By Subash Marathe

This article is third in the series of article explaining the concept of avatar

CAN ALL OF US BE OR HAVE AVATARS?

Some argue that any and all embodied creatures can be termed ‘avatars’ (as the movie also suggests). Any number of ‘living Gods’ are being proclaimed within India and other parts of the world today. Some of these gods are mystics, some are charismatics, and some are politicians. But none of them are authorized by the Vedic scriptures. They represent only the mistaken idea that the one formless unlimited Truth appears in endless gross, physical human incarnations, and that you and me and I and he are therefore all together God. And since each god has a different idea of what dharma (real religion ) is, the final truth is that the paths of all gods lead to the same goal.

This idea is as unenlightened as it is impractical. When ordinary people proclaim themselves to be God, and that whatever they are doing is Vedic dharma, that is termed as a disturbance to eternal religious principles. Lord Krishna therefore proclaims – To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium. (Bhagavad Gita 4.8)

DEPRESSION CAUSING BEAUTY

Cameron’s 3D science fiction epic “Avatar” and its spectacular world may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world shown in the movie. On the fan forum site “Avatar Forums,” a topic thread entitled “Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible,” has received more than 1,000 posts from people experiencing depression and fans trying to help them cope, reports the website of the CNN.

The topic became so popular that the forum administrator had to create a second thread so people could continue to post their confused feelings about the movie. One user wrote on the fan website “Naviblue” that he contemplated suicide after seeing the movie.

“Ever since I went to see ‘Avatar’ I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na’vi made me want to be one of them. I can’t stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it. I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in ‘Avatar’,” he added.

Other fans have expressed feelings of disgust with the human race and disengagement with reality. The world of Pandora which is reminiscent of a prehistoric fantasyland, filled with dinosaur-like creatures mixed with the kinds of fauna found in the deep reaches of the ocean. Compared with life on Earth, Pandora is a beautiful, glowing utopia. Another user wrote “When I woke up this morning afterwatching Avatar for the first time yesterday, the world seemed … gray. It was like my whole life, everything I’ve done and worked for, lost its meaning, It just seems so meaningless. I still don’t really see any reason to keep doing things at all. I live in a dying world.”

Stephan Quentzel, psychiatrist and Medical Director for the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York said: “Virtual life is not real life and it never will be, but this is the pinnacle of what we can build in a virtual presentation so far. It has taken the best of our technology to create this virtual world and real life will never be as utopian as it seems onscreen. It makes real life seem more imperfect.”

The Vedic scriptures describe the spiritual world in glowing terms The inhabitants of the spiritual world planets are described as having a glowing sky-bluish complexion. Their eyes resemble lotus flowers, their dress is of yellowish color, and their bodily features very attractive. They are just the age of growing youths, they all have four hands, they are all nicely decorated with pearl necklaces with ornamental medallions, and they all appear to be effulgent. Some of them are effulgent like coral and diamonds in complexion and have garlands on their heads, blooming like lotus flowers, and some wear earrings.

And this is merely a fraction of all varieties of descriptions found in the Vedas. It is significant that none of our transcendentalists experienced depression or suicidal tendencies upon meditating on such descriptions. In fact reading and meditating upon bonafide descriptions of the spiritual world provides us an impetus to discover the realm of the real Avatar and not the one which releases a Pandora of ills.

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