In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of Sage Paraashara’s accord on the calculations pertaining to the “Nakshatras” and the “Raashis”. We had seen how the twenty-seven “Nakshatras” account themselves into the twelve “Raashis”, wherein the calculation would be 2.25 “Nakshatras” constituting one “Raashi”. The parameter for calculation here is the “Paadam”, wherein each “Nakshatra” is divided into four “Paadams” of .25 parts. Each “Paadam” is about 0.25’th of the entire Nakshatra. Thus, we would see that each Raashi would account for 2.25 “Nakshatras”, which constitute to around nine “Paadams” each. Thus we have 2.25*12 = 27 “Nakshatras”. This is the simple arithmetic behind how the “Nakshatras” fit themselves inside the twelve ‘Raashis”. This is a very important foundation concept in Astrological science, and all the planetary movements are calculated as per this arithmetic only. Sage Paraashara further explains how Bhagawan Soorya traverses through each of these twelve “Raashis”. The time period for Bhagawan Soorya for traversing from one “Raashi” to the other is 30 days, or a month. Thus, when Bhagawan Soorya traverses through all the twelve “Raashis” and comes back to the “Mesha Raashi”, we complete one full year. We should note that Bhagawan Soorya starts from “Mesha Raashi”, which is the starting period of the “Uttharaayana”, which we’ve discussed earlier. Similarly when Bhagawan Soorya traverses into the “Thulaa Raashi”, we enter into the “Dakshinaayana” and when he again comes back into the “Mesha Raashi”, we enter the “Uttharaayana” period. This is how the cycle of Bhagawan Soorya’s movement keep happening.
With this, Sage Paraashara had concluded the discussion on the different “Nakshatras” and “Raashis” and how Bhagawan Soorya’s movement influences the entire planetary and the stellar systems. This important discussion marks the end of the first “Amsa” of Shri Vishnu Puraana as well. Now, as we move on with the second “Amsa”, Sage Paraashara is going to continue with his accords on various “Avataras” of Bhagawan Vishnu. In the first “Amsa” itself, we’ve witnessed the Varaaha Avataara and Shri Narasimha Avatara of Bhagawan Vishnu. The Varaaha Avatara was to protect the world from the treacherous Raakshasa by name “Hiranyaksha”, while the Narasimha Avatara was to protect one of Bhagawan’s ardent devotees – Prahlaada. We’ve seen the details of these two important “Avataras”. However, as Sage Paraashara moves on further, he highlights an important point here as to why is Bhagawan incarnating every now and then? Further down the line, Sage Paraashara addresses another important question here – What is the difference between Bhagawan taking birth in this world, and we taking birth in this world? We shall address both these questions as we move further into the second “Amsa”. This is an important discussion and readers are to pay full attention while reading through.
Now let us start with the second question here – What is the difference between Bhagawan taking birth and we taking birth? In fact, in the Bhagawad Gita too, Bhagawan Krishna Himself explains this to Arjuna thus, “Oh Arjuna! Both of us have taken enormous births in this world and all of these are true. In fact, in this birth, we are born as the “Nara-Narayana-combination” to destroy “Adharma”!” These are Bhagawan Krishna’s words. Similarly if we look into the Vedas, the same concept is being explained clearly in the “Purusha-Suktha” of the Yajur Veda. There is a phrase that says, “Bahudaa Vijaatate”. This means that Bhagawan takes enormous births in this world. Thus, from these two instances, it is clear and evident that Bhagawan takes innumerable births in this world. Now let us look into our phenomenon here – We also take innumerable births in this world, one after the other. Now, what is the difference between we taking birth and Bhagawan taking birth? Bhagawan takes birth in this world due to His immense desire to establish and re-establish the “Dharma” in this world. Whereas, we take birth because of our “Karma”. In other words, Bhagawan volunteers Himself to take birth in this world, because He wants to establish “Dharma” everytime. Whereas, we are “pushed” into the world to take birth because of our good and bad “Karma”. This is the main difference here. This is why we see that Bahgawan is taking incanations every now and then to destroy the Raaskshasas and establish the “Dharma” in this world, in the form of Bhagawan Rama, Krishna, Varaaha, Narasimha, etc. Each and every time Bhagawan incarnates, the agenda is the same.
Moreover, we’ve to also note that there is no comparison between Bhagawan taking birth and we taking birth. In fact, Bhagawan Krishna Himself declares in the Bhagawad Gita that He is beyond any sort of “Karma”. In other words, Bhagawan’s incarnation doesn’t take any sort of “Karma” into account. This is the reason we refer Bhagawan’s birth in this world as an “Incarnation”, and not a normal birth. If it is a normal birth and a re-birth, it is on account of our “Karma”. Thus, we should always remember that Bhagawan never “takes birth”, but He “incarnates” in this world. With this idea, we shall address the second question now – In fact, we’ve already addressed it as part of the first question itself, but we shall now extend that discussion a bit further. Are there only ten incarnations of Bhagawan, which we refer to as the “Dasha-Avataras”? The answer is “No”! There are hundreds and thousands of incarnations that Bhagawan keeps making in different forms and at different time periods. We have this concept called “Dasha-Avataras” just for our understanding, as the human brain is not that much matured to encapsulate each and every “Avatara” of Bhagawan Vishnu!
So for today, let us understand these important points with regards to Bhagawan’s incarnations and the purposes behind the same. We shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion forward with another set of interesting points! Stay tuned! 🙂