Why does God not assume an incarnation as soon as unrighteousness begins to grow?
When the three components Sattva, Raja and Tama were created they realised that there must be a creator. They undertook severe austerities to realise Him. This appeased God and He told them to ask for a boon. They responded saying, “Please accept us, otherwise people will consider us as the culprits.” Then, God who is actually beyond the three components (triguṇ̣ātīt) accepted them and assumed incarnations. Since then the three components came to be known as the ‘triguṇs’. In reality, due to God’s acceptance they became unmanifest (Nirguṇ), that is there was no difference between the manifest (saguṇ) and the unmanifest.
With the passage of time as attitudes of man go on deteriorating, so will Righteousness (Dharma), that is the Sattva predominant attitude will undergo dissolution and get transformed into the Tama predominant attitude. In other words the Tama predominant attitude means deterioration of Righteousness. Since the main objective of Righteousness is to prevent unhappiness arising from culmination of the Tama component in the universe, at such times God assumes an incarnation. Thus, incarnations perform the mission of reinstatement of Righteousness which is disrupted from time to time.
Saints refer to reinstatement of Righteousness as progress. In Their eyes worldly progress is not real progress. It is then that one realises that we are not progressing but in reality are regressing because incarnations have to transform the Kaliyug generated from the Satyayug back into the Satyayug. Outwardly the Kaliyug will continue but due to augmentation of the Sattva component and evolution of man his inner world will become happier as if he is living in the Satyayug.
Just as a free man is required to liberate a man in bondage or one awake is necessary to wake up one who is asleep, so also to transform the extroverted tendency of man to introversion, that is to release him from that human form and transform him into God, God has to assume a human form either as a man or a woman.’
In the fourth adhyay (chapter) of the Shrimadbhagvadgita,
Shrīkrushna has explained what incarnation God assumes, when and why in the following two verses (shlokas).
यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत ।
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् ।। ७ ।।
परित्राणाय साधुनां विनाशाय च दृष्कृताम् ।
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय संभवामि युगे युगे ।। ८ ।।
Meaning: Whenever there is a deterioration in Righteousness (Dharma), that is when there is an upsurge of unrighteousness I assume an incarnation. - 7.
I incarnate in every Yug (era) to protect sages, destroy evildoers and to reinstate Righteousness. - 8.
Click here to read more.
- 1. Origin and meaning of incarnations
- 2. Origin and development of the concept of incarnation
- 3. Basic doctrines of an incarnation
- 4. Mission of an incarnation or the reasons for assumption of an incarnation
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