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Are Avatars the same as prophets/messengers*?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by paarsurrey, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    Are Avatars the same as prophets/messengers*?
    If not, why not? Please
    If yes, why so? Please
    Regards

    _____________
    *Prophets/Messengers are in perfect image (to the extent a human could be) of the Supreme God**, whatever His name, and hence His manifestations. People could think them as gods but they are only human beings who have let go their self and submitted themselves to the Supreme God.
    ** Supreme God
    Supreme Being is a term for God[1] used by theologians and philosophers of many religious faiths, including Christianity, Islam,[2]Hinduism,[3] Judaism, and deism.[4
    Supreme Being - Wikipedia
    King of the Gods - Wikipedia
     
  2. Kirran

    Kirran
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    Nah, not really, because the Abrahamic idea of the prophet or messenger is rooted in dualistic monotheism, whereas the idea of the avatar is rooted in varying understandings of God's manifestation. For me, I understand the world to be God's manifestation and so all things are God. Those individuals who have attained realisation of this and have deep connection with God can be said to be avatars, although in truth all people are avatars of the Divine.
     
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  3. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    An Avatar is an incarnation of the Divine.

    A Prophet (Nabi) isn't what many Muslims think, it isn't only someone who authors a religious book; yet someone with the ability to foretell the future.

    A Messenger (Rasul) isn't what many Muslims think, it isn't only someone who comes with a religious book; yet someone who was Divinely inspired with a message.

    Also everyone is an Avatar, and if they realized they're divine potential they'd also have the power of Prophecy; just most of us don't seek enlightenment, and thus stay down here. :innocent:
     
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  4. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    They might be It depends on your religion and point of view.
    But from a neutral stand point they might appear to be the same.

    What make? a Prophet a prophet ?
    Could not an Avatar sever the same function.?

    I find it hard to define what a Messenger is, or what distinguishes one for certain, compared to anyone who claims to speak for God.
     
  5. Terese

    Terese Mangalam Pundarikakshah
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    An avatar is a manifestation of God, while Prophets are divinely-inspired humans.
     
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  6. Madhuri

    Madhuri RF Goddess
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    An avatar is a form of God. A direct form. Not just someone given knowledge from God. Not just someone empowered by God .An avatar IS God.
     
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  7. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    Think once we start using generic terms, like the word 'God' the whole thing gets confusing....

    Just read the Bhagavad Gita a few times, first time was useless as they'd translated the word 'Brahman' into 'God'. :confused:

    Brahman (The CPU/The Most High God without form) isn't an Avatar.

    Avatars are Divine beings that have form in someway; that are manifestations within the Matrix from the CPU. :innocent:
     
  8. Madhuri

    Madhuri RF Goddess
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    To be specific then, an Avatar is a form of Ishvara/Bhagavan, the personal aspect of the Divine.
     
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  9. Sw. Vandana Jyothi

    Sw. Vandana Jyothi Truth is One, many are the Names
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    Guruji used to explain this by saying an avatar is an incarnation (of the Supreme--a la @Madhuri 's post) who descends to lila bhumi (earth plane) in order to foster the ascent of man. He called the births of ordinary jivas (body- and karma-bound souls) reincarnations.
     
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  10. Kirran

    Kirran
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    Of course any such description is an approximation, but here's something to supplement it which Guru said, when asked why there had been so many avatars in the East but not in the West - he first mentioned Jesus, and Mary, and St Francis, and then said: "But I would be doing something very naughty if I said to you that you were not an avatar!"
     
  11. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    Mainly because they've killed those claiming it over the last few thousand years, before then we can see lots in Greek, Egyptian, Roman, Mayan, Norse, Druid, etc, cultures.

    The Bible even calls us sons of The Gods, and Moses was a friend of The Gods; yet they've done everything possible to make people not understand what is going on. :confused:
     
  12. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva

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    To put it succinctly, the difference is between realization and revelation. The avatara does not need to be told. They are the message, not the messenger. But.... what would I know?
     
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  13. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    No, they are not. It is interesting to consider why.

    Let's take the stereotypes for a moment.

    A prophet or messenger is an idea closely tied to that of divine revelation. Far as I know it is actually unusual to attribute to them the quality of being a human representation of perfection, although there are precedents. But the core idea is that there is a very centralized message from the sacred that manifests through human language by way of a very few people - by some popular understandings, such rare people that only one of those was alive at any given time, when any were. Most of human history supposedly had none.


    An Avatar is in some sense a direct manifestation of some form of deity. I don't think there is a lot of consensus on how human an avatar is, has to be or can be. But in any case, they are at one time distinct from and the same as their origins. It seems to me that there is little reason to expect Avatara not to exist in several symultaneous forms, even in different cultures at the same time. They do not necessarily teach by words, either.

    It seems to me that there is a valid interpretation that all of humanity may legitimally be understood to be avatara of the sacred - a perspective, I want to point out, that I am very sympathetic towards, albeit while refusing to confuse the sacred with any deities.

    Messengers are apart from humanity. Avatara may or may not be, but either way they are somewhat peripheral to the religious practice proper, which tends to favor living transmission, usually on a somewhat more personal level than a revealed / Abrahamic religion would expect.
     
    #13 LuisDantas, Feb 5, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
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  14. David1967

    David1967 Well-Known Member
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    No. A prophet is merely a messenger of the divine. Still an imperfect human. An avatar is a manifestation of the divine.
     
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  15. Kirran

    Kirran
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    Would you say Jesus was an avatar, David?

    (Incidentally, is 1967 your birth date, or do you like commemorating the Togolese coup, the Six-Day War, the election of Carl B Stokes or the founding of the Pakistan People's Party?)
     
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  16. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
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    Are Avatars the same as prophets/messengers*?

    I am saying 'no'. In my thinking, an Avatar is a divine incarnation that takes birth for the guidance and education of mankind. A prophet/messenger is still a regular human being that receives inspiration from a higher source.
     
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  17. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Do you have your answer yet?
     
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