Editor's Choice

Evolution: Comparing Darwin's theory with Vishnu's incarnations

"A hundred years ago, the subject of the origin and evolution of living systems became the battleground of history's greatest collision between science and religion. Darwin's theory of evolution shook the foundations of Christian doctrine and, more than any other pronouncement since Copernicus placed the sun at the centre of the solar system, brought home to ordinary people the far-reaching consequences of scientific analysis. Science, it appeared, could change man's entire perspective and his relation to the universe."- Paul Davies

Karen Armstrong, A History of God

"The Death of God?

By the beginning of the nineteenth century, atheism was definitely on the agenda. The advances in science and technology were creating a new theory of autonomy and independence which led some to declare their independence of God. This was the century in which Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud forged philosophies and scientific interpretations of reality which had no place for God. Indeed, by the end of the century, a significant number of people were beginning to feel that if God was not yet dead, it was the duty of rational, emancipated human beings to kill him. The idea of God which had been fostered for centuries in the Christian West now appeared disastrously inadequate, and the Age of Reason seem to have triumphed over centuries of superstition and bigotry... Many of the ideologies which rejected the idea of God made good sense. The anthropomorphic personal God of Western Christendom was vulnerable. Appalling crimes had been committed in his name. Yet his demise was not experienced as a joyous celebration but attended by doubt, dread and, in some cases, agonizing conflict. Some people tried to save God by evolving new theology to free him from the inhibiting systems of empirical thought, but atheism had come to stay."

Karen Armstrong, A History of God, Ballantine Books, 1993, p. 346.

In Defense Of Atheism: The Case against Christianity, Judaism & Islam
"Lamarck, followed by Darwin, published their discoveries. The former proposed that species change, the latter that they evolve according to the so-called laws of natural selection. The readers of the only book shook their heads: God created the dog and the wolf from whole cloth, the city rat and the country rat, the cat, the weasel, and the bunny rabbit. No likelihood whatsoever that a comparison of their bones might prove evolution or transformation. And then there was that notion that men descended from monkeys! An unbearable narcissistic wound, Freud suggested. The pope cousin to a baboon? Horrors ... Transformation of species? Evolution? Absolutely not!

In the industrious atmosphere of their laboratories scientists advanced the idea of humans at different geographical locations. A contradiction, thundered the church: Adam and Eve were indeed, factually and really, the first man and the first woman. Before them no one existed. The existence of the primordial couple, the couple who brought us original sin, buttresses the biblical logic of error, guilt, and redemption. What can we do with men and women existing before sin, and thus spared by sin? Pre-Adamites? Absolutely not!

Brushing dirt from stones and poring over fossils, geologists proposed a scientific dating of the world. Seashells found on mountaintops, strata and layers all attest to an immanent chronology. But there is a problem; their dating does not correspond to the sacred numerology supplied by the Bible. Christians insist that the world is four thousand years old, no more, no less. Scientists prove the existence of a world before that Christian world. Science is wrong ... Is geology a science to be relied on? Absolutely not!"

In Defense Of Atheism: The Case against Christianity, Judaism & Islam
Michel Onfray, page 91
Viking Canada (AHC); 1 edition (Jan 30 2007)
ISBN-10: 0670067245
ISBN-13: 978-0670067244

Willard G. Oxtoby, World Religions: The Christian Tradition
"Darwin has said little in The Origin about the human race; his The Descent of Man came out twelve years later. That was after evolution had gained considerable acceptance and eight years after books by Thomas Huxley (1825-95) and Charles Lyell (1797-1875) had explored what it meant for a view of humankind. In The Descent, Darwin stressed the continuities between animal and human development, with attention to the detailed similarity of their bodily organs. The human brain is not exempt from such continuity; for Darwin, all its intellectual activity, including language and social morality, is the adaptively advantageous product of natural selection.

Thanks to Darwin's theories, we are more cognizant of our kinship with the animals, not only in medical and biological research but in our concern for a viable ecological future. In this century, modern Christian theologians assessing the place of human life in the universe have tended to shift the locus of human distinctiveness from special physical creation to a unique intellectual and spiritual capacity for transcendence. It is not so much human descent in the past but human ascent in the future that has become the agenda for religious thinkers persuaded by Darwin's discoveries."

Willard G. Oxtoby, World Religions: The Christian Tradition
Oxford University Press Canada, 1996, p. 322.

Professor Paul Davies, God and the New Physics
"A hundred years ago, the subject of the origin and evolution of living systems became the battleground of history's greatest collision between science and religion. Darwin's theory of evolution shook the foundations of Christian doctrine and, more than any other pronouncement since Copernicus placed the sun at the centre of the solar system, brought home to ordinary people the far-reaching consequences of scientific analysis. Science, it appeared, could change man's entire perspective and his relation to the universe...

The Bible states quite explicitly that life is the direct result of God's activity; it did not arise naturally as a result of ordinary physical processes established after the creation of heaven and Earth. Instead God chose to produce, by divine power, first the plants and animals, then Adam and Eve. Of course, the vast majority of Christians and Jews now concede the allegorical nature of Genesis, and make no attempt to defend the biblical version of the origin of life as a historical fact...

Did God literally manipulate molecules of no-living matter in violation of the laws of physics and chemistry to produce, miraculously, the first living thing? Did he further manipulate the genetic structure of some ape-like creature thousands (or millions) of years ago to produce man? Or is life the result of pure natural, if complex, physical and chemical activity, and man the end product of a long and convoluted evolutionary development?"

Professor Paul Davies, God and the New Physics
Simon and Schuster, 1983, p. 58-9.

Billions & Billions by Carl Sagan
"Really big numbers are part and parcel of modern science; but I don't want to leave the impression that they were invented in our time.

Indian arithmetic has long been equal to large numbers. You can easily find references in Indian newspapers today to fines or expenditures of lakh or crore rupees. The key is: das = 10; san = 100; hazar = 1,000; lakh = 105; crore = 107; arabh = 109; carabh = 1011; nie = 1013; padham = 1015; and sankh = 1017.

Before their culture was annihilated by the Europeans, the Maya of ancient Mexico devised a world timescale that dwarfed the paltry few thousand years that the Europeans thought had passed since the creation of the world. Among the decaying monuments of Coba, in Quintana Roo, are inscriptions showing that the Maya were contemplating a Universe around 1029 years old. The Hindus held that the present incarnation of the Universe is 8.6 X 109 years old—almost right on the button."

Carl Sagan, Billions & Billions, Ballantine Books, 1997, p. 11-2.
Ballantine Books; 1 edition (May 12 1998)

The Hindu myth of Dasavatar (10 incarnations)

Vishnu with his 10 avatars (incarnations): Fish, Tortoise, Boar, Man-Lion, Dwarf, Rama with the Ax, King Rama, Krishna, Buddha, and Kalkin. Painting from Jaipur, India, 19th century; in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Dasavtar concept and the theory of evolution

"The Hindu myth of Dasavatar (10 incarnations) describes how Vishnu, the central figure in the triad of Indian gods, incarnated from time to time to save mankind and the sacred scriptures of India's ancient civilisation from the evil designs of demons. As in other myths which make up the vast body of Hindu scriptures, the victory of good over evil is a persistent theme of all mythologies in the world and Hindu mythology is no exception.

The 9 incarnations of Vishnu, which have taken place so far according to the myth, are (1) Matsya - fish, (2) Koorma - tortoise, (3) Varaha - boar, (4) Narasimha - half man-half lion, (5) Vaman - dwarf man, (6) Parashuram - man with an axe, (7) Rama - moral man, (8) Krishna - philosophical man and (9) Buddha - spiritual man. The 10th incarnation is Kalki or holocaust, which will come when evil overtakes the whole world in the milennia to come.

The scientific theory of evolution states that life on earth began as single-celled organisms and later developed into multi-celled beings. Moreover, the theory further states that aquatic creatures came into existence first. Then came amphibians that could exist in water as well as on land. Land-dependent animals and airborne birds followed the amphibians. Finally, human beings completed the cosmic drama of creation.

As if to explain this theory of evolution, Indian mythology says that first there was only primeval water which covered the earth like a flood. Vishnu's first incarnation as a fish (Matsya) indicated the first appearance of life in the aquatic form. His second incarnation as a tortoise (Koorma) represented the amphibian stage. The boar (Varaha) manifestation in his third incarnation stood for the stage of animal life on land.

The transition from animals to humans was beautifully advanced by a concept of half-man-half-lion (Narasimha) in the fourth incarnation. Vishnu's fifth incarnation showed the further march of evolution — the appearance of early homo sapiens, symbolised by the dwarf Vamana. Then, tall but violent savages wielding weapons walked the earth. Parashuram was that violent axe-bearing sixth incarnation. Evolution had by now definitely entered the human stage, and the human form and mind were getting more and more refined, first in the moral sense and then in the spiritual.

Rama, the seventh incarnation in the human form was an example of rectitude, courage and morality. Krishna, the eighth incarnation in the human form who originated the Bhagvad Gita, was the philosopher, the teacher of the world. Gautama, the Buddha, the ninth incarnation, was closest to nirvana,, moksha or salvation. And Kalki, the tenth incarnation, yet to manifest itself, would be the ultimate terminator who would finish the evolutionary process in one mighty holocaust."


Sunday, August 26, 2012
How Hinduism explains evolution

Evolution of life, has been a controversial topic among scientists and religious communities. Charles Darwin tossed the idea of evolution of species, which explains that all species of life have descended from common ancestors, and it occurred by a process called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence allows organisms to become more adapted the environment.

Hinduism is well known for their use of statues/deities for representation of planets & energies. There are numerous stories in Hindu verdict texts often with deep meanings that cannot be understood by ordinary minds and most of them have been ignored as their literal meaning do not make any sense.

According to Hindu religion, there are three main deities: Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Brahma is a deity who represents the cosmic function of creation, while Shiva represents the cosmic function of destruction. Vishnu represents the cosmic functions of maintaining & preserving. Vishnu is said to take forms of an avatar at various periods in history to take the necessary actions responsible for sustaining the universe.

So whats the connection between this and the evolution of theory? It's quite interesting to note that the sequence of appearance of Vishnu on earth is in completely in tune with the theory of evolution. There ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu taking the form of an avatar on Earth and all of these events have been recorded by Sages thousands of years before Christ.Matsya : The first incarnation or avatar was in the form of a fish. If we compare this with biological evolution of species, it's confirmed that the first life originated in water and happened during the Cambrian Period.

Kurma : This avatar was in the form of a tortoise. We all know that tortoise is a creature capable of living both on land & in water, which indicates the transition of life from water to land.

Varaha : The third avatar was in the form of a Boar. This indicates the evolution of an amphibian animal to a land animal.

Narasimha : Half man and Half animal, and indicates the transformation from animal to human form. This may be early-extinct human ancestor such as someone who could be the missing link between apes and humans.

Vamana : Described as a dwarf or pigmy sized human being, indicates the complete transition into human form, and the beginning of intelligence in humans. This was the period of Pliocene, and could be the Neanderthals, who were shorter than modern human beings.

Parashurama : Forest dweller called Parasuram, who has weapons such as axe for survival. Happened in the Quaternary period and could have been the man of Iron age.

Ram: Lord Ram is well known among Hindus and is worshipped in temples as a deity. He is civilised and has developed better weapons such as bow and arrows and indicates a time where humans have started living in small communities and villages.

Krishna: Another popular deity worshipped in many temples, and is a clear representation of advanced human civilization.

Buddha : A very important avatar, who was the founder of Buddhism who was able to find out the ultimate truth for human suffering. Please check out my previous posts: Buddha's life & Buddha's findings

Kalki: As per ancient texts, this Avatar is yet to arrive. He would be here to restart the whole cycle, so that it starts again. Species will be disappearing and the world will come to an end."

Web (September 22, 2012)

The Primordial Human Evolution
"No. Incarnation: Physical — Conscious evolution

1. Matsya-avtar or Fish: Water borne life — amoebae or primeval evolution.
2. Kurmavtar or Turtle: Water/Land borne life — amphibians.
3. Varahavtar or Boar: Land borne life — mammals.
4. Narshinghavtar or Human-lion: Semi-human — primates.
5. Vamanavtar or Dwarf: Homo erectus — primitive human.
6. Parshuram or Divine Seeker: Homo sapiens — conscious human.
7. Ram or Perfect Human: Homo sapiens — God conscious human; outer awareness.
8. Krishna or Supreme Yogi: Homo sapiens — Self-conscious human; inner awareness.
9. Buddha or Consciousness: Homo sapiens — Self-Realization; inner enlightenment.
10. Kalki (Christ) or Spirit Being: Homo spiritus — God-Realization; Resurrection (en masse spiritual evolution.)

What is seen is the development of species right from the first signs of carbon life in the oceans billions of years ago to the present still evolving Homo sapiens. All these 10 incarnations of Shri Vishnu fit into the scientific chronology of the creation and evolution of the universe, but yet ahead of all modern meticulous minds as they also reveal the evolution of humans into spiritual beings and Afterlife in Spirit Worlds many light-years away from Earth. All humans—repeat: all humans—have taken countless rebirths spanning billions of years and reached this priceless human form, the highest evolved life in the eyes of the Universal Soul. The final metamorphosis or evolution is that into spiritual beings. The human species is now in the last stage of physical evolution—the Resurrection—to become the Spirit, the final goal of life that all Holy Scriptures expound and the only reason we are here."

Shri Adi Shakti: The Kingdom Of God, 1999, pages 2327-29

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