The Critical and Essential Mission of the Avatar

While the outer action of the Avatar is important, the true critical and essential mission of the Avatar is to bring into the human consciousness and help to anchor it there, a new inner development, a new consciousness, a new mode of understanding and acting. Sri Aurobindo has provided a comprehensive and inspiring summation of the Avatar and his work:

“The Avatar comes to reveal the divine nature in man above this lower nature and to show what are the divine works, free, unegoistic, disinterested, impersonal, universal, full of the divine light, the divine power and the divine love. He comes as the divine personality which shall fill the consciousness of the human being and replace the limited egoistic personality, so that it shall be liberated out of ego into infinity and universality, out of birth into immortality. He comes as the divine power and love which calls men to itself, so that they may take refuge in that and no longer in the insufficiency of their human wills and the strife of their human fear, wrath and passion, and liberated from all this unquiet and suffering may live in the calm and bliss of the Divine.”

Depending on the need of the time, the Avatar may come in different forms with a different emphasis for the specific power or principle to be placed in front as the focus. The Avatar is not limited by a specific teaching, religion or philosophy. “…for in all ways, varying with their nature, men are following the path set to them by the Divine which will in the end lead them to him and the aspect of him which suits their nature is that which they can best follow when he comes to lead them; in whatever way men accept, love and take joy in God, in that way God accepts, loves and takes joy in man.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, First Series, Chapter 17, The Divine Birth and Divine Works, pp. 166-167