October 18, 2006

Gita VIII---Creation and Incarnation

Creation and incarnation, both belong to the world of manifestation and not to the absolute spirit.

If the Infinite God is manifested in finite existence throughout time, then its special manifestation at one given moment by which nature is but the free fulfillment of that same movement by which the divine plenitude freely fulfills itself and inclines towards the finite.-God is present in the creatures by essence, presence, power. The relation between the absolute, infinite, self-existent and immutable and finite human individual who is enmeshed in the temporal order is unimaginably intimate though difficult to define and explain. Once God has granted us free will, He does not stand aside leaving us to make or unmake ourselves. Whenever by abuse of freedom unrighteousness increases and the world get stuck in a rut, He creates Himself to lift the world from out of its rut and set it on new tracks. Out of his love He is born again and again to renew the work of creation on a higher plane.

The Supreme who is ever ready to protect the worlds has four forms. One of them dwell on earth practicing penance; the second keeps watch over the erring humanity; the third is engaged in activity in the world of men, and the fourth is plunged in the slumber of a thousand years. The Hindu tradition makes out that the avatars are not confined to human level. The presence of pain and imperfection is traced not to man’s rebellious will but to a disharmony between the creative purpose of God and the actual world. The Gita points out that there is a Divine Creator who imposes His forms on the abysmal void. Prakriti (nature) is the raw material, the chaos out of which order is to be evolved, and a night which is to be illumined.

If God is looked upon as saviour of man, He must manifest Himself, whenever the forces of evil threaten to destroy human values. An avatar is a descent of God into man ant ascent of man into God, which is the case with the liberated soul. Though the Gita accepts the belief in avatar as the Divine limiting Himself for some purpose on earth, possessing in His limited form the fullness of knowledge, it also lays stress on the eternal avatar, the GOD in man, the Divine consciousness always present in the human being. Krishna’s avatar is an illustration of the revelation of the spirit in us, the Divine hidden in gloom.