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Sunday, June 04, 2006

avatāras, asuras, rādhākund-śyāmakund

'Incarnation' is not the right translation for the word avatāra. It is Latin for 'in the flesh' and is thus a māyāvādī-translation because, according to Vaiṣṇava-siddhānta, God never goes in the flesh. The word avatāra is better translated as 'descent'. Instead it is us conditioned souls who are incarnations - incarnations of the individual souls.

'Demon' is often a way-too-heavy translation of the word asura, which means ungodly (a=un sura=godly). We must remember that asuras, the ungodly, are sinning out of ignorance (ityajñāna vimohitaḥ, B.Gītā 16.15)

Iskcon's Gopīnāth Dās (kīrtanīya) explains that one first bathes in Rādhākuṇḍa otherwise Kṛṣṇa will not accept you in Śyāmakuṇḍa then you bathe in Śyāmakuṇḍa and then again in Rādhākuṇḍa because only then Rādhārāṇī will really accept you.

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