People hold different views on this avatar. According to the Puranas, Buddha was born as the son of Ajanik in Bihar. The avatar was intended to delude the Asuras and astray them from Vedic thought. The Asuras seriously followed scriptural injunctions. As a result, they grew powerful and overthrew the devatas. They usurped their heaven and dissuaded the Rishis from performing Yajnas. Lord Vishnu assumed the Buddha Avatar and advised the asuras to forsake their religion. He criticized Yajnas calling them to be violent acts and source of misery. Overcome by illusion they accepted his statements. The Asuras abandoned their rituals and lost their strength. The gods killed them in battle. The great Poet, Jayadeva deemed Gautama Buddha to be Buddha avatar. Since then Gautama Buddha is popular as the Buddha incarnation.
Story of Siddhartha
The story of Tathagat Buddha (Gautama Buddha) is very popular. Born in the princely dynasty of Shakya, he was named Siddhartha. His father was Shudhodhana who was the king of Kapila Vastu. Once as he toured his kingdom he encountered the sorrows of old age, disease and death. The event left a deep impact on his mind and a resolve to solve the inevitable arose in him. In the prime of his youth, he abandoned the luxuries of his palace and accepted the renounced order. Leaving his infant Rahul, he slipped out of his wife’s room in the darkness of the night. He discarded his royal attire and shaved his head. He was in constant search of truth. After starving for long, he concluded that body torture is futile. He consumed the sweet-dish cooked by Sujata and sat beneath the Bodhi tree in meditative trance. He transcended the attacks of Mara. He attained enlightenment. A transformed personality stood forth who was the enlightened Gautama Buddha. Gautama delivered his first sermon in Sarnatha (Uttar Pradesh). He lived up to a ripe old age. Many famous personalities of his times joined his Sangha and contributed in the movement. Monasteries were erected in many parts of the nation. Finally, afflicted by disease, Buddha left his body in Kushi Nagar. After his departure, Buddhism spread like wildfire. Buddhism gained momentum in foreign countries during the reign of emperor Ashoka and slowly overtook the whole of South Asia, Japan and China.
Sanatana Dharma on Buddha
An important point to consider. The Sanatana Dharma undoubtedly considers Buddha as an incarnation but his teaching are deemed invalid. This is the greatness of our Sanatana Dharma. It says- “By performing spiritual practice, a person can graduate into a super human. He deserves to be worshipped. Even if god speaks against our Vedas we must ignore his words. Worship god. Give him the respect. But follow the Shastras.”
At the end of Kali Yuga, Lord Kalki shall appear as the son of a Brahmin named Vishnu Yasha in Sambhal (Muradabbad district- Uttar Pradesh). He shall learn weaponry from Parashurama. Mounted on the valorous horse gifted by gods he shall assassinate the evil-minded rulers and cleanse the dirt of the age. Lord Kalki shall ravage the evil men and purify the hearts of simple hearted men. The atmosphere shall gain purity and become Satvika.
Kalki shall snatch the heaven from the present Indra ‘Purandar’ and gift it to his devotee Bali. The invisible immortal seers who are meditating in the present age shall manifest themselves in society and guide common man. The rulers of the Solar and Lunar Dynasty meditating incognito in the Kalapa village shall manifest themselves. King Maru of the solar dynasty and King Devapi of the lunar dynasty shall rule and govern the land.
When will Kalki Avatar happen?
Remember Kalki Avatar takes place at the culmination of Kali Yuga. He shall appear as the son of Vishnu Yasha in sambhal. These fact have been predicted. Kali yuga is 4,32,00,00,000 years long. Till date only 5077 years have passed according to the Vikram Sambat 2033 calendar. Which means 4,31,99,94,923 years are yet to pass.
Stories of Narayana
Apart from these stories, there are few more stories of Narayana.
1) Once, the Supreme Lord Narayana wanted to start creation. Lots of water appeared from his body. Since He is the masculine aspect (Nara) the water is called (Naar). The water carried the entire cosmos in its womb. The Lord entered the waters and slept on his bed of serpent. Since he slept on the water known as Naar, he is called Narayana. A lotus stalk emerged from his beautiful navel. The 4-headed Brahma appeared from the Lotus who is none other than the expansion of the supreme Narayana.
2) Two demons named Madhu and Kaitabha emerged from the ear wax of Bhagavan. They intended to kill Brahma. In fright, Brahma invoked Bhagavan by reciting the Yoga-Nidra hymn. On hearing the chants, Bhagavan awoke from sleep. He fought with the demons for eons together. The demons finally told Bhagavan “You are single while we are double. Yet you handled us for ages together. We are impressed by your valor. Ask for a boon.” Bhagavan laughed and said “Fine. You both die at my hands.” The asuras said “You can kill us on a dry piece of land. However, there was no dry land available as there was water everywhere. So the lord placed the demons on his thighs and killed them with his disk. The chyle (Med) from their bodies formed the Earth. So Mother Earth has earned a name- ‘Medini’. On killing the demons, Bhagavan became renowned as Madhusudhana and Kaitabhari.
3) During a Kalpa, Lord Narayana wanted to create. A four-armed gigantic Vishnu appeared before him. Lord Narayana shed air which led to the creation of conch. The Lord offered the conch, spear, mace, garland of forest flowers, Sri Vatsa or symbolism of Lakshmi Devi, Kautabha Gem and Garuda to Lord Vishnu.
Story of Vrinda Tulsi
4) Lord Shiva fought with Jalandhar to protect the Devas. Jalandhar’s wife Vrinda was a chaste lady. He was unconquerable due to the power of her chastity. Vrinda supported her husband. If someone supports an unrighteousness person, it is considered Adharma. Vrinda’s duty proved detrimental for the world. Lord Vishnu disguised as Jalandhar and approached Vrinda. Vrinda mistaking him to be her husband, embraced him. This led to the disruption of her chastity. Her husband died in the war. Jalandhar’s head came flying to the spot. When she realized her folly, she cursed Lord Vishnu “Like matter, you have defiled a woman’s honor. Become a stone.” Lord Vishnu said- “Like matter, you wished good of an unrighteous man. You become a plant.” Vrinda devi pleaded to Lord Vishnu and sang his hymns. Pleased by her devotion Bhagavan said- “I shall become Shaligrama and you shall become Tulsi. Without you, my worship will be incomplete. I appreciate your devotion. You shall be my eternal wife.” Since then Lord Vishnu accepted Tulsi as his wife. A Tulsi leaf is compulsory to satisfy Bhagavan.