhagavatam 17.8.1K In the Sata $ga a (hite avatara a))eared to &ardama m$ni to esta"*ish
meditation as the )rocess for se*f-rea*i=ation. In the Treta $ga a red avatara a))eared to Brahma
to esta"*ish fire sacrifice as the )rocess for se*f-rea*i=ation. In the Dva)ara $ga a dar! avatara
3&rishna4 a))eared as the son of Deva!i to esta"*ish tem)*e (orshi) as the )rocess for se*f-
rea*i=ation. In the &a*i $ga a ;e**o( avatara a))eared 3Dhaitana :aha)ra"h$4 as the son of
Saci :ata to esta"*ish the chanting of the ho* names 3nama-san!irtana4 as the )rocess for se*f-
rea*i=ation. 6. Sa!tavesa avataras - -m)o(ered Incarnations
There is no *imit to the n$m"er of sa!tavesa incarnations. B$t some are mentioned in the vedic
*iterat$res as e1am)*es. The are of t(o !inds, direct and indirect.
5hen the Lord .imse*f e1)ands dis)*aing a )artic$*ar )o(er of .is o)$*ences .e is !no(n as
5hen .e em)o(ers a *iving entit (ith some )artic$*ar sa!ti - )o(er, for some s)ecific
activit, to re)resent .im , that *iving entit is ca**ed indirect or
avesa incarnation.
T)e 9ame -m)o(ered (ith Avesa incarnations'
<o$r &$maras em)o(ered (ith !no(*edge.
9arada em)o(ered (ith devotiona* service.
Brahma em)o(ered (ith creative )o(er. &ing /rit$ em)o(ered (ith )o(er to maintain
*iving "eings.
/aras$rama em)o(ered (ith )o(er to !i** evi* e*ements. Sa!sat incarnations'
Sesa 3sna!e (ith 0ar"hoda!asai +ishn$4 em)o(ered (ith )o(er to s$stain the )*anets.
Ananta 3sna!e (ith &siroda!asai +ishn$ and other e1)ansions4 em)o(ered to serve the
Sometimes a sing*e incarnation (i** sim$*taneo$s* "e more than one categor. To cite e1am)*es,
Lord Sri Camacandra is "oth (ithin the
*i*a avatar and the $ga avatar categories. Simi*ar* Lord +araha is a*so sim$*taneo$s* (ithin the
*i*a avatar and the $ga avatar categories.
A)art from the s)ecific si1 categories of avataras, there is a*so a distinct categor !no(n as
+i"h$ti - s)ecia* favor from the Lord. An *iving entit (ho is e1ce)tiona** strong, "ea$tif$*,
!no(*edgea"*e, (ea*th, famo$s and reno$nced sho$*d "e !no(n to "e s)ecia** favored " the
There are t(o feat$res to "e st$died in $nderstanding the incarnations of the Lord.
The )rinci)a* feat$re ca**ed )ersona*it and the margina* feat$re ca**ed f$nction or activit. In the
+edic scri)t$res there are descri)tions of the characteristics of the "od of an incarnation, and this is
the )rinci)a* feat$re " (hich an incarnation is identified.
The activities of the incarnation are the margina* feat$res.
A** the incarnations are mentioned in the scri)t$res. The feat$res of the incarnation and the
)artic$*ar t)e of mission (hich .e has to e1ec$te are mentioned .The great sages, " the sm)toms
mentioned, dec*are an incarnation.
The inn$mera"*e incarnations of the Lord are manifested a** over the $niverses constant*, (itho$t
cessation, as (ater f*o(s constant* from (aterfa**s. Their )resence is #$st *i!e the s$n in the s!,
even if it is not seen from one )*ace, it is a*(as there, and th$s the scri)t$res descri"e the )astimes
of the incarnations as eterna*.
/rah*ad :ahara#, in his )raer to the incarnation Lord 9arasimha sas, %;o$ manifest as man
incarnations as there are s)ecies of *ife, name* a2$atics, )*ants, re)ti*es, "irds, "easts, men, and the
demigods, #$st for the maintenance of the faithf$* and the annihi*ation of the $nfaithf$* .;o$ advent
o$rse*f in this (a in accordance (ith the necessit of the different $gas. In the &a*i $ga o$
incarnate gar"ed as a devotee,
3This devotee incarnation is Lord Dhaitana, (ho is e1)*icit* mentioned in man
scri)t$res.4 idam "hagavatam nama )$ranam "rahma-sammitam $ttama-s*o!a-caritam
ca!ara "hagavan rsih nihsreasaa *o!asa dhanam svast-aanam mahat %This Srimad
Bhagavatam is the *iterar incarnation of 0od, and it is com)i*ed " Sri*a +asadeva, the incarnation
of 0od. It is meant for the $*timate good of a** )eo)*e, and it is a**-s$ccessf$*, a** "*issf$* and a**-
)erfect.,- Srimad Bhagavatam 1.K.F7 In the Srimad Bhagavatam there are se*ected histories of
great devotees (ho are in direct contact (ith the S$)reme /ersona*it of 0odhead. There are
descri)tions of vario$s incarnations of the Lord. One can derive the $*timate "*essings of the Lord
and .is devotees " caref$* and )atient st$d of this *iterat$re. Th$s this so$nd form of Sri
&rishna is a*so considered as an incarnation and (orshi)ed as res)ectf$** as one (i** (orshi) the
Lord and .is incarnations.
It is defined as "rahma sammitam "eca$se it is the so$nd re)resentative of Brahman. It is the
so$nd re)resentative of the Lord. Bhagavad gita (hich is s)o!en " the Lord 3(hose so$nd is non
different from .im4 and the Srimad Bhagavatam s)o!en " the em)o(ered incarnation of the Lord,
+asa, a"o$t the activities of the Lord and .is devotees 3these descri)tions are a*so non different
from .im4 are "oth incarnations of the Lord , in the form of transcendenta* so$nd vi"rations
revea*ing time*ess (isdom to the conditioned so$*s.
One can desire from the st$d of the Bhagavatam a** "enefits that are )ossi"*e to "e derived from
the )ersona* )resence of the Lord and .is incarnations.
nigama-!a*)a taror ga*itam )ha*am s$!a-m$!had amrta-drava sam$tam )i"ata
"hagavatam rasam a*aam m$h$r aho rasi!a"h$vi "hav$!ah
%O e1)ert and tho$ghtf$* men, re*ish Srimad Bhagavatam, the mat$re fr$it of the desire tree of
+edic *iterat$res. It emanated from the *i)s of Sri S$!adeva 0osvami. Therefore this fr$it has
"ecome even more tastef$*, a*tho$gh its nectarean #$ice (as a*read re*isha"*e for a**, inc*$ding
*i"erated so$*s.,
As the Lord is a** *ight, a** "*iss and a** )erfection, so a*so is Srimad Bhagavatam . One can have
a** the transcendenta* *ight of the S$)reme Lord Sri &rishna and .is incarnations from the
recitation of this so$nd incarnation of the Lord )rovided it is done )erfect*.
There are t(o forms of the Srimad Bhagavatam' one is the "oo! and the other is a )erson, !no(n
as "hagavata, the trans)arent teacher of Srimad Bhagavatam (ho is a )$re devotee of the Lord,
in the highest )*atform of se*f rea*i=ation.
On* from the )erson "hagavata, one can $nderstand the *essons of "oo! Bhagavatam )erfect*.
The )erson "hagavata *eads his *ife in terms of the "oo! Bhagavatam. The Bhagavatam "oo!
and the )erson
"hagavata are th$s identica*. The messenger and the messages of the Lord are non different from
.im. 5henever the messenger of the S$)reme /ersona*it of 0odhead $nderta!es offense*ess
g*orification and hearing of the Lord , .e is )resent there in the form of transcendenta* so$nd ,
(hich has the same )o(er as the Lord.
The Lord is so !ind to the *iving "eings that .e is )resent "efore them in the form of
transcendenta* so$nd vi"ration. A)art from the messages of the *iterar incarnation, Srimad
Bhagavatam, .e is )resent in .is ho* names. These ho* names have a** the )otencies of the Lord
endo(ed " .im. Therefore the inn$mera"*e names of the Lord are a*so incarnations in so$nd form.
The taste for hearing and chanting the ho* so$nd incarnations of the Lord is deve*o)ed thro$gh
the medi$m of service to the )$re trans)arent
"hagavata devotee of the Lord as descri"ed in the Srimad Bhagavatam 31.B.184'
nasta-)ra$sv a"hadres$ nitam "hagavata-sevaa "hagavat $ttam-s*o!e "ha!tir
"havati naisthi!i
%B reg$*ar attendance in c*asses on the Bhagavatam and " rendering service to the )$re
devotee, a** that is tro$"*esome to the heart is a*most com)*ete* destroed, and *oving service $nto
the /ersona*it of 0odhead, (ho is )raised (ith transcendenta* songs, is esta"*ished as an
irrevoca"*e fact.,
Dommon reasoning ma fai* to $nderstand this )rocess of serving the )erson "hagavata and
the "oo! Bhagavatam for the )$r)ose of grad$a* )romotion on the )ath of devotion (hich "esto(s
the association (ith the Lord .imse*f. B$t great sages *i!e 9arada , (ho are the a$thorities on the
s$"#ect confirm that the more )rogress is made in devotiona* service $nder the g$idance of the
)erson "hagavata , the more one "ecomes fi1ed in the transcendenta* *oving service of the Lord
In the modern age 3five cent$ries ago4 Lord Dhaitana :aha)ra"h$ )reached the so$nd
incarnation Srimad Bhagavatam " )ractica* demonstration as a )erson "hagavata. B .is
ca$se*ess merc it has "ecome easier to )enetrate into the to)ics of the Srimad Bhagavatam.
Lord Sri Dhaitana :aha)ra"h$ is the se*fsame Lord Sri &rishna. In this incarnation, ho(ever,
.e a))eared as a great devotee
"hagavata of the Lord, in order to )reach to the )eo)*e in genera*, as (e** as re*igionists and
)hi*oso)hers, a"o$t the transcendenta* )osition of Sri &rishna the )rimeva* Lord and the ca$se of
a** ca$ses, "ased on the "oo! Bhagavatam.
The essence of .is teachings is that'
14 Lord Sri &rishna, (ho a))eared in +ra#a"h$mi 3+rindavana4 as the son of the &ing of +ra#a
39anda :ahara#a4 is the S$)reme /ersona*it of 0odhead, and therefore (orshi)a"*e " a**.
B4 +rindava dhama is nondifferent from the Lord, "eca$se the name, form, and )*ace (here the
Lord manifests .imse*f are a** identica* (ith the Lord as a"so*$te !no(*edge. Therefore
+rindavana dhama is as (orshi)a"*e as the Lord.
K4 The highest form of transcendenta* (orshi) of the Lord (as e1hi"ited " the
go)is 3co(herd gir*s4 of +ra#a"h$mi in the form of )$re affection for the Lord, and this )rocess is
the most e1ce**ent mode of (orshi).
F4 Srimad Bhagavatam, the so$nd form of the Lord, is the s)ot*ess )$rana 3"oo! of histor4 for
$nderstanding the Lord.
I4 The $*timate goa* of *ife for a** *iving "eings is to attain the stage of
)rema 3*ove of 0od4.
Sri Dhaitana :aha)ra"h$ is the $ga avatara of the age of &a*i. .e is "oth Bhagavan and
Bhagavatam in )erson and in so$nd.
Therefore .is )rocess of a))roaching the Srimad Bhagavatam is )ractica* for a** )eo)*e of the
(or*d. It (as .is (ish that )eo)*e (or*d(ide sho$*d "e given an o))ort$nit to hear the so$nd
incarnations of the Lord, vi=., the ho* names of &rishna and the Srimad Bhagavatam.