Suta kahanti suddha chitte harase muninka agrate
suna sakala muni jane hari charita saabadhaane
srustira kaale se muraari mahaa purusha rupa dhari
mahata aadi ange misi biraata rupe brahma raasi
se shuddha stwa bisnu rupa jaahaa bhiaana maayaa kalpa
gyaana chakhyure dwaara bhari je rupe dekhe brahmachaari....
sahashra paada uru bhuja shira badana naashaa teja
shahasra lochana shrabana basana kundala bhushana
In the beginning with the desire of creating the universe, the Supreme Lord assumed the form of Purusa. The supreme was assumed (as told in the epic) in his Yoga Samadhi reposing on the causal waters, there appeared from his Navel a lotus where from sprang up Brahma, the Lord of all the creations. It is on the disposition of his limbs that the entire worlds stand superimposed. The above described form of the lord is the most exalted form of the Lord. The yogis behold that form by their divine eye, wonderful as it is with its thousands of feet, thighs, arms and faces. It has thousands of heads, ears, eyes and noses and is resplendent with thousands of crowns, robes and ear-rings. It is by a ray of his ray that gods, human beings and the lower forms of life are created.
e srusti madhye maayaadhara karai jete abataara
taahaanka mula bija ehi jagate brahmaa se bolai
jaahaara anshaa ansha bale gagana pruthibi paatale
deba manushya pashu aadi nigama gochare sampaadi
prathame kumaara rupe se srusti udaye upadeshe
dustara brahmacharya brate tapa saadhilaa drudha chitte....
The Supreme who is Brahma himself and who is the cause of all the living beings, is assumed to have taken many a forms for the sake of welfare of this world. Firstly he manifested himself as the Kumara and observed the hard vow of celibacy. During the second Avatara the lord took the form jagyenswara, in his third form he was manifested as the devine boar with the intention of lifting the earth from deep within the ocean, in order to proceed with the work of creation. Later appearing in the form of the celestial sage Narada he taught the Sattvik Tantras which inculcates ways of karma such a way that it stops binding people. During his fourth manifestation he appeared in the dual form of Sages Nara and Narayana, born of Dharma and Murti. They practiced severe penance with perfect control of mind and senses. His fifth manifestation was known by the name of Kapila, the lord of the Siddhas. He taught the Sankhya system of Philosophy that determines the nature of the fundamental principles. During his sixth manifestation he appeared as a son of the sage Atri . Thereafter in his seventh manifestation He was born to Akuti and Sage Ruci, as Yajnapurusha or as Narahari. In the eighth manifestation as Risabha deva, the all pervading lord was born of Queen Meru devi, the spouse of King Nabhi and taught by his own example the mode of life of Paramhansas. During his ninth manifestation, at the solicitation of sages, He took the form of King Pruthu and made the earth yield all its products. At the end of the pralaya, when all the three worlds were being deluged by the ocean, He took the form of a Fish and rescued the future. During his eleventh manifestation, when the gods and demons begun churning the ocean, the Lord assumed the form of a tortoise and supported the mountain on his back. In his twelfth manifestation, He took the form of Dhanvantiri..........
amruta khiraarnabu aani debanku piaaile puni
mohini rupe trayodashe shankara mohe kaama bashe
chaturdashe singha bapu...........bidaare hiranya kashipu
baamana rupe panchadashe baliki chalile biswaashe
shodash abataare hari parashuraama rupa dhari
In his thirteenth manifestation, he took the form of a beautiful woman and gave the gods the nectar to drink, keeping the demons spell-bound. During his fourteenth manifestation he took the form of Narasimha and tore with his claws the breast of the most powerful demon "Hiranyuakashipu". Assuming the form of a dwarf in his fifteenth descent, He visited the sacrificial performance of Bali and asked him of three paces of land with a covert intention of robbing him of his Kingdom. In his sixteenth descent he found that the kings have become immoral and He rid the entire earth of Kshatriyas as many as twenty one times. Then, in his seventeenth descent he was born of Satyavati through the sage Parasara and finding the people of poor intellect, divided the tree of Veda into many branches. Then again he assumed the form of a ruler of men "Sriramachandra" in his eighteenth manifestation. In the nineteenth and the twentieth the Lord was born as Balarama and Sri Krishna and relieved the earth of its burden. When Kali sets in he will be born in the Magadha region as Buddha "the enlightened". Then again towards the end of Kali, the Lord of the Universe will take descent from a Brahmana as Lord Kalki.
About the Incarnations in precise.........
The four Kumaras......The Four Kumaras or Chatursana are the four sons of Brahma from the Puranic texts of Hinduism, named Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana and Sanatkumara. Born from Brahma's mind, the four sons are described as great sages who undertook lifelong vows of celibacy (brahmacarya) against the wishes of their father. The Bhagavata Purana lists the Kumaras among the twelve Mahajanas (great devotees or bhaktas who although being eternally liberated souls from birth, still became attracted to the devotional service of Vishnu from their already enlightened state.
In Hinduism, Varaha is the avatar of Vishnu, in the form of a boar. He appeared in order to defeat Hiranyaksha, a demon who had taken the Earth (prthivi) and carried it to the bottom of what is described as the cosmic ocean in the story. The battle between Lord Varaha and Hiranyaksha is believed to have lasted for a thousand years, which the former finally won. Varaha carried the Earth out of the ocean between his tusks and restored it to its place in the universe. Vishnu married Prithvi (Bhudevi) in this avatar.
Narada Muni is a divine sage,who plays a prominent role in a number of the Puranic texts, especially in the Bhagavata Purana, and in the Ramayana. Narada is portrayed as a travelling monk with the ability to visit distant worlds or planets, lokas in Sanskrit. He carries a musical instrument known as a vina, which he uses to accompany his singing of hymns, prayers and mantras as an act of devotion to his lord, Vishnu.
Nara and Narayana were the Abataaras of Lord Vishnu. The twins were sons of Dharma, the son of Brahma and his wife Murti (Daughter Of Daksha) or Ahimsa .They lived at Badrika performing severe austerities and meditation for the welfare of the world. These two inseparable sages took avatars on earth for the welfare of mankind and to punish the wicked ones. The sages defeated a demon called Sahasrakavacha ("one with a thousand armours").
Maharishi Kapila a Vedic sage the manifestation of the supreme , who as mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatam is the author of basic principles of the Sankhya system of Indian philosophy. It is mentioned in purans that, his parents were Kardama Muni and Devahuti, and after his father left home, Kapila instructed his mother, Devahuti in the philosophy of yoga and devotional worship of Lord Vishnu, enabling her to achieve both liberation (moksha), and pure love of God. Maharshi Kapila is a major figure in the story associated with the Hindu holiday of Makar Sankranti, about bringing down Ganga River from heaven.
Dattatreya is considered by Hindus to be god who is an incarnation of the Divine Trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. The word Datta means "Given", Datta is called so because the divine trinity have "given" themselves in the form of a son to the sage couple Atri and Anasuya. He is the son of Atri, hence the name "Atreya." There is a beautiful story of laxmi, parvati and saraswati getting zealous at piousness of Sati Anushayaa. In order to vanish their pride, the trinity took the form of sons of Maharshi Atri and Devi Anushayaa where three Godesses failed to recognise their respective husbands and surrendered defore Devi Anushaya.
In Hinduism, Yajna Yagna or Yagya is a ritual of sacrifice.The meaning of Yagna is not confined to this sacrificial ritual. It has a much wider and deeper meaning. The word Yagna is derived from the Sanskrit verb yaj, which has a three-fold meaning: worship of deities (deva-pujana), unity (sangatikarana) and charity (daana). The philosophy of Yagna teaches a way of living in the society in harmony and a lifestyle which promotes and protects higher human values in the society, which is indeed the basis of an ideal human culture. Yagna purusha is thus sacred manifestation of the supreme as the sacred fire for peace and harmony.
In Hinduism, Lord Rishabha is the manifestation of God Vishnu, appeared as the son of Merudevi, the wife of King Nabhi. The King underwent many severe austerities and penance to please Lord Visnu to get a son like Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu accepted his plea and thus appeared as Lord Rsabha - son of King Nabhi and Merudevi. Jains accept Lord Rsabha as Rishabha, their first Tirthankar. Hindus regard their practices are atheistic and contradictory to the teachings of Lord Risabha in the Srimad Bhagavatam. Lord Rishava is believe to be the father of 100 sons among whom Bharata was the founder of Bharata Varsha.
Another manifestation is as king Pruthu. The Bhagavata Purana and Vishnu Purana tells the story of Prithu: King Vena, from the lineage of the pious Dhruva, was an evil king, who neglected Vedic rituals. Thus the rishis (sages) killed him, leaving the kingdom without an heir and in famine due to the anarchy of Vena. So, the sages churned Vena's body, out of which first appeared a dark dwarf hunter, a symbol of Vena's evil. Since the sins of Vena had gone away as the dwarf, the body was now pure. On further churning, Prithu emerged from right arm of the corpse. To end the famine by slaying the earth and getting her fruits, Prithu chased the earth (Prithvi) who fled as a cow. Finally, she cornered by Prithu, the earth states that killing her would mean the end of his subjects too. So Prithu lowered his weapons and reasoned with the earth and promised her to be her guardian. Finally, Prithu milked her using Manu as a calf, and received all vegetation and grain as her milk, in his hands for welfare of humanity. Before Prithu's reign, there was "no cultivation, no pasture, no agriculture, no highway for merchants", all civilization emerged in Prithu's rule. By granting life to the earth and being her protector, Prithu became the earth's father and she accepted the patronymic name "Prithvi".
The Bhagavata Purana narrates the following tale about Vishnu's Matsya incarnation (avatar):-
"Long ago, when life first appeared on the earth, a terrible demon terrorized the earth. He prevented sages from performing their rituals and stole the Holy Vedas, taking refuge in a conch shell in the depths of the ocean. Brahma, the creator of the world approached Vishnu for help and the latter immediately assumed the form of a fish and plunged into the ocean. He killed the demon by ripping open his stomach and retrieved the Vedas. Four forms emerged from the demon's stomach representing the four Vedas: Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda, and Yajur Veda."
Kurma abataara is that abataara in which Vishnu formed himself as a tortoise during the Samudra manthana or Churning of the sea, when a giant flood occured due to the churning, Vishnu took a mountain atop his back.
Dhanvantari the manifestation of lord Vishnu, was an early Indian medical practitioner and one of the world’s first surgeons. Based on Hindu traditions, he is regarded as the source of Ayurveda. He perfected many herbal based cures and natural remedies and was credited with the discovery of the antiseptic properties of turmeric and the preservative properties of salt which he incorporated in his cures. Being a very skilled surgeon according to the standards of his time, he is widely believed to be the pioneer of modern medical practices like plastic surgery. Dhanvantari is depicted as Vishnu with four hands, holding medical herbs in one hand and a pot containing rejuvenating nectar called amrita in another. The Puranas state that Dhanavantari emerged from the 'Ocean of Milk' and appeared with the pot of nectar during the story of the Samudra or Sagar manthan whilst the ocean was being churned by the devas and asuras, using the Mandara mountain and the serpent Vasuki. The pot of Amrita was snatched by the Asuras or Demons, and after this event another avatar, Mohini, appears and takes the nectar back from the Asuras.
Mohini is one of the avatars of Vishnu found in the Puranas. The main story, or lila, concerning Mohini is the Sagar or Samudra manthan. This lila details the conflict between the Daitya (demons) and the Adityas (gods), as well as their quest for amrita. In this lila, there is a time when the demons overpowered the gods and take possession of the amrita. In order to rescue the gods, Vishnu takes the form of a beautiful woman, Mohini, and approached the demons. When the demons saw the enchanting beauty of Mohini, they lost all composure. While the demons were enchanted by Her beauty, Mohini seized the nectar and distributed it amongst the gods.
Narasimha or Nrusimha, is an avatara of Vishnu is one of Hinduism's most popular deities He is often visualized as one who takes the form of half-man/half-lion, having a human-like torso and a lower body, but with a lion-like face and claws. This image is widely worshiped in deity form by a significant number of Vaishnava groups (especially in Southern India). He is known primarily as the 'Great Protector', being a form of Vishnu or Krishna, who specifically defends and protects his devotees at the times of need. The story of Narasimha as described in the Bhagavata Purana is as follows: In his previous avatara of Varaha, Vishnu killed a rakshasa known as Hiranyaksha. Hiranyaksha's brother Hiranyakashipu, greatly angered by this, started to abhor Lord Vishnu and his followers. To which end he decides to attempt to kill Vishnu by gaining mystical powers, so he worshiped Brahma and got the boon, not to be killed by any God, man, woman.....To his woos, his own son Prahallada happened to be the greatest devotee of Lord Vishnu, whom he decided to control. When Prahallada still was worshiping Vishnu, Hiranyakashipu attempted to kill him in many a ways but failed due to the blessings of Vishnu on Prahallada. Finally he approached his son to show how Vishnu saves him, then The nRusimha appeared from a pillar and killed Hiranyakashipu. Nrusimha is the icon of omnipresence and omnipotence of the God.
Bamana abataara is the manifestation of God as a dwarf. The legend of Bhagavata tells that the Vamana avatar was taken by Vishnu to restore Indra's authority over the heavens, which was taken away by force by the demon king Bali in Dravida. Vamana in the disguise of a short Brahmin, carrying a wooden umbrella requested three steps of land for him to live in. Given a promise of three steps of Land by King Bali against the warning given by his Guru Sukracharya, Vamana, The Supreme God grows so huge that he could cover from heaven to earth, earth to lower worlds in two simple steps. King Bali unable to fulfil the promise of three paces of Land to the Supreme God, offers his head for the third step. Thus Vamana places his third step on King Bali's head and gives him immortality for his benevolence. Vamana taught King Bali that arrogance and pride should be abandoned if any advancement in life is to be made.
Parashurama has been mentioned in several scriptures - Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and Bhagavata and Kalki Puranas. He is famous for killing the Haihaya-Kshatriyas on the earth 21 times for their Ahankara (pride/arrogance). He wanted to spread & preserve the Vedic culture on Earth. Major parts of India & Indian villages have been said to be built by him. He was the most obedient descendants of the Bhargava gotra, who always followed the teachings & orders of his Gurus & parents. He respected the elders (jeshtas) and never insulted them. His Bhaava(emotion) was to keep this jeev shrishti(earth) alive with its beauty of nature. He is believed to kill the corrupt Khyatriyas from world 21 times to bring about peace in the world.
Rama has been the most famous incarnation of lord Vishnu. The epic Ramayana, written by sage Valmiki is the most popular epic containing the love story of King of Ayodhya Ramachandra and Queen Sita. Rama's life and journey is the icon of riteousness. For the sake of his father's honour, Rama abandons his claim to Ayodhya's throne to serve an exile of fourteen years in the forest. His wife, Sita and brother, Laxmana being unable to live without Rama decide to join him, and all three spend the fourteen years in exile together. This leads to the kidnapping of Sita by Ravana, the demon monarch of Lanka. After a long and arduous search that tests his personal strength and virtue, Rama fights a colossal war against Ravana's armies. In a war of powerful and magical beings, greatly destructive weaponry and battles, Rama slays Ravana in battle and liberates his wife. Having completed his exile, Rama returns to be crowned King in Ayodhya (the capital of his Kingdom) and eventually becomes Emperor of the World, which he reigns for eleven thousand years – an era of perfect happiness, peace, prosperity and justice known as Rama Rajya. The legend of Rama is deeply influential and popular in the societies of the Indian subcontinent and across South East Asia. Rama is revered for his unending compassion, courage and devotion to religious values and duty.
Balarama (Baladeva), (Balabhadra) or (Halayudha), is the elder brother of the divine being, Krishna in Hinduism. Within Vaishnavism and a number of South Indian, Hindu traditions Balarama is worshipped as an avatar of Vishnu, and he is also listed as such in the Bhagavata Purana. Within both the Vaishnava traditions and Hinduism generally he is acknowledged as being a manifestation of Sheshanaga, the serpent on whom Vishnu rests. The Bhagavata Purana describes Krishna as the original Supreme Personality of Godhead from whom everything else emanates. As part of this divine 'emanation', Krishna's very first expansion is Balarama, and from Balarama all other incarnations of God then appear. Of the three transcendental elements described in Sanskrit as sat, cit and ananda (eternity, knowledge and bliss), Balarama is in charge of eternity and knowledge. Hence he worshipped as the supreme teacher or Adiguru. Balarama was born to Vasudeva and Devaki. Kansa, the brother of Devaki and an evil king, was intent upon killing all the children of his sister because of a prediction that he would die at the hands of her eighth son. Kansa thus threw his sister Devaki and her husband Vasudeva into prison, and proceeded to kill each of their children as they were born. However, the seventh child was transferred miraculously from Devaki's womb to the womb of Rohini, who had desired a child of her own. Thus Balarama's other name is also Sankarsana which describes the transfer of the child from the womb. The child was formally named Rama, but because of his great strength he was called Balarama (Strong Rama). Thus, Rohini actually gave birth to Balarama and raised him. Balarama spent his childhood as a cowherd boy with his brother Krishna and friends.He later married Revati, the daughter of King Kakudmi, ruler of Kusasthali and Anarta.
Krishna is regarded as the best manifestation of God. Vaishnavas recognize him as an avatar of Vishnu, some consider him to be svayam bhagavan, or the original form of the Lord. Krishna is often depicted as a baby, as a young boy playing a flute as in the Bhagavata Purana, or as a youthful prince giving direction and guidance as in the Bhagavad Gita. The stories of Krishna appear across a broad spectrum of Hindu philosophical and theological traditions. They portray him in various roles: a god-child, a prankster, a model lover, a divine hero and the Supreme Being. The principal scriptures discussing Krishna's legands are the Mahābhārata, the Harivamsa, the Bhagavata Purana and the Vishnu Purana. Krishna abataara is the icon of love, purity and devotion.
Sidhaartha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from ancient India and the founder of Buddhism. He is generally recognized by Buddhists as the Supreme Buddha (Sammāsambuddha) of our age. The time of his birth and death are uncertain: most early 20th-century historians date his lifetime from circa 563 BCE to 483 BCE; Gautama, also known as Śākyamuni or Shakyamuni (“sage of the Shakyas”), is the key figure in Buddhism, and accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules were said to have been summarized after his death and memorized by the sangha. Passed down by oral tradition, the Tripitaka, the collection of teachings attributed to Gautama by the Theravada, was committed to writing about 400 years later. "Scholars are increasingly reluctant to make unqualified claims about the historical facts of the Buddha's life and teachings." Budha" is the icon of true knowledge or enlightenment.
The supreme who is by his very nature formless, takes several forms in different times for the welfare of his creation. All the manifestations are the rays of the formless infinity Brahman, and Krishna being the most perfect manifestation of the supreme. The person with true devotion keeps the God in his mind gets rid of all the sufferings of this mortal world.
maayaara gune birachita maayaara aadiru sambhuta
jemante megha shunye thaanti pabana bale se udanti
paarthiba renu e jemante udanti pabana bighaate
aakaasha dhushara dishai naanaa rangare aabhaasai
taahaaku drusti bhede dekhi je satya praaye upalakhi
se rupe aatmaare sharira kalpanaa karanti je nara
taahaanku boli gyaanahina ebe ho suna munigaana.............
The formless, subtle cosmos which is the gross manifestation of the supreme, due to the Cosmic Intelligence forms the palpable and factual universe. As the clouds are driven by the air which is formless, all the palpable and tangibles are driven by the subtle. As the dusts make possible the lights to get different colors in the sky, but we think the sky changes color by itself or so, different forms the soul takes is made possible due to a subtle action. As the color of the sky is changeable one should not get swayed by the color or the form of the body, it is the soul or the sky which is true form of self, the subtle force maya or illusion gives it different forms as the dusts make the color of the sky.
Jiva or "Atmaa"is beyond the material form of the beings. It is that inseparable ray of the supreme which is constituted of undeveloped Gunas and is neither open to perception nor to hearing. It goes through repeated births due to the ignorance or nescience. When this veil is removed through self-knowledge, that very moment takes place the realization of Brahma. He who believes the body as the self is ignorant and suffers from repeated cycles of rebirths. The enlightened or the person who has discovered the truth finds that across the Lord’s playful maya there is pure knowledge, then the Jiva finds himself one with and inseparable from Brahma and gets established in the glory of the Self.
sama asama rupa jete sambhabe bishnu maayaagraste
aatmaare kalpita eswara e tatwe bramhara bichaara
maayaa misrhrita mati jebe nirasta hoi gyaana bhaabe
tebe aatmaare aatmaa dekhi nirmala mahimaa nirekhi
e maayaa eshwaru prakaasha jebe se huai binaasha
paramaananda rupe chitta tebe se huai bhaabita
tahun sampanna brahma gyaana jaanai tatwa gyaani jana
So all types of creation are the consequence of a sport- illusion (maya) formed by Vishnu. All the images inside and outside our mind are too the very illusion which makes us ignorant about the truth. The Jiva or aatmaa is nothing but the presence of paramaatmaa or supreme. With the help of Bhakti or devotion and gyaana or intelligence, man can remove the illusion to know the truth in him. When the maya formed by Iswhwara, is destroyed; mind dwells in divine pleasure out of brahma gyaana (the knowledge of knowing the Brahman.)
The supreme, with a mere sport creates, preserves and reabsorbs this universe, but never gets attached to it. He makes all his play in, with and by the soul. So the soul or Jiva is the best manifestation of the supreme.
brahmaanda srujai paalai ante aapane sanhaarai
praaninka madhye aatma tantre Sadbarge bhogakare nitye
enu iswara se bolaai kibaa upamaa debi muhi
The supreme brahman, although is formless and beyond any expression, in the form of soul , through intelligence, resides and enjoys, the sadbargas. As per the Purnachandra Bhashakosa,
Chaturbarga means the four most cherishes things in human life. Those are "Dharma", or righteousness, "Artha" or wealth, "Kaama" or desire and "Mokhya" or salvation. Adding two more like "Gyaana" or knowlege and "Karma" or duties make six Bargas or Sadabarga.Being present in every human soul, the supreme enjoys the Purushaarthas or the six most important objectives in human life.
No petty creature can know by any dialectical skill or through mundane intelligence, the names and forms or the doings of the Lord. The power of the Lord is infinite. As a magician forms a veil in every bodies eyes, the supreme lord creates a veil everywhere to be known through him only. He alone can know him(Supreme Krishn), who has constant and sincere devotion to the nectar of his lotus feet.
The Sage Vedavyasa composed this Purana, known by the name of Srimad Bhagavata, which stands on par with the Vedas and contains the stories of Parmbrahma. He taught this great Purana to his son(Suka muni), who is the foremost among Self-realized. This represents the very cream extracted from all the Vedas and Itihasas. Suka in his turn recited it to the great King Parikshit, who sat on the bank of Ganga with a vow to fast unto death for self realisation. While the glorious sage was reciting this Purana there, I (Suta muni) too was present and learnt it by his grace. I will now recite the same to you as I have learnt, to the best of my lights.
End of trutiya adhyaaya.......