Indian Religious thought can be divided roughly into two eras – The Vedic Era and the Aryan Era. In the Vedic Era, idol worship was virtually non existent and religious thought was guided by the Puranas, Vedas, Upanishads and such. It was a period of appreciation of pure logic and enquiry into the nature of man and the universe he belongs to. Aryan Era brought in the Gods and the cults. The core of both the eras is the same. The colour and texture of Consciousness seems to differ – that is all.
The Avatars of Vishnu showcases the periods that the planet went through. The time of the floods and the Maha Pralaya had the Matsya Avatar. Soon the water started receding resulting in the onset of Amphibian life and so the Koorma Avatar was manifested. Drylands started coming up and that resulted in Varaha Avatar. So, the scientific evolution and the way in which Avatars came up is really showcased beautifully. The initial Avatars were so bound to nature and life itself. Later on, the shape of Avatars changed to challenge and suit the Human Spiritual Evolution.
With human population growing exponentially during the last 6000 or so years, man became more competitive and greedy rather than moral and virtuous. This is a natural way of life. When the resources are the same and there are many hands looking for the same goals, being virtuous does not always help. It is Economics at play here. Mahabharata is a time when this way of life was very prevalent. The materialistic outlook of life by Kauravas and Pandavas needed to be resolved by none less than a diplomat, a strategician, a leader. A Vamana, Sri Rama or Parasurama could not have resolve this. Here, we needed a Krishna. That is how Swami Chinmayananda justifies the manifestation of Krishna Avatar.
If we look at the situation now and the rise of Adharma in the 21st century, many souls are crying out for an Avatar. But, Eastern Wisdom repeatedly say to look within ourselves for solutions and not to rely on outside situations to combat our problems. The idea that the entire universe is within ourselves and we can adapt, evolve and strengthen our lives to the situations around us is really powerful.
A Krishna was relevant 5000 years ago. Who will be relevant now?