Avatars: Descending of supreme goodness.
Avatara means descending of supreme goodness. As such entire creation is manifestation of the same energy but some personalities come to make world a better place to live and among them some are so powerful, influential, lustrous and outstanding that they are known as avataras. The concept of avatara is clearly recognized only in Hinduism. Islam considers greatest people prophets. So Jesus, Moses and Krishna qualify as prophets but they shouldn’t be worshipped because humans can’t be worshipped. Jainism has similar views but worships the messengers who are called tirthankaras. Mahavir to Rishabhdev all tirthankaras are worshipped but they are all renunciates. Buddhism recognizes a long chain of enlightened beings with Buddha being the greatest influence among all. Sikhism emphasizes role of being humble and adhering to teachings of great gurus like Nanaka. It’s evident that only Hinduism worships humans as avatars but they have some reservations for doing so.
As far as I am concerned, from Sri Sri Ravishankar, Osho, Gandhi to prophet Muhammad, Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Nanak, Kabir and Ram all of them are avatars of supreme. Religions adhere to strict codes because followers are not all enlightened and their purpose is twofold–first is to guide masses by giving them a moral code, second is to help them awaken to their divinity–for both of these they need to preserve themselves so they work like ego-structures by making rigid laws after a charismatic personality transforms many lives and they come around him.
Shirdi Sai Baba performed many miracles and today he is being worshipped as an avatara in many temples in India. He was a walking and talking saint like many others but followers today consider him supreme God like followers of Kabir or Krishna consider them supreme avataras. The problem is when you stop seeing divinity in one and all and strictly follow a code you don’t appreciate the beauty of humanity, life and religion fully and it gives rise to religious wars. Krishna or Buddha might have been like Shirdi Sai Baba at once and after two thousand years Shirdi Sai Baba might have as many puranas dedicated to him as Krishna has today in his name. The science and math of avatars is indeed very interesting and mysterious.
Bhagwan: Six-fold opulences
Flowering of human consciousness expresses a great wisdom, beauty, intelligence, character and profundity. Sage Parashara who was the father of sage Vyasa who wrote most of the literature which forms the backbone of Hinduism had a clear definition for avatara or bhagwan. As per his definition Ram and Krishna showed all signs of being avataras to the full. The term Bhagwan can be used only for a person who has six-fold opulences of knowledge, fame, renunciation, religion, wealth and beauty in full. Among Hindu avatars in last 7000 years, Ram, Krishna and Buddha had the highest impact. It might be because latest avatars were not shrouded so much in mystery or maybe because greatest avatars were bound to be those three. In any case, Buddha is a renunciate and supremely beautiful but he doesn’t have wealth. His other opulences are at par with being a supreme personality of godhead. Ram has all opulences so does Krishna, therefore they qualify as bhagwan.
Now let’s understand why Krishna has the greatest impact as an avatara. Work done is simply an expression of amount of energy involved. Jesus, Muhammad, Nanak, Kabir, Moses and Buddha did revolutionary works despite their small life spans. The energy speaking through their bodily vessels was supreme energy therefore as it touched many lives and some lives to such a greater extent than others that they kept inspiring others even when original vessels were gone from the face of earth. This in turn created great religious movements in their names. Among all of them there is an attempt to change the thought process of mankind. Change of thinking inevitably leads to a change in the way of living. Even Hitler, Genghis Khan, Alexander and Napoleon were mighty energies but they were mostly passionate monarchs or demonic kings who didn’t make earth a better place to live in any way. Avatars are inherently good in that they lived for greatest ideals and served a great purpose in their times. Comparing them without taking into the account the context in which they were born will be unfair and create a wrong picture.
Krishna: The Most Intriguing Personality!
Among all personalities in the world there has never been a personality as rich and as intriguingly beautiful as Krishna. You may consider him a mythological character or a historical person or an avatara, the tales of his adventures, his giant feats and his profound wisdom never ceases to amaze you. Ram is the hero of epic Ramayana and he gave a great model of state and justice but his heroic deeds are limited to the epic war which was aimed at killing demons in the clan of Ravana in Lanka to free Sita who was his wife. Buddha fought against the darkness of people who were exploiting mankind by using vedas and gave a new thought to mankind. His ideas resonate even now. But what Krishna did is incomparable. His song Gita is considered the highest wisdom which is known to mankind. Even if you disregard that he was God speaking directly to Arjuna the wisdom remains such a beautiful and profound message. You also have the eleventh canto of Bhagavata Purana which is much more powerful and suited to devotees but not as well known and consists of discourses given by Krishna to Uddhava. It is also known as Uddhava Gita. This is only about the wisdom of Krishna. Now coming to his heroic deeds. He was the greatest driving force in the epic war of Mahabharata which reportedly killed 1 Arab 76 lakhs warriors. This war was much more gigantic in proportions when compared to Ramayana war. He killed all demonic kings who were ruling earth without justice in that war and he didn’t pick even a single weapon for doing so as he was merely a charioteer and counselor of his friend and disciple Arjuna who shone as the hero of that war because of his counsel and company. Krishna didn’t keep the wealth or land won in war for himself because he was never interested in becoming an emperor. He was merely helping the righteous.
Mahabharata was such a grand war that its echo was heard all around the world because a great proportion of human population was lost to it and almost all of mankind was affected by it directly or indirectly. Second and first world wars are nothing compared to Mahabharat war if sources are to be believed. I am not sure but more than 10-15 percent of total human population must have been killed in that war. Similarly he killed his entire clan in the Prabhas field which had millions of people and kept smiling while they were killing each other because he came to earth to do so. Had he left those demonic people on earth it would have become impossible to live here for most people.
Krishna: The Greatest Killer Death!
Bhagwata Purana clearly states that Krishna was mainly the time(kaal/death) power of God. His mission was to wipe all demonic forces off the face of earth and he did what he came for. His beauty, his power, his wisdom and his wealth had no match in his times and his opulences had no match after him. Among Hindu scriptures Krishna is the hero of best of Puranas–Bhagavata Purana which is nectar for devotees and his tales are present in almost all puranas and sub-puranas. He is the hero of Mahabharata. There was no archer or warrior comparable to him. Not even Arjuna was a close match. His song Gita is considered a wealth of human literature. As Einstein said about Gandhi that it will be impossible for generations to come to believe in such a man so could be said about all great avataras like Buddha, Mohammed, Nanak, Kabir or Krishna but Krishna had the fullest personality among them all. Since he did the most groundbreaking work and had the highest impact on earth he is the greatest energy which ever manifested as avatara in the history of mankind