05 July 2010

A Definition of AVATAR

From the Dictionary of Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga (Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1966):

AVATARA. One in whom the Divine Consciousness has descended into human birth for a world-work; the Incarnation; Spirit descending into man; Descent into form; the revelation of the Godhead in humanity; the Divine who has descended into the human consciousness; coming down of the Divine below the line which divides the divine from the human world or status.

An Avatar, roughly speaking, is one who is conscious of the presence and power of the Divine born in him or descended into him governing from within his will and life action; he feels identified inwardly with this divine power and presence.

He is a realiser, an establisher—not of outward things only, though he does realize something in the outward also, but of something essential and radical needed for the terrestrial evolution, which is the evolution of the embodied spirit through successive stages towards the Divine.

There are two sides of the phenomenon of avatarhood, the Divine Consciousness and the instrumental personality in Nature under the conditions of Nature, which it uses according to the rules of the game.

The Avatar takes upon himself the nature of humanity in his instrumental parts, though the consciousness acting behind is divine.

Meher Baba on Sri Aurobindo, from Lord Meher 10: 3659—

“. . . At lunchtime [Dec. 5, 1950] all were eager to at least know the cricket match score, but Baba's mood precluded turning on the radio. Suddenly, Baba himself wondered how the match was going, and asked that the radio be turned on. The first thing they heard was the news of the death of Aurobindo Ghoshe the previous night at 1:30 A.M. Only then did everyone grasp the reason for Baba's mood. In the past, Baba had once mentioned that Aurobindo Ghoshe was a yogi who had advanced himself by his own efforts to the sixth plane and become a saint. He now called for Aurobindo's photograph and placed it before him as he listened to accounts of his life on the radio. "I was pushing him from the sixth to the seventh plane," he later explained to Adi.

Lord Meher footnote: Meher Baba discouraged the reading of other Masters' and saints' works unless he instructed one to do so, such as certain Vedanta and Sufi works. However, at one point, Adi K. Irani was drawn to the writings of Aurobindo. On one occasion, Baba caught him reading a book of Aurobindo's and confronted him: "What have you to do with saints? You have me — the Avatar! Throw all those books away!" Adi complied with Baba's request.


Dr. Chandrajiit Singh said...

I think this is true. When you have got the best then why to look for something other!!!
There is every chance that a person can get lost in the way.
I believe once you have heard Baba's name He starts his work upon you.....
Jai Baba
Chandar Meher

Timbaba said...

Adi told me that story in 1971 at Myrtle Beach. I was then very attracted to Aurobindo, and Adi said he too found him compelling. Baba spotted Adi with one of Aurobindo's books and took it from him with the comment you quoted. But Adi said that the next day Baba returned the book to him.

Kendra Crossen Burroughs said...

thanks Tim. Bal Natu was also originally interested in Sri Aurobindo. He had a dream of a figure standing on a hill and was puzzled because he knew Aurobindo lived by the sea, not on a hilltop. Later he realized the dream was of Baba.

All quotes of Meher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust unless otherwise indicated. Writings by Kendra are © Kendra Crossen Burroughs unless otherwise noted.