The Absolute In Form

The Absolute In Form

It’s very curious to consider how the absolute could be found right on the surface in form. Form is relative, changeable. As it is expressed progressively, the surface is seen to be quite a distance from silent being. In fact we typically experience deep silence within but not in the world.

I talked about avatars previously but it’s worth going into this further.

During the Kumbha Mela celebration of 1966, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi spoke to the subject of avatars. Here are some excerpts:

“Incarnations [Avatars] are the same water, material, of the Absolute, appearing as a form. The same sap appearing as a leaf.”

“The unmanifested in form, not manifested in form. The Absolute has not become relative.”

“Remaining absolute, it has assumed a form.”

“Becoming relative means ceasing to be absolute. It is not becoming relative, it is remaining absolute, yet absolute in form. And this is an Incarnation.”

“The earth from which the world comes out is the three gunas. Whereas the form of Lord Krishna has nothing to do with three gunas, remaining transcendental – no three gunas, no five elements, purely Absolute.”

In maya but not of it. And yet the recent avatars of Vishnu have all arrived through a human birth and their form matured much like any human. It’s easy to misunderstand what is being experienced or described.

Yet as Chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita illustrates, the form of an avatar is vastly greater than an appearance of an individual person. Not to mention the abilities and understanding they have.

To further complicate this, the above is a perspective that sees a separate absolute and relative. Through Self Realization or Cosmic Consciousness they are quite distinct. This is why the stage is known as dwaita or duality. There are 2 realities, two fullnesses.

But further along, it is all discovered to be one reality, non-dual. No separate absolute and relative. They are more like 2 sides of one coin, the relative being lively absolute; waves on the ocean of being.

From the refined version of this context it’s all of and in the divine. But even here, there is a big difference between being a wave on the ocean that knows it is the ocean and being the whole ocean embodied in an apparent wave.

For perspective, in the Kala model, humans can reach only about half way up the ladder of potential. One can only imagine how powerful the presence of an embodied avatar would be.

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  1. Sandesh

    A couple of questions.
    Is it okay to worship an avatar? If yes, what form of worship should it take?
    Is Krishna Consciousness same as Brahman?
    I understand Krishna being respected as an Avatar. The Srimad Bhagavad Gita is an amazing framework for transcendence. Would you know why the others prior to Sri Krishna were worshipped as Avatars? I have yet to come across the teachings of other Avatars.

    1. Hi Sandesh

      On the first question, if one has devotional tendencies, it is a typical practice to have a chosen form of god (ishta devata) to express devotion to. You would choose the form based on your highest ideal. If an avatar is that, fine.

      The approach you take to devotion is important though. This article on Prayer may give you a sense of it. You want to evolve to Thy Will Be Done.

      You don’t want to be worshiping the form itself – the form is just an appearance. But it can be used as a doorway and a place to flow love to.

      No, Krishna Consciousness is beyond Brahman. I’ve not heard it clearly defined so am uncertain if it’s equivalent to ParaBrahman (Pure Divinity) or something else.

      Some people relate to Rama better – he was married and had responsibilities. He was also taught where Krishna was more the teacher. Prior to that, the avatars were in other forms and much less is known about them so they are less commonly used.

      The Ramayana is the story of Rama, the avatar prior to Krishna. The core teaching of that is the Yog Vasishtha. I mention a translation on the Books tab. It’s a very different scenario to the Gita and explores a whole series of story examples.

      Buddha is also seen as an avatar by some.

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