Life is incomplete without union with God. It’s quite natural that a matured mind and blossomed heart strives for this union. From ages, philosophies were born, debates happened, music, art and literature have sprung up from this need. Religions, philosophies, practices, customs and austerities have all pointed to one thing — union with the Divine.
The common man wakes up to the pain and suffering in his life and wants to be free from it. And he looks for the super power of creation to free him from the clutches of the world. The more he looks at the misery and shortcomings in his life, the farther away he feels from the Divinity, which is his very nature. And his heart yearns for some sort of communication from the other side.
From time immemorial man has been striving to lessen this gap between himself and God. There are two ways to do this: one is to elevate mankind towards Divinity — this is called Siddha, one who has attained perfection. And the second is to bring God to the human level — an avtaar, one who is not striving for perfection.
Divinity has manifested itself for the sake of mankind. Man rising up to God is Siddha; God coming down, because he cares for you, is known as an avtaar. They haven’t come for themselves but for jankalyan (welfare of all). This is the humaneness where you can get a glimpse of Divinity.
In the Puranas, all the devas are depicted with human emotions and tendencies. They do normal things — get upset, angry, are in love, etc. Don’t look for the supernatural in an avtaar — then the whole purpose of coming close to humans is defeated. The expression of God’s love for you on the most understandable human level is that of an avtaar.
This concept of an avtaar is prevalent in the east — India, China, Japan, Korea, Nepal etc. Nripo Narayano Hari — the king is regarded as an avtaaar of Vishnu; Vaidhyo Narayano Hari — the doctor is regarded as an avtaar of Vishnu. In the west, the concept is that of messenger, but in the east this concept does not exist as the intimacy between you and God is so much. Like a mother would personally go to her child, God’s love for man is so much, he would prefer to go Himself. The east looks from the value of the heart.
Your love for God becomes authentic when you are assured of his love for you. Scriptures refer to Kalki as the future avtaar. It was said that this Avtar will come forth riding a horse. Horse in Sanskrit is called Ashwa. And ‘shwa’ means either in the past or the future. So Ashwa means that which is right now. Kalki refers to one who is present in the consciousness at this very moment. That divinity which brings together everything at this very moment, which takes away the feeling of separation from you and rekindles belongingness in you, is present here right now. The whole purpose of an avtaar is to make you realise that you are part of Him.