Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Who is the 9th Avatara- Buddha or Balarama

We find often confliciting list of dasavataras in various places. Some say it is Buddha, some say it is Balarama. Which of them is true.


Dasavataras according to the popular view today:

1. Matsya
2. Kurma
3. Varaha
4. Narasimha
5. Vamana
6. Parusharama
7. Rama
8. Krishna
9. Buddha
10. Kalki

Dasavataras according to some Vaishnava schools:
1. Matsya
2. Kurma
3. Varaha
4. Narasimha
5. Vamana
6. Parusharama
7. Rama
8. Balarama
9. Krishna
10. Kalki

There are some things which come more from "social acceptability" rather than any strict yes or no.

According to majority of Hindus, Buddha is an Avatara of Vishnu. But for some Vaishnava sects, Balarama and not Buddha is the avatara (not all vaishnas, Madhvas for example also consider Buddha to be an avatara)

And the number 10 for avataras itself is a popular figure, but not the only figure. Bhagavata talks about 25 avataras of Vishnu.

IMHO it is more a qualitative thing than quantitative. Sri Krishna in Gita simply says whenever there is adharma prevailing, I will come to restore the dharma… that’s all.. no fixed numbers.

I visualize it in this manner: if there a small amount of low pressure (adharma), it will also result in a breeze. If there is a greater amount of low pressure a strong wind will result (a sage) and if the low pressure is very high, a cyclone will result (an avatara). Its just qualitative.

There are no hard and fast rules to out a cut off and say above this is a cyclone, below it is not. For different persective, there may be different number. In the same manner different ppl adopt different cut off and say such and such manifestation of divinity is a avatara and such and such is not, and there can be no straight answers to it.

But if we consider the majority viewpoint, like we do in any matters of public opinion, then Buddha and not Balarama is the avatara of Vishnu.

1 Comments:

Blogger vinod said...

Don't consider public opinion in these kind of things.You should consider truth above all opinions.Public opinion can be altered easily and public behaves mostly as a group of cattles.When one takes the lead, other's bluntly follows.Truth is the utmost thing.If the purana's tells that Buddha as the avatar , then he is the avatar other wise not...

2:38 AM  

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