What is stance of Vedanta on the concept of avatara? Does Vedanta support that god comes to earth in form of a human?

  • What is avatarbad?
    – user1195
    Jun 17, 2017 at 5:26
  • @moonstar2001 Avataravada means the formless Brahma taking human, animal, bird et cetera forms to come to earth and remove afflictions of devotees.
    – user9392
    Jun 17, 2017 at 5:33
  • Vedanta is broad. You can ask specific philosophy in Vedanta.
    – The Destroyer
    Jun 17, 2017 at 8:17
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  • OP- Please use the correct Sanskrit spellings of words. @AnuragSingh -Thanks.
    – user1195
    Jun 19, 2017 at 0:43

1 Answer 1


Dvaita Vedanta and Vishistadvaita Vedanta accept the concept of Avatara.

Advaita Vedanta does not accept the concept of Avatara. Advaita Vedanta claims that the Avatara is same as a Jnani. Any distinction between Avatara and Jnani would contradict scripture.

D.: The avatars are said to be more glorious than the self-realized Jnanis. Maya does not affect them from birth; divine powers are manifest; new religions are started; and so on.

M (Sri Ramana).: (1)"Jnani tvatmaiva me matam." (2)"Sarvam khalvidam brahma." How is an avatar different from Jnani; or how can there be an avatar as distinct from the universe?

D.: The eye (chakshu) is said to be the repository (ayatana) of all forms; so the ear (srotra) is of all sounds, etc. This one Chaitanya operates as all; no miracles are possible without the aid of the sense (indriyas). How can there be miracles at all? If they are said to surpass human understanding so are the creations in dreams. Where then is the miracle? The distinction between avataras and Jnanis is absurd. "Knower of Brahman becomes Brahman only" is otherwise contradicted.

M.: Quite so.

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, pg 443-444

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    Swami Vivekananda says no matter how advanced someone is, they cannot take the position of God and avatars are different from ordinary guru, avatar can change destiny of someone, ordinary guru can't.
    – Pinakin
    Jul 6, 2017 at 12:20
  • You are correct. Swami Vivekananda did not always agree with Sankaracharya's Advaita Vedanta. Jul 6, 2017 at 12:22
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    Advaita Vedanta doesn't contradict Avatara. Adi Shankara accepted words of Krishna on Avataras, Iswara aka Saguna Brahman takes Avatara in Vyavaharika. See How does Adishankaracharya Advaita explain concept of Avatar?
    – The Destroyer
    Jul 6, 2017 at 12:47
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    This seems to say the opposite re: advaita hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/14114/1195
    – user1195
    Jul 6, 2017 at 14:59
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    Advaitins believe that there is a distinction between incarnations of Saguna Brahman and other Jivas. The distinction is this: the bodies of other Jivas are formed out of Karmas, whereas the bodies of avataras are formed out of the compassion of Saguna Brahman. Now you might say that this is only an apparent distinction, not a real distinction, and that is true, but only insofar as all distinctions are ultimately apparent according to Advaita; Advaitins believe that only Nirguna Brahman is ultimately real from the absolute perspective. Jul 6, 2017 at 17:35

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