ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Real Avatars

Updated on January 7, 2010
Brahma emerging from the naval of Vishnu with Lakshmi at his feet.
Brahma emerging from the naval of Vishnu with Lakshmi at his feet.

History of the mythical Avatars

What is an avatar exactly? When I first heard that a movie was in-production about avatars my first impression that came to mind was the Yahoo! animation characters that you can customize to look like yourself online, but the true legend of Avatars date back hundreds of years ago. Unlike James Cameron's film on Avatars, Hinduism depicts avatars in a much different way.

Avatars originally derived from Sanskrit avatra, meaning "descent," avatars are believed to posses God-like powers and were deliberately sent from heaven to earth. This idea was first predicted on the notion that from time to time, whenever evil or ignorance is mounting, a supreme being must incarnate itself in some form, or descend to earth, so that the forces stand for good. They first appeared in English in 1784, usually translated as "incarnation" more often then "descent," and are described to have a human appearance of a deity, particularly the Hindu God Vishnu. Vishnu is described as "the all-pervading essence of all beings, the master of the past, present, and future, the creator and destroyer of all existences, one who supports, governs and sustains all elements in the universe and originates and develops all elements within." Vishnu has four arms which are always equipped with a mace, conch, and a wheel. The main lore about the avatars of Vishnu is said to be found in the Puranas, a class of literary texts all written in Sanskrit verse and whose composition dates back from the 4th century B.C.E. to about 1,000 A.D. According to Hindu mythology, they believe that ten incarnations of the loving deity will appear on Earth, each an avatar of the Vishnu God. The idea of avatars was distinct to Hinduism before a similar knowledge of avatars evolved into the Mahayana Buddhism, and it still remains a fundamental role in Hindu theology and mythology.

Avatars can also be understood as an archetype, or a vehicle for transmitting ideas to human beings; or might also be viewed as God's playfulness, wrath, a mere concern for human welfare, and as a warning. The Hindu concept of avatars is in some ways similar to the belief found in Christianty that God came to Earth incarnated in the form of Jesus. However, most Christians believe that God has assumed the form of a human only once, Hinduism teaches that there have been several avatars throughout history and there will be more. The Lord Krishna, who is not only viewed as an incarnation of an avatar but the main source of all incarnations says:

"Whenever righteousness wanes and unrighteousness increases, I incarnate myself as a human. To deliver the holy, to destroy the sin of sinner, to establish righteousness. I send myself forth, I come into being age after age."

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • AnkushKohli profile image

      Ankush Kohli 

      6 years ago from India

      Avatar has great importance in Hindu mythology because each time there is threat to very human existence, an avatar have taken place. In modern world, the last avatar will took place in near future to save us from wrath of satan. Nice post btw.

    • aisha1257 profile imageAUTHOR

      aisha1257 

      7 years ago

      I'm glad you like it. :) Avatars are pretty interesting.

    • profile image

      claudia 

      7 years ago

      a mi me encanta los avatars son de lo mejor de lo mejor y espero q me siga gustando xao bss

    • profile image

      Rich E 

      8 years ago

      this ones really good too boo

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)