Is the term avatar unique to Hinduism?

Alterntively it is used as a general term to mean different concepts?


We can examine its meaning in Sanskrit this way.

Avatara = Ava + Tara

Tara means "Brilliantly Shining Far Away Luminous Point" (~star in the sky) Ava means "Coming Down"

In other words, it is the highest/ultimate reality taking a temporary name & form in the empirical world for fulfilling a particular task and merge back (Avatara PariSamapthi) when the task is completely fulfilled.

Example: In Vaishnava Tradition when Lord Vishnu is The Supreme Eternal Reality, Rama & Krishna are his Avataras.

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  • Actually some Vaishnavas belive Krishna is the origin. – Wikash_ Jan 23 at 22:49
  • @Wikash_ I don't understand why did you bring that up? – TheLittleNaruto Feb 23 at 3:51

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