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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Avatar, Incarnation and Christ

I find it strange, but not surprising, that the world of the Internet should adopt the Hindu word Avatar. The word in Sanskrit means something like an alter ego. In modern gaming and other Internet forms an avatar is an an "object" that represents the user. It can refer to the person connected with the screen name or the handle of the Internet user or gamer.

In the Hindu religion an avatar is the material form of some god's essence. This seems to be particularly true of their god Vishnu. This ultimate supreme being—in their view—has manifested himself bodily form numerous times.

In their epics the main avatars of Vishnu are Rama, the hero of the Ramayana, and Krishna, the advisor of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata. There are other Avatars appearing in animal or human form. One of those was Brahman.

One can find traces of such beliefs—and longings—in many religions, including Asatru, the religion of the Norsemen, the people of the north. Oh that God would come down among us to rescue, redeem and restore us to eternal bliss and joy!

The essence of true Christian faith is that God was in Christ Jesus, the man, reconciling Himself to the world. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.