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Avatara (CC Madhya-lila)

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Expressions researched:
"avatara" |"avatara's" |"avataras" |"avatari"

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Madhya-lila

CC Madhya 1.41, Purport:

According to different absorptions, the incarnations are called āveśa and tad-ekātma. The first incarnation is divided into three puruṣāvatāras—namely, Mahā-Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Then there are the three incarnations of the modes of nature—namely, Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara (Śiva). All the paraphernalia used in the service of the Lord is transcendental, beyond the three qualities of this material world. There is also a description of twenty-five līlā-avatāras, namely Catuḥsana (the Kumāras), Nārada, Varāha, Matsya, Yajña, Nara-nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi, Kapila, Dattātreya, Hayagrīva, Haṁsa, Pṛśnigarbha, Ṛṣabha, Pṛthu, Nṛsiṁha, Kūrma, Dhanvantari, Mohinī, Vāmana, Paraśurāma, Dāśarathi, Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana, Balarāma, Vāsudeva, Buddha and Kalki. There are also fourteen incarnations of Manu: Yajña, Vibhu, Satyasena, Hari, Vaikuṇṭha, Ajita, Vāmana, Sārvabhauma, Ṛṣabha, Viṣvaksena, Dharmasetu, Sudhāmā, Yogeśvara and Bṛhadbhānu.

CC Madhya 1.43, Purport:

There are discussions of the differences between the qualitative incarnations, and discourses concerning the living entities, māyā, the material world, the theory of transformation, the illusory energy, the sameness of this world and the Supersoul, and the truth about this material world. In this connection, the opinions of Śrīdhara Svāmī are given. It is stated that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although devoid of material qualities, superintends all material activities. There is also a discussion of how the līlā-avatāra incarnations respond to the desires of the devotees and how the Supreme Personality of Godhead is characterized by six opulences.

CC Madhya 1.43, Purport:

There are discussions of Kṛṣṇa's pastimes and qualities, His superintendence of the puruṣa-avatāras, and so forth. The opinions of Śrīdhara Svāmī are corroborated. In each and every scripture, the supremacy of Kṛṣṇa is stressed. Baladeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa and other expansions of Kṛṣṇa are emanations of Mahā-Saṅkarṣaṇa. All the incarnations and expansions exist simultaneously in the body of Kṛṣṇa, who is described as two-handed. There are also descriptions of the Goloka planet, Vṛndāvana (the eternal place of Kṛṣṇa), the identity of Goloka and Vṛndāvana, the Yādavas and the cowherd boys (both eternal associates of Kṛṣṇa), the equality of the manifest and unmanifest pastimes, Śrī Kṛṣṇa's manifestation in Gokula, the queens of Dvārakā as expansions of the internal potency, and, superior to them, the superexcellent gopīs.

CC Madhya 6.99, Translation:

"In this Age of Kali there is no līlā-avatāra of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; therefore He is known as Triyuga. That is one of His holy names."

CC Madhya 6.99, Purport:

A līlā-avatāra is an incarnation of the Lord who performs a variety of activities without making any special endeavor. He always has one pastime after another, all full of transcendental pleasure, and these pastimes are fully controlled by the Supreme Person. The Supreme Person is totally independent of all others in these pastimes. While teaching Sanātana Gosvāmī (Cc. Madhya 20.296–298), Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu pointed out that one cannot count the number of līlā-avatāras:

līlāvatāra kṛṣṇera nā yāya gaṇana
pradhāna kariyā kahi dig-daraśana
CC Madhya 6.99, Purport:
"However," the Lord told Sanātana, "I shall explain the chief līlā-avatāras."
matsya, kūrma, raghunātha, nṛsiṁha, vāmana
varāhādi—lekhā yāṅra nā yāya gaṇana

Thus the Lord's incarnations were enumerated, including Matsya, the fish incarnation; Kūrma, the tortoise; Lord Rāmacandra; Nṛsiṁhadeva; Vāmanadeva; and Varāha, the boar incarnation. Thus there are innumerable līlā-avatāras, and all of these exhibit wonderful pastimes. Lord Varāha, the boar incarnation, lifted the entire planet earth from the depths of the Garbhodaka Ocean. The tortoise incarnation, Lord Kūrma, became a pivot for the emulsification of the whole sea, and Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva appeared as half-man, half-lion. These are some of the wonderful and uncommon features of līlā-avatāras.

CC Madhya 6.99, Purport:

In his book Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has enumerated the following twenty-five līlā-avatāras: Catuḥ-sana, Nārada, Varāha, Matsya, Yajña, Nara-Nārāyaṇa, Kapila, Dattātreya, Hayaśīrṣa (Hayagrīva), Haṁsa, Pṛśnigarbha, Ṛṣabha, Pṛthu, Nṛsiṁha, Kūrma, Dhanvantari, Mohinī, Vāmana, Paraśurāma, Rāghavendra, Vyāsa, Balarāma, Kṛṣṇa, Buddha and Kalki.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is not mentioned as a līlā-avatāra because He is an incarnation in disguise (channa-avatāra). In this Age of Kali there are no līlā-avatāras, but there is an incarnation of the Lord manifested in the body of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This has been explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

CC Madhya 6.100, Translation:

Gopīnātha Ācārya continued, “There is certainly an incarnation in every age, and such an incarnation is called the yuga-avatāra. But your heart has become so hardened by logic and argument that you cannot consider all these facts.

CC Madhya 8.38, Purport:
Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura sings in his Prārthanā (39):
śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-prabhu dayā kara more,
tomā vinā ke dayālu jagat-saṁsāre
patita-pāvana-hetu tava avatāra,
mo sama patita prabhu nā pāibe āra

"My dear Lord, please be merciful to me. Who can be more merciful than Your Lordship within these three worlds? You appear as an incarnation just to reclaim the conditioned, fallen souls, but I assure You that You will not find a soul more fallen than me."

CC Madhya 9.143, Translation:

“"All these incarnations of Godhead are either plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions of the puruṣa-avatāras. But Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. In every age He protects the world through His different features when the world is disturbed by the enemies of Indra.""

CC Madhya 11.46, Purport:

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission is thus described by Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura: patita-pāvana-hetu tava avatāra/ mo-sama patita prabhu nā pāibe āra. If Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu descended to reclaim sinners, then one who is the most sinful and lowborn is the first candidate for the Lord's consideration. Mahārāja Pratāparudra considered himself a most fallen soul because he had to deal with material things constantly and enjoy material profits.

CC Madhya 12.135, Purport:

A neophyte devotee is certain to be attacked by other material desires as well, namely desires for women and money. In this way the heart is again filled with dirty things and becomes harder and harder, like that of a materialist. Gradually one desires to become a reputed devotee or an avatāra (incarnation).

CC Madhya 13.139, Purport:

Instead of cultivating speculative knowledge or practicing mystic yoga, a devotee should worship the Deity in the temple and continuously engage in the Lord's service. Temple Deity worship is realized by the devotees to be the same as direct service to the Lord. The Deity is known as the arcā-vigraha or arcā-avatāra, an incarnation of the Supreme Lord in the form of a material manifestation (brass, stone or wood). Ultimately there is no difference between Kṛṣṇa manifest in matter or Kṛṣṇa manifest in spirit because both are His energies. For Kṛṣṇa, there is no distinction between matter and spirit. His manifestation in material form, therefore, is as good as His original form, sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (Bs. 5.1).

CC Madhya 14.16, Purport:

"I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, who is more magnanimous than any other avatāra, even Kṛṣṇa Himself, because He is bestowing freely what no one else has ever given—pure love of Kṛṣṇa." Śrīla Locana dāsa Ṭhākura has also sung, parama karuṇa, pahuṅ dui jana, nitāi-gauracandra: "The two brothers Nitāi and Gaura are so kind that no one can compare to Them."

CC Madhya 17.51, Purport:

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has described Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as mahā-vadānya-avatāra, the most munificent incarnation. Although Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is not physically present now, simply by chanting His holy name (śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda) people throughout the world are becoming devotees. This is due to the ecstatic chanting of the holy name of the Lord. It is said that a pure devotee can see the Lord at every moment, and because of this he is empowered by the Lord. This is confirmed in the Brahma-saṁhitā (5.38): premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti.

CC Madhya 20 Summary:

First they discussed the constitutional position of the living entities, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu explained to Sanātana Gosvāmī how the living entity is one of Lord Kṛṣṇa's energies. After this, the Lord explained the way of devotional service. While discussing the Absolute Truth, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Lord analyzed Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān, as well as the expansions of the Lord called svayaṁ-rūpa, tad-ekātma and āveśa, which are divided into various branches known as vaibhava and prābhava. Thus the Lord described the many forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He also described the incarnations of God within the material world, incarnations such as the puruṣa-avatāras, manvantara-avatāras, guṇa-avatāras and śaktyāveśa-avatāras. The Lord also discussed the divisions of Kṛṣṇa's different ages, such as bālya and paugaṇḍa, and the different pastimes of the different ages. He explained how Kṛṣṇa attained His permanent form when He reached youth. In this way Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu explained and described everything to Sanātana Gosvāmī.

CC Madhya 20.122, Purport:

Out of His causeless mercy and compassion, Kṛṣṇa has compiled various Vedic literatures in His incarnation as Vyāsadeva. Vyāsadeva is a śaktyāveśa-avatāra of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He has very kindly presented these literatures to awaken the conditioned soul to his senses. Unfortunately, at the present moment the conditioned souls are guided by demons who do not care to read the Vedic literatures. Although there is an immense treasure-house of knowledge, people are engaged in reading useless literature that will give them no information on how to get out of the clutches of māyā.

CC Madhya 20.123, Purport:

As the śaktyāveśa-avatāra Vyāsadeva, Kṛṣṇa teaches the conditioned soul through the Vedic literatures. Kṛṣṇa externally appears as the spiritual master and trains the conditioned soul to come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. When his original Kṛṣṇa consciousness is revived, the conditioned soul is delivered from the material clutches. Thus a conditioned soul is always helped by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in three ways—by the scriptures, the spiritual master and the Supersoul within the heart. The Lord is the deliverer of the conditioned soul and is accepted as the Supreme Lord of all living entities.

CC Madhya 20.156, Translation:

“"All these incarnations of Godhead are either plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions of the puruṣa-avatāras. But Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. In every age He protects the world through His different features when the world is disturbed by the enemies of Indra.""

CC Madhya 20.184, Purport:

The Lord's svāṁśa expansions are also described in the Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta (1.17):

tādṛśo nyūna-śaktiṁ yo vyanakti svāṁśa īritaḥ
saṅkarṣaṇādir matsyādir yathā tat-tat-svadhāmasu

When a form of Kṛṣṇa is nondifferent from the original form but is less important and exhibits less potency, it is called svāṁśa. Examples of svāṁśa expansions can be found in the quadruple forms of the Lord residing in Their respective places, beginning with Saṅkarṣaṇa, Vāsudeva, Pradyumna and Aniruddha, and also in the puruṣa-avatāras, līlā-avatāras, manvantara-avatāras and yuga-avatāras.

CC Madhya 20.244, Purport:

The puruṣa-avatāras are the Lords of the universal creation. These are Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. There are also līlā-avatāras, and these include (1) Catuḥsana, or the four Kumāras, (2) Nārada, (3) Varāha, (4) Matsya, (5) Yajña, (6) Nara-Nārāyaṇa, (7) Kārdami Kapila, (8) Dattātreya, (9) Hayaśīrṣā, (10) Haṁsa, (11) Dhruvapriya, or Pṛśnigarbha, (12) Ṛṣabha, (13) Pṛthu, (14) Nṛsiṁha, (15) Kūrma, (16) Dhanvantari, (17) Mohinī, (18) Vāmana, (19) Bhārgava Paraśurāma, (20) Rāghavendra, (21) Vyāsa, (22) Pralambāri Balarāma, (23) Kṛṣṇa, (24) Buddha and (25) Kalki.

CC Madhya 20.244, Purport:

These twenty-five Personalities of Godhead are known as līlā-avatāras. Because they appear in each day of Brahmā, or in each kalpa (millennium), they are sometimes known as kalpa-avatāras. Of these incarnations, Haṁsa and Mohinī are neither permanent nor very well known, but They are listed among the prābhava-avatāras. Kapila, Dattātreya, Ṛṣabha, Dhanvantari and Vyāsa are eternally situated and very widely known. They are also counted among the prābhava incarnations. Kūrma, Matsya, Nārāyaṇa, Varāha, Hayagrīva, Pṛśnigarbha and Baladeva, the killer of Pralambāsura, are counted among the vaibhava-avatāras.

CC Madhya 20.245, Translation:

“There are six types of incarnations (avatāras) of Kṛṣṇa. One comprises the incarnations of Viṣṇu (puruṣa-avatāras), and another comprises the incarnations meant for the performance of pastimes (līlā-avatāras)."

CC Madhya 20.246, Translation:

“There are incarnations that control the material qualities (guṇa-avatāras), incarnations associated with the reign of each Manu (manvantara-avatāras), incarnations in different millenniums (yuga-avatāras) and incarnations of empowered living entities (śaktyāveśa-avatāras)."

CC Madhya 20.246, Purport:

The guṇa-avatāras are three—Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and Lord Viṣṇu (SB 10.88.3). The avatāras associated with the reign of each Manu, known as manvantara-avatāras, are listed as follows in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Eighth Canto, chapters 1, 5 and 13): (1) Yajña, (2) Vibhu, (3) Satyasena, (4) Hari, (5) Vaikuṇṭha, (6) Ajita, (7) Vāmana, (8) Sārvabhauma, (9) Ṛṣabha, (10) Viṣvaksena, (11) Dharmasetu, (12) Sudhāmā, (13) Yogeśvara and (14) Bṛhadbhānu. All together these are fourteen in number, and of these, Yajña and Vāmana are also counted among the līlā-avatāras. All these manvantara incarnations are sometimes called vaibhava-avatāras.

CC Madhya 20.246, Purport:

The four yuga-avatāras are (1) śukla (white) in Satya-yuga (SB 11.5.21), (2) rakta (red) in Tretā-yuga (SB 11.5.24), (3) śyāma (dark blue) in Dvāpara-yuga (SB 11.5.27) and (4) generally kṛṣṇa (black) but in special cases pīta (yellow) as Caitanya Mahāprabhu in Kali-yuga (SB 11.5.32 and 10.8.13).

CC Madhya 20.246, Purport:

The śaktyāveśa-avatāras are categorized into (1) forms of divine absorption (bhagavad-āveśa), such as Kapiladeva or Ṛṣabhadeva, and (2) divinely empowered forms (śaktyāveśa), of whom seven are foremost: (1) Śeṣa Nāga in the Vaikuṇṭha world, empowered for the personal service of the Supreme Lord (sva-sevana-śakti), (2) Anantadeva, empowered to bear all the planets within the universe (bhū-dhāraṇa-śakti), (3) Lord Brahmā, empowered with the energy to create the cosmic manifestation (sṛṣṭi-śakti), (4) Catuḥsana, or the Kumāras, specifically empowered to distribute transcendental knowledge (jñāna-śakti), (5) Nārada Muni, empowered to distribute devotional service (bhakti-śakti), (6) Mahārāja Pṛthu, specifically empowered to rule and maintain the living entities (pālana-śakti) and (7) Paraśurāma, specifically empowered to cut down rogues and demons (duṣṭa-damana-śakti).

CC Madhya 20.248, Purport:

Although the moon appears to be located in the branches of a tree, it is actually situated very far away. Similarly, none of the avatāras, or incarnations, of Lord Kṛṣṇa are within this material world, but they are visible by the causeless mercy of the Lord. We should not consider them to belong to this material world. As stated by Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 9.11):

avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam
paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto mama bhūta-maheśvaram

"Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature as the Supreme Lord of all that be."

CC Madhya 20.248, Purport:

Avatāras descend of their own free will, and although they may act like ordinary human beings, they do not belong to this material world. Lord Kṛṣṇa and His avatāras can be understood only by the grace of the Lord.

nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo
na medhayā na bahunā śrutena
yam evaiṣa vṛṇute tena labhyas
tasyaiṣa ātmā vivṛṇute tanūṁ svām
(Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.2.23)

"The Supreme Lord is not obtained by means of expert explanations, vast intelligence or even much hearing. He is obtained only by one whom He Himself chooses. To such a person, He manifests His own form."

CC Madhya 20.250, Translation:

“In the beginning, Kṛṣṇa incarnates Himself as the puruṣa-avatāras, or Viṣṇu incarnations. These are of three types."

CC Madhya 20.263, Translation:

“The form of the Lord that descends into the material world to create is called an avatāra, or incarnation."

CC Madhya 20.264, Translation:

“All the expansions of Lord Kṛṣṇa are actually residents of the spiritual world. But when they descend into the material world, they are called incarnations (avatāras)."

CC Madhya 20.294, Translation:

“The third expansion of Viṣṇu is Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who is the incarnation of the quality of goodness. He is to be counted within both types of incarnations (puruṣa-avatāras and guṇa-avatāras)."

CC Madhya 20.296, Translation:

“O Sanātana, I have definitively described the three puruṣa-avatāras of Viṣṇu. Now please hear from Me about the pastime incarnations."

CC Madhya 20.300, Translation:

“I have given a few examples of pastime incarnations. Now I will describe the guṇa-avatāras, the incarnations of the material qualities. Please listen."

CC Madhya 20.303, Purport:

The Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu puruṣa-avatāra expansion of Lord Viṣṇu accepts the material modes—sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa—and thus incarnates as Lord Viṣṇu, Brahmā and Śiva. These are incarnations of the material qualities. Among the many superior living entities qualified with pious activities and devotional service, one, called Lord Brahmā, is infused with the quality of passion by the supreme will of Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Thus Lord Brahmā becomes the incarnation of the creative energy of the Lord.

CC Madhya 20.309, Purport:

Whenever there is association with māyā, the personality involved must be different from Lord Viṣṇu. Therefore Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā are called guṇa-avatāras, for they associate with the material qualities. The conclusion is that Rudra is not exactly Lord Viṣṇu but rather a transformation of Viṣṇu. Therefore, he does not come within the category of the viṣṇu-tattvas. Thus he is inconceivably one with Viṣṇu and different from Him. The example given in this verse is very clear. Milk is compared to Viṣṇu. As soon as milk touches a sour substance, it becomes yogurt, or Lord Śiva. Although yogurt is constitutionally milk, it cannot be used in place of milk.

CC Madhya 20.319, Translation:

“O Sanātana, now just hear about the incarnations who appear during the reign of each Manu (manvantara-avatāras). They are unlimited, and no one can count them. Just hear of their source."

CC Madhya 20.320, Translation and Purport:

“In one day of Brahmā, there are fourteen changes of the Manus, and during the reign of each of those fourteen Manus, an incarnation is manifested by the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

From this verse it can be calculated that in one month (30 days) of Brahmā’s life there are 420 manvantara-avatāras and that in one year (360 days) of his life there are 5,040 manvantara incarnations. Thus for the one hundred years of Brahmā’s life, there is a total of 504,000 manvantara-avatāras. In addition, the Manus themselves are considered partial incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

CC Madhya 20.321, Translation:

“There are 14 manvantara-avatāras in one day of Brahmā, 420 in one month, and 5,040 in one year."

CC Madhya 20.322, Translation:

“During the hundred years of Brahmā’s life, there are 504,000 manvantara-avatāras."

CC Madhya 20.323, Translation:

“The number of manvantara-avatāras for only one universe has been given. One can only imagine how many manvantara-avatāras exist in the innumerable universes. And all these universes and Brahmās exist only during one exhalation of Mahā-Viṣṇu."

CC Madhya 20.324, Translation:

“There is no limit to the exhalations of Mahā-Viṣṇu. Just see how impossible it is to speak or write of only the manvantara-avatāras!"

CC Madhya 20.325, Translation:

“In the Svāyambhuva-manvantara, the avatāra is named Yajña. In the Svārociṣa-manvantara, he is named Vibhu. In the Auttama-manvantara, He is named Satyasena, and in the Tāmasa-manvantara, He is named Hari."

CC Madhya 20.326, Translation:

“In the Raivata-manvantara, the avatāra is named Vaikuṇṭha, and in the Cākṣuṣa-manvantara, He is named Ajita. In the Vaivasvata-manvantara, He is named Vāmana, and in the Sāvarṇya-manvantara, He is named Sārvabhauma. In the Dakṣa-sāvarṇya-manvantara, he is named Ṛṣabha."

CC Madhya 20.327, Translation:

“In the Brahma-sāvarṇya-manvantara, the avatāra is named Viṣvaksena, and in the Dharma-sāvarṇya, he is named Dharmasetu. In the Rudra-sāvarṇya he is named Sudhāmā, and in the Deva-sāvarṇya, he is named Yogeśvara."

CC Madhya 20.328, Translation:

“In the Indra-sāvarṇya-manvantara, the avatāra is named Bṛhadbhānu. These are the names of the fourteen avatāras in the fourteen manvantaras."

CC Madhya 20.329, Translation:

“O Sanātana, now hear from Me about the yuga-avatāras, the incarnations for the millenniums. First of all, there are four yugas—Satya-yuga, Tretā-yuga, Dvāpara-yuga and Kali-yuga."

CC Madhya 20.348, Translation:

“As stated before when I described the incarnations of the material modes (guṇa-avatāras), one should consider that these incarnations also are unlimited and that no one can count them."

CC Madhya 20.354, Translation and Purport:

“An actual incarnation of God never says "I am God" or "I am an incarnation of God." The great sage Vyāsadeva, knowing all, has already recorded the characteristics of the avatāras in the śāstras."

In this verse it is clearly stated that a real incarnation of God never claims to be a real incarnation. According to the symptoms described in the śāstra, one can understand who is an avatāra and who is not.

CC Madhya 20.366, Translation:

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, “O Sanātana, you must give up your intelligent tricks. Now just try to understand the description of the śaktyāveśa-avatāras.

CC Madhya 20.367, Translation:

“There are unlimited śaktyāveśa-avatāras of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Let Me describe the chief among them."

CC Madhya 20.369, Translation:

“Some śaktyāveśa-avatāras are the four Kumāras, Nārada, Mahārāja Pṛthu and Paraśurāma. When a living being is empowered to act as Lord Brahmā, he is also considered a śaktyāveśa-avatāra."

CC Madhya 20.373, Translation:

“"Whenever the Lord is present in someone by portions of His various potencies, the living entity representing the Lord is called a śaktyāveśa-avatāra—that is, an incarnation invested with special power.""

CC Madhya 21.104, Purport:

Kṛṣṇa has many pastimes, of which His pastimes in Goloka Vṛndāvana (the gokula-līlā) are supreme. He also has pastimes in the Vaikuṇṭhas, the spiritual world, as Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. In His pastimes in the spiritual sky, He lies down in the Causal Ocean as Kāraṇārṇavaśāyī, the puruṣa-avatāra. His incarnations as a fish, tortoise and so on are called His causal incarnations. He incarnates in the modes of nature as Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and Lord Viṣṇu. He also incarnates as empowered living entities like Pṛthu and Vyāsa. The Supersoul is His localized incarnation, and His all-pervasive aspect is the impersonal Brahman.

CC Madhya 23 Summary:

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then describes those candidates who are eligible to taste the mellows of devotional service. Their fundamental natures and their varieties are also described. The Lord also informs Sanātana Gosvāmī about all the confidential paraphernalia of devotional service. He gives a description of Goloka Vṛndāvana, where the Lord is engaged in His eternal pastimes described in the Hari-vaṁśa. There is also an opposing description and a favorable description of keśa-avatāra. All these instructions are mentioned herein.

CC Madhya 23.117-118, Purport:

Some of Lord Kṛṣṇa's pastimes are mentioned in the Mahābhārata as mauṣala-līlā. These include the stories of the destruction of the Yadu dynasty, Kṛṣṇa's disappearance, His being pierced by a hunter's arrow, the story of Kṛṣṇa's being an incarnation of a piece of hair (keśa-avatāra) as well as mahiṣī-haraṇa, the kidnapping of Kṛṣṇa's queens. Actually these are not factual but are related for the bewilderment of the asuras, who want to prove that Kṛṣṇa is an ordinary human being. They are false in the sense that these pastimes are not eternal, nor are they transcendental or spiritual.

CC Madhya 23.117-118, Purport:

As far as the keśa-avatāra (incarnation of a hair) is concerned, it is mentioned in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.7.26). The Viṣṇu Purāṇa also states, ujjahārātmanaḥ keśau sita-kṛṣṇau mahā-bala.

CC Madhya 25.134, Translation:

“"All these incarnations of Godhead are either plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions of the puruṣa-avatāras. But Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. In every age He protects the world through His different features when the world is disturbed by the enemies of Indra.""

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