Having disposed of all the lower tattva based cakrAs, which are ‘human’ in a a sense, we can look at the avatAr cakra,which is interesting and worth looking at.
According to Harish Johari, an ascetic, a yogi, an avatAra, a bOdhisattva or a prophet is the next birth for a person who has gone beyond the tattvAs of the lower five cakrAs and not yet gone past the guNAs.
Since examples are easier to understand let us look at Ramana (ramaNa) mahaRSi.
As a child he liked play better than studies and he used to sleep very deeply.
He completely skipped the self, family, achievement, society and learning cakrAs, ran away to aruNAcala and performed tapas, till he became a self-realised one, after which he was worshipped as bhagwAn ramaNa maharSi. He wore a loin cloth because he said self-realised people have to follow the dharma of the time, but not out of body consciousness. He was not interested in eating, possessing etc.
s’ankarAcArya skipped the first four cakrAs for sure.
He studied and commented on or interpreted the scriptures as well as being the Adiguru of s’ankara mAtam which Johari tells us is a fifth cakra activity. He is also worshipped and known as an avatAr of s’iva, because he completed his ascent to to the sahasrAra cakra and was a self-realised person. OR he descended from the 7th (brahman) cakra to fulfil the task of preserving hindu dharma. To judge a person we have to be at least that high, and when we are not we look to what wiser people than us say. They say he was an avatAra puruSa.
rAmakRSNa (Ramakrishna) paramahamsa, was not interested in school and worldly things. He would go off into spiritual reveries inspired even by such things as the flight of a flock of cranes.
He was even considered mad. “An elderly holy woman named Bhairavi Brahmani appeared and determined that Ramakrishna’s madness was “spiritual madness” rather than ordinary madness. He was literally mad for the vision of God. She convened a group of respected religious leaders who examined Ramakrishna’s symptoms. They concluded that this was a case of divine madness similar in nature to that of other famous saints such as Caitanya (a fifteenth century Bengali saint). From this point on, people began to treat Ramakrishna with more respect though his unusual behavior in worship and meditation continued. The holy women stayed with Ramakrishna for some time teaching him yogic and tantric meditation techniques.” (source)
s’rI rAma, is an avatAra of viSNu.
He followed all dharmAs in the purest and most delightful ways possible. He obeyed his gurus, his father and the word of the public. He was happy in the palace and happy with sItA and lakSmaNa in the forest. As a husband he was loving and committed. As a man he was so handsome even men would forget what they were doing. He was just and ideal as a ruler. His divinity shone through all his actions. He offered rAvaNa a chance to make amends before the war. He forgave him after he was killed and let his brother perform his funeral rites honorably.
If we look at s’rI rAma, we see that avatAra puruSAs are Adars’a puruSAs.
s’rI kRSNa is an avatAra puruSa.
He was mischievous and playful. A darling of all. Disposing of rAkSasAs or eating butter he did everything so easily and happily that no one even realises how strong and brilliant he must have been. To quickly grasp the essence of the upaniSads or to teach the bhagavad gIta to arjuna on the battle field… to question indra worship or to protect draupadi’s honour, not just protecting dharma, but defining it and reforming it!
If we look at s’rI kRSNa, we see that avatAra puruSAs are leelA puruSAs.
Whether you eat butter joyfully or teach the essence of the upaniSads, whether you love and protect your wife or kill rAkSasAs, whether you do tapas or do adhyayana, whether your love for dEvI is seen as madness or spiritual madness, whether you uphold ideals or you are the ideal,
avatAra puruSAs are not easy to characterize.
It is easier of they are a fish that grows very big or a man-lion that steps out of a pillar.
The human avatArAs have never been either properly or universally recognised or worshipped.
Alive today there are many who are considered, brahma gnyAnIs , swAmiS, avatArAs, bhagawAns, siddhAs and hamsAs.
But it takes one to know one. So people go by :
- what they say – but it is all based on gIta so it is bound to be right.
- miracles they do – but use of siddhIs is considered a lower level of evolution. (And magicians can do all of those things anyway as shown on tv.)
- social service and reform – even a fourth cakra person can do this. Movie star chiranjeevi has started a blood bank too.
- how they dress and how many followers they have – most people go by this. “If everyone says this person is a god/saint, I better get my share of blessings – just in case”.
And the really popular ones are too difficult to meet personally. Even if you do – they are charming by definition and you will come back with stars in your eyes!
So a sixth cakra person may not be easily identified externally.
How will you know if you have gone past the tattvAs? I am told that you will know – but no one else might. So people who reach the 6th and 7th rarely bother to let others know about it.
Another important distinction to know is that avatArs descend from the highest cakra to the 6th and tapasvIs reach it from the fifth going up!
But it is the same floor, they are using different lifts.
Very often, the tapasvIs and bhaktAs, hold a divine avatAra (or divine guru) in their minds and hearts till they are raised up to that level and merge into them.
I have also previously written in many different ways that divinity is trying to raise us up, it is we who hold on to samsAra with all our tiny might.
It is we who hang on to our pettiness and firmly turn our back on the brahman. But we will get there anyway. (ham hOngE kAmiyAb ek din!)
It doesn’t matter what our present status is., we want a status quo., no change for as long as possible. And it does not matter what we want. When we are sufficiently sick of samsAra we will let go!
Today or tomorrow, in this birth or another, we will reach our highest!
According to Harish Johari, each of us takes birth in that cakra where we have our greatest unfulfilled desire. : Tantra Yoga : Chakras and Rebirth . (The fact that we are born implies that we are at one of the six cakrAs, not at the seventh, but we can get there.) Links to other posts on cakrAs : tantra yoga.