Spiritual Articles - Were the Buddha and Christ Avatars?

by E. RAYMOND ROCK - Date: 2010-02-15 - Word Count: 714 Share This!

The official definition of an Avatar is a reincarnation of a Hindu deity, but a common understanding is that an Avatar is an advanced or enlightened person who arrives on the scene to dispel confusion among earthlings, bringing with him or her wisdom that hasn‘t yet occurred to the uniformed and ignorant.

Of course, I suppose that an avatar back in the days of Buddha and Christ couldn't talk about the universe or space travel very much because it wasn't until recently that the cosmos has been understood at a scientific level. Yet some of the Buddhist scriptures going back 2600 years have passages that are enigmatic, mentioning that there are a ten trillion universes constantly expanding and contracting, and that there have been a trillion Buddhas in the past scattered amongst these universes, indicating that we ("creatures who are transmigrating in the universal flux") could be reborn on a variety of different planets in a human type material state, or in numerous, different heavenly realms in spirit form, or even in hells!

That being said, the typical mainstream Buddhist or Christian in those days, I assume, couldn't relate to scientific concepts, and therefore the teachings had to be tailored to the mentality of the followers. Thus we were most probably taught simplistic notions, i.e. not to give energy to our sinful ways, not to make bad karma, be good people rather than evil people, and not to think for ourselves regarding our beliefs and either just believe, or study thought until thought no longer had a hold on our minds. There seemed to be some very important aspects to a non-thinking mind that the Avatars were trying to convey.

But I believe that the Avatars slipped up a little and divulged some deeper teachings to their closest disciples, men and women who could grasp and carry forward the deeper message. Perhaps because of this, the Catholics have their contemplative saints and the Buddhists have their meditating monks. Actually, almost all ancient religions have a deeper aspect where the practitioner is expected to not only live a pure life, but to practice methods of mind development as well.

It could possibly be that the refinement or non-refinement of the mind is what makes all the difference in where throughout the universe and the heavens (and hells) our mental energy travels after death. These deeper methods were possibly short cuts to freedom from earthly, material existence, while the common methods of virtue and generosity practices perhaps took many thousands of lifetimes to accumulate the good karma to be able to understand the refined practices.

It makes one wonder how deep this wisdom from the stars and beyond can be. The enlightenment experience, described in detail by many Arahants (some contemporary) in the Buddhist religion is mind blowing! Definitely not of this world. And the powers they acquire and the deep understanding they project is almost unbelievable.

I would have to conclude that indeed Avatars have visited us here on earth, one way or the other, and if we would have heeded their messages, the world would not be in the pickle it is in, which is a state of stress! But it's not too late. Read into your religion until you find the deeper meanings, and then practice them as diligently as you can, as diligently as you now seek pleasure.

That would make the Avatars happy!

        Anagarika eddie is a meditation teacher at the Dhammabucha Rocksprings Meditation Retreat Sanctuary www.dhammarocksprings.org and author of "A Year to Enlightenment." His 30 years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Thervada Buddhist monk.

He lived at Wat Pah Nanachat under Ajahn Chah, at Wat Pah Baan Taad under Ajahn Maha Boowa, and at Wat Pah Daan Wi Weg under Ajahn Tui. He had been a postulant at Shasta Abbey, a Zen Buddhist monastery in northern California under Roshi Kennett; and a Theravada Buddhist anagarika at both Amaravati Monastery in the UK and Bodhinyanarama Monastery in New Zealand, both under Ajahn Sumedho. The author has meditated with the Korean Master Sueng Sahn Sunim; with Bhante Gunaratana at the Bhavana Society in West Virginia; and with the Tibetan Master Trungpa Rinpoche in Boulder, Colorado. He has also practiced at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and the Zen Center in San Francisco.

Related Tags: avatars, avatars of earth, buddha avatar, christ avatar, mind development avatar

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