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Online Reference For Body, Mind & Spirit

Term: Avatar

DEFINITION:

(From the Sanskrit avatara, meaning “descent”) In Tantra and other forms of Hinduism, an avatar is a physical incarnation of a higher being (a deva) or even a theophany, the physical incarnation of a god. The term implies that the entity consciously chooses to descend into a body on the physical plane. There are numerous avatars, and other spiritual traditions have adopted the word as a term to describe a deity incarnate.

In Hinduism, the God Vishnu, the preserver, is said to have ten avatars. The most famous of these is the eighth one, Krishna. The ninth avatar of Vishnu was Buddha. The tenth and final avatar of Vishnu, Kalki, will not incarnate for many thousands of years.

AUTHOR:  Donald Michael Kraig
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