Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/73

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49
SECOND LECTURE


Theoretically it is possible for us to entertain either of these two views. But there is one difficulty. If we are at liberty to call that man an Avatar who becomes a Jivanmukta, we shall be obliged to call Shuka, Vasishtha, Durvasa and perhaps the whole number of the Maharshis, who have become Jivanmuktas, Avatars; but they are not generally called Avatars. No doubt some great Rshis are enumerated in the list of Avatars, given for instance in the Bhagavat, but somehow no clear explanation is given for the fact that the ten Avatars ordinarily enumerated are looked upon as the Avatars of Mahavishnu, and the others as his manifestations, or beings in whom his light and knowledge were placed for the time being; or, for some reason or other, these others are not supposed to be Avatars in the strict sense of the word. But, if these are not Avatars, then we shall have to suppose that Krshna and Rama are called Avatars, not because we have in them an instance of a soul that had become a Jivanmukta and so had become associated with the Logos, but because the Logos descended to the plane of the soul, and, associating itself with the soul, worked in and through it on the plane of humanity for some great thing that had to be done in the world. I believe this latter view will be found to be correct on examination. Our respect for Krshna need not in any way be lessened on that account. The real Krshna is not the man in and