Dashavatar or the 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu, happens to be one of the most fascinating themes of Indian Mythology. The more you read about each avatar and characters within each avatar, many parallels to the real world and to the present era can be drawn. And that perhaps, is the beauty of Indian Mythology and the Indian way of explaining philosophy.
I happened to read a message which connected the Dashavatars and Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. I was simply astonished. I quickly googled about this and found many articles which are also drawing parallels here. It did make me wonder, how come I laid my hands on this now !! But as they say, its better late than never.
I was so excited reading about Dashavatar and Theory of evolution, I thought I need to do my part by sharing this message as well. Taking inspiration from that message and from the other readings, here is my interpretation –
- Matsya Avatar, the Fish -It is believed that life began in the water and so was the first avatar of Lord Vishnu.
- Kurma Avatar, the Tortoise – An amphibian denoting evolution of life from water to land.
- Varaha Avatar, the wild boar – A wild animal signifying development of a matured life form but without much intellect.
- Narasimha avatar, the half man and half animal – Denoting the evolution from wild animals to intelligent beings.
- Waman avatar, the dwarf – The premature form of human being or homo sapien. In this avatar, the dwarf had the powers to grow tall. This can be correlated to ancestors of Homo Sapiens i.e. Homo Erectus.
- Parshuram, the warrior with axe – This incarnation represents the early stage of human life which was not very social and humans staying in forests and using weapons
- Ram, the social being – Ram was the king and his era i.e. Ram rajaya often symbolises the perfect state of affairs. This avatar marks the dawn of civil society.
- Krishna, the popular and adorable statesman – With humans starting to live in a community, friction arises for power, position and property. That’s when you need a strategist and a leader, who teaches people how to survive in the social structure following (and adapting at times) the rules of society.
- Buddha, the enlightened – A journey of self-realization, moving towards non-violence and fulfilling one’s quest of enlightenment.
- Kalki, the destroyer of evil- As humans come up with more and more ways of harming each other and disturbing the nature balance, a time will come when the last avatar of Vishnu would be there on earth to end the evil. Is the clock already ticking for Kalki avatar to descend?
For long, I wanted to try writing about the philosophy and ideas propagated through Indian Mythology. And trust me, its a mammoth task. There is so much to read and research even to come at one particular interpretation. I sincerely hope I will be able to touch upon this subject more often.
Finally a disclaimer I would like add. This post is a summarized compilation of the various texts and articles I read. Some of these, in fact, were whatsapp messages and the author and the source of information is unknown. I have just re-told or re-written with a touch of my perspective.
[Image – By an famous Indian artist – Raja Ravi Varma. Source – Wiki Common]