TEXT 17 TEXT dhanvantaram dvadasamam trayodasamam eva ca apayayat suran anyan mohinya mohayan striya SYNONYMS dhanvantaram--the incarnation of Godhead named Dhanvantari; dvadasamam--the twelfth in the line; trayodasamam--the thirteenth in the line; eva--certainly; ca--and; apayayat--gave to drink; suran--the demigods; anyan--others; mohinya--by charming beauty; mohayan--alluring; striya--in the form of a woman.
TRANSLATION In the twelfth incarnation, the Lord appeared as Dhanvantari, and in the thirteenth He allured the atheists by the charming beauty of a woman and gave nectar to the demigods to drink.
TEXT 18 TEXT caturdasam narasimham bibhrad daityendram urjitam dadara karajair urav erakam kata-krd yatha SYNONYMS caturdasam--the fourteenth in the line; nara-simham--the incarnation of the Lord as half-man and half-lion; bibhrat--advented; daitya-indram-- the king of the atheists; urjitam--strongly built; dadara--bifurcated; karajaih--by the nails; urau--on the lap; erakam--canes; kata-krt-- carpenter; yatha--just like.
TRANSLATION In the fourteenth incarnation, the Lord appeared as Nrsimha and bifurcated the strong body of the atheist Hiranyakasipu with His nails, just as a carpenter pierces cane.
TEXT 19 TEXT pancadasam vamanakam krtvagad adhvaram baleh pada-trayam yacamanah pratyaditsus tri-pistapam SYNONYMS pancadasam--the fifteenth in the line; vamanakam--the dwarf brahmana; krtva--by assumption of; agat--went; adhvaram--arena of sacrifice; baleh- -of King Bali; pada-trayam--three steps only; yacamanah--begging; pratyaditsuh--willing at heart to return; tri-pistapam--the kingdom of the three planetary systems.
TRANSLATION In the fifteenth incarnation, the Lord assumed the form of a dwarfbrahmana [Vamana] and visited the arena of sacrifice arranged by Maharaja Bali. Although at heart He was willing to regain the kingdom of the three planetary systems, He simply asked for a donation of three steps of land.
PURPORT The Almighty God can bestow upon anyone the kingdom of the universe from a very small beginning, and similarly, He can take away the kingdom of the universe on the plea of begging a small piece of land.
TEXT 20 TEXT avatare sodasame pasyan brahma-druho nrpan trih-sapta-krtvah kupito nih-ksatram akaron mahim SYNONYMS avatare--in the incarnation of the Lord; sodasame--the sixteenth; pasyan--seeing; brahma-druhah--disobedient to the orders of the brahmanas; nrpan--the kingly order; trih-sapta--thrice seven times; krtvah--had done; kupitah--being engaged; nih--negation; ksatram--the administrative class; akarot--did perform; mahim--the earth.
TRANSLATION In the sixteenth incarnation of the Godhead, the Lord [as Bhrgupati] annihilated the administrative class [ksatriyas] twenty-one times, being angry with them because of their rebellion against the brahmanas [the intelligent class].
PURPORT The ksatriyas, or the administrative class of men, are expected to rule the planet by the direction of the intelligent class of men, who give direction to the rulers in terms of the standard sastras, or the books of revealed knowledge. The rulers carry on the administration according to that direction. Whenever there is disobedience on the part of the ksatriyas, or the administrative class, against the orders of the learned and intelligent brahmanas, the administrators are removed by force from the posts, and arrangement is made for better administration.
TEXT 21 TEXT tatah saptadase jatah satyavatyam parasarat cakre veda-taroh sakha drstva pumso 'lpa-medhasah SYNONYMS tatah--thereafter; saptadase--in the seventeenth incarnation; jatah-- advented; satyavatyam--in the womb of Satyavati; parasarat--by Parasara Muni; cakre--prepared; veda-taroh--of the desire tree of the Vedas; sakhah--branches; drstva--be seeing; pumsah--the people in general; alpamedhasah-- less intelligent.
TRANSLATION Thereafter, in the seventeenth incarnation of Godhead, Sri Vyasadeva appeared in the womb of Satyavati through Parasara Muni, and he divided the one Veda into several branches and subbranches, seeing that the people in general were less intelligent.
PURPORT Originally the Veda is one. But Srila Vyasadeva divided the original Veda into four, namely Sama, Yajur, Rg, Atharva, and then again they were explained in different branches like the Puranas and the Mahabharata.
Vedic language and the subject matter are very difficult for ordinary men. They are understood by the highly intelligent and self-realized brahmanas. But the present age of Kali is full of ignorant men. Even those who are born by a brahmana father are, in the present age, no better than the sudras or the women. The twice-born men, namely the brahmanas, ksatriyas and vaisyas, are expected to undergo a cultural purificatory process known as samskaras, but because of the bad influence of the present age the so-called members of the brahmana and other highorder families are no longer highly cultured. They are called the dvijabandhus, or the friends and family members of the twice-born. But these dvija-bandhus are classified amongst the sudras and the women. Srila Vyasadeva divided the Vedas into various branches and subbranches for the sake of the less intelligent classes like the dvija-bandhus, sudras and women.
TEXT 22 TEXT nara-devatvam apannah sura-karya-cikirsaya samudra-nigrahadini cakre viryany atah param SYNONYMS nara--human being; devatvam--divinity; apannah--having assumed the form of; sura--the demigods; karya--activities; cikirsaya--for the purpose of performing; samudra--the Indian Ocean; nigraha-adini-- controlling, etc.; cakre--did perform; viryani--superhuman prowess; atah param--thereafter.
TRANSLATION In the eighteenth incarnation, the Lord appeared as King Rama. In order to perform some pleasing work for the demigods, He exhibited superhuman powers by controlling the Indian Ocean and then killing the atheist King Ravana, who was on the other side of the sea.
PURPORT The Personality of Godhead Sri Rama assumed the form of a human being and appeared on the earth for the purpose of doing some pleasing work for the demigods or the administrative personalities to maintain the order of the universe. Sometimes great demons and atheists like Ravana and Hiranyakasipu and many others become very famous due to advancing material civilization by the help of material science and other activities with a spirit of challenging the established order of the Lord. For example, the attempt to fly to other planets by material means is a challenge to the established order. The conditions of each and every planet are different, and different classes of human beings are accommodated there for particular purposes mentioned in the codes of the Lord. But, puffed up by tiny success in material advancement, sometimes the godless materialists challenge the existence of God. Ravana was one of them, and he wanted to deport ordinary men to the planet of Indra (heaven) by material means without consideration of the necessary qualifications. He wanted a staircase to be built up directly reaching the heavenly planet so that people might not be required to undergo the routine of pious work necessary to enter that planet. He also wanted to perform other acts against the established rule of the Lord. He even challenged the authority of Sri Rama, the Personality of Godhead, and kidnapped His wife, Sita. Of course Lord Rama came to chastise this atheist, answering the prayer and desire of the demigods. He therefore took up the challenge of Ravana, and the complete activity is the subject matter of the Ramayana. Because Lord Ramacandra was the Personality of Godhead, He exhibited superhuman activities which no human being, including the materially advanced Ravana, could perform. Lord Ramacandra prepared a royal road on the Indian Ocean with stones that floated on the water. The modern scientists have done research in the area of weightlessness, but it is not possible to bring in weightlessness anywhere and everywhere. But because weightlessness is the creation of the Lord by which He can make the gigantic planets fly and float in the air, He made the stones even within this earth to be weightless and prepared a stone bridge on the sea without any supporting pillar. That is the display of the power of God.
TEXT 23 TEXT ekonavimse vimsatime vrsnisu prapya janmani rama-krsnav iti bhuvo bhagavan aharad bharam SYNONYMS ekonavimse--in the nineteenth; vimsatime--in the twentieth also; vrsnisu--in the Vrsni dynasty; prapya--having obtained; janmani--births; rama--Balarama; krsnau--Sri Krsna; iti--thus; bhuvah--of the world; bhagavan--the Personality of Godhead; aharat--removed; bharam--burden.
TRANSLATION In the nineteenth and twentieth incarnations, the Lord advented Himself as Lord Balarama and Lord Krsna in the family of Vrsni [the Yadu dynasty], and by so doing He removed the burden of the world.
PURPORT The specific mention of the word bhagavan in this text indicates that Balarama and Krsna are original forms of the Lord. This will be further explained later. Lord Krsna is not an incarnation of the purusa, as we learned from the beginning of this chapter. He is directly the original Personality of Godhead, and Balarama is the first plenary manifestation of the Lord. From Baladeva the first phalanx of plenary expansions, Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Aniruddha and Pradyumna, expands. Lord Sri Krsna is Vasudeva, and Baladeva is Sankarsana.
TEXT 24 TEXT tatah kalau sampravrtte sammohaya sura-dvisam buddho namnanjana-sutah kikatesu bhavisyati SYNONYMS tatah--thereafter; kalau--the age of Kali; sampravrtte--having ensued; sammohaya--for the purpose of deluding; sura--the theists; dvisam--those who are envious; buddhah--Lord Buddha; namna--of the name; anjana-sutah-- whose mother was Anjana; kikatesu--in the province of Gaya (Bihar); bhavisyati--will take place.
TRANSLATION Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Anjana, in the province of Gaya, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist.
PURPORT Lord Buddha, a powerful incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, appeared in the province of Gaya (Bihar) as the son of Anjana, and he preached his own conception of nonviolence and deprecated even the animal sacrifices sanctioned in the Vedas. At the time when Lord Buddha appeared, the people in general were atheistic and preferred animal flesh to anything else. On the plea of Vedic sacrifice, every place was practically turned into a slaughterhouse, and animal-killing was indulged in unrestrictedly. Lord Buddha preached nonviolence, taking pity on the poor animals. He preached that he did not believe in the tenets of the Vedas and stressed the adverse psychological effects incurred by animalkilling.
Less intelligent men of the age of Kali, who had no faith in God, followed his principle, and for the time being they were trained in moral discipline and nonviolence, the preliminary steps for proceeding further on the path of God realization. He deluded the atheists because such atheists who followed his principles did not believe in God, but they kept their absolute faith in Lord Buddha, who himself was the incarnation of God. Thus the faithless people were made to believe in God in the form of Lord Buddha. That was the mercy of Lord Buddha: he made the faithless faithful to him.
Killing of animals before the advent of Lord Buddha was the most prominent feature of the society. People claimed that these were Vedic sacrifices. When the Vedas are not accepted through the authoritative disciplic succession, the casual readers of the Vedas are misled by the flowery language of that system of knowledge. In the Bhagavad-gita a comment has been made on such foolish scholars (avipascitah). The foolish scholars of Vedic literature who do not care to receive the transcendental message through the transcendental realized sources of disciplic succession are sure to be bewildered. To them, the ritualistic ceremonies are considered to be all in all. They have no depth of knowledge. According to the Bhagavad-gita (15.15), vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah: the whole system of the Vedas is to lead one gradually to the path of the Supreme Lord. The whole theme of Vedic literature is to know the Supreme Lord, the individual soul, the cosmic situation and the relation between all these items. When the relation is known, the relative function begins, and as a result of such a function the ultimate goal of life or going back to Godhead takes place in the easiest manner.
Unfortunately, unauthorized scholars of the Vedas become captivated by the purificatory ceremonies only, and natural progress is thereby checked.
To such bewildered persons of atheistic propensity, Lord Buddha is the emblem of theism. He therefore first of all wanted to check the habit of animal-killing. The animal-killers are dangerous elements on the path going back to Godhead. There are two types of animal-killers. The soul is also sometimes called the "animal" or the living being. Therefore, both the slaughterer of animals and those who have lost their identity of soul are animal-killers.
Maharaja Pariksit said that only the animal-killer cannot relish the transcendental message of the Supreme Lord. Therefore if people are to be educated to the path of Godhead, they must be taught first and foremost to stop the process of animal-killing as above mentioned. It is nonsensical to say that animal-killing has nothing to do with spiritual realization. By this dangerous theory many so-called sannyasis have sprung up by the grace of Kali-yuga who preach animal-killing under the garb of the Vedas. The subject matter has already been discussed in the conversation between Lord Caitanya and Maulana Chand Kazi Shaheb. The animal sacrifice as stated in the Vedas is different from the unrestricted animal-killing in the slaughterhouse. Because the asuras or the so-called scholars of Vedic literatures put forward the evidence of animal-killing in the Vedas, Lord Buddha superficially denied the authority of the Vedas. This rejection of the Vedas by Lord Buddha was adopted in order to save people from the vice of animal-killing as well as to save the poor animals from the slaughtering process of their big brothers who clamor for universal brotherhood, peace, justice and equity.
There is no justice when there is animal-killing. Lord Buddha wanted to stop it completely, and therefore his cult of ahimsa was propagated not only in India but also outside the country.
Technically Lord Buddha's philosophy is called atheistic because there is no acceptance of the Supreme Lord and because that system of philosophy denied the authority of the Vedas. But that is an act of camouflage by the Lord. Lord Buddha is the incarnation of Godhead. As such, he is the original propounder of Vedic knowledge. He therefore cannot reject Vedic philosophy. But he rejected it outwardly because the sura-dvisa, or the demons who are always envious of the devotees of Godhead, try to support cow-killing or animal-killing from the pages of the Vedas, and this is now being done by the modernized sannyasis. Lord Buddha had to reject the authority of the Vedas altogether. This is simply technical, and had it not been so he would not have been so accepted as the incarnation of Godhead. Nor would he have been worshiped in the transcendental songs of the poet Jayadeva, who is a Vaisnava acarya. Lord Buddha preached the preliminary principles of the Vedas in a manner suitable for the time being (and so also did Sankaracarya) to establish the authority of the Vedas. Therefore both Lord Buddha and Acarya Sankara paved the path of theism, and Vaisnava acaryas, specifically Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, led the people on the path towards a realization of going back to Godhead.
We are glad that people are taking interest in the nonviolent movement of Lord Buddha. But will they take the matter very seriously and close the animal slaughterhouses altogether? If not, there is no meaning to the ahimsa cult.
Srimad-Bhagavatam was composed just prior to the beginning of the age of Kali (about five thousand years ago), and Lord Buddha appeared about twenty-six hundred years ago. Therefore in the Srimad-Bhagavatam Lord Buddha is foretold. Such is the authority of this clear scripture. There are many such prophecies, and they are being fulfilled one after another.
They will indicate the positive standing of Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is without trace of mistake, illusion, cheating and imperfection, which are the four flaws of all conditioned souls. The liberated souls are above these flaws; therefore they can see and foretell things which are to take place on distant future dates.
TEXT 25 TEXT athasau yuga-sandhyayam dasyu-prayesu rajasu janita visnu-yasaso namna kalkir jagat-patih SYNONYMS atha--thereafter; asau--the same Lord; yuga-sandhyayam--at the conjunction of the yugas; dasyu--plunderers; prayesu--almost all; rajasu- -the governing personalities; janita--will take His birth; visnu--named Visnu; yasasah--surnamed Yasa; namna--in the name of; kalkih--the incarnation of the Lord; jagat-patih--the Lord of the creation.
TRANSLATION Thereafter, at the conjunction of two yugas, the Lord of the creation will take His birth as the Kalki incarnation and become the son of Visnu Yasa. At this time the rulers of the earth will have degenerated into plunderers.
PURPORT Here is another foretelling of the advent of Lord Kalki, the incarnation of Godhead. He is to appear at the conjunction of the two yugas, namely at the end of Kali-yuga and the beginning of Satya-yuga.
The cycle of the four yugas, namely Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali, rotates like the calendar months. The present Kali-yuga lasts 432,000 years, out of which we have passed only 5,000 years after the Battle of Kuruksetra and the end of the regime of King Pariksit. So there are 427,000 years balance yet to be finished. Therefore at the end of this period, the incarnation of Kalki will take place, as foretold in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The name of His father, Visnu Yasa, a learned brahmana, and the village Sambhala are also mentioned. As above mentioned, all these foretellings will prove to be factual in chronological order. That is the authority of Srimad-Bhagavatam.
TEXT 26 TEXT avatara hy asankhyeya hareh sattva-nidher dvijah yathavidasinah kulyah sarasah syuh sahasrasah SYNONYMS avatarah--incarnations; hi--certainly; asankhyeyah--innumerable; hareh--of Hari, the Lord; sattva-nidheh--of the ocean of goodness; dvijah--the brahmanas; yatha--as it is; avidasinah--inexhaustible; kulyah--rivulets; sarasah--of vast lakes; syuh--are; sahasrasah-- thousands of.
TRANSLATION O brahmanas, the incarnations of the Lord are innumerable, like rivulets flowing from inexhaustible sources of water.
PURPORT The list of incarnations of the Personality of Godhead given herein is not complete. It is only a partial view of all the incarnations. There are many others, such as Sri Hayagriva, Hari, Hamsa, Prsnigarbha, Vibhu, Satyasena, Vaikuntha, Sarvabhauma, Visvaksena, Dharmasetu, Sudhama, Yogesvara, Brhadbhanu and others of the bygone ages. Sri Prahlada Maharaja said in his prayer, "My Lord, You manifest as many incarnations as there are species of life, namely the aquatics, the vegetables, the reptiles, the birds, the beasts, the men, the demigods, etc., just for the maintenance of the faithful and the annihilation of the unfaithful.
You advent Yourself in this way in accordance with the necessity of the different yugas. In the Kali-yuga You have incarnated garbed as a devotee." This incarnation of the Lord in the Kali-yuga is Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. There are many other places, both in the Bhagavatam and in other scriptures, in which the incarnation of the Lord as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is explicitly mentioned. In the Brahma-samhita also it is said indirectly that although there are many incarnations of the Lord, such as Rama, Nrsimha, Varaha, Matsya, Kurma and many others, the Lord Himself sometimes incarnates in person. Lord Krsna and Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu are not, therefore, incarnations, but the original source of all other incarnations. This will be clearly explained in the next sloka.
So the Lord is the inexhaustible source for innumerable incarnations which are not always mentioned. But such incarnations are distinguished by specific extraordinary feats which are impossible to be performed by any living being. That is the general test to identify an incarnation of the Lord, directly and indirectly empowered. Some incarnations mentioned above are almost plenary portions. For instance, the Kumaras are empowered with transcendental knowledge. Sri Narada is empowered with devotional service. Maharaja Prthu is an empowered incarnation with executive function. The Matsya incarnation is directly a plenary portion.
So the innumerable incarnations of the Lord are manifested all over the universes constantly, without cessation, as water flows constantly from waterfalls.
TEXT 27 TEXT rsayo manavo deva manu-putra mahaujasah kalah sarve harer eva saprajapatayah smrtah SYNONYMS rsayah--all the sages; manavah--all the Manus; devah--all the demigods; manu-putrah--all the descendants of Manu; maha-ojasah--very powerful; kalah--portion of the plenary portion; sarve--all collectively; hareh--of the Lord; eva--certainly; sa-prajapatayah--along with the Prajapatis; smrtah--are known.
TRANSLATION All the rsis, Manus, demigods and descendants of Manu, who are especially powerful, are plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord. This also includes the Prajapatis.
PURPORT Those who are comparatively less powerful are called vibhuti, and those who are comparatively more powerful are called avesa incarnations.
TEXT 28 TEXT ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam indrari-vyakulam lokam mrdayanti yuge yuge SYNONYMS ete--all these; ca--and; amsa--plenary portions; kalah--portions of the plenary portions; pumsah--of the Supreme; krsnah--Lord Krsna; tu-- but; bhagavan--the Personality of Godhead; svayam--in person; indra-ari-- the enemies of Indra; vyakulam--disturbed; lokam--all the planets; mrdayanti--gives protection; yuge yuge--in different ages.
TRANSLATION All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Sri Krsna is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.
PURPORT In this particular stanza Lord Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, is distinguished from other incarnations. He is counted amongst the avataras (incarnations) because out of His causeless mercy the Lord descends from His transcendental abode. Avatara means "one who descends." All the incarnations of the Lord, including the Lord Himself, descend on the different planets of the material world as also in different species of life to fulfill particular missions. Sometimes He comes Himself, and sometimes His different plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions, or His differentiated portions directly or indirectly empowered by Him, descend on this material world to execute certain specific functions. Originally the Lord is full of all opulences, all prowess, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation. When they are partly manifested through the plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions, it should be noted that certain manifestations of His different powers are required for those particular functions. When in the room small electric bulbs are displayed, it does not mean that the electric powerhouse is limited by the small bulbs. The same powerhouse can supply power to operate large-scale industrial dynamos with greater volts.
Similarly, the incarnations of the Lord display limited powers because so much power is needed at that particular time.
For example, Lord Parasurama and Lord Nrsimha displayed unusual opulence by killing the disobedient ksatriyas twenty-one times and killing the greatly powerful atheist Hiranyakasipu. Hiranyakasipu was so powerful that even the demigods in other planets would tremble simply by the unfavorable raising of his eyebrow. The demigods in the higher level of material existence many, many times excel the most well-to-do human beings, in duration of life, beauty, wealth, paraphernalia, and in all other respects. Still they were afraid of Hiranyakasipu. Thus we can simply imagine how powerful Hiranyakasipu was in this material world. But even Hiranyakasipu was cut into small pieces by the nails of Lord Nrsimha. This means that anyone materially powerful cannot stand the strength of the Lord's nails. Similarly, Jamadagnya displayed the Lord's power to kill all the disobedient kings powerfully situated in their respective states. The Lord's empowered incarnation Narada and plenary incarnation Varaha, as well as indirectly empowered Lord Buddha, created faith in the mass of people. The incarnations of Rama and Dhanvantari displayed His fame, and Balarama, Mohini and Vamana exhibited His beauty.