In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important message with regards to Sage Paraashara’s introductory accord on Bhagawan’s important “Avataras” or “Incarnations”. We had witnessed in due course, the importance of Bhagawan’s “Poorna-Avataras”, which are nothing but the “Rama-Avatara” and the “Krishna-Avatara”. In these two “Avataras”, Bhagawan had all the time in the world (A full human being’s life span) to illustrate all the important aspects of “Dharma” as prescribed in the Vedas and the Upanishads. Just because reading and comprehending these aspects directly from the texts are going to be extremely next to impossible for ordinary people like us, Bhagawan Vishnu took it upon Himself to incarnate and “enact” all these principles through His life, so that these would be some key “visual aids” for us to understand easily. Thus, the incarnations of Bhagawan Rama and Bhagawan Krishna are considered to be “Poorna-Avataras” as they encompass all the important aspects of “Dharma” in them.
Having said and emphasized thus in our previous episode, we would immediately have a question in our mind – “Oh! If that is the case, why are other incarnations not being talked about very prominently? Are there no messages of “Dharma” that we can learn from other incarnations like Bhagawan Narasimha, Bhagawan Vamana, etc.?” The answer is very simple here – Every incarnation of Bhagawan serves a definitive purpose and if viewed in this sense, there is no difference between the other incarnations of Bhagawan and the “Poorna-Avataras”. To illustrate this point further, let us consider the incarnation of Bhagawan that we had discussed in our previous episodes in detail – The Narasimha Avatara. What is the message behind Bhagawan Narasimha’s incarnation? In fact, the Narasimha Avatara finds special mention in the Shri Vishnu Sahasranaama itself. Bhishmaachaarya explains Bhagawan Narasimha’s significance in the following divine names:
“Vijitaatma vidheyaatma satkeertihi chinna samshayaha!”
Here, we are witnessing four important divine names of Bhagawan Vishnu that correspond to Bhagawan Narasimha, which also convey the important message and purpose behind this incarnation. Especially if we look at the second term, “Vidheyaatma”, we can view this in terms of two names – The first one is what we’re currently seeing – “Vidheyaatma” and the second is “Avidheyaatma”, wherein we add another syllable “A” in front of the divine name. This is the beauty of the Sanskrit language here – We can have certain syllables “sticking” on to words, which might not be prominently pronounced, but these syllables give various flavours of meanings to these words. This is one classical example here. If we look at this divine name as “Vidheyaatma”, it means that “Bhagawan can be made to come to terms!” Whereas, if we look at this same divine name as “Avidheyaatma”, it means that “Bhagawan can never be made to come to terms by anyone and that, He is beyond control!”
We might immediately ask: – Which one of it is true? Both these meanings are true in case of Bhagawan here. How? If we see Bhagawan as “Avidheyaatma”, of course, Bhagawan being the leader of all the 14 “Lokhas”, who can control Him? He’s the one who is controlling all of us, isn’t it? However, if we see Bhagawan as “Vidheyaatma”, there is only one person who can control Bhagawan – The ardent devotee! An ardent devotee can pull Bhagawan towards him or her with his / her innocent prayers and longing for His presence. Bhagawan can never resist the fervent calls of an ardent devotee, and we had witnessed this in the form of little Dhruva and little Prahlaada. This is where Bhagawan can be controlled! Thus we’re witnessing here that both these names are true, isn’t it?
Now, let us come back to this discussion on the Narasimha Avatara and the message it conveys to all of us. The important point here is that Bhagawan never tolerates an insult or an injury to His ardent devotee. Little Prahlaada, being Bhagawan’s ardent devotee, as we all know by now, was subjected to immense torture, repeated insult and injury by Hiranya Kashibu, and this prompted Bhagawan Vishnu to teach him a lesson. When Little Prahlaada pointed out to the pillar innocently, saying that Bhagawan Narayana is inside this, Bhagawan immediately responded to the child’s ultimatum! Thus, the important message from the Narasimha Avatara is that we can even get away by abusing and insulting Bhagawan Himself! But, we can never get away from Bhagawan’s fury when we end up insulting a “Bhaagawatha” or an ardent devotee. This is why we often keep repeating this point time and again – Never ever insult or abuse any living being in this world. We reiterate this point because we would never know who are ardent devotees and who are not. Even if by mistake, we vent out our anger and frustration on a “Bhaagawatha” (The “Bhaagawatha” might be any living being here – It might be even animals or plants), Bhagawan is never going to tolerate us, and all our spiritual practices and efforts that we’re putting are going to go into the drain.
This is exactly what Bhagawan Krishna too illustrates in the Bhagawad Gita – He says that “Kaama” (Desire) and “Krodha” (Anger) are children of an evil mother called “Rajo Guna”, and this combination in a human being is enough to ruin him / her completely! Thus, the point here is that, every incarnation of Bhagawan serves a definite purpose and just because we consider two incarnations as “Poorna-Avataras”, it doesn’t mean that other incarnations are insignificant in nature. So for today, let us understand this point clearly, and let us wait till the next episode to continue with Sage Paraashara’s accord further! Stay tuned! 🙂