Question: What is this limitation?
Take example of a child: the child is learning how to write. There are some children who have got a tremendous limitation: they can talk a lot, they can listen to a lot, but the moment you say: “now write down”; the child is not able to write, has no interest in writing even an alphabet, even in learning an alphabet; there is an aversion in the child. If you find the child has this dogged obstruction, it is a limitation: and what do you do? How to make the child write?
Then as a parent you have to make a special effort; previously also you were making effort and you are descending every time in helping the child to bring him up. Similarly, here also you are descending but there is a special effort you are making. You might even take the child’s hand in your hand and you write and several times you go on writing with his hand, but actually you are writing, and you say: “look how easy it is!” All the aversion, all the limitations of the child is over passed. When you yourself take the hand and put his hand in your hand, it is a special descent you might say.
All Avatars are simple in this way. When there is a tremendous obstruction, tremendous limitation, you have reached the limits of your capacities and you can do no more and yet you must have more, you must manifest; then, what is to be done? What is the method? Therefore, the method of the Divine is to descend Himself fully, take up the human form, and all the obstructions that are there are concentrated into the human form that it takes up.
It is for that reason that in every Avatar, the life of the Avatar is the most difficult life. Why? Because the form that it takes up is a form which has reached its utmost limitations and wants to move forward but cannot. Such a form the Divine takes up: it is not as if to show His miraculous powers. He does not need to display how great He is, because He is the only one to see actually, because He is the only one Reality. It is not to display His miraculous powers or to amaze people: “Look what you cannot do, I can do”, it is not that. The purpose being to manifest Himself more and more, and if that manifestation is now obstructed, then what is the method?
This is what the omnipotent power has to do which otherwise He cannot do: it is not something opposed to His omnipotence, this is the very method by which if He has selected the method of gradual manifestation. If His method is aspiration and the answer from above, then a time may can come where aspiration is not enough to break the limitations, the drop by drop what is coming is not enough, if such is the obstruction then what is to be done? Then He comes full fledged; even this full fledged is not full fledged actually, because there is a gradual development, even there.
The Avatar as Rama is mariada puruṣottama and Krishna is puruna puruṣottama, even there the manifestation is not as complete as it would be in one Avatar as against the other, but whatever is needed, it is as if the Supreme Himself comes, takes a human form and breaks the limitations, drills the hole, and then manifest through that form. Unless therefore, we understand this development of ascent from below and descent from above, if this is the real design of the world movement, then Avatarhood becomes inevitable, at a certain stage of critical development. That is why Sri Krishna says: “sambhavāmi yuge yuge” (IV, 8), ‘not at every time I come down’.
Otherwise there are many methods by which He can cross the limitations. Even vibhūti, development of Vibhuti is enough to cross many limitations: He can stand behind a Vibhuti, gives special powers to a Vibhuti and through him, He can work out. But when even with a Vibhuti it is not possible, even Vibhuti itself like Arjuna comes to have trouble and he cannot cross the border, then what is to be done? It is in that critical stage that Sri Krishna Himself manifests in His fullness: that is called the Avatar.
Question: But the limitation that He tries to break is the limitation of the yuge symbolised in one.
Answer: That is right. Exactly, that is to say, every form basically is symbolic of the cosmos, but each one manifests that cosmos in a special limited manner. The form that He assumes is a particular form. It is not any body in any form He takes up. The form in which that limitation becomes acutest, it is there that He descends: it is not an arbitrary selection that He can take up any person and manifests. This is another aspect of our exposition in fact.
What is the process of Avatar? We have seen the possibility of Avatarhood and general method but the actual process of Avatarhood. Possibility of Avatar-hood is one thing, but now the actual process of Avatar-hood.
Question: Human beings were much better before but in spite of Avatar, of God coming on this earth, why is it that man has become more evil and there is lot of evil still in this world?
Answer: Well there is a view of seeing how you view the world’s movement. The question otherwise is: Has mankind progressed? Or has it regressed? If you want to examine this question, and give the right answer, I don’t want to postpone the question, you keep this very important question, we shall ask this question in greater detail.
Has mankind progressed, or has it regressed? And we shall see how to answer that question, because in answering you should take all the facts into account. And then, we shall answer further questions as to whether Avatars really fulfil what is being proposed. If they have really taken mankind in progressive steps and how: it is a most important question in fact, and we shall come to it next time.