The mind creates a number of illusions and misconceptions about Avatars and Vibhutis. Many of these ideas assume, wrongly, that a conscious manifestation of the Divine in the world must be likewise all-knowing and all-powerful, and they thus attribute miraculous powers and actions to those who have been identified as such. It would of course not be logical to assume that every divine manifestation must carry all-knowledge active within himself, when the focus is restricted to a specific time, place and circumstance. Since they manifest to accomplish specific actions, to move the evolution forward, to address specific obstacles to the change, or to lock in specific powers of action that will help break through the resistance of the past and present status of humanity, they need not distract themselves with events or activities outside their scope.
Sri Aurobindo writes: “An Avatar or Vibhuti have the knowledge that is necessary for their work, they need not have more. There was absolutely no reason why Buddha should know what was going on in Rome. An Avatar even does not manifest all the Divine omniscience and omnipotence; he has not come for any such unnecessary display; all that is behind him but not in the front of his consciousness. As for the Vibhuti, the Vibhuti need not even know that he is a power of the Divine. Some Vibhutis like Julius Caesar for instance have been atheists. Buddha himself did not believe in a personal God, only in some impersonal and indescribable Permanent.”
Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 12, Other Aspects of Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, The Avatar and the Vibhuti, pp. 347-349
That was clarifying, thank you. But I’m surprised that Julius Caesar is thought of as Vibhutis. Not because he was atheist but because he did some terrible things involving war… genocide in Gaul, etc.
As I understand it, one cannot judge based on our moral standards, both because these are variable over time and across different cultures, but more pointedly, the Avatar or the Vibhuti is charged with being a fulcrum of change or evolutionary development, and in some cases, this means destruction of obstacles, bringing together of situations that otherwise would not be brought together, or raising up sufficient opposition so that progress is able to be made. There are challenges, and certainly we look at Sri Krishna, considered to be an Avatar, and he clearly played a role in overturning the established status quo in favor of the ascendancy of the Pandavas. In doing so, he even broke a few “rules” along the way. Similarly, whatever we have to say about Caesar or Napoleon, for instance as potential Vibhutis, they clearly played a central, powerful role in widespread changes that occurred and were disseminated over large areas of human civilisation.
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Yes. Thank you. It’s challenging to reside at the elevation where all can be seen as ‘perfect’. The third eye is still blinking!