About Incarnations E-mail


about incarnations



"Whenever there is deterioration of dharma-morality (spiritual values) O Bharat! I incarnate Myself to uproot evil dharma. In order to protect saintly people and destroy the evil doers (war-monger materialists), I take a human form age after age to re-establish dharma.” 


These are the divine words of our beloved Lord Krishna in the holy scripture Shreemad Bhagavad Gita. This is a universal message beyond place, time or causation. Spirituality is universal, yet human frailty limits spiritual teachings to a specific personality, to a specific place and for a specific group of people. This indeed is our misfortune, for it creates friction and narrow mindedness among human beings, which often leads to wars that are worse than wars due to other causes.

God doesn't send his messengers, representatives or ambassadors but incarnates directly as the above words indicate. We may also note that God is Truth or Love which is neither male or female. God is beyond gender and therefore, can be considered neutral. God considers it necessary to come down in either a male or a female human form. This is an established and an experienced fact. Shree Krishna, Mahavir, Buddha, Jesus, Mirabai, Nanak, Kabir, Tulsi, Surdas, Narsinh Mehta, Ramakrishna, Mahatma Gandhi, Thomas A. Kempis, Jean-Pierre de Caussade, and Brother Lawrence are a few examples.

Each one of us can choose a favorite incarnation, or avatar, as a model to follow. Sugar is always sweet in whatever form we taste it. Human beings have different personalities, likes, and dislikes, so we choose an incarnation of God that suits us. This harms no one as long as our taste is pure. If we dig deep enough, we will find that all incarnates had a singular purpose. They were all pure, holy, and divine. Their message and lives appear to fulfill a given need or situation, but Truth or Love underlies their behavior, teachings and lives.

God Is Truth 

God is Truth, which is abstract. Hence, we generally prefer to choose Love as God, since all of us have experienced this true Love sometime, somewhere, knowingly or unknowingly. A mother’s selfless love for her suckling baby is our common experience. We can therefore naturally think of our mother as Love. Love is God. We can look upon God as mother or mother as God incarnated, provided she is free from delusions, of course.  

All true saints were free from delusions and the narrow boundaries of this world. To them, the whole creation, sentients and insentients are part of a single seed. There is unity at the bottom of all of existence. We can call It Atman (microcosm) and Brahman (macrocosm). Specific names do not matter since God is beyond name and form. While Truth or Love is common to all of us, we manage to deform them due to our ignorance, which manifests in lust, greed, desire for name and fame, jealousy, illusion, pride, vanity, arrogance, superiority complexes etc. When we deform our understanding of Love, we alone loser and sufferer. We deceive no one but ourselves. 

Incarnates teach us through pure knowledge, pure action or devotion. All paths have purity of heart as its base. Any path that does not stress this requirement, and does not result in Pure Love,  may be abandoned along with their preachers and establishments.  Incarnates  do not come down to establish dynasties, temples and followers. They remind each of us our true nature, Atman, which is a part and parcel of Brahman like brightness and energy is a part and parcel of sun. They cannot be separated. In this sense we are all incarnates but in different degrees of purity. Complete purity is our ideal.

Practice Requires a Model

In any field, we find two aspects -- theory and practice. Practice requires a model to follow. Each one of us may have a model of our choice. But we should stick to it for we can ride only one car at a time. Therefore it is very important that we are careful in choosing our model God Incarnate, and it is equally important to cling to it until our last breath or through every birth until our ideal makes us Its own.

I have chosen Mirabai as my ideal God Incarnate because she was a living incarnation of Love. Whatever she said, did, spoke, felt, sang, cried or laughed, she expressed nothing but Love for Love. She never came down lower than Love for she was beyond flesh, mind, intellect and ego. All those who understand her life teachings have no two opinions about her, even her so called enemies. This, of course, is true of all true incarnates.

We are all lovers of forms such as mother, father, sisters, relatives, friends, wife, children, cars, trees, etc. We cannot therefore approach formless Love without a model love to take us from a lower grade to a higher grade of love. Until we merge in this supreme Love, as a river merges into the ocean, we are useless and an obstacle to ourselves. A river without water is a mere ditch, useless and an obstacle on the road. Only God can understand God, a saint alone can understand a saint, and only Mirabai can understand her Love.

Purpose of Human Life

The purpose of human life is to realize Love as Love is, and not love as passion for flesh or material gains. No. That would be like trading a million dollar diamond for a few eggplants. Even the most ignorant person would not commit such an error. And yet most of us are continuously moving on that path of ignorance. We have a choice at all times to turn to this path of Love. We suffer pain only when Love is absent. Love knows no pain, no vanity and no narrow mindedness of thought or deeds. Treading the path of Love is truly the safest behavior we can exhibit. Anything else will delude us in the end. Our body turns to ashes and so does everything else we claim or cherish as our own. Nothing except Love is our own. Sooner or later, we will all realize our true nature, which will end all dualities, all sufferings, all frictions among men --  whether due to sex, wealth, beauty, art, science, power, color, caste, nationality or religion. All these forms of illusions are discarded by those who have become Love by giving and receiving Love. Love is never traded for anything lower than Love. All creatures have truly originated from supreme Love.

The pure Love of the Gopis (shepherd-girls) is ideal. Mirabai represents that unique Love so that we may develop and enjoy that Love. All else is vanity unless it leads us to the joy of pure Love. Worldly love for material things, bodies and associated bodies is identified as passions of a lower kind, like those of an animal life. True passions are for genuine Love and not counterfeit love, and yet only a few know or try to understand or feel this Pure Love without which we will remain like a mother without child, a tree without fruit, a river without water, a house without foundation, and wealth without the joy of using it for the benefits of others. We all truly are sparks of That Great Love and the whole purpose of our life is to be aware of it and to enjoy That Love, here and now.

 --Swami Radhanandaji

Last Updated ( Friday, 31 August 2007 )
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“The test of knowledge lies in appreciating the true correspondence between man and his Maker.” – M.K. Gandhi