Vishnu's Avatars at the Brooklyn Museum

“Vishnu: Hinduism’s Blue-Skinned Savior” is a new show at the Brooklyn Museum. The Times says about the exhibit, "it takes a while to radiate its full devotional glow over a show that is gratifyingly large but also dauntingly crowded with ideas and information."

We must see this exhibit, especially because we have a section named "Avatars of the Priest" in our new book, "God's Favorite Prayers," beginning on page 99. The Times says this about the show,
...Judeo-Christian tradition has one God. But in Hinduism multiplicity is the name of the spiritual game, and Vishnu has taken full advantage of this by descending to earth in several very different forms.

These forms or incarnations are referred to as avatars. The usual number given is 10, listed chronologically, as if in evolutionary order. He first materialized as a giant fish, then as a tortoise, then a wild boar, then half-human lion. Thereafter he took on fully human forms, as a dwarf named Vamana, a militant Brahmin named Parashurama, a warrior-prince named Rama, and a blue-skinned cowherd-playboy named Krishna.

In each case the avatar arrived to set an example of ethical living or to get the world out of a jam. That certainly was true of the Buddha, who is frequently identified as avatar No. 9. And it will no doubt be true of a final incarnation, which will materialize in the future to give aid and counsel when the terrible age we live in comes to its nasty end...

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