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Dashavtar or Theory of Evolution

The theory of evolution was first established by Charles Darwin in 1860. However, the ancient Indians already knew about this theory and have been transmitting this over the years through Vishnu’s Dashavatar stories. Lord Vishnu, considered as one of the members of holy trinity, is notable for taking various forms.

Each form represents one stage in the process of evolution as follows:-

Matsyavatar: A fish

First incarnation of lord Vishnu in the form of a giant fish. This represents the early life that evolved from the aquatic life system.

Kurmavatar: A large tortoise

Tortoises are amphibians which live both on land and water. This shows life evolving from being aquatic to becoming terrestrial. Life started coming out of the water.

Varahavatar: A wild boar

Boars are mammals. This form signifies the complete emergence of terrestrial species, changed habitat and nutrition for the animals.

Narsimhavatar: A man-lion form

The incarnation depicts the evolution from animal to man. This form represents partially Bipedal primates, the connecting link between animals and humans.

Vamanavatar: A dwarf man

This marks the emergence of early humans, a representation of the Hominidae dwarf. This form possesses all the characteristics of humans and is regarded as the most recent ancestor of humans.

Parshuramavatar: A nomad

This form represents early forest dwellers and hunter-gatherers. This is the evolution of the lifestyle of early humans, that is they started hunting, cooking and using tools for their convenience. This stage is Homo erectus in Darwinian terms.

Ramavatar: A king

This incarnation is the mark of changes in intellect of humans. Evolution from being forest dwellers to settling of people. They started making towns and villages with heads to guide them. A representation of modern-day man i.e. Homo sapiens.

Krishnavatar: A guru

This form illustrates a modern intellectual, who knows how to set rules, access power and be flexible with them, so as to benefit themselves, society and other beings.

Buddha: The enlightened one

This form is a self-realized or liberated state of mind. A form free of any worldly temptations and emotions. A form which truly wishes good of others without any selfish motive. Sadly, today’s world has not evolved to this level.


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