Purpose Behind Avataras
There are various purposes for the Lord’s incarnation.
It is incorrect on the part of devotees to think that the Lord incarnates only in order to kill demons and bad elements in society.
This might be one of the reasons, but not the only one!
“In Kali Yuga, the Lord shall incarnate roughly after a period of four hundred and twenty-seven thousand years.” So says the Srimad Bhagavatham.
There is a statement in the Bhagavad Gita where Lord Sri Krishna proclaims:
“Whenever there is a decline of Dharma, I shall incarnate.“
Now, going by this statement means that Dharma is still nowhere close to declining.
Although the statement cannot be considered absurd, we have seen the level of Dharma in the current Iron Age.
Now, we can imagine the level of Dharma that shall exist at the end of four hundred and twenty-seven thousand years.
Is it difficult for Him to simply lift His left eye-brow halfway and kill all anti-social elements once and for all?
With his mere glance universes perish into an endless zone of darkness.
It is well within His authority and power to take such drastic steps.
Dharma in Various Yugas
The definition of Dharma in the 4 Yugas were different.
In Satya Yuga,
It was a common scenario that elders were more intelligent and spiritual compared to the youngsters.
As a part of culture, elders would advise the youngsters, and the latter would abide by the instructions given to them.
However, by the end of Treta Yuga, the scenario completely changed.
Although the elders were intelligent and full of knowledge, the youngsters started going astray.
They would not take the instruction given to them by older people seriously.
Indeed, it was a disastrous fall of Dharma for that age.
The older Dharma that is applicable based on time, place, and circumstances is called “Naimittika Dharma” (नैमत्तिक धर्म).
This Dharma for Treta Yuga was that a son should abide by what his father says.
A Disciple should abide by his guru (teacher).
People of the village must listen to the older men of the village and so on.
The fantastic thing about this culture was-
There was consistency and resemblance in the teachings and viewpoints of all elders, teachers, guardians, and other seniors.
Hence, there was no dilemma or dichotomy in the hearts of the younger people, as they followed their elders.
This culture powered the progress of the community as a whole.
Alas! Culture underwent a decline, towards the end of Treta Yuga.
It is important to note that in those great days of yore, culture was an offshoot of Dharma.
The practices of culture conformed to the Dharmic practices, unlike these days.
State of Dharma in Kali Yuga
Now, in modern times culture has no connection with Dharma.
It exists just as a dragging residue of the olden days where some people forcibly try to impose culture as a matter of norm, negativity, force, and supremacy.
Initially, Sati was not forced upon on the woman.
She gracefully embraced death due to her chastity and love for her husband.
When this came in the near past, it started to lose its grip as purity and intentions no longer maintained that purity.
It was still relevant as a protection mechanism for women in India, during the reign of Foreign Invaders.
Till here, this tradition was acceptable as still there remained a purity of faith on the husband.
But, today this practice stands irrelevant.
Modern laws promote live-in relationships, people have extramarital relationships and whatnot.
Such actions mark the racing speed of Kali Yuga.
So, with zero amount of purity and chastity, people shall surely view this practice as a forced cultural practice and torture.
With this corroded mindset, historians hype and project many cultural practices as imposed and atrocious.
It would be atrocious for modern times, but was a sense of responsibility and pride in ancient times.
This was because of the change in mindsets.
So, these modern-day cultures include olden-day practices which are not practical.
This impracticality arises as current time, place, and circumstances have nothing in common with the olden days.
However, this notion is completely false and not justified.
These practices were purposeful and appropriate for their situation.
2 Main Reasons of Incarnations
An Avatara has multidimensional purposes behind its descent.
1. Demonstrate the value of Dharma, through His own Life.
However, this objective cannot be completed without annihilating anti-social elements.
Though Bhagawan can perish all evil by merely lifting up his eyebrows, he incarnates and personally kills them to teach lessons of Dharma to his devotees.
Lord incarnates to practically show civilization how Dharma needs to be adhered to.
Due to this reason, the Lord proclaims in the Gita:
2. The next purpose is to associate with sages and serve them.
No one is dear to the Lord as much as pure devotees.
The Lord considers sages and seers as His very breath.
So, through His physical incarnation, He also highlights the importance of sages and seers on earth.
They are dear to him as they take birth on Bhu Loka (Earth), for the Lord’s sake.
The Lord, through His incarnation, demonstrates how an ordinary mortal should revere sages and seers.
Thus, he incarnates to set standards for the glorification of sages by ordinary men.
Some Avataras and Yugas
In the Krita Yuga (कृत युग), also known as Satya Yuga, the Lord incarnates as a
1. fish (Matsya),
2. tortoise (Kurma),
3. boar (Varaha),
4. the lion-man (Narasimha) and as
5. the human dwarf (Vamana).
However, in the Treta Yuga, He incarnates as
6. the perfect human being, Sri Rama.
Following that, in the Dvapara Yuga, He incarnates as a
7. supernatural-human-entity, Sri Krishna to display his Powers in all Glory.
How to follow Dharma in Kali Yuga?
Sages have documented the ethics for all times through scriptures such as the Puranas, Ramayana, and Mahabharata.
Their work is applicable as “Nitya Dharma” (नित्य धर्म), which means applicable at all times; irrespective of time, place, or circumstance.
These core principle values form the basis of Sanatana Dharma.
These are elders who are revered and venerated for eternal time.
One has to trust, depend and respect the sages as our eternal parents.
They never had any personal agenda or inner motive.
They unconditionally rendered their service for us and fulfill the Will of the Divine.
Which Sage should you follow?
How to recognize whether the spiritual adviser (Sage, Guru) is genuine or not might be a bothering question now?
Suppose you attend a spiritual lecture of a preacher.
A person from the audience whispers into the ears of the preacher “Sir I have come for your benefit, to render you a favor”
The reaction of the preacher will tell us whether he is genuine or not.
If there were to be a sparkle in the eyes of the preacher with a smile on his face, know for certain that, he is a fraud.
Additionally, all that the preacher is going to tell you, about God and about duties of man shall be useless, with no meaning.
Because he shall speak everything to earn profits.
It shall be false in all respects and a total waste of precious time.
On the contrary, compare the above situation with preachers of the like Sri Valmiki and Sri Vyasadeva.
They expect something else in return for having their effort of documenting Ramayana and Mahabharatha.
1 Most Important Quality of a Pure Sage
So, they too expect something in return from us.
They desire some profit, but of a different kind.
Just as worldly writers desire royalty from every sale that their book makes, Sri Valmiki and Sri Vyasadeva desire an extra reading of their book.
The more you read and the more you encourage others to read these revered sages find happiness.
They shower their blessings with full force.
So, this is the service charge that they require.
Nothing more than this, they require.
Their hearts simply desire that men follow the life of Sri Rama and engage with the Teachings of Lord Krishna.
Nothing more and nothing else.
Thanks for reading!