3 min read

Excerpt from Spiritual Teachings of the Avatar

by Jeffrey Armstrong

Within the word Avatar is another secret Sanskrit word that guides us to the next level of our development. The word is vrata, made from the same letters as Avatar. Vrata means “a vow or commitment”—a giving of our word that then governs and directs our behavior. This is the healing medicine for the irresponsible use of free will by humans. Animals are what they are by nature and instinct, but humans advance or degrade ourselves according to the greater vision that we bind ourselves to through a conscious and purposeful vow.

It is often said that “it isn’t what you know, it’s whom you know.” The Vedas say both are crucial. Our knowing of the ritam, the Laws of Nature, allows us to cooperate with Mother Nature and create a more harmonious life and world. Learning to know the Devas, the divine helpers in the Material Nature, gives us excellent role models of divine service, which leads us toward deeper compassion and enlightenment. However, there remains within us a potential that can be activated only by an association with someone who inspires us to be the most noble person we are capable of being. If, as the film Avatar points out, at our worst we are mining the world for Unobtanium, then the Avatar comes bearing the medicine of Divine inspiration, the “Restorium.”

Once we form the link to the Transcendental and the bond with the Person of the Avatar, then we take a vrata that our lives will be dedicated to living up to the noble ideals expressed in the lives of the Avatars. That vow becomes the new guiding principle in our lives. Imagine a world filled with souls who live in the service of all beings, inspired by the loving example of the Avatar.

That final stage of initiation and inspiration is not accomplished by joining a group. It is not limited by geography, nationality, age, race, politics, religion, or any other material consideration. Once the eternal individual has chosen to follow the inspiration of the Avatar, then the realization comes that the Divine Intelligence is in control of the final outcome of all situations and activities. Living in that state of mind is called surrender—not surrender because of domination, but surrender as trust. This is the meaning of Arjuna’s having Shri Krishna drive his chariot across the field of Kurukshetra. Our bond with the Avatar is expressed as our desire for Divine Guidance and service. In the Bhagavad Gita, that state is called karma yoga, which means putting all that we have learned to the test by living in this world in the service of the Avatar and working for the good of all beings.

What we need are heroes and heroines. We need great souls, mahatmas, who only want the good of all, and who do everything with an ear to the lips of the Divine voice of the Avatar. Our Avatar moment is realized when we live with and for the good of all beings in mind and heart. The Avatar moment of our world will be realized if we can all serve one another and evolve together in divine cooperation. This is the hope of the Avatars and the secret of the messages They left during Their appearance among us.


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