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Theory 'for' Evolution - the Dasha Avatar
An Intelligent Evolving Design or an Intelligently Designed Evolution?
I have heard the stories of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu - Matsya, Koorma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Rama, Balarama, Krishna,and Kalki. There are specialities of each of these forms of God and the reasons as to why they arrived in the world are definitely very interesting stories. These 'forms' of Lord Vishnu also differ distinctly from each other. So distinct are they that I have often wondered whether the succession and progression of these Avatars has some sort of a secret message - a message that can be deciphered by careful analysis alone. Now, that is one line of thought. We shall leave it there for just a moment and concentrate on another line of thought.
When we study creation as per science, we have Charles Darwin’s theory of Evolution. He propagates the concept of an intelligently evolving design wherein he states that all life is related. The huge diversity that we see in the world today emerged originally from a common single ancestor. Though the actual details of his theory have been debated and modified, science accepts his general premise. That is to say, science accepts what he had stated though the 'how' part of his theory has been changed thanks to the tremendous advances in molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics.
The 'non-scientific' theory of creation is supposed to be one in which God created the Universe. The theory of ‘Intelligent design’ states that God is responsible for all the living beings. There is an evolution that is happening but this evolution is not a random affair. It has been intelligently programmed by the 'Creator'. And let me clarify - am not referring to the Christian Creationism alone here. If we see the Sanathana Dharma texts - the Vedas and the Shastras - they too speak of a creation happening over millions of years due to an intelligently designed evolution.
We have seen the strong contest and conflict between these two theories as debates have raged on in the world. Maybe we would have never dreamed of a happy marriage between the two. Then came that special day in the spring of 2006 when Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba gave an insight into what could possibly be the unifying factor between the two!
It was the day of Ramzan - holy for all the followers of Islam. All of us were dressed in Muslim costumes for we were all waiting to put up a programme commemorating this special day of our Muslim brethren in Swami’s (that is how Bhagawan Baba is lovingly called) presence in the Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam Puttaparthi. We sat in the bhajan hall and Swami soon came in. None of us had an idea of the beautiful session that was in store for us. It so happened that ultimately, that day, we did not get the opportunity to put up the programme. But Swami sure spoke to all of us for about an hour in the bhajan hall! And what an hour of revelation it was!
Location of Sai Kulwant Hall
A theory to help us in our evolution!
The complete details of that session will be taken up elsewhere but a pointer must be made to a revelation and insight that Swami so lovingly gave us. That stitched God and Darwin in a single frame. Here is what Swami said and though it is not quoted verbatim, it definitely carries His spirit.
“See, when the child is in the womb as the embryo, it is like a fish swimming in the fluid. (Matsya). Then, the fluid slowly dries up and the embryo moves to the tortoise stage (Koorma). Slowly, it takes the shape of a boar which is Varaha. When the delivery takes place, the little human comes out. That is Vamana. Like Vamana, you too must grow such that you cover the entire three worlds. Then alone will human life find its meaning and purpose.”
This triggered so many thoughts in me. The most prominent one was about evolution itself. If you see that Avatars, the first was Matsya or the fish. From the fish came an animal that was amphibious. That was the Koorma or the tortoise. Slowly the amphibian adjusted to land and gave up water completely. The next was the Varaha or the boar, a mammal. Then evolved creatures that were bipedal animals - the oldest ancestors of man. The next Avatar in the series accordingly was Narasimha - half man and half beast. Then came Vamana the dwarf man that we see as Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon men in scientific literature.
Parashurama Avatar represents man while the next Avatar, i.e. Rama represents the Perfect Man! Then came Balarama who was half man and half divine culminating in the ninth which is Krishna - the Poorna Avatar ( an Avatar or descent of the Lord has different attributes and it is only a Poorna Avatar that has all the 16 attributes.)”
That evening concluded so wonderfully. The unforgettable Ramadan been recorded in its entirety elsewhere.
My thoughts continued even after the session.
The tenth, the Kalki Avatar is something that is always attributed to Swami by the devotees. If we were fish at the beginning of our evolution and are men today, midway through our cycle, then our ultimate goal is to be Him! We cannot rest till we reach that objective. Whether creation is an intelligently designed evolution or an intelligently evolving design does not matter. What matters is that we evolve to our ultimate destiny - Godhood!
Swami’s sweet voice echoed -
“You and me are one. I am God. You are God too. The only difference is that while I am aware of it, you are not!”
No wonder it is said that the Descent of God is for the Ascent of Man!
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