Chapter XXXII - 115 Home | Index | Previous | Next

"But, for the protection of the world, for the upholding of Dharma, for fulfilling the yearnings of devotees, He wills specially and assumes a special form and moves in the world; He confers great joy on the devotees by His divine acts, which convince them of His advent; they are thus confirmed in their faith and prompted to dedicate their activities to God and thus save themselves and liberate themselves. Therefore people consider the forms aforesaid which were assumed with this end in view, as specially sacred and they worship God in those incarnated forms. On certain occasions, for resolving certain urgent crisis, God has incarnated with forms embodying part of His divinity, with some divine powers and potentialities. Examples of such incarnations for the protection of the world are plenty."

When Sage Suka spoke thus, Parikshith lifted up his face lit with a strange joy and exclaimed, "Ah, did the charming Lord assume such forms through a part of Himself? Of course, it is all play for Him. Tell me about these forms taken by Him for the preservation of the world; make me happy, listening to that narrative". Praying thus, he prostrated before the preceptor."

Suka continued, "Listen, O king! Kapila, Dattatreya, Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatkumara, Sanatsujatha, and other sages, Rshabha, Nara-Narayana, Vishnu, Dhruva, Hayagriva, Prthu, Kachchapa, Dhanvanthari, Hamsa, Manu, Balarama, Vyasa and many such divine personages are but name-forms assumed by the Lord, for granting boons to devotees, for saving the world from ruin, for laying down the code of morality and right behaviour for humanity, and the restoration of traditional and well-established ideals and modes among mankind. There are many more such Amsa (partial) Avatharas (incarnations). But, we have no time for the detailed description of each. Moreover they are not so important as to merit detailed consideration. I responded to your request because I felt a short review is enough."

"But, Parikshith intervened. He said, "Master! Tell me at least very briefly the reasons for the Lord incarnating so, even though only a part of Him incarnated, as Kapila, Dhruva, Dattatreya, Hayagriva, Dhanvanthari etc., tell me about their achievements and the significance of each advent. That will afford me purifying enlightenment."

So, Suka said, "King! Devahuthi, the wife of Kardama Prajapathi bore nine daughters, and as her tenth child, the Kapila form was born. The Lord appearing as Kapila became the preceptor and spiritual guide to the mother, Devahuthi herself! He taught her the secret of attaining liberation and vouchsafed to her the teaching that led to final release. The consort of the sage Athri, Anasuya by name, prayed that the Lord may be born as the child of her womb and the Lord replied, 'granted' (Datta). Since the father's name was Athri, He was called Datta-athreya, Dattathreya. He showered on Karthaveeryarjuna and Yadu, emperors of high renown endowed with all glory, the great treasure of Yogic wisdom. It is in this form that God, in the beginning of this Kalpa or age, moved about as the four child sages, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanathkumara and Sanathana. They were ever at the age of five, so innocent that they wore no clothes, so divine that they spread wisdom and peace around them."