Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Ten Avatars of Vishnu: Evolution Personified
Just discovered (or was reminded of) something epiphanous, astounding, simple and profound. Vishnu, the second person of the Hindu Trimurti ("trinity"), has ten avatars that quite clearly express the progressive stages of human evolution.
Matsya, fish avatar
Kurma, tortoise avatar
Varaha, boar avatar
Narasingha, half-human, half-beast avatar
Vamana, dwarf avatar
Parasurama, axe-wielding avatar
Rama, warrior-king avatar
Krishna, cowherd avatar
Buddha, enlightened avatar
Kalki, coming avatar to end the current age
This quite clearly exemplifies that the debate phrased as "creationism versus evolution" is unnecessary and rather mute. Indeed, this example of a healthy amalgamation of ancient "religion" and "science" (the "religious-science" of India is known as "Ayurveda") expresses a clear understanding of the principles of human evolution thousands of years before Darwin. Once again my respect for the teachings of India are reaffirmed.
Indeed, many of the texts of the Vedas might be read as encoded scientific formulas, arguably even to the level of expressing advanced "quantum-physics" type principles (perhaps I'll get to the Vedic references to flying machines and other advanced technologies, and even potential references to and evidences of ancient nuclear war, at another time).
Link to book review of Vedic Physics: Scientific Origin of Hinduism