The Jai Jais have released “The 10 Avatars of Vishnu”. I found this such an interesting book to write as these were not stories that I grew up on. I was fascinated about the transitions and the forms of the Avatars, what they represented and why they came.
One thing I never knew until researching for this book, is the links people have made with Vishnu Evolution and Darwin’s theory.
Darwin’s theory is simple; he observed in the Galapagos islands-Latin America in 1800’s that life evolved in water. All species on Earth from fish to plants, from fruit to birds have common ancestors. They adapted their genes, shape and form, food habitats, mating so new off spring was created. There was a struggle of survival for the fittest. Life started in water from amphibians, which changed to land animals. It took thousands of years from monkeys to primitive man, and finally humans beings we see today.
It is interesting to see the Evolution of the 10 Avatars from lower to higher forms of life and their association with Darwin’s theory.
Matsya-The 1st Avatar’s form was of a fish in water, symbolising the forming of protoplasm and invertebrates.
Kurma-The 2nd Avatar was a tortoise and amphibian, confirming Darwin’s theory of fish to adapt to amphibian form.
Varaha- The 3rd Avatar the boar. This links to dinosaurs that lived thousands of years earlier. The existence of mammals. The existence of animals and four legged beings.
Narasimha-The 4th The Half man and half lion, the beginning form of humans. Showing the development of hands and fingers on animals and the ape form.
Vamana-The 5th Avatar, a smaller short intelligent human in dwarf form. The incomplete development of the man.
Parashurama-The 6th Avatar, the axe man. He stayed on the jungle. This symbolises the stone age. The axe symbolise the use of metal as a material. As we look at the stone age and cave men, also showing the tribal culture.
Rama-The 7th Avatar, the perfect man, followed monogamy, and the ability to live in cities and hold administration. The human then learnt values, ethics, and beliefs. Humans began having rituals and traditions. The human also started having relationships with other humans — that of a child (son/daughter), spouse, parent, sibling, a student, mentor, etc.
Krishna-The 8th Avatar, a wise stateman, learning the 64 arts and reflecting the development of science. He ultimately emerges as a mentor, a negotiator and protector of peace, positive values and beliefs on earth. The human then gets more materialistic but with a firm ground in spirituality as well. Human begins to learn to be happy, love, and play around while also preaching other humans how to live right. Humans gradually start thinking evil. They give way to negative qualities like greed, frustration, anger, hatred, lust, and cunningness to hurt other humans in subtle manners. There is misuse of power, politics, favouritism
Buddha-The 9th Avatar, the pursuit of happiness. Shows the emotional and intellectual development of man and science. As Humans evolved, they started creating rules, culture, rituals and practices for positive and peaceful living, in short, they started creating their own Religions for other humans to follow. This also led to the evolution of the spiritual life of humans.
Kalki-The 10th Avatar, yet to come the future. The man with weapons, the humanoid man of tomorrow. In future the moral degeneration in society and the hope to save mankind.
The Avatars, basically, refers to the descending order from simple life form to more complex life forms. It can be seen as the reflection of the modern Darwinian theory of evolution, that is, the most sophisticated life as a human has been evolved through a long process of development of life. Avatars, to some extent, support the Darwinian theory of evolution. Our ancestors taught us about evolution, which The Jai Jais share in our Dashavatars in a form simple and easily understandable stories. They are symmetrical to Darwin’s theory of evolution. This shows that Indian Rishis and Sages, no less than modern day scientists, were aware of the theory of evolution of life, some people say much before Charles Darwin introduced it to the world.