Monday, October 10, 2011

Evolution in Hinduism


The reason why the Universe is Eternal,
Is that it does not live for Itself,
It gives life to others as it transforms,
And thereby lies the process of Evolution.

Change, they say, is the only thing Constant. All of us experience change in our life - our views take shape, thoughts mature, perceptions get molded, and if ever we sit and reflect, we wonder how it could be that we are so different from the way we were just a few years back!

Similar change in the life of our planet is evidenced by the process of Evolution. The current post deals with the 'Theory of Evolution' as proposed by the Biologist Charles Darwin and compares it with similar thoughts in the Hindu tradition.


Origin of Species

As discussed in the 3rd post (Creation by Brahma), our Universe required at least ten billion years of Evolution before life was even possible!

Yet, the formation of the Nuclear furnaces of our Stars was a slow but indispensable prerequisite for the generation of life. Even on our own planet, the process has only progressed by taking baby steps. After all, it took millions of years of trial and error to provide us with the backbone!


Evolution by Carl Sagan 



Evolution is indeed visible in the huge diversity of species on our planet. Many species like the Dinosaurs have come and gone and many new are being discovered every single day by Botanists and Zoologists. Today, most of us consider Evolution to be an undisputed fact, yet there was a time when the concept was brand new and quite controversial.

And the controversy began with one man - Charles Darwin. Darwin (1809-1882), was an English Naturalist, who wrote the immensely popular thesis Origin of Species in the year 1859 CE, thereby rocking the foundations of both scientific as well as religious world of that time!


Charles Darwin


What was stated in his book, went totally against accepted beliefs of the Church and Darwin had to face a lot of criticism for his revolutionary theory. Yet, it is by this theory alone, that we can understand the full purport of Evolution on our planet, and have it stored in the collective consciousness of Mankind today!

The spirit of adventure had gripped the imagination of most European nations at that time and there were expeditions organized from different countries to chart and explore the world around them. On one of these trips, our guy Charles Darwin landed at the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. These are a group of 12 disjointed atolls with the sea separating all of them, so that the flora and fauna in each is isolated from outside intervention.


Darwin's Voyage



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Darwin began to study the different species present there and to his surprise, observed huge variations in the species present in each of these islands!! In Darwin's own words,

"When on board H.M.S. Beagle, as a Naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the inhabitants of South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent...

Darwin began to ask himself why some birds on these islands had beaks different from others, and why some turtles had upright necks while others had their necks pointed down! Could all these differences be a result of the ENVIRONMENT these animals lived in and the circumstances in which they had to obtain food?


A note from Darwin's Diary



Despite suffering badly from sea-sickness, Darwin wrote copious notes while on board the ship. He found that the mockingbirds from different islands of the Galpagos group differed in shape and color and collected 12 different species of finches from each of them!

He traveled throughout the world and collected specimens wherever the ship docked. The same were handed over to experts when he landed in his mother country for further analysis.. The research conducted on these specimens by various Anatomists, Ornithologists, Zoologists and Geologists, made the entire scientific world sit up and take notice of this radically NEW notion that Darwin had proposed.

Inspired by the geographical differences in the wildlife (past and present), Darwin finally conceived of the Theory of Natural Selection. Today, the 'Origin of Species' is a widely acknowledged classic, and Evolution is universally and casually accepted as a truth of life..


Stages of Evolution


Today, based on all the evidence available, scientists describe four zoological eras namely - Arshean, Paleozoic, Mesozoic and the Cenozoic which have led to the current plant and animal life on this planet.



Evolution in Hinduism

Ancient Indians believed that Life evolves only from pre-existing Life. As discussed in the 3rd post (Creation by Brahma), Hindu Creation closely follows actual appearance of elements in our Universe-

First appear the intangible substances followed by the tangible matter; followed by the immovable planets and landmasses; then the vegetation; birds, aquatics and animals; and finally the Higher species.

Taking an example from Hindu Philosophy, one of the most important concepts in Hinduism is of Sansaar/Samsara. All religions of Indian origin viz. Jainism, Budhism, Sikhism and the numerous other sects, believe in this concept and I'm sure most of you are aware of it as well. The concept is also known as the Transmigration of Soul, and refers to an endless cycle of re-incarnation that a soul must undergo in order to fulfill its Karma.


Transmigration of Soul through different Species





A soul takes birth in different species of life until it attains the form of a Human-being that enables it to strive for Nirvana. Compare this concept with the diagram above and you will immediately observe the similarity with Evolution!!

Another point to notice is the mention of  84 Lakh (8.4 million) different forms that a soul is obliged to take in order to reach a Human form which is remarkably close to the 8.7 million Eukaryotic species that scientists believe exist today!!


Different species are an evidence of Evolution


Sir John Woodroffe (1865-1936), Advocate General of Bengal and Legal member of the erstwhile Govt. of India, had the same revelation after the study of Sanskrit texts. He said and I quote,

"Ages before Lamarck and Darwin, it was held in India that man has passed through 84 lakhs births as plants, animals, inferior species and then came the ancestors of developed man existing today. The theory was an act of brilliant deduction in which observation may also have had played part!"

Is it just co-incidence or were the ancient Rishis actually aware of all the complexities of their environment around them?? While the above theory by itself may not be sufficient for some to believe in what I'm saying, I'll elucidate it further through an analysis of the order of Ten Incarnations of Lord Vishnu.


For the sake of the Neophytes, I'm listing the Ten Avatars below:


  1. Matsya, the Fish
  2. Kurma, the Turtle
  3. Varah, the Boar
  4. Narasimha, the Half-man/Half-lion being
  5. Vaman, the Dwarf
  6. Parashurama, Rama with the axe
  7. Rama, Ramachandra, the prince and king of Ayodhya
  8. Krishna, the Man-god
  9. Buddha, the Spiritual Master, and lastly,
  10. Kalki, expected to appear at the end of the Kali Yuga.


 

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It would be worthwhile to note that originally, there were 24 Avatars of the Lord listed in Srimad Bhagvatam. Why then, were only 10 selected by the Rishis for glorification? Furthermore, the order of the Avatars is NOT chronological! The actual order is as follows -  Varah, Narsingh, Kurma, Vaman, Matsya, Parshu-Raam, Raam, Krishna/Balrama, Buddha and Kalki.

To a student of Biology, it may be quite apparent that these incarnations bear a STARTLING resemblance to the Concept of Evolution! If you remember your basic science well, you may be able to spot the similarity yourself if you just sit and reflect on it a little. In the Dashavatar, we start with the aquatic Matsya, the Savior of the World; move on to the amphibian Kurma, the Support of the World; and follow it up with the Protector of the World, the terrestrial Varah.

Compare this with the diagram below to see how the current understanding of Evolution exactly matches this description. (The numbers in the image refer to millions of years ago (mya) that these animals had existed on our planet)


Evolution of Amphibians and Terrestrials from Aquatics
(Images courtesy Rima Chadha)



Now, the Eusthenopteron in the diagram above is a good example for demonstrating evolution. This particular animal looked and behaved like modern fish for all practical purpose, YET within its fins were  precursors of arm and leg bones of the four-limbed land animals!

To add weight to this Out-of-Water theory, we next have the Tiktaalik, a half-fish, half-amphibian animal discovered in the Canadian Arctic in 2004. This animal was a further step towards TERRESTRIAL life with early wrists and finger bones that allowed it to prop itself up and poke its head above the water!


Evolution through animation



There are also indications that the animal breathed both through gills (like the earlier Eusthenopteron), as well as by means of a lung-like structure like the later amphibian Ichthyostega! This is just one of the many example that confirm Paleontologists' theories about land-dwelling animals evolving from fish ancestors and co-relates well with the Dashavatar sequence of Kurma after Matsya.


Kurma Avatar of Lord Vishnu



If you are intrigued by this similarity between science and religion, wait coz there's more to come :o)

After Kurma, we have the Varah and the story of this incarnation has many sub-layers.. At one level, it signifies the next level of evolution moving from Water to Land while at a deeper level, it shows that Humans can not survive on the planet without the help of animals!

Lord Varah is followed by the half-man-half-lion Nar-singh signifying the development of Man from the beasts. The victory of Narsingh/Narasimha over Aasurik ambitions of Hiranyakshipu also signifies that Humanity can be born only if we manage to subdue our demonic tendencies!


Narsingh, the Man-beast who tames Asurik tendencies
 
Varaha, the savior of Earth

{Image courtesy - Vimanika Comics}
Dashavatar Volume 2


Scientifically, there are numerous specimens recording this development from 'Water to Land' and from 'Beasts to Man' and many so called Missing Links have been found to corroborate the same.

However, for our purpose, let us shift focus to a new animal that was spreading slowly out from the African heartland about 120,000 years ago. There was no evidence, as yet, that it would prosper or even survive on this world where so many mightier beasts had passed away. However, it DID survive and DID prosper enough to become the most populous and dominant species on this planet - this was the Human-being.

The Evolution of Humans from an ape ancestor is supported by DNA and fossil evidence of over 20 species of Hominids! The complete genomes of several primates have been sequenced and they provide ultimate proof of our relatedness to apes and other Primates.


Evolution of Early Man



Dryopithecus in the image above, was a common ancestor to humans as well as other apes, and walked on all fours. The next guy in the image, Australopithecus afarensis, retained remnants from his quadrupedal past (such as hind toes suited for climbing and a wrist joint indicating it could knuckle-walk).

However, its thigh bone, the femur, was shaped like that of the later Homo erectus to bear the stress of upright movement! In addition, both the proto-humans' femurs were also angled inward to help maintain balance on two legs, just like we do today.


Video showing skull changes from primates to modern Humans



Hindu mythology also finds the mention of these proto-humans in the form of the Vanars but that's a topic for a future post so I'll leave it at that for now. Thus, in the Dashavatar sequence, we first have the pygmoid Vaman followed by the fully developed but jungle-dwelling man represented by Lord Parashuram.

This stage represents Early Man who had started using tools and weapons and quite fittingly, Prshuram is the FIRST of the ten incarnations to posess primitve ARMS (Axe and Bow).


Parshuram represents Jungl dwelling man who used tools
 {Image courtesy - Vimanika Comics}


As the famous sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke describes - The stone club, the toothed saw, the horn dagger, the bone scraper - these were the inventions which the Early Man needed in order to survive and hunt.

No longer were they faced with starvation when their teeth became damaged or worn; even the crudest tools could add many years to their lives. And as their fangs diminished, the shape of their face started to alter; the snout receded, the massive jaw became more delicate, the mouth able to make more subtle sounds to enable Speech.

In using the Tools, their hands developed a dexterity found nowhere else in the animal kingdom permitting them to make still BETTER tools, which in turn helped develop their limbs and brains yet further. It was an accelerating, cumulative process; and at its end was the Modern Man.

Soon, mankind discovered Fire and Agriculture, and civilization began. Hence, next in the list we have the civilized man with a strong moral code - Shri Rama followed by Balrama, the Man-who-can-tame-Nature. In the image below, we can see the modern human represented by Shri Rama accompanied by the proto-human Vanars.


Maryada Purushottam Shri Rama


Next in line, Buddha, represents man with a spiritual drive and the need for infusing fresh thoughts in age-old traditions to keep religion and spirituality within the reach of the Masses.

The final Avatar, Kalki, refers to the techno-humanoid man of tomorrow wielding mechanical contraptions and riding the steed of fire perhaps hinting at the technological advancement yet to come, maybe somewhat similar to Arnold from one of my childhood favorites, the movie Terminator :o)

The 10 Avatars certainly represent much more than just the incarnations of Lord Vishnu and as we saw above, are an allegory for the Process of Evolution which is evident in nature and within our own beings as well.


Lord Vishnu and the Ten Avatars



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I hope I was able to suitably present before you another aspect of Science uncovered from the depths of the treasure trove of Hindu Mythology. I again bow down to the intellect of the ancient Rishis and culminate this post with the Dashavatar Stotra, translated from the Geet-Govind, and dedicated to the 10 glorious Incarnations of Lord Vishnu:

In the Great Deluge, You kept Vedas safe,
Like a ship undeflected, from its original course,
Hail Keshav in the form of Matsya,
Glories to Hari, Lord of the Universe!

On Your expansive back, You let the Mountain rest,
Like a Cosmic pivot, for churning the Ocean,
Hail Keshav in the form of Kurma,
Glories O Hari, Lord of the Universe!

In the depths of Garbhodak, You kept Bhu-Devi safe,
Like a speck on Moon, she rested on Your tusks,
Hail Keshav in the form of Varah,
Glories O Hari, Lord of the Universe!

On your mighty knees, You let the demon rest,
Like a leaf Hiranyakshipu lay, entire existence torn,
Hail Keshav in the form of Narsingh,
Glories O Hari, Lord of the Universe!

In three steps subduing Bali, You kept Three worlds safe, 
Like a mountain spring, Ma Ganga washed Your feet,
Hail Keshav in the form of Vaman,
Glories O Hari, Lord of the Universe!

On the land destroying tyranny; You let our anguish rest,
Like the cleansing sunlight, You rid us of the wicked,
Hail Keshav in the form of Parshurama,
Glories O Hari, Lord of the Universe!

In the interest of Dharma; You kept All species safe,
Like the ten directions, were Ravan's ten heads spread,
Hail Keshav in the form of Shri Rama,
Glories O Hari, Lord of the Universe!

On Your plough, wearing blue; You let the Yamuna rest,
Like the celestial clouds, garments adorned Your form,
Hail Keshav in the form of Balraam,
Glories O Hari, Lord of the Universe!

In Kaliyug You opposed sacrifice; Keeping animals safe,
Like Your compassion, Your fame too shone,
Hail Keshav in the form of Buddha,
Glories O Hari, Lord of the Universe!

On Judgement day destroying Evil; You'll let their Souls rest, 
Like a comet, your sword trailing destruction,
Hail Keshav in the form of Kalki,
All Glories to Hari, Lord of the Universe!

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Aum Shanti: Shanti: Shanti:
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111 comments:

  1. It is very gud...

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  2. Wonderful as usual. :) people connected with bio & reading mythology at the same time will definitely think how could I miss the connection? :). :))

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  3. Thanx a lot Pritee Mehta and Apoorv Sharma :)

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  4. What I feel is that our ancestors were profoundly intelligent, completely in tune with the nature. They r trying to tell us something. May be they r telling that in every phase of earth's existence, it has faced trying times. A creature of that times did heroic deeds to save earth. That creature is according to the evolutional stage. He is given the status of VISHNU , the supreme being. Thus the ten avatars...

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  5. @Pritee Mehta i agree.. the ancients were definitely much more in tune wid their surroundings than we r today!! Lord Vishnu being the Preserver is the One who comes to the aid of Earth and its denizens whenever they r in trouble :) Om Namo Bhagvate Vasudevaye!

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  6. i read ur attempt ....it presentd some very good reasons for evolution bt the main thing darwins theory depicts is that it debars the concept of God and favors atheistic ideology which i'm sorry is not the reality...
    I beliv u'll get to it soon inshaALLAH...
    Peace

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    1. because darwin was christian, so everythig became upside down for him, hindus don't have to feel that way.

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    2. Darwin just presents the evolution of life on earth. It was these Dashavatars who saved life and made it possible for EVOLUTION TO CONTINUE! That is exactly why we call them God. A normal life then with his capacity will not be able to save life on earth with his capacity, it surely must be an external force who took birth and saved life on earth each time evolution process was in trouble. ANd these are the Dashavataras :) and they must be the avatars of GOD :)

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    3. Oh u get it 24 hours=Vishnu avatar the worlds opreater

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  7. @Abdul Wajid Bro ur reaction shows d classic case of Science vs. Religion argument.. y cant both exist together? Y does believing in Darwin's theory mean tht u cant blv in Allah? That is exactly d gap m trying to bridge... building a bridge joining Religion to Science coz for me both r equally important truths of my life..

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  8. Lawrence Vincent PhillipsOctober 11, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    God is everything. You are an avatara of Vishnu.

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  9. Hahaha Lawrence Vincent Phillips m an infinitesimal portion of the Supreme Brahman... no comparison wid HIS magnificence at alll...

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  10. hai dude.... i too have to listened abt d message through d order.... i completely agree it defines d order of evolution...

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  11. hi vineet , i m completely agree with u

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  12. ohhh man...i jst got lost in the whole story...al those avatars nw seems to b so much predictable..reli commendable job in putting these scientific facts to unfold the secrecy behind the mythologies...wowowwww...loving the story...

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  13. hmm..just like we Hindus are adopting both the techno and religion based cultures.. i believe our ancestors may have followed the same path while discriminating the actual facts and mythological stuffs.
    The Rishis and Maharishis of the past had the stuff and the science(which may be legendary at that time scenario..)but still choose to follow the "antics" becoz they have believe to keep the balance between nature and science.

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  14. Brilliant drsab...Makes me want to read and find out more!!

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  15. i m a fan of your blog... l i too like to read and research such stuff...

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  16. @Pratty n Harsh thanx a lot guys :) u shud read more for sure!!! There's so many more hidden truths in our scriptures :)

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  17. @Sonu Sekharan hahaha i knw man!!! wud b awesome to hv a one-on-one chat wid one of them cool rishis!!!

    @Saksham Wow thts nice!!! we shud catch up smtm n hv a nice discussion smday :)

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  18. Dear vineet i have posted a couple of web addresses below,kindly comment on the same regarding your undisputed view of Darwin's Evolution:
    http://us1.harunyahya.com/Detail/T/EDCRFV/productId/16453/LEFT-HANDED_AMINO_ACIDS_(LEVO-AMINO_ACIDS)
    http://www.thetrumpet.com/?q=595.0.41.0

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  19. @Sajad, i went thru d post bro... all it says is the probability of left-handed amino acids developing by itself is very rare.. I agree wid his assessment but I dont think that contradicts Evolution in any way!!

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  20. OMG! This blog is really fascinating. I'm awe-inspired after reading this article. Mr. Vineet , you are such an amazing person with a stupendous knowledge bout Hinduism and science as well. Keep writing. Keep us enlightened.

    Eagerly waiting for more posts.

    Stay awesome. :)

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  21. @Avimanyu thanx a lot brother :)

    @Akkshaya well m happy tht my effort is not gng waste!! Thanx a lot for ur encouragement :)

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  22. Today i just stumbled across your posts. And now i can't stop reading them. They are superb. For some it might sound fancy stories but i totally agree with you. I was spellbound about details you have given here. eg. Bramha creation post and dushavataram. I too started doing my own research for ultimate truth few months back. Major stumbling block that i faced was Sanskrit language. since i have a convent school education i don't know Sanskrit in fact i found bit difficult to read Hindi as well. More over its difficult to get authentic scriptures. Eg: Srimad bhagwatam which i got from ISCON temple, i felt it has been modified according to some particular person's believe. Similarly "Bhagwat gita as it is" book gives a different translation of verse-04-13 then given by other Bhagwat Gita authors. Can you guide me where can i get proper translated books. like Purana and Vedas.

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  23. @Sridhar i m humbled by ur words.. thanks a lot for liking my posts and commenting on them!! Yeah i understand getting d original texts can b a little difficult but for the Bhagvad Geeta u can try the Geeta Press Gorakhpur which is probably the oldest publication house for the text.. u can get good translations in english at www.urday.com and www.sacredtexts.com as well..

    And i guess u can always start learning the Sanskrit alphabet to help u decipher the texts urself :) might tk sm time but then u wud b more sure of d interpretations :)

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  24. Hey thanks for your reply. i'll definitely check them. I'm eagerly waiting for your next post. :) I was wondering if you can post on mantras and how its fit into modern science. and there is one more doubt its related to "Devi god as Female" post. I understand you tried to explain the concept best to your knowledge. but i still can't understand who is supreme lord maa or mahavishnu(braman). actually the concept become very confusing when you look through Vaishnavism and Shaivism. Even things get bit more confusing when it comes to Maa Laxmi, It is said that vishnu of our universe his first creation was Vasuki and then laxmi. after that bramha. but again it is said that Laxmi ji appeared through samundra manthan :(

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  25. @sridhar my pleasure.. planning to write on mantras too but probably it wud b a part of one of the other posts..wil let u knw when tht happens

    As regards the Supremacy question, I have given d unbiased version stating that in Vaishnavism the Goddess is considered as Yogmaya or the energy of the Lord while in Shaktism, she is the Supreme One.. As a man of scientific temperament, I personally believe in the Vaishnav concept more as I find it to be more logical :)

    The reply to your next question I'm posting in the 'Devi...' post so that others who go through it can also benefit from your query.. plz check the comments there for the answer :)

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  26. Hey you know what there is a huge resemblance of hindu mythology and movie matrix. Just like matrix had different versions similarly according to different mahayuga earth also has different version. Similarly sentinel machine in matrix can be mapped to sentinel being of our mythology. and there are 100 of resemblance hehehehehe ;)

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  27. Here is a link:-
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080101040230AAYeqMI

    That gives a good comparison between movie(Matrix) and Hindu Mythology(Maya) ;)

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  28. I know buddy... the basic concept of the movie has been based on the Hindu n Buddhist concept of Maya which in Vaishnavism is considered the illusory energy of the Lord.. indeed even the last animation blockbuster AVATAR was inspired from Lord Vishnu's incarnations complete with the blue color and the Sanskrit terminology :)

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  29. Hey Vineet i got another Question. :) what is the scientific logic behind meditation / Yoga / Chants. It will be really helpful if you can make me understand. Now a day new generation hit to GYM's / swimming pools etc it has been said for centuries Yoga / meditation is far more superior then these activities. There must be some logical explanation for them as well as is for gym(like it build muscle gets body in shape) by tearing your muscle fibre and then letting them heal helping them to grow and convert you to HULK ;)

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  30. Well of course there is.. will write a post on it smetime wud b able to explain it at length then :)

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  31. Hey Vineet.. I stumbled on oyour blog today ..and i ahd to finish all the posts .. the details are amazing ..i have always been fascinated by greek mythology , hindu mythology nad have always questioned on scientific evidences. Your posts makes me understand a lot of things love you perspective .. I have a questions though ..aren't the Dashavataram theory and then the creation of Brahma theory contradictory? Where does Manu( Brahma's fission product right?) fit into the picture of Dashavataram ? Manu Shatrupa came into existence at what avatar?..when did water earth adn all other bodies come into existence .. these 2 theories are contradicting ..some fo the assumptions made in each of them

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  32. Thanx a lot brother for the appreciation.. I can understnd ur confusion as regards the two but if u red the 'Creation' post crefully, I guess u wud understnd tht there really isnt much contradiction in the two theories!

    The immovable land/mountains/earth were created first by Brahma followed by the trees/vegetation, then the lower life forms, then the animals, then humans come into the picture!!

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  33. what were Manu and Shrumpa ? humans? if so they came before the fishes , totroise e.t.c rigt?.Neetu

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  34. @Nuts its Manu and Shatrupa :) and they did not come before the tortoise n fish for sure! Plz read the 'Creation by Brahma' post for clarification.

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  35. still confused ..
    in Mukhya Sarga Brahma creates certain plants and Animal species( evolution does not play any part)
    in Tiryak Sarga. Brahma creates gods, asuras, Manu and Shatrupa e.t.c (again aligned with the evolution theory)

    related questions :-
    1) are gods/asuras human species ..or can they be called a different species
    2) if hybrid ..half human-half animal species like Narsimha can into timeline before human species or after human species ?

    I really enjoyed your post on Krishna ..i had seen the Dwarks documentary long back ..and was completely awe-struck ..for the first time i realized that all that could have really happened !!

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    1. If you want more detailed story/explanation//truth about all the creations (systematically) of our Lord, then there is only one ready-reckoner --> Srimad Bhagabatam or Srimad Bhagaboth. Google it & you should find the English, as well as Hindi version pdf, etc. And go thru the first few chapters.

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  36. Hi Nuts.. well as i said evolutions hasnt been mentione anywhere as a concept but the creation descriptions are quite supportive of the theory.. the animals came AFTER the immovable species like plant which came AFTER the land and planets etc. had been created.. that to me is quite suggestive of the way things ACTUALLY took shape on our planet.

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  37. Also, the Gods and Demons are clearly non-human in origin and function.. they have no link to evolution as they are the custodians or supervisors of the Universe.. when we talk of evolution it is meant just for the planet Earth and this artificial sequence of Dashavatar incarnations supports the aquatic origin of life moving to amphibious to terrestrial to the beasts to pygmies to early jungle-welling man to the civilized human.

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  38. And yeah.. thanx for the appreciation for Krishna post :)

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  39. TODAY I STUMBLED UPON YOUR SITE WHICH ASTONISHED ME FOR COLLECTION OF SO MANY DETAILS WHICH ARE EXCELLENT.I AM NOW WRITING A BOOK ON "EVOLUTION OF RELIGIONS " WHICH ACCORDING TO MY FINDING THAT RELIGIONS WERE THE CREATION OF RAHU AND KETU ,THE MOON NODES, WHILE RAHU DOES THE EVOLUTION OF EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD WHILE KETU IS TRYING TO REVERSE IT SAME TIME
    WHEN RAHU BRINGS IN MODERN LIFE OF GYM,FAST/JUNK FOOD,DISCO DANCE ECT KETU BRINGS IN YOGA,MEDITATION,AYURVEDIC,ORGANIC FOOD,SPIRITUAL RETREAT ECT. SO WORLD EVOLVE BETWEEN PAST AND FUTURE WHICH KETU AND RAHU REPRESENT. YOGA IS THE UNION OF SOUL AND MIND WITH BODY.THIS WILL GIVE RISE TO ENLIGHTENMENT IN LIFE.
    YOUR WEBSITE IS VERY USEFUL AND INTERESTING BESIDES IT GIVES MORE INFORMATION TO THE SOCIETY . ALL THE BEST.

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    1. Thanx a lot for ur wishes and appreciation Kudanthaiamudhan :)

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  40. Vedic life is the way. wow. thank you so much for such a profoundly enlightening research.

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  41. Hi,I am great fan of your blog and like the way you try to relate our vedic literature to modern science as this would really help to remove the word mythology associated with our literature. I went through this blog and was amazed the way you gave a new perspective to the theory of evolution.I am now wondering on what Lord krishna said that if we think of anything at the time of death we will be the same in our next life so probably all the lower species must have thought of being an higher species for eg a fish must have always desired of being on land and in the next life it was transformed in an tortoise and this desire for better life or higher life led to the evolution....it is possible..

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    1. Thanx Raghu for ur kind words... i think what Lord Krishna said does not relate too much to the lower species as they do not per se think too much.. their lives are devote to instinct and they live out their lives following the path laid out for them almost as of on automaton... but yes if anybody had the desire to be someone or something or has really strong thoughts about at the time of his death he/she/it can attain that form according to what is said in the Bhagvad gita.. if they cant attain it, they are stranded in the after life as ghosts hanging between the material and spiritual worlds because their desire is too strong to let them go of the material world completely..

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    2. That is why Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said one should keep chanting the name of the Lord all the time coz we never know which moment will be our last one.. and if we keep the lord in our heart we will reach His abode for sure when the role that our physical body was designed for is over.. Hope this helps :)

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  42. Thanks Vineet for your insight...it has surely helped ....waiting for next post..:)

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  43. As life is a cycle do you mean to say in every treat yug same Sri Rama Katha is repeated and in Dwapara yug same
    Sri Krishna Leila and the Mahabharata?

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    1. Some versions of the Ramayan say that it is repeated many times but I didnt find any scriptural references for that.. However, the descent of Lord Krishna on Earth is fixed and happens in the 28th DVAPAR YUG of the 7th MANVANTAR of each day of our Brahma

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    2. Refer "Adhyatmya Ramayan".
      Difficult to get a english version pdf in the net!

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  44. In every other planet where there are humanoids may be more intelligent than earthlings there is a Lord Rama
    And a Lord Krishna and the same stories are repeated there also?

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    1. No these stories are specific to our planet only.. but yes just as the time of appearance of Shri Krishna on this planet is fixed, same may be the case for other planets with intelligent life as well.

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  45. I really enjoyed reading your post. If you read/listen to the Sampoorna (complete) Shrimad Bhaghavatha then there are some instances where Shukha maharshi describes about the other planets as well. - Thank you for sharing the information.

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  46. I enjoyed your comparisons presented with Darwin's theory of evolution. With the invasion of Christianity and Islam there was noticeable corrosion in the education system unfortunately and these religions while fighting for supremacy, human beings started to notice the dearth for spiritualism in the science. My point about Parashurama is not to be equated with man as primitive at all. I differ with you here. Considering the kind of knowledge 'Tripura Rahasya' he received from Dattatreya, definitely his tools are not primitive and intelligence was certainly at the 'Highest'. While it can be noticed that evolution certainly starts from sea life, each of the stories from the Dashavatara constantly speaks of presence of Rishi Satyavrata, Vashishta and Vishwamitra. Darwin's theory lacks these connotations, and sees earth only as physical matter alone. Vedas and Upanishads are known to exist more than a billion years at least. The oldest human fossil found in India was known to be 4 billion years. There was no concept of man striking stone for fire, and slowly developing a language or whatever.... I certainly agree, the evolution theory in Hinduism is way advanced which today a layman cannot even fathom. Parashurama had the ability to create identically, millions of his own self.

    If you read the interpretation of Lalitha Sahasranama Stotram, which was imparted by Hayagriva (Half human/horse) to Agasthya, the entire human botany, zoology and psychic being is described as nothing but the creation of Goddess Lalitha and also there is a verse where it says, 'Countless crores of cosmic eggs (Brahmanda); is your divine sanctum sanctorum, Cosmic Mother. But thanks for bring it out to us and it is really amazing, the correlation you have made. Also, Patala loka is a different dimension altogether,(14 lokas, western science is coming close to 14 dimensions now) and Hiranyakashyap being a king won't be surprising because, interstellar galactic wars were a fact, and many of us don't even know floating cities and space stations existed in those times. What we know today about evolution is nothing but just rock study, while what lies in the ether as infinite knowledge is yet to be tapped. A lot can be discussed on Hinduism and we will just be floating in the cosmic void endlessly. But, you've really presented something nice here. The Rishis are eternal beings existing through all kinds of cosmic dissolution and world cycles, as you would know and is evidently discussed in yoga vashishtha also. It's a deep and interesting subject.

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    1. I agree with you that the rishis have existed from the beginning of Brahma's creation and that the different Lokas were actually alien planet systems.. please check out the post on LOKAS for my views on the scriptural descriptions of thr same. Thanx for visiting and commenting :)

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    2. Here's the link to it - http://decodehindumythology.blogspot.com/search/label/Lokas%20or%20Alien%20Planets%3F

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    3. There will be always point of debate. But the points of the blog to show how Hindu Mythology were not story or dream, it was hardcore fact.

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  47. Hi I liked your explanation but how can you justify narsimha avtar, becqause acc to evolution we evolved from apes and there is no fossil which shows a half man half lion kind of creature. Please answer

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    1. Even though there is no link shown between apes and humans directly in mythology still Narsimha and Hayagreev according to me, are representations of the evolution of man from animals.. the entire reference to evolution is indirect in the scriptures yet extremely logical..

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    2. Finding/Not finding a mere fossil does NOT prove anything!!! Atlantis was present thousands of years back (even many western scientists believes it's existence), but there is no fossil/proof found. Even Dwarka (Krishna's abode in this planet) too was completely destroyed/submerged after a major natural calamity. But there are no SOLID proof of Dwarka existed (along with its palaces, etc).
      Don't confuse Special cases with Generic cases!!!
      Krishna & Rama although were human beings, were the extreme embodiments of God. And there are no fossils of Krishna & Rama though. ;-) Similarly Narashima too was a special scenario. And do NOT relate Evolution TOO DIRECTLY with Avatarism. It will be stupidity if its judged outside an ALLEGORICAL (or simply, Symbolism) view. You cannot relate/proof/argue logically if rigidly compared. Its a kind of scientific allegory. Believe it or not, its upto the listener ;-)

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  48. Great job sir,
    may i suggest some more info about hindu gods
    u should read books by famous Devdutt pattanaik.
    he has described both shiva and vishnu in a RAW way.
    U will not be dissappointed, i promiss

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    1. Thanx Sachin, I have already read a lot of his works.. they are quite enlightening indeed..

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  49. Hi Vineet,

    Need to make a career in Mythology can u pls help on this

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  50. Hello Sir.

    My sincere thanks to you for your help on the topic of Lord Shiva. Your article has helped me a lot in proceeding on with my novel. This time I am here once more to seek you help. This time I will be highly obliged if you can help me with the topics concerned:-
    1. Link between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu(Shiv & Vish).
    2. Raavan(His devotion towards Lord Shiva, his later life and mostly on the palace that he lived[That once he made for Lord Shiva]).
    3. The twelve Jyotirlings in India(Location & history)

    I will be highly obliged if you can help me once more in the concerned topics. Once again thank you for the last article on Lord Shiva.

    Thanking you
    Munjakesh

    Om Namah Shivay.

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    1. Hi Munjakesh.. my pleasure totally.. the topics you have mentioned can be found quite easily through the various search engines available.. Its difficult for me to write another post on Shiva now so I suggest you use these sources to find out more.. Also check out the books by Devdatt Patnaik on SHiva, Vishnu and Rama. They can be of help to you.

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  51. There are opinions that Buddha was actually inserted as Avatar in later stage. Some says it was Balaram and some says actually tenth avatar was Ayappa.

    Though Christians heavily abuse Ayappa Swami by telling a homosexual product.

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    1. According to the Shrimad Bhagavatam, Budhha and Balram both are incarnations of Shri Hari Vishnu. The Bhagavatam records 24 incarnations and ten of these are the Dashavatar of which Budha forms a part. Swami Ayappa was actually a composite avatar of Lords Vishnu and Shiv hence it is not included in the 24 incarnations..

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  52. Buddha avatar in your description loses the authenticity of your work! I appreciate your work, but at the same time be authentic, our Vedic scriptures are awesome please don't merge with own thoughts! No where in the vedic scriptures it is mentioned as Budha as incarnation.

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    1. Kindly read the scriptures before making such sweeping statements my dear. The Shrimad Bhagavat Purana clearly mentions Buddha as one of the 24 incarnations of Lord Vishnu and so do many other texts. Here is a list of all - Harivamsha (1.41) Vishnu Purana (3.18) Bhagavata Purana (1.3.24, 2.7.37, 11.4.23 Bhagavata Purana 1.3.24 Bhagavata Purana 1.3.24, Garuda Purana (1.1, 2.30.37, 3.15.26) Agni Purana (160.Narada Purana (2.72)Linga Purana (2.71) Padma Purana (3.252) etc. Bhagavata Purana, Canto 1, Chapter 3 - SB 1.3.24: "Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Anjana, in the province of Gaya, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist." ...

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  53. vineet ji , a great soul you are . god bless you . i always had been looking forward for some thing different which our scriptures are trying to convey .--a great hidden meaning in that ---and i found my words and thoughts in your blogs --pl. carry on and kep going . god bless you and enlighten you more and more .--sunita

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    1. Thank you so much Sunita ji! May the Supreme Lord grant us all wisdom to understand His creations

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  54. Hey! I'm basing my family's ganesh chathurti decorations this year on the parallels between the Dashavatar and Darwin's theory of evolution. Your post was really helpful! Thanks a lot :)
    (I could mail you the final pictures if you'd like, whats your email id?)
    -Srushti, Mumbai.

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    1. Hi Srushti.. its great to know I could be of some help :)
      Plz feel free to share the pictures on my FB Page: India - From Past to Future

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  55. Hello Vineet, I sent you email for understanding a Vishnu avatar, pls reply the same if possible.

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    1. Hi Bhavesh,

      Read your mail and I thank you for the kind words. Actually there's no specific symbol for each avatar but it is easy to represent them in an anthropomorphic form. For example the Matsyavatar can be depicted a s a fish, Narsingh as a lion, Krishna by the flute, Rama by the bow and arrow etc. so you can use your creativity and design some symbols :)

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  56. Hi Vineet,
    I stumbled upon your blog while searching for a particular topic.The contents were informative and stimulative.Somewhere I have read that the entire collection of puranas will be close to 500 volumes with each book of average size.Hence decoding the myths will be a life time work and I wish you all success in this monumental work.

    The challenge I find in bridging mysticism and science is that the former is highly advanced that we cannot explain that with the current scientific development as science is in the development stage only, one theory replacing other, old theories being proven false, not enough evidence for existing theories to be proved. While mysticism will also be advocating false theories we would not be able to decode and conclude the correctness as we need to exercise higher occult faculties which we do not possess at this stage of development.

    Some researchers claim that evolution over millions of years happens in micro level and not at macro level like ape becoming human.If Darwin's theory is proven wrong and the main stream science accepts the same in the future we will be looking for other ways of explaining the Dasavathar concept.

    The interventionists claim that a sort of genetic engineering by advanced beings happened in the past and I think our myths also point to the same direction, the difference being the former believes in extra terrestrial intelligence and the later in the work of Rishis who could be as advanced as ETs.

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    1. I agree with the point abt the rishis or the ancients being more advanced and having superior technology.. Do check out the post on Lokas for my views on it.. Btw thanx a ton for visiting and ur insightful comment :)

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  57. in bhagwaatam vyas bhagwan says there are anant avatars ...usme se 24 avatar bataye gaye hai...........u cant say ki it is to represent the evolution theory of darwin.....coz it clearly contradicts the theory of creation of sanatan dharma........avatars are true factslike history

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    1. Well i dont believe the Creation stories in Vedic literature contradict Evolution. In fact I cant find any other reason that only these 10 avatar should be picked up from the list of 24 and then arranged in a NON-CHRONOLOGICAL order that is so similar to the evolution theory! If you read the post on Manu you will realize what I am talking about.

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  58. Dear Vineet,

    Recently I stumbled upon your work and find it amazingly informative, well researched and full of perceptions. Heartfelt adulation for your work. You are living the religion, the way it was meant to be.

    However, I have one doubt in this post. According to many others, the ninth avatar of Vishnu was Lord Ayyappa (of Sabari mala fame), and not Buddha, as Buddha was a mortal, and glorified only in later texts as an incarnation. More over, his quest for a separate ideology stemming away from Sanatan Dharma also make me think otherwise. There is another learned scholar and blogger, Capt. Ajit Vadakayil who has voiced the same in his blogs. Do take time to visit his blog, great works indeed. Your thoughts??

    Pranaam,
    Rishiraj

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    1. I have read some of his work and yes its nice.. thanx a lot Rishiraj ji for ur kind words.. as for Lord Ayappa being one of the ten avatars actually he is a joint avatar of Lord Hari and Har and NOT an avatar of Lord Vishnu per se. Also, the thought that Buddha was later added in the list is a false notion as the Bhagvat Puran lists Lord Buddha as one of the 24 major incarnations as well as among the ten principal avatars.

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  59. Hi Vineet,
    I have gone through your blogs and found them profoundly interesting, however, I don't quite agree wherein you try to equate Darwin's theory of evolution with Evolution in Hinduism.
    I don't believe that humans evolved from apes or vanars because man is altogether a different species and also
    A. Man was created in the image of God ( Manu from Brahma ), so man can't be an ape and then evolve.
    B. Since these scriptures are directly from the Lord Himself, and have been there ( as vedas, puranas etc), it is difficult for apes and ape like species to fathom the meaning.
    C. Darwin put forward his theory, he is not all wrong, neither he is all right. ( The genomes of all mammals are comparably similar because we have a common ancestor ).
    D. Only scriptures are the authentic source of all information because they come from a source which is not affected by impurities of this material world and hence cannot be wrong as Darwin can be and i am sure he is as i don't find a single instance in scriptures where man evolved from ape.
    E.Science is yet developing and it has still kept its eyes closed to spirituality and hence it is not yet evolved to a stage wherin it can equate science and spirituality to answer such subtle questions of human evoltion which have been the source of quest for our rishis too from time immemorial.

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    1. To each his own my friend :)
      Man was indeed created in the image of God (check out my creation post) but let's not limit ourselves to this planet alone.. I believe evolution has progressed on each planet which has life and the specific NON-chronological order of the Dashavatar definitely reflects the same.

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  60. Forbidden Archeology documented a massive amount of evidence showing that humans have existed on earth for hundreds of millions of years. Such anomalous evidence, contradicting Darwinian evolution, catalyzed a global inquiry, "If we did not evolve from apes, then where did we come from?" Human Devolution is author Michael A. Cremo's definitive answer to this question.

    "We did not evolve up from matter; instead we devolved, or came down, from the realm of pure consciousness," says Cremo. He bases his response on modern science and the world's great wisdom traditions, including the Vedic philosophy of ancient India.

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    1. Well my friend i would love to agree to that hypothesis since it agrees so well with most spiritual traditions.. but unfortunately scientific evidence still points to evolution and I am more inclined to go with that till there's smthing substantial to disprove it :)

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  61. I am so glad to have picked this on a random hit-search on google ......keep up the great work....thanks

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    1. The pleasure's all mine :) thanx for visiting!

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  62. Nice work Vineet !!!

    According to this article there are 8.4 million different species through which a soul has to transcend finally to enter in the human mortal body to search for ultimate truth i.e. MOKSHA. Is there some reference in the vedas/puranas for the total number of individual identities to be present on the earth. As far as I see except avatars (like buddha) very very few people got nirvana (even I can't name one as initially all storeys portray those superhuman as normal being and finally they end up getting moksha and then it is revealed later on that they were incarnation) as if Lord Vishnu wants to set examples for humankind to go for Nirvana/moksha and not for materialistic pleasures.

    My point here is that whether there is some reference in our texts regarding the total number of individual identities (combing from all species through which soul has to transcend) as currently being the dominant specie human population is increasing. From my perspective the total number of individuals should be more or less constant. I believe even after so much technological advancement its hard to keep track of all individuals (Just for fun sake: they are not able to keep track of Indian tigers).

    I accept that some species are also getting extinct or are on the verge of extinction but at the same some new species are also being discovered.

    Could you enlighten us more on this ???

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    1. Hi Kapil

      Thanx a lot.. your question is interesting and I am yet to come across any such reference though there are many stories where an individual (besides an Avatar) has been mentioned to have attained Moksha. Case in point being the renowned devotee of Shri Krishna, the Rajput princess Mirabai who's believed to have merged with the God who had emerged from the idol she used to worship.. There are other such stories as well in both Hindu and Jain texts but the total number of such souls is not mentioned..

      As regards the increase in number of species, let me remind you that life does not just exist on this planet but on multiple other worlds so for a clearer understanding we would have to count the number of all these species and only then we would be able to comment on how we are faring in this perspective :)

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  63. Balaram isnt Adisesha's incarnation meh?? :o

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    1. Yes he is..but Adi shesh is also an expansion of Lord Vishnu hence Balram is counted amongst the indirect incarnations of the Lord

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  64. A decade ago I had the same thought which I wrote about. One aspect you might want to integrate is the avatars of Rama and Parashurama coexisted. In the sense, one meets the other. This for me is the coexistance of neanderthal and cro-magnon man with eventual disappearance of the neanderthals. By the time Mahabharata happened, Parashurama had almost finished his goal and was all alone (Neanderthal disappearance?). Again, it's fascinating you bringing this out cause it's loud and clear. Ancient civilizations were far advanced and connected and documented history with sincerity and dedication. Keep at it! Science is but a name and religion is but a name. Together, their conceptualization is the realization! The ultimate one!

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    1. Thank you Mr. Padmanabh :) Yes I have written about it in another post on Parshurama. I firmly believe in what you said, it is only the coming together of science and mythology that can help us reach the ultimate reality!

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  65. GREAT ONE,MAY ALMIGHTY LORD FATHER VISHNU BLESS YOU

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  66. very informative feeds.....

    however the Lord's Dasha-avataram depicts the evolution from aquatic forms towards the enlightened Buddha.

    But humans on account of free will are prone to make mistakes and hence to evolve (analogous to a rising half circle) goes together with devolve (falling half of circle) to rise again and fall, thus tracing a helical path (that's DNA) but nonetheless this resultant path too aims for self realization (also refer Maslow's hierarchy) as paved by the Lord.

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  67. Your work is very excellent.greatly inspired by your posts.Before reading ur posts,i was in doubt whether god exists or not.But now i developed a lot of faith in god.My favourite god is sri krishna and am great fan of his role in mahabharata.
    I have few doubts in your post.
    1. Manu is the first man created know.But how man can evolve from apes?
    2.During the first avatar of vishnu as "fish" ,human beings are also present know during the first avatar? Then how evolution theory is true ?

    Thank you.

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    1. The Dash avatar is not literally evolution it's just symbolic of it. The avatars do not appear according to chronological timeline rather when they are needed. But their artificial order clearly points tpwards evolution.According to all puranas Humans were created by Brahma much after the immovable mountains, plants and animals were and that itself shows a logical progression from inanimate to animate objects.

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  68. nice.. just curious to know which scripture talks of Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu and how is it described in the scriptures.

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    1. There are actually loads of scriptures that mention Buddha as na incarnation including the Bhagvata Puraan. The Geet Govind of Jaidev also mentions the ten in the modern order.

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  69. Vineet another view is Maha Vishnu is not spared by his own Maya if he comes to bhu lok, even he has to take multiple births as avatars to go to next upper level to reach himself ultimately

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