Steve Beckow – What is an Avatar? – 10-12-15

Steve Beckow

A reader has asked about the notion of an “avatar,” especially in light of the new uses that have arisen for the term. I’m sure she won’t mind if I reproduce that discussion here, somewhat extended.

“Avatar” originally referred to an individual who came from the Divine with a special mission to humanity. They’re not ascenders to God, as we are, but descenders from God. “Avatar” means a descent of the Divine.

An avatar is like a Babushka doll. On the outside is the human vessel (Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Ramakrishna, etc.). Next below that can be a step-down transformer from a higher dimension, such as Sananda was for Jesus.

And next inside is the Divine Mother, Holy Spirit, Shakti (all the same), present in an avatar in a way and to an extent vastly different than for the ordinary person. It’s the descent of the Divine Mother that results in the use of the word “avatar.”

Avatars don’t generally acknowledge their avatarhood. Here’s Jesus on the subject. I’m going to cite him at length because he answers numerous questions in his replies.

Steve Beckow: You mentioned the Holy Spirit in flesh, and that raises questions about your ministry. Do you consider that the word “avatar” applies to you and your ministry?

Jesus: Avatar is not a word that I particularly cherish. Let me put it that way. … There are those who wish to label me as an avatar. And I would accept that label, but I would not choose it. I would choose the label, or the description, of teacher. …

S: Sri Ramakrishna considers you an avatar (1) and publicly declared that. Can we talk about who was here then, please? You were here in bodily form.

J: Yes.

S: Sananda was also here overlighting you, was he not?

J: Yes.

S: So that would be a second layer to your ministry, so to speak, the overlighting.

J: That is correct.

S: And then in addition to that, the Holy Spirit [Divine Mother] descended into your form. Is that correct?

J: That is correct.

S: And did that, by the way, happen when you were being baptized in the River Jordan?

J: No, it happened at a very early age, actually. The baptism was a symbolic refilling, if you want to put it that way. But, no, in order for me to go forward in my journey on Earth, there was an infilling of the Holy Spirit at a very early age, of about five, five and a half. And then it was renewed, or – symbolically renewed – so that the people would know that this was available to everybody.

S: All right. Well, if you were the human form that was overlit by a spirit as exalted as Sananda, and the Holy Spirit descended in you, that I would call an “avatar.” Would you disagree?

J: [Laughs] I do not disagree. I simply say to you that it is a designation that I am not so eager to claim. …

And I will tell you why. Because you, or your listeners, will then say, “Oh, well, he had this overlighting, he had this infilling, and that makes him different or separate,” and it does not. If anything, it allows me to be closer to you.

S: All right, I accept that, Lord.

J: All right. So I have made my point, then! (2)

An avatar like Sri Ramakrishna demonstrated for spiritual adepts all the forms of enlightenment and how they might be achieved. Krishna came to re-establish spirituality on a firmer basis. Others might re-establish a particular form of practice like devotion (Chaitanya) or meditation (Buddha).

All that you’d like to know about the physical experience of an avatar could best be learned, in my view, from reading the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, where he lays bare the inner experience of an avatar. That’s the best book on that subject that I’m aware of: a daily record of the life of an avatar.

You can also find an extensive treatment of the subject here:…

Yes, there are differences in an avatar’s body and a regular body and in the caring of it. There are three cosmic forces or gunas – sattwa, rajas, and thamas – and the avatar’s body is made of the purest constituent – sattwa. Of the gunas Swami Nikhilananda says:

“The word guna is usually translated into English as “quality”, which does not give the precise meaning of the original. Sattva, rajas, and tamas are not qualities of maya [the phenomenal and hence illusory world] in the same sense that hardness is a quality of iron, or softness of butter, or heat of fire. The three gunas are the ingredients of maya; they may be compared to three strands with [sic] constitute the rope of maya, the rope by which maya binds man to the illusory world.” (3)

Avatars are fashioned from pure sattwa. Here’s Swami Nikhilananda on what sattwa is and does:

“Sattva is the giver of happiness and is the real friend of man in his effort to realize Truth. It manifests itself, in man, as humility, guilelessness, self-control, unselfishness, purity, contentment, truthfulness, fearlessness, faith, devotion, yearning for Liberation, and other similar spiritual attributes.

“When sattva predominates, a man feels detached with respect to the world, lessens his physical activities, intensifies his contemplation, and strives in various ways to attain peace and blessedness. Through the cultivation of sattva, both rajas and tamas are kept under control.” (4)

Sri Ramakrishna’s body was so sensitive that, when a boatman hit his companion with an oar on the other side of the Ganges, the saint of Dakshineswar howled. He couldn’t touch money without experiencing pain. He could not brook the touch of an impure person without washing himself in Ganges water.

If you’re really interested, you can look here at the section on the gunas for more:….

Some people have borrowed the term “avatar” to mean one’s physical form, sometimes a little picture of themselves used on Skype or Facebook or in a forum. This meaning bears no relationship to the meaning originally attached to the term. It just reflects people borrowing a word and putting it to a new use.

Words are symbols that we freely and arbitrarily bestow meaning upon. No one can stop anyone from using a word in the way they wish. If that meaning gains currency over time, then vocabulary changes. If not, its use falls away.

Unfortunately many “avatars” today have in some way failed or fallen. If I were to give examples, I’d probably get myself in trouble with their devotees. The last sound and true avatars on this planet, to whom not a speck of dust clings, are, in my view, Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Sri Anandamoyima.


(1) Shivanath Shastri told Sri Ramakrishna: “Sir, one of my Christian friends has come to see you. Having heard of you from me, he was very eager to meet you.”

On hearing this Sri Ramakrishna bowed his head to the ground and said: “I bow again and again at the feet of Jesus Christ.”

Surprised at such utterance, Rev. Sannyal said: “How is it, sir, that you bow at the feet of Christ? What do you think of Him?”

Sri Ramakrishna: “Why, I look upon him as an Avatara.”

Rev. Sannyal: “Incarnation of God! Will you kindly explain what you mean by it? Is he one like Krishna and the others?”

Sri Ramakrishna: “Yes, exactly like that. An incarnation like our Rama and Krishna. Don’t you know there is a passage in the Bhagavata where it is said that the incarnations of Vishnu or the Supreme Being are innumerable?”

Rev. Sannyal: “Please explain further. I do not understand it quite.”

Sri Ramakrishna: “Just take the case of the ocean. It is a wide and almost infinite expanse of water. But owing to special causes, in special parts of this wide sea, the water becomes congealed into ice. When reduced to ice it can be easily manipulated and applied to special uses. An incarnation is something like that. Like that infinite expanse of water, there is the Infinite Power, immanent in matter and mind, but for some special purposes, in special regions, a portion of that Infinite Power, as it were, assumes a tangible shape in history, that is what you call a great man. But he is, properly speaking, a local manifestation of the all-pervading Divine Power; in other words, an incarnation of God. The greatness of great men is essentially the manifestation of Divine Energy.” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Swami Prabhavananda, First Meetings with Sri Ramakrishna. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1987, 106-7.)

(2) “Transcript of An Hour with an Angel, with Jesus, Jan. 9, 2012,” at…

(3) Swami Nikhilananda, “Introduction” to Shankara’s Self-Knowledge. Madras, 1967, 65.

(4) Ibid., 67.


Avatar – Scientists Ask If A New Race Of Super Earthlings Are Being Born – 11-17-14


Gregg Prescott

Scientists have made an unexpected and unsettling discovery – a large number of new and previously unseen mutations have been detected among humans.

There are those who suggest that there will soon be fantastic X-men among humans. These super earthlings do not come out of secret laboratories, as in famous blockbuster movies, but are born naturally. Other scientists are less optimistic and consider the unforeseen development can to lead to unknown changes in the human body.

This unexpected and terrifying discovery is a result of a study conducted by scientists from Cornell University (USA) and University of California.

When they examined genes of several thousands of people from around the world, it turned out that mankind has acquired over the past few years new, previously unseen mutations.

The scientist studied 202 genes in 14,002 people. The human genome contains some 3 billion base pairs; the scientists studied 864,000 of these pairs. While this is only a small part of the genome, the sample size of 14,002 people is one of the largest ever in a sequencing study in humans.

This project led by John Novembre of the University of California Los Angeles and Vincent Mooser of UK-based drug company GlaxoSmithKline, reports that more than 95% of variants found by sequencing 202 genes in 14,002 people were rare, and that 74% of the variants were carried by only one or two people in the study.

“I knew there would be rare variation but had no idea there would be so much of it!” said the senior author of the research, John Novembre, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and of bioinformatics at UCLA.

In the study, 10,621 people had one of 12 diseases, including coronary artery disease, multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s disease; 3,381 did not have any of the diseases.

“The large sample size allows us to see patterns with more clarity than ever before,” Novembre said.

“If rare variants are like distant stars, this kind of large sample size is like having the Hubble Telescope; it’s allowing us to see more than before.

We see a ton of rare variation, and these rare variants more often make changes to proteins than not. In that way, this study has important implications for the genetic basis of disease in humans. It’s consistent with the idea that many diseases may be partly caused by rare variants.”

“Research carried out fifty years ago, showed that the mutant gene had only one man among a thousand, and now five people”, explained John Novembre.

What is causing the mutations?

Previously it was thought that genetic abnormalities are caused by of radiation, viruses, transposons and mutagenic chemicals, but now scientists have identified yet another factor that results in mutations – overpopulation!

Human population growth helps to explain the large number of genetic variants, the scientists said.

“The fact that we see so many rare variants is in part due to the fact that human populations have been growing very rapidly,” Novembre said. “Because the human population has grown so much, the opportunity for mutations to occur has also grown. Some of the variants we are seeing are very young, dating to population growth since the invention of agriculture and even the Industrial Revolution; this growth has created many opportunities for mutation in the genome because there are so many transmissions of chromosomes from parent to child in large populations.”

As a result of overpopulation, rare gene variants are much more likely to occur. And scientists do not rule out that soon there may be new types of mutations that lead to unknown changes in the human body.

Is a new race of X-men being born?

There are scientists who see benefits with mutations. Professor Darren Kessner of Univerist of California has for example suggested that among Earthlings there will soon be a fantastic group of “X-Men.” They beings do not come out of secret laboratories, as in the famous blockbuster movies, but are born naturally.

“New mutations are the source of inherited variation, some of which can lead to disease and dysfunction, and some of which determine the nature and pace of evolutionary change. These are exciting times.

We are finally obtaining good reliable estimates of genetic features that are urgently needed to understand who we are genetically,” said Joseph Nadeau, from the Case Western Reserve University in the US.

Both useful and harmful mutations have always existed as a completely normal phenomenon, but if the number of mutations increases dramatically, one cannot help wondering what implications this development will have for the human race……

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