Ignorance, Evolution and the Avatar-M.S. Srinivasan

Once upon a time, there lived in the dark depth of a drainage water canal, a large number of worms crawling contently in the darkness, unaware of the light of the sun shining above the canal. One day a few worms perceived a ray of light piercing through the thick darkness, and dropping a point of light into their being. Dazzled by the tiny shining glory, these worms began to play with the new found particle of light entering into them. They felt very superior to other worms who were not yet touched by the light. They spent their time proud and satisfied with the tiny atom of light and happiness they won.

Most of these worms spent the rest of their lives in this way feeling themselves to be elite in the world of worms. But a few of these elite worms began to feel dissatisfied with this game. Wise among them started asking: from where this light is coming? What is the source of this particle of light in this darkness? They strained their eyes and fluttered their bodies to find the source of light. Those worms which persisted in this effort to find the light, by the very intensity of their effort, rose from the depth to the surface of drainage water and felt the illumination, the light of the sun shining on them.

Here again most of these illuminated worms felt that they have gone beyond the worm species, found the supreme truth and attained the highest aim of life. Many of them became teachers and guides in the world of worms. But a few them realised that as long as they are crawling in the drainage water, however luminous it may, illumined by the light of the sun from above, they were not free from wormhood. They felt not only the light of the sun but also intuitively perceived the vast expanse of space and sky and the freedom of the world extending above and beyond the drainage canal. So these worms yearned intensely for a total freedom from the crawling wormhood and the stifling world of the canal. As they persisted and intensified their aspiration, one day suddenly they grew wings and flew away from the canal. They were no longer worms.

Beyond and above the world of the drainage canal, in the sun-world which illumines our planet, a beautiful swan was looking at this miserable world of worms crawling in the drainage water, from which only a few can escape. The swan felt a deep pity and compassion for these crawling creatures. It descended from its luminous home, entered into the drainage water, and outwardly assumed the form of a worm in order to open a path of freedom in the canal, through which large number of worms can escape from the drainage water. The swan lived outwardly like a worm in the world of worms. Except a few illumined and highly evolved worms crawling in the surface of the drainage water¾ who were able to intuitively perceive the swan in the body of the worm and became the disciples of the swan¾no other worms perceived the true nature of the denizen of the sun-world crawling among them with the body of the worm. The swan from the sun, the sun-worm, assumed all the limitations and difficulties of wormhood, and conquering them, established that capacity for a similar conquest in the consciousness of the worm-species. After fulfilling its mission, the swan, shed off its worm-body and flew back to its native sun-world.

The parable illustrates the evolution of human nature, trapped in the world of earthly ignorance, the possibility of release from ignorance and the descent of the Avathar, the divine incarnate for the redemption of humanity.

The drainage water canal is the world of human ignorance and the worms are the mass of humanity enmeshed in it. The first group of worms represents the first stage of evolution in ignorance. They are those human beings who have crossed the physical and vital phase of evolution and risen to the consciousness of the higher mental being, the intellectual, ethical and aesthetic mind, living content and satisfied in this level. The second group of worms represents the next stage of evolution in which human consciousness or the mind opens itself to a higher light beyond the rational mind and receives intuitions and inspirations from it, but still lives within the world of ignorance; an illumined ignorance perhaps, but not yet entirely free from it. They are the great human geniuses who receive inspirations from regions beyond the average human mind and advanced spiritual seekers who have spiritual experiences and vision and a glimpse of the inner light. Many among them may stop here, some mistaking the reflection of the supramental sun in the pure and silent mind as the sun itself, and become religious and spiritual teachers.

The last group of worms who grow wings and fly away from the canal, are those human souls who proceed further and raise beyond the belt of human mental ignorance to the supreme freedom of the spirit. They are those yogis, saints and sages who have realised their spiritual self through a process of natural evolution, passing through the stages of physical, vital and mental development, opening the mind to the light of the spirit, and finally raising beyond the mind towards the great liberation.

The swan descending from the sun is the Avathar, the divine incarnate, who doesn’t belong to the world of human worms in the drainage waters of ignorance or evolution through ignorance. He is a non-evolutionary being, ever free denizen from a luminous divine world beyond earth. He comes down to earth and assumes a human body in order to open a new path of freedom and perfection to the bound, suffering and struggling humanity. In his outer being, he wears a human form and assumes all the limitations and imperfections of the human species. But inwardly in his inner being, he is a luminous divine being, a god, free from the limitations and imperfections of the human and terrestrial ignorance. By manifesting the power of his inborn divine nature, he conquers all the limitations and imperfections of his outer human nature, and in this way establishes in the human and terrestrial consciousness, the possibility or the capacity for a similar conquest in all other human being. He may also implant in the human-terrestrial consciousness, a new spiritual idea-force which gives a higher thrust to human evolution and progress.

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