| Share


avatara (ăvˌətârə) [key] [Skt., = descent], incarnations of Hindu gods, especially Vishnu. The doctrine of avatara first occurs in the Bhagavad-Gita, where Krishna declares: "For the preservation of the righteous, the destruction of the wicked, and the establishment of dharma [virtue], I come into being from age to age." Vishnu is believed to have taken nine avatara, in both animal and human form, with a tenth yet to come. The avatara of Shiva are imitations of those of Vishnu.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on avatara from Infoplease:

  • incarnation - incarnation incarnation, the assumption of human form by a god, an idea common in religion. In ...
  • Jesus (Jesus Christ) - Jesus Jesus or Jesus Christ, 1st-century Jewish teacher and prophet in whom Christians have ...
  • Vishnu - Vishnu Vishnu , one of the greatest gods of Hinduism, also called Narayana. First mentioned in the ...
  • bhakti - bhakti bhakti [Skt.,=devotion], theistic devotion in Hinduism. Bhakti cults seem to have existed ...
  • Bhagavad-Gita - Bhagavad-Gita Bhagavad-Gita [Skt.,=song of the Lord], Sanskrit poem incorporated into the ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Hinduism

Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring