Dashawatar- A Communist’s Explanation

Generally, the communists never say anything rational about the Hindu mythology and the epics. It was surprising to read Sitaram Yachury in a lead article in ‘Hindustan Times’ June12, 2007 coming out with a remarkable explanation of Dashawatar (ten incarnations) that relates to Vishnu, the protector among the Tridevas (the other two being Brahma, the creator, and Shiva, the destroyer):

Consider the following interpretation of the mythological Das Avataras. We are told in the Mahabharata that in every yuga (epoch), God descends on Earth to uphold dharma and to cleanse it. At the end of the present yuga, God is supposed to appear in the form of the tenth avatar, Kalki.

The first avatar is in the form of a fish. Science has now confirmed that the first life forms evolved underwater. The second is the tortoise, an amphibious creature capable of living both on land and in water. The third is the boar, able to live only on land. The transition of life from underwater to land marks this stage. Next in line is the Narasimha avatar reflecting the transition from the animal to the human form. This is followed by the Vaman avatar, representing the evolution of the human form in its dwarf size. This is followed by Parasuram, who wields the axe as his weapon. This represents the stage of the clearing of forests for human settlement. Rama who follows wields the bow and arrow as his weapon, i.e. a weapon that can protect human settlements by attacking the enemy from a distance.

Balaram, who comes next, wields the plough. This is the stage of evolution of human civilisation to the levels of an agrarian economy. Krishna represents the further advance of human civilisation in the stage of domestication of the cow and the development of the dairy economy. Farther down the line, Kalki, who is yet to arrive, is portrayed as riding a horse representing the stage of the domestication of the horse.

The Das Avataras can, thus, be seen as a remarkable recording of the evolution of human life and its civilisational advance till the Aryans mastered the horse and majestically moved across lands.

However, Yachuri forgets that horse has a mention in mythology. One famous name among horses is that of ‘Syamkaran’. And the Mahabharat and Ramayana stories cover almost the whole of India and perhaps beyond too, with a lot of authencity

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