What is an Avatar? – Upanishadic Outlook

Gough in his Philosophy of Upanishadas and Ancient Indian metaphysics describes the Universal Soul and his ascent to Brahmahood, or the perfection thus: (I have used Mudgala Purana to add to Gough’s thesis and you can use siva Purana, Vishnu Purana, Aditya Purana, Tvashtra Purana, Tarkshya Purana, Vayu Purana et all as per your Ishtadev or belief. )

The universal soul enters into the ether in the heart of every living thing, and there lodges in fictitious boundaries to which each individual mind subscribes.

The Universal soul is itself part of the Ether and though it is spread in each heart as air fills up so many vessels and nooks and crannies and is still undivisible. Or the Universal soul is reflected in the heart like a sun is reflected in every drop of water all across the surface of water.

Thus lodged, it is many in the many that see, that hear, that think, that know. It is the life of all.

In saying that this was non-existent in the beginning, the text does not deny that Brahman existed in the beginning, but only that it existed in the unimaginable modes of the phantasmagorical world.

The text of upanishadas now presents the scale of beatitudes in human and divine embodiments, through which the migrating soul may occupy on its way to final unity of Self or Atman.

What is beatitude?

Let there be a person well versed in Veda who is an able teacher, treats the body as temple and thus is hale and hearty, and the whole wealth of earth is at that person’s feet and control.

So, the life is bliss for that individual. Imagine that to a scale. So we can claim this to be a beatitude of an human. Ordinary human.

100 of these beatitudes is the one beatitude of a Gandharva. Basically, in metaphysical terms, Gandharva is just a human with higher level of beatitude or detachment.

This beatitude of a Gandharva is the beatitude of a Rishi who is unstricken with desire.

So, Indra is brain, senses are indriyan and gods administering them and thus, Rishi is one beyond the control of these senses.

So 100 of the beatitude of a Gandharva is the One Bliss of a Pitra.

This beatitude of a Pitra is the beatitude of a Rishi who is unstricken with desire.

And 100 of the beatitude of a Pitra is the One Bliss that of a Deva.

This beatitude of a Deva is the beatitude of a Rishi who is unstricken with desire.

And 100 of the beatitude of a Deva is that of one become Deva by way of sacrifice to Devaloka.

This beatitude of a Deva who has become Deva by way of sacrifice is the beatitude of a Rishi who is unstricken with desire.

And 100 of the beatitude of a Deva by way of sacrifice is the One Bliss that of a Deva.

This beatitude of this Deva level is the beatitude of a Rishi who is unstricken with desire.

These three levels of Devas are like Gana, Siddha and Deva.

Ganesha is Ganesha, सिद्धसङ्घ or entire class of Siddhas, Siddhivinayaka, as well as disciple who is put in charge of a few others to guide them.

And 100 of the beatitude of this Deva level is the one bliss of that of An Indra.

This beatitude of an Indra is the beatitude of a Rishi who is unstricken with desire.

And 100 of the beatitude of Indra is the one bliss of that of Brihaspati.

This beatitude of an Brihaspati is the beatitude of a Rishi who is unstricken with desire.

And 100 of the beatitude of Brihaspati is the one bliss of that of Prajapati. (or Vaisvanara, the transalation says Prajapati, the original sloka says Vaisvanara)

This beatitude of an Prajapati is the beatitude of a Rishi who is unstricken with desire.

And 100 of the beatitude of Prajapati is the one bliss of that of Brahma. (Hrianyagarbha)

This beatitude of an Brahma is the beatitude of a Rishi who is unstricken with desire.

It is the same universal soul (“The Demiurgus”) that is in the soul and that is in the sun. He that knows this turns his back upon the world, passes through this food-made body, passes through this body of the vital airs, passes through this sensorial body, passes through this cognitional body, and passes through this beatific body.

Therefore there is this memorial verse:

It is the Self from which words turn back with the mind, not reaching it; he that knows the bliss of the Self no longer fears anything. He is no longer tortured with the thought, What good thing have I left undone, what evil have I done ? When he knows this, these two, the good and the evil, strengthen his spirit, for both are only Self.

These two only strengthen his spirit when he knows this. Such is the mystic doctrine.

So, by this structure, Ganesha is the start, a disciple who takes charge of few disciples.

Ganesha is also the teacher who forms the bliss.

Ganesha is the higher Deva (gana), even chief of them.

Ganesha is the even higher Siddha, even their leader or the entire class

Ganesha is even higher….

And Which entity in this construct is present at each level:

Rishi who is unstricken with desire.

Ganesha is that Rishi.

You can be that Rishi.

Or one who completely controls the senses. Inside the body, the inner consciousness that resists our enslavements to senses is Ganesha or Siva or Vishnu or Skanda or our inspiration, our guide, source of our strength.

The structure indicates, any one can eventually become even Brahma, let alone the levels of Devas below him.

Vaisvanara and Prajapati is interesting switch by Gough in this construct and an inspired one. The Upanishadas had Vaishnara in the original sequence.

Post Author: Mahabharata World

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