Another and Intermediate Form of Avatarhood Is Possible

There is yet another scenario that some believe represents Avatarhood based on the two primary defining characteristics. This consists of an individual who transcends the purely human state of consciousness, through intense aspiration or devotion, and who then becomes the recipient of a corresponding response from the divine Consciousness that not only intensifies the individual experience, knowledge, power, and love, but in fact, totally takes over the human instrument such that there is no residual sense of individuality during the divine transfiguration. There are accepted spiritual states that correspond to this action, and a classic example has been cited of Chaitanya. Sri Aurobindo describes this state: “This is said by his contemporaries to have happened in the occasional transfigurations of Chaitanya when he who in his normal consciousness was only the lover and devotee of the Lord and rejected all deification, became in these abnormal moments the Lord himself and so spoke and acted, with all the outflooding light and love and power of the divine Presence.”

Sri Aurobindo explains the mechanism that justifies the idea that this is an intermediate form of Avatarhood: “…for if the human being can elevate his nature so as to feel a unity with the being of the Divine and himself a mere channel of its consciousness, light, power, love, his own will and personality lost in that will and that being,–and this is a recognised spiritual status,–then there is no inherent impossibility of the reflex action of that Will, Being, Power, Love, Light, Consciousness occupying the whole personality of the human Jiva. And this would not be merely an ascent of our humanity into the divine birth and the divine nature, but a descent of the divine Purusha into humanity, an Avatar.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, First Series, Chapter 16, The Process of Avatarhood, pg. 154