Under what circumstances god take an incarnation? How does GOD decide that this the time for his incarnation?

Like if we consider

  1. Sai Baba: people consider him incarnation of Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu or Lord Datta.

  2. Swami Samarth: people consider him Incarnation of Lord Datta.

  3. Gajanan Maharaj: people consider him incarnation of Lord Shiva.

  4. Shripad Shri Vallabha: people consider him incarnation of Lord Dattatreya.

  5. Shri Krishna and Shri Ram are incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

    What is the condition or circumstance that God take an incarnation on the Earth? And on what basis does he decide the place of his incarnation?

Like Shri Ram was in Ayodhya, Sai baba in Shirdi, Swami Samarth in Akkalkot.

  • 2
    Your question is raising many more questions. Didn't heard other names But on what basis you are saying Sai baba was incarnation of Lord? – Vishvam Sep 8 '17 at 8:25
  • @Rishabh If u have read aarti of Sai baba there are words. "Na Datta Guru Sai ma, majavari kadihi ruso." which means Lord Datta as Sai should not be angry on me. – Praveen Gaikwad Sep 8 '17 at 10:15
  • @Rishabh There was a devotee who use to worship Swami Samarth of Akkalkot. He is incarnation of Lord Datta. He was going to end his incarnation in akkalkot. At that time one devotee asked him as you are leaving this body where should I go. He gave him reply "I will be in Shirdi hereafter. You can go there. And continue your sadhana." – Praveen Gaikwad Sep 8 '17 at 10:18
  • @Rishabh I'm a devotee of Sai baba.All above saints were in MAHARASHTRA. – Praveen Gaikwad Sep 8 '17 at 10:19

Though always present as a witness, the supreme Brahman (God) incarnates explicitly when there is a decline in Dharma & increase in Adharma.

BG 4.7 - O scion of Bharata, whenever there is a decline in Dharma and influx of Adharma, then I manifest myself.

Dharma (born of Sattva) is Not limited to humans, it pervades everywhere. Refer this post.
Consider Dharma as an equilibrium and hence any auto adjustment or auto balance phenomena can be considered as manifestation of God. For example,

  • When a place which deserves greenery, is deprived of water, the god incarnates as rain.
  • When a forest is too much polluted due to various creatures, the god may incarnate as fire.
  • When too much of heat is gathered in earth, the god incarnates as volcano
  • God incarnates as change of seasons; i.e. If cold weather or rain or heat wave remains for too long, then it becomes inhabitable; If spring remains for too long, then unwanted insects also develop;
  • To counter too much grass, god incarnates as deers; To counter too many deers, god incarnates as lion; To counter too many lions, god incarnates as jealousy among them;
  • For bacteria which are causing havoc in a body, God incarnates as antibiotic
  • God incarnates as a punishment given to the wrong doers

Above is generalised meaning of incarnations of God, which includes all. With respect to just humanity (us), God incarnates when there are too many evil people who trouble pious people:

BG 4.8 - For the protection of the pious, the destruction of the evil-doers, and establishing virtue, I manifest Myself in every age.


These 2 verses of Gita combined are probably the most celebrated & popular verses in India and abroad. They were sung by late & great Mahendra Kapoor, as part of title song of BRC Mahabharata, which used to create virtual curfews at 9:00 am on every Sundays in late 90's.

  • but saint like swami samarth, sai baba, gajanan maharaj didn't do anything other than teaching of what is meaning of dharma. Considering "The destruction of evil doers" can we call them as an avatar or incarnation of GOD. – Praveen Gaikwad Sep 8 '17 at 6:55
  • 1
    @PraveenGaikwad, Those saints can be incarnations. They burnt the ignorance with power of knowledge. "Destruction" can be done in various ways. One is direct killing, which we see in various stories. In earlier times it was fine, as the "bad thinking" will die with "bad person". In today's era, killing their thinking is also important. e.g. Hitler as an evil-doer was untouchable. Killing him may accomplish less. However his thinking of "Nazism" was important to be killed. With the influx of democracy, the fascist thinking got subsided. Something new will balance the evils of democracy & so on. – iammilind Sep 8 '17 at 7:05

The questions are:

  1. What is the condition or circumstance that god take an incarnation of Earth?

  2. And on what basis does he decide the place of his incarnation?

I would like to supplement the answer provided by (@iammilind) to this question at https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/20719/3869).

I agree to his statement that "Consider Dharma as an equilibrium and hence any auto adjustment or auto balance phenomena can be considered as manifestation of God."

I had already answered (https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/34975/3869) expressing my opinion that incarnation concept is Puranic but could not find place in Vedic Literature/Ramayana.

In order to bring equilibrium on the Earth, the God may inspire certain human beings for guiding/fighting for the sake of the fellow human beings.

These human beings, blessed with Divine nature, will inspire fellow human beings and achieve things which are apparently beyond the reach of ordinary humans.

Naturally, adoration towards them starts.

People like Sri Rama were human beings, endowed with DIVINE nature, which was the necessity at that point of time.

The popular belief is that Sri Shirdi Sai/Sri Swami Samarth, etc, exhibited supernatural powers and gave the darshan of Sri Rama/Panduranga, etc, and hence they are the incarnations of the God.

Yes, those saints did exhibit supernatural powers and gave the darshan of Sri Rama/Panduranga, etc, to some devotees.

Now, a question arises - whether those saints exhibited supernatural powers in front of everyone and gave the darshan of Sri Rama/Panduranga, etc, to every devotee?

The answer would be a big NO.

Those saints, with no EGO/desire left, lived in the ABSOLUTE BLISS (merged in the God), though moved in the midst of humans with different stages of maturity.

So each devotee got experiences according to one's stage of maturity.

As Sri Ramana Maharshi said many a time that Gunpowder catches fire in an instant, while it takes time to ignite coal.

So only a few devotees got those visions of God. Again, were those visions of the God real and have some value?

Those visions ONLY have the value of inspiring the devotees to strive further in the SPIRITUAL PATH, as those devotees after getting darsans of God, continue to lead mundane lives.

Further, those visions were occurred according to perception of the God of the devotees. Those saints did not show vision of Panduranga to everyone. Some got vision of Devi, some other had the vision of Dattatreya and few others got the visions of Sri Raama, etc.

We have a similar situation in Mahabharata, where Arjuna was told by Sri Krishna to see whatever he wants to see.

I had discussed the above issue at this answer (https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/34957/3869)


When there a yearning for liberation by a large number of people then the SuperConsciousness or Cosmos descends down to show the path to liberation. This descent of SuperConsciousness in a human body is an Avatar, and the Avatar comes down with necessary "tools" to execute the task.

Avatars happen all the time and continuously, there are multiple avatars active all the time.

Hindu shatras describe the nature of classification of Avatars. I answered it in Is there any incarnation of God currently living among us?


  1. Why does an Avatar or Incarnation happen? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCLx-Y46Gs4
  2. What is an Avatar? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVrYm06e4ZU
  3. Perfect Master by Meher_Baba https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_Master_(Meher_Baba) // I am not sure about some of the specifics, people and terms , but overall gist is in line with Hindu view
  4. Avatar Shastra http://books.nithyananda.org/product/avatar-shastra/
  5. Atal Peetha 1008th Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Coronation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSFyFwOa3yc
  • @Wikash_hindu yes there is ::see en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avatar – user17294 Apr 8 '19 at 8:50
  • Youtube is not a standard reference for answer. You could ask questions on basis of youtube videos. – user17294 Apr 8 '19 at 9:00

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