As usual in general weekends I was reading Shrimad Bhagawat Gita yesterday night, in which verses were,

Chapter 9 Verse 29

Smoham Sarvabhuteshu

Means I am equally disposed to all living entities

Means in any religion's person Lord is also in them too.

Most famous verses

Chapter 4 Verse 7 and 8

Yada yada hi dharmasya, Dharma samsthapanayay Sambhavami Yuge Yuge....

Means to establish Dharma I(Lord Vishnu) appear millennium after millennium and I(Lord Vishnu) manifest myself(Supreme soul) personally

Lord also said that to establish righteousness, that is only my duty.

When Great Sadguru Lord Dattatreya was asked how GOD do their work even though they are not residing on earth,

Lord said, GOD always make people "Neemitta" even though Lord appear as avatar or not like sage Atri and mother Ansuya was "Neemitta" for Lord Dattatrya's incarnation.

In dattabavani we say

Atransuya kare Neemitta, pragatyo jaga karan nischita

Isn't is Lord Vishnu's own will, to make honorable Jesus Christ , Budhdha, Guru Nanak and Muhammad, "Nemitta" to establish righteousness in the form of other religions?

"Neemitta" means we think we are doing, but it is GOD who is just doing everything, we are just eyes,nose and mouth of existence. Lord is in all beings, he is doing all that.

Why Jesus Ishu Christ, Guru Nanak, Lord Budhdha and Muhammad Payagambar should not be considered as Lord Vishnu's avatars?

I strongly believe that these all are Lord himself, because only he can establish religion and millions of people will follow him.

Great work like establishing Dharma can only be done by great soul only.

Just because hinduism scriptures have not been updated, so we should deny Lord's such avatars? This is unfair.

Lord himself said in Gita.

Chapter 18 Verse 43

Following each his own activity, a man reaches perfection.

Yes Lord's intention is, Even though I am birth less, even though I reside on earth or not, whatever happens is my will only. I am the one who is operator. You can find me in any form on earth.

In Gujarati we have one tale,

Without God's will even leaf doesn't move.

So all those people who established righteousness in some way are Lord's avatars only, because only he can establish Dharma.

If we just follow whatever Lord said, of course we have to believe that they all are either Lord's avatars only. If someone deny then these people are Lord's dearest children than us otherwise who would be chosen for such a great great work(Karma)?


Main question

My dear friend, We accepted just scriptures, we did not accept "What is written in scripture."

Even though God wants to give a message of "Love" by Jesus, People will say show us your chaturbhuja form or we will not follow what you are trying to establish... because your name is not in scriptures.. then what does it mean by saying "I am in all living entities?" :( I am very sad now.

Some one in mathematics will give you idea that "This is how it works", it will not give list of all possible sums.

All the scripture mentioned some x avatars of vishnu, some 24 some 10. Did they write

"Only and only this x are avatars? others are not? Even though they have done greater work than past avatars?"

Just think for a moment "Jesus Christ's greateness" .. how great great great work he has done, Do you think except Lord, someone can give a message of "Love"?

Except Lord Budhdha, who can give message and knowledge that can build a whole "religion"?

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.3.24 Translation Courtesy Anonymous

Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Añjana, in the province of Gayā, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist.

The question takes you to comparison, and you believe yes only Lord can establish religion. If you come to this you are on my side, otherwise I will read your view and will accept your view if you explain me what I am unable to understand.


"Except these x people, others can not become avatars?"

But after Krishna, no avatar is recorded, Because nobody recorded yet. Krishna himself told "How it works", he did not tell you who is next avatar.

Just understand accept what Krishna said and think.

Now give me answer "Why Jesus etc. are not Vishnu's avatars as per what knowledge is given by Lord himself?"

One Answer is : "These avatars are not in scriptures", except this? any other answers are there, which are based on the knowledge of scriptures that I shared?

I have nothing related to people's acceptance or belief, I want to find some clause from sacred text of Hinduism that states "X person can not be avatar" or something that defines "What is avatar", so we can get answer based on this 2 things.

The cited two links from comments shows "What Ishu and Budhdha told?" , I am not interested in checking they are avatars or not based on what they said, I am finding according to Hinduism texts, What we should think about hem. They are not my subject, their life style and work we all know, We are judging our Gita's text or some other Hindu text vs this question.

I hope I made you clear about my view of question. We are not interested in people, or their belief, we are just analyzing our Gita knowledge which is ultimate.

  • Related: hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/2237/…
    – Akshay
    Oct 12, 2014 at 19:39
  • related : hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/180/…
    – Vedantism
    Oct 12, 2014 at 19:41
  • I am not asking "Budhdha or Jesus are avatars of vishnu or not?" I am asking "As per our knowledge and written texts cited in question, these people should be rewarded as avatars, but if no then why based on Gita?", one possible answer is just they are not written or scriptures have not been updated, but except this answer which hanswer is suitable? I am also not asking why people did not accept them? I am just asking you to find a reason from our Hinduism texts
    – prem30488
    Oct 13, 2014 at 8:29
  • 6
    It depends on how you define the word Avatar. If avatar refers to scripturally accepted incarnations of Maha Vishnu, then there are only those avatars mentioned in puranas. If avatars implies anyone who is self-realized (God) and preaches the path to salvation, then Jesus, Buddha all count as avatars. If avatars implies God in human form, then as per Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, every single one is an avatar, because all of us have in us the Divinity. It is the same divinity that is manifested into various beings. Thus depending on your definition of avatar, the accounts differ. :)
    – Sai
    Oct 13, 2014 at 17:07
  • 1
    Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.3.24 Translation > Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Añjana, in the province of Gayā, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist. > SB 1.3.24
    – Anonymous
    Oct 29, 2014 at 11:27

4 Answers 4


You have realised the correct thing. But the reason they should not be considered as avatars of Vishnu is because it has not been explicitly mentioned in the scriptures.

It is the scriptures which tell us in the first place who Vishnu is and what are His incarnations. So without the scriptures explicitly mentioning any of the prophets it will always remain a subjective thing to decide whether someone is an avatara of Vishnu or not. It's because the scriptures, even after mentioning the major incarnations of Vishnu, don't forget to mention that His incarnations are nothing but infinite (avatārā hyasaṃkhyeyā hareḥ [SB - 1.3.26])

People are driven by ego

So your assertion that the founder or prophets of other major religions must be avatars of Vishnu is correct, but it's subjective. Undoubtedly God is one whether we call Him Vishnu or something else, but people's ego is attached to whatever things they believe that they cannot think out of the box and feel everyone else is wrong. But who realise and understand the message of the scriptures know that God is equally in all and impartial to everyone (samoham sarva bhutesu) irrespective to their cast, creed and religion. But because not all people realise this, we see much hatred and negative feelings between strong adherents of different religions. What to say about religions, we even see hatred between followers of different sects in the same religion. All because of ego and lack of correct knowledge. With correct knowledge one realises everyone and everything as Vishnu Himself, not only just the prophets. For people with the correct knowledge everything is Brahman (sarvamkhalu idam brahman):

bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate
vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma su-durlabhah
[BG - 7.19]

After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.

God descends to establish religion

Like the verse from Gita (yada yadahi..) you have mentioned says, God descends to establish religion. Also, He makes people nimmita (medium) for establishing His desire. For example, as Krishna He made Arjuna a nimmita to kill the unrighteous Kauravas.

So certainly, the task of establishing the other religions were done by His people whom we call as prophets. They can be considered as ansha avataras (partial incarnations). But again considering this is only subjective. There is Bhavisya Purana which mentiions this, but it is not considered as completely authentic due to the fault of possible later interpolations. I have some personal findings from which I know Jesus is a part incarnation of God, but I wouldn't share them because they can be subjective and confusing.

Without God's will not even a leaf moves

Exactly. So it is only under His will that religions of different kinds which are even contradictory to each other has come into existence. Hence, whether someone is a follower of Sikhism, Buddhisim, Jainsim or any other Abrahamic religion, in everyone's heart the same God resides equally and moves them through His maya (illusory potency):

isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati
bhramayan sarva-bhutani yantrarudhani mayaya
[ BG - 18.61]

The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.

So you can say, it is the same Lord who is pulling everyone's string. That is, by making people nimmita He is causing different kinds of things.

Bottom line

So the conclusion is, your personal realisation is correct but because there is no authentic scriptural testimonies to support them being the avatars of Vishnu, you can't just claim it out in the open. Even if you get scriptural testimony, people will ridicule, mock and say it's a later interpolation. We have plenty of scriptural testimony for Buddha being an avatar of Vishnu, but even then people have differing views. Some say those are later interpolations and accept Balarama as an avatar of Vishnu instead of Buddha. Now how can one make someone understand when he rejects the scriptures in favor of his personal views? Hence, because people will always have differing views depending upon their level of knowledge and understanding, it's nice to have realisations but not so nice to try to make others realize.


So after reading your comments it seems you are trying to find reasons to not consider prophets of other religion as avatars of Vishnu instead of the fact that they did the work of establishing religions which is done only by God or His chosen people. But unfortunately considering someone as an avatara or not is only subjective unless it is mentioned in scriptures which are accepted as the standard.

Avatarati iti avatara. That is, as the lord descends down to earth as a mere mortal from His higher position, He is called as an avatara. Generally the avataras are categorised as three kinds: purna avatara, avhesha avatara and amsa avatara, but this is not the standard and various other types exist as well. So the point is, generally the major avataras are listed in the scriptures and the numerous amsa avataras are not listed in them. So recognising these amsa avataras become difficult and subjective. I am giving an example below.

Avatara Case Study

Around 515 years ago Nimai pandit (Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) appeared and spread the nama samkirtana (chanting lord's names) movement. Nama Samkirtana is the prescribed yuga dharma of the scriptures for the age of kali. He is considered as an incarnation of Radha-Krishna by the followers of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. But there is no direct mention of Him in the scriptures. So considering Him an avatara is completely subjective. Hence, followers of other sects don't consider Him as an avatara. He even showed a sadabhuja (six armed) divine form probably to Svarupa Damaodara. There were many such incidents, but who can validate those?

Miracles are not standard
Miracles like showing four armed form is not a standard because doing so will throw faith out of the window, and not doing so will also cause disbelief. So all saints at some point or other showed some form of miracle be it bringing the dead back to life or turning the water into wine. Also, in course of history many charlatans showed cheap miracles to prove their divinity.

Physical features are not standard
It is said that an avatara of Vishnu will have the marks of sankha (conch shell), Chakra, gada (mace), etc. While I believe this because I know it from a trust worthy source, there are other physical features like height, hair, teeth, etc. that are considered by some which cannot be the standard.

Six standard qualities that the Lord posses
According to the scripture the lord or Bhagavan should have the following six qualities:

aiśvaryasya samagrasya dharmasya yaśasariśrayaḥ
jñānavairāgyayoścaiva ṣaṇṇāṃ bhaga itīraṇā
[VP - 6.5.74]

Complete splendor, virtue, glory, opulence, knowledge, dispassion - these six are known as bhaga.

So by this standard, if someone doesn't have these six qualities then he is not an avatara. But if someone has all these then you have to consider him as an avatara. Shri Krishna qualifies this standard and hence in Gita it is written Bhagavan Uvacha and so also in many other scriptures. However, the problem with this standard is that it works only with purna avataras, i.e. the incarnation in which all the opulences of the Lord manifests. But in amsa avataras (partial incarnations) all the qualities may not be there.

So without some standards it is always subjective to recognise an amsa avatara unless one takes the words of a saint or scripture for granted. You want reasons for not considering them as avataras, but unfortunately my understanding is different. They are partial incarnations of the lord. How do I know? I can only say that I take the words of a saint for granted.

But unfortunately in course of time there also have been many false saints who are considered as an avatara by their followers. So it is a tricky task. But from my personal experience, all that I can say is that if one has genuine faith and devotion in Lord then he will certainly find out what is right even if he has to undergo and believe what is wrong.

People have to wait until Kalki's appearance?

Kaliki is a major avatara who is said to appear towards the end of the age of kali. You feel that people have to wait until He appears and they will not try to be righteous. But to uphold dharma saints and sages will take birth time to time and encourage people. They will do the work as nimiita (medium) just like you had said. So there is nothing to be worried about. Nevertheless, towards the end evil and adharama will certainly rise to a level that the Lord will have to descend in the house of Vishnujasa in Sambala village.

  • 1
    I appreciate your answer sir, but I am looking for something that states some legal reason from scripture that "One can not be avatar because of " - following reasons, 1,2,3.... This should be generalize not specific for 1 or 2 person. Either this reasons should be written or some analysis based answer based on Gita or some verses of some Hindu texts. I am not interested in People's belief. I am interested in your view of "understanding God's Gita's knowledge in these people's cases."
    – prem30488
    Oct 13, 2014 at 8:46
  • I am also not interested in what Jesus said? I am interested in "what Krishna said" , is it somewhere pointing to "Jesus, Budhdha, etc." people's existence.... Sir, did you understand my view?
    – prem30488
    Oct 13, 2014 at 8:47
  • No other text in Hinduism is as authentic as Gita? Because in Gita starts with "Shree Bhagawan Uvacha", so I am strongly believing God must have pointed some clue. I analyzed and I wrote in question what I thaught, I am now interested in reason from scriptures.
    – prem30488
    Oct 13, 2014 at 8:49
  • 1
    @jabahar, I disagree with your analysis of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. There are several citations in the scriptures. You will find lot of information in the literature of Gaudiya acaryas. Check out krishna.com/sri-chaitanya-vedas for a sample. Nov 6, 2014 at 6:28
  • 2
    @jabahar, thank you for your conviction. But it is not the literature of Gaudiya Vaishnavas I am talking about, it is the upanishad and purana evidence I am talking about. It would be bias to deny the scriptural statements not the other way. Also we have several examples of other sampraya stalwarts in Mahaprabhu's followers. Advaita Acarya(from Madhavendra Puri of Madhva), Prabhodananda Sarasvati and Gopalbhatta (from Sri), Sarvabhauma bhattacarya(mayavada?), HaridasThakur(Muslim) etc. Ofcourse every one has their taste for different avataras and that's OK. Nov 8, 2014 at 14:16


First of all, I want to put all my due respect to the great Sages and Cosmic Forces which shaped the Hindu culture, science, and philosophy.

I want to make one point clear: Hinduism is not a religion as others perceive. It has deluded the followers of Sanatana Dharma. Is not a religion, but was made a religion by other religious sects to separate it from theirs like Christianity, or Islam etc. If they want us to wear the term Hindu and Hinduism to separate us from them, that's okay, let it be. We don't want to separate world based upon separate beliefs, but, if they want to differentiate us, then, it is essential to use this terms to make the concepts clear.

But, we, the followers of the great culture of Sanatana Dharma, did not create religions or separate religions. If so, we can create INFINITE RELIGIONS: one for each Gods, each prophet, each sage, each guru! But, that doesn't mean Sanatana Dharma prevents others from creating a separate belief system! Does it?

So what Hinduism is? Is there a term or close term like Hinduism in Vedas or Upanishads or Puranas? Well, before that, what religion is? In current era, religion basically means a limited or strict set of beliefs you follow: like you only follow bible, or you only follow Quran, or you only follow a book or a person/prophet/god. Usually they have a fixed set of scriptures, and most of the times founder(s) of that religion. Hinduism, being an eternal religion, doesn't restrict one from accepting multiple beliefs, doesn't have a fixed founder, doesn't have a fixed scriptures, does not have a fixed belief system(you are free to create your own), hence doesn't fit well under the religion.

For example: take our sages, they respect sanatana dharma, they follow Vedas, and puranas, and they also respect bible and Quran. Not only that, they also read bible and quran and teach and preach good things written in bible, quran etc. So, does that make them christian or Muslim? No! They are above religion! So are we!

It's unfortunate that many of us, by not understanding our own culture, science, and philosophy, are diminishing our values and forgetting our true identities. Our culture is complex, our beliefs our unparalleled, such that many of us don't try to avoid the complexities, and try to find an easier answer. Hence, creating further doubts. But, Hinduism being an eternal concept, it encompasses all the cultures, beliefs, science, philosophies, religions, including the metaphysical aspects of the creation.

For example: a christian means he/she only adheres to bible, or muslim means he/she only adheres to quran. Or can a christian be muslim also? Will general Christians or their scriptures accept that? But, what about a Hindu? Can you be a follower of Sanatana Dharma and still give place of other belief systems in the world?

I am proud to be part of this compassionate culture, in our culture there are infinite gods, infinite gurus, and prophets. And, we show our great respects to all of them. Because, Lord tells that "I am in every living and non living". So, we respect all other religions and belief systems!

We, the followers of Sanatana Dharma, and our scriptures do not prevent us to accept other beliefs. In a sense, we do not have a concept of RELIGION, but we have a concept of DHARMA. And DHARMA is NOT equal to RELIGION. Sanatana Dharma is a broader concept. Dharma can be personal. In Bhagavad Geeta, Lord says that "Only the person himself creates/believes/adheres to his Dharma". Basically, at personal level Dharma constitutes your responsibilities, duties, and your actions and even more -- so, each person has unique Dharma. When a situation occurs that is very deluding to you, we call it: DHARMA-SANKAT. So, that word "Dharma-Sankat" alone can tell a wise person that Dharma and Religion have separate meanings.

Well, I am not a GURU, neither am an expert in any Religion, so, I cannot explain what I mean very well, but you might have grasped the idea. If so, you have to accept the fact that, Hinduism is not a religion. There is no comparable term or definition I can provide to explain the infinite aspects of Hinduism. With what I know, I can tell that "Any definition or understanding of Hinduism will fall short because it is eternal, it is scientific, it is complex, and its implications are outside the time and space". Eternal - because, no starting or end point. Scientific - because the Maths, Astronomy, and Cosmological calculations match most closely with current scientific experiments/theories. It's complex-because, a mere human cannot grasp it easily. I don't think, I can ever understand it -- it's so complex. It talks about all those times from the creation of the universe to the passages of Yugas, Mahayugas, Kalpas, to life of Brahmas! The infinite Brahmas, and the infinite repetition of these Brahmas, the infinite incarnations of the supreme Lord! So, it is outside the time and space!

In relation to the Question:

Well, in my opinion, it doesn't really make a difference, who is included or excluded from the list. Since, one is allowed to freely select their own god, create their own religion. Ultimately, what our sages or authors of those scriptures did is tried to come up with most significant figures they perceived. And they should have weighted some facts in doing so.

For example: we have most significant form of the lord, then, we have 10 most significant avatars, then 25 most significant forms, or 100 most significant forms etc. If Lord declared that "He is inside everyone", then, you can see lord in Christ, or Mohammad, or Buddha, or Sai etc. Because our scriptures don't prevent one from doing so.

But, above that, I highly respect the Sages and writers, and there should be a strong reason behind their selection of most significant avatars. Also, it might not be a good idea to include every religion(set of beliefs) founder in the list of avatars. There are hundreds of registered religions, and the list is growing like Eckanker is a new religion getting popularity.

And above all, I do not have detailed knowledge, but, there are different forms of incarnations or avataras like: lilavatara, gunavatara, yugavatara, manavantaravatara. So, for normal human beings, it might be difficult to verify the fact that certain person born in this world can be linked to the time and characteristics of such avataras and claim that he is an avatar.

As an aside, there are many people who claim to be of certain avatars, or who are claimed by others to be. For example: there are many people claiming Kalki Avatara. So, probably most humans do not have ability to know the true avataras. Even in the time of Lord Krishna, did everyone knew he was the form of Lord himself on this Earth? I doubt! Many people did not believe he was God. Same can go with Hanuman. Did everyone at that time knew he was an amshavatar or Lord Shiva? Or how many knew Lord Rama was an Avatara at his time? If all people knew he was Lord, then, most people at that time would be his devotee, but as we see, it was not so.

  • Great Answer Pal, in fact better than ALL of the "Copy-Pasters" on this page. But I suppose people here are still in the transition from being a "innocent follower", to a "responsible thinker" of Hinduism. Thanks!
    – Hindu
    Dec 3, 2014 at 20:16
  • You should cite sources
    – TheLittleNaruto
    May 28, 2021 at 10:16

Jesus Christ, Buddha, Muhammad are not the avatars of Vishnu but they are pure souls who have maintained their purity till their end of life. But they are not considered to be the supreme being who are responsible for the creation, ruling and destruction of the universe. They are not the ultimate truth or the purpose of being.

They are just like normal human beings, you and me but their souls are pure. They have done some good karma and gave some good philosophical teachings to the world like Always speak the truth etc

As stated in the 7th Chapter, 21th Sloka by Lord Krishna,

Whichever demigod a particular devotee faiths to worship, I surely sustain firmly that faith in him.

These people can be called as demigods meaning of which when you pray them with faith your material desire will be fulfilled. But in order to attain liberation (moksha) one must pray to the Supreme being Lord Krishna or Siva. This is why most saints have Siva Namam on their forehead.

Also, when you pray those gods, your desires will be fulfilled only by Lord Krishna. According to Periya puranam, there was a Nayanar (a para-bhakta to Lord Siva) called Manickavachagar who had an argument with a Buddhist guru. Here is an excerpt from this page

Manickavachagar explained the principles of Saivism. The Buddhists could not offer counter-arguments. They went on repeating their arguments! Manickavachagar prayed to the Lord for help. At His instance, Devi Sarasvathi withdrew Her grace from the Buddhists, and they became dumb. The Buddhists were defeated in argument.

Also, if they are the avatars of Vishnu, then they WILL be stated for sure in the scriptures. Consider, Kalki Bhagavan for example, he is yet to come but still he is stated in the scriptures though Christ, Buddha, Muhammad have already born.

Also, if they were the avatars of Vishnu, they wouldn't be the founders of a religion. Why would Lord Vishnu didn't create a religions for each of his avatars (Rama, Krishna etc) and why only did he create for these avatars? It is because they are not the avatars.

As you said, that even leaf doesn't move without Lord's permission. How can a religion be created? How can it have conflicting opinions with Hinduism? Those religions say that their respective person is the only GOD.

Also, if they are the avatars of Vishnu they must also talk about other avatars, where are Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu stated in those religions? In Hinduism, as Lord Krishna says, moksha is different from going to heaven. If they are the avatars of Vishnu, why didn't he tell about moksha, the life's destination?

Sins (bad karma) can be destroyed with good karma. But nullifying the karma is what that gives rise to moksha. Without following any of those religions, just doing good karma removes bad karma.

But in order to attain moksha, one must always pray the Supreme being.

As you said, only Lord can establish a religion. But the thing is anyone who has a pure soul can. There is a difference between a pure soul and the supreme being. Anyone can become a pure soul with perfection but cannot become supreme being.

With the perfection of yoga you can be a Jesus, Muhammad, Guru Nanak but not Krishna or Siva. You can be so, only when you realized him and when you do, you no longer will be with your body. That is why we say when some great sage passed away, we say they are not dead, instead we say that they became united with the Supreme being.

What does it mean by existing in all beings?

The energy of god exists in every being (both living and non-living entity). You can take your own form of worship (this is what Hinduism says). But the one whom you worship must be pure. You cannot worship the one who has negative energy. In a normal being, both negative and positive energy exists. But in the path of spirituality, the negative energy (asuras) gets smashed and the positive energy is filled completely within the being. This one doesn't have any kind of desires, pleasures etc.

Refer to the 20,21,22,23 verses of Chapter 7 from Bhagavad Gita


These beings maybe great Siddhas or yogis, but they most certainly aren't the predicted next avatara, Kalki, who appears towards the end of the Kali yuga and beginning of the Satya yuga when atheism dominates the world:

"At the end of Kali Yuga, when there exist no topics on the subject of God, even at the residences of so-called saints and respectable gentlemen, and when the power of government is transferred to the hands of ministers elected from the evil men, and when nothing is known of the techniques of sacrifice, even by word, at that time the Lord will appear as the supreme chastiser." - Bhagavata Purana, 2.7.38

The next maha avatara will usher in a golden age, the Satya yuga when the majority of the world is atheistic, which obviously has not happened since we still live in the Kali yuga.

Many sects consider them to be avataras already, certainly they were perfected souls or sent by divine beings.

In the Bhagavad Gita when Krsna describes his Universal form he describes many different beings as forms of himself, so He would've certainly considered these teachers as forms of himself.

People observe many parallels between the Christ's sayings and Krishna's sayings like:

"I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings." (BG 10.20)

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." (Revelation 22:13)

"I shall now explain the knowable, knowing which you will taste the eternal" (BG 13.13)

"The Supreme Truth exists outside and inside of all living beings, the moving and the nonmoving. " (BG 13.16)

"Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death." (Gospel of Thomas, Verse 1)

"Rather, the (Father's) kingdom is within you and it is outside you." (Gospel of Thomas, Verse 3)

Seems like the "kingdom" Jesus described is the brahm or brahman that Krsna described.

The Bhagavad Gita states that many perfected souls existed with a nature equal to the Lord:

"By becoming fixed in this knowledge, one can attain to the transcendental nature like My own. Thus established, one is not born at the time of creation or disturbed at the time of dissolution." (BG 14.2)

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O son of Pāṇḍu, he who does not hate illumination, attachment and delusion when they are present or long for them when they disappear; who is unwavering and undisturbed through all these reactions of the material qualities, remaining neutral and transcendental, knowing that the modes alone are active; who is situated in the self and regards alike happiness and distress; who looks upon a lump of earth, a stone and a piece of gold with an equal eye; who is equal toward the desirable and the undesirable; who is steady, situated equally well in praise and blame, honor and dishonor; who treats alike both friend and enemy; and who has renounced all material activities – such a person is said to have transcended the modes of nature." (BG 14.22-25)

"Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion – at that time I descend Myself." (BG 4.7)

Thus we see that the Christ and the Buddha exhibit qualities of a perfected soul equal in nature to God, God in human form, God-men, but I am not so sure about Guru Nanak or Muhammad though, they seem like messengers or regular humans sent by divine beings.

Certainly many many perfected souls existed in the past, many unrecorded or forgotten.

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