(64) The Puranas, the Itihas
and the avataras (descensions) of God.
There are 18 Puranas: Brahm Puran, Padm Puran, Vishnu
Puran, Vayu Puran, Bhagwat Maha Puran, Narad Puran, Markandeya Puran, Agni
Puran, Bhavishya Puran, Brahm Vaivart Puran, Ling Puran, Varah Puran,
Skand Puran, Vaman Puran, Kurm Puran, Matsya Puran, Garud Puran and
Ramayan and Mahabharat are called the itihas (history) books
because, along with the regular description of their own topic, they also
tell a lot about the general history of that period.
The ten avataras:
Varah, Matsya, Kachchap, Nrasingh, Vaman, Parashuram, Ram, Krishn,
Buddh and Kalki.
The twenty-four avataras:
Narad, Varah, Nar Narain, Kapil, Dattatreya, Yagya Purush, Rishabhdev,
King Prithu, Matsya, Kachchap, Mohini, Dhanvantari, Nrasingh, Vaman, Hans,
Haigreev, Parashuram, Ram, Ved Vyas, Balram, Krishn, Buddh and Kalki.
a Divine event is a grave transgression.
It is a common saying that all the descensions of God
are absolute and Their forms are eternal.
It means that the same Divine descensions always keep
on happening in every kalp, and some of them may happen quite a few
times during a kalp, and all those forms of descensions always
Out of all the descensions the descensions of Bhagwan
Ram and Krishn are the most important from the devotional point of view.
Bhagwan Ram established the form of true selfless bhakti and
Bhagwan Krishn revealed the ultimate magnificence of the selfless
bhakti, which binds even Krishn with its sweet loving string.
Other descensions are occasional descensions meant for
a particular purpose. For example: The descension of Ved Vyas was for the
reproduction of all the scriptures, and of Kapil was to reveal the Sankhya
Darshan; still all these forms are eternal.
Some ignorant materialistic writers have tried to
allegorize and compare the descensions of Kachchap, Matsya, Varah and
Nrasingh etc. on the lines of the modern evolution theory. (How illogical
and unscientific the evolution theory is, has already been discussed in
article 44.) You should know that allegorizing a Divine event or
misrepresenting the Divine theme of the scriptures that have been produced
by our acharyas, is such a grave transgression that could never be
redeemed by any amount of good deeds. It directly pollutes the mind of the
doer and blocks the spiritual receptivity of his mind.
Divine events are Divine by all means and have Divine
purpose behind them. For example: The unimaginably huge Kachchap
(tortoise) descension happened when there was a need to hold and to keep
the celestial mountain Sumeru floating on the celestial ocean, cheer
sagar, during the famous ocean churning event (samudra manthan)
of the celestial world. Similarly there are certain Divine reasons for
other descensions. Thus, all of these events and descensions are the
actual Divine happenings and they must be taken in the same light. One
should not try to throw his materiality into the Divine matters.