The Object of the Appearance of the Avatar

We see this enormous machinery of the process of Nature with a systematic evolutionary development of consciousness, in place and operative. There are those who then question why we need some kind of extraordinary intervention, such as an Avatar, if the normal process is set up to carry out this evolutionary movement on its own.

The answer of the Gita, as Sri Aurobindo describes it, is essentially that the Avatar is not so much a miraculous intervention from some extra-cosmic place, but it is actually part of the process that is taking place, and occurs at periods when a response or aid from the higher level of consciousness is needed to effectuate the evolutionary leap that is required.

“But it is to assist that ascent or evolution the descent is made or accepted; that the Gita makes very clear.” The Avatar provides an example, a real force of consciousness in human form, and a direction for the leading edge of human development to see, respond to and actually become. “It is also to leave the influence of that manifestation vibrating in the earth-nature and the soul of that manifestation presiding over its upward endeavour. it is to give a spiritual mould of divine manhood into which the seeking soul of the human being can cast itself….It is…a work and the work for the race, to assist the human march, to hold it together in its great crises, to break the forces of the downward gravitation when they grow too insistent, to uphold or restore the great Dharma of the Godward law in man’s nature, to prepare even, however far off, the kingdom of God, the victory of the seekers of light and perfection…and the overthrow of those who fight for the continuance of the evil and the darkness.”

The outer work is recognised and worshiped by the mass of humanity, but the spiritual seeker experiences also the inner growth and awareness of consciousness that enlivens that aspiration within himself. “The divine manifestation of a Christ, Krishna, Buddha in external humanity has for its inner truth the same manifestation of the eternal Avatar within in our own inner humanity. That which has been done in the outer human life of earth, may be repeated in the inner life of all human beings.”

Eventually, when humanity is ready for a real step forward, the forces of opposition rise up to oppose that forward movement and either prevent it or slow it down. At the same time, those individuals who have been prepared for that growth of consciousness need an activating and motivating force to awaken the vibration, the awareness, and help tune them to that conscious force in their lives. The Avatar then can work on numerous levels simultaneously to prepare the path, provide an example, create the inner and outer conditions for a new manifestation, and overcome the forces of opposition.

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, First Series, Chapter 16, The Process of Avatarhood, pp. 150-151