A hypothetical conversation between a mother and genetic scientist, Vasu, is given below to explain the theory of evolution as per Hindu scriptures based on mythologies “Dashavtar” (10 Avtars of Lord Vishnu).
“Mom, I am a genetic scientist. I am working in the US on the evolution of man. Theory of evolution. Charles Darwin, have you heard of him?” Vasu asked.
His Mother sat next to him, smiled and said, “I know about Darwin, Vasu. But Have you heard of Dashavatar? The ten avatars of Vishnu?”
Vasu replied ‘no’.
“Ok! Then let me tell you what you and your Darwin do not know.
Listen carefully: –
The first avatar was the Matsya Avatar, it means the fish. That is because life began in the water. Is that, not right?”
Vasu began to listen with a little more attention.
She continued, “Then came the Kurma Avatar, which means the tortoise, because life moved from the water to the land. The amphibian! So, the Tortoise denoted the evolution from sea to land.
Third avatar was Varaha Avtar, the wild boar, which meant the wild animals with not much intellect, you call them the Dinosaurs, correct?” Vasu nodded wide eyed.
“The fourth avatar was Narasimha Avtar, half man and half animal, the evolution from wild animals to intelligent beings.
Fifth, the Waman Avatar, the midget or dwarf, who could grow tall really very tall at will. Do you know why that is? Because there were two kinds of humans, Homo Erectus and Homo Sapiens and Homo Sapiens won that battle.”
Vasu could see that his Mother was in full flow and he was stupefied.
“The Sixth avatar was Parshuram Avatar, the man who wielded the axe, the man who was a cave and forest dweller. Angry, and not social.
The seventh avatar was Ram, the first rational thinking social being, who practised and laid out the laws of society and the basis of human relationships.
The Eighth avatar was Balarama1, a true farmer, his weapon was a plow, who showed value of agriculture in the life.
The Ninth avatar was Krishna, the statesman, the politician, the diplomat, the Ambassador, the subtle interpreter, the lover who played the game of society and taught how to live and thrive in the adharmic (irreligious) social structure.
And finally, my boy, will come Kalki, the man you are working on. The man who will be genetically supreme.
Vasu looked at his mother speechless. “This is amazing mom, how did you …. ? This makes sense!”
She said, “Yes it does Vasu! We Indians knew some amazing things, but just did not know how to pass it on scientifically. So, we made them into mythological stories. Mythology creates faith and makes man sensible. It is just the way you look at it – Religious or Scientific. Your call.”
Vasu touched the feet of his mother and hugged her. She kissed and blessed him smilingly.
1. However, there is a differing opinion for the 8th and 9th Avtar. Some believe that the Lord Balram was the 8th Avtar and being an elder brother of Lord Krishna, he was placed as 8th and the Lord Krishna as 9th Avtar. However, there is a different school of thought which does not believe in Lord Balram being an Avtar of Lord Vishnu. And I personally tend to agree with this thought. Because Lord Balram is believed to be an elder brother of the Lord Krishna. And if that be so, Lord Vishnu cannot be in two different Avatars at the same time.
Therefore, another school of thought is that the Lord Krishna was the 8th Avtar and Lord Buddha is the 9th Avtar. Some Buddhist scholars do not agree with that thought. There is no definitive answer with me. If one looks at the period in which these Avtars are believed to have been born, it is reasonable to believe that Buddha may be considered to be the 9th Avtar. I leave it to the readers to draw their own conclusion.