Experienced munis, those who are liberated souls, those who are expert in Vedic knowledge, they understand that this is avatara, or incarnation, by the symptoms, as they are stated in the scriptures

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"experienced munis, those who are liberated souls, those who are expert in Vedic knowledge, they understand that this is avatara, or incarnation, by the symptoms, as they are stated in the scriptures"

Lectures

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

Lord Caitanya says that incarnation, He never advertises Himself that He is avatāra. But experienced munis, those who are liberated souls, those who are expert in Vedic knowledge, they understand that this is avatāra, or incarnation, by the symptoms, as they are stated in the scriptures.
Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.354-358 -- New York, December 28, 1966:

(recites verse)

avatāra nāhi kahe-'āmi avatāra'
muni saba jāni' kare lakṣaṇa-vicāra

So Lord Caitanya says that incarnation, He never advertises Himself that He is avatāra. But experienced munis, those who are liberated souls, those who are expert in Vedic knowledge, they understand that this is avatāra, or incarnation, by the symptoms, as they are stated in the scriptures. In the scripture, the color, the activities, the time and the place and the parents—everything is described about the incarnation. So, so that, just like everything has to be understood by the symptoms, that is the scientific advancement. Just like a drug is tested in the laboratory and the drug, the symptoms and the taste, how it is, how the color changes, how it tastes in the tongue, everything is described there, so scientists proves, understands the genuineness of a particular chemical by testing. Similarly, nobody should be accepted as incarnation. That is foolishness. Incarnation, they are stated in the scriptures. Their symptoms, everything is there, and one should understand from that. The avatāra never advertises. Anyone who advertises himself that "I am incarnation," he should be at once rejected. He should be at once rejected.

yasyāvatāra jñāyante
śarīriṣv aśarīriṇaḥ
tais tair atulyātiśayair
vīryair dehiṣv asaṅgataiḥ

The first thing is that avatāra, incarnation, He hasn't got this material body. The first symptom is... And still, the avatāra appears before us. Because, so far our senses are concerned, we can see the material objects. We can see a stone. We can see, I mean to say, wood. We can see water. We cannot see even air, the finer material things. We cannot see mind. We know that mind is there in every soul, every body. Every one of us has got mind, but we cannot see. We cannot see the sky. So the..., in the material world also, there are so many finer things which we cannot see. And what to speak of spiritual? So that spiritual, Supreme Spirit, when He appears before us, seeable, so that we can see, so that is His mercy. That is His mercy. Because we cannot see even the soul within ourself; we are seeing only the body. So what to speak of the Supreme Spirit? That is not possible. Yasyāvatāra jñāyante śarīriṣv aśarīriṇaḥ. Therefore it is the inconceivable power that the incarnation of God appears before us.

'svarūpa'-lakṣaṇa, āra 'taṭastha-lakṣaṇa'

ei dui lakṣaṇe 'vastu' jāne muni-gaṇa

The symptoms are analyzed in two divisions. Svarūpa-lakṣaṇa means the symptom which (is) always present. That is called svarūpa-lakṣaṇa. And taṭastha-lakṣaṇa, the symptoms which are sometimes present and sometimes not present. They are called... In this way, the experienced sages, they analyze the characteristics of the avatāra, or God—two symptoms. One symptom is always there. As soon as there is God, that constant symptom is there. And there are other symptoms which may appear, sometimes may not appear.

ākṛti, prakṛti, svarūpa—svarūpa-lakṣaṇa

kārya-dvārā jñāna—ei taṭastha-lakṣaṇa

Ākṛti, prakṛti. The form and the activities, all uncommon. Just like Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa, He married sixteen thousand wives and He divided Himself into sixteen thousand. Kṛṣṇa. This is called ākṛti. This is uncommon. God can expand Himself in any number of forms. We cannot do that. That is the..., symptom of God. Ākṛti, prakṛti. Prakṛti is His nature, supreme nature. As soon as He likes anything to do, He'll do it. There is no impediment. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyat... And He does in such nice way that we cannot conceive how it is being done, nature's way. Ākṛti prakṛti, these are taṭastha lakṣaṇa, uh, svarūpa lakṣaṇa, personal symptoms of God. And kārya-dvārā jñāna—ei taṭastha-lakṣaṇa. And the activities... Just like Kṛṣṇa, when comes as incarnation, His activities and activities of Rāma, or activities of Nṛsiṁha, activities of Vāmana, these activities may differ according to time, according to place, according to the mission. The activities may be different. But Their, Their ākṛti, Their feature, and Their power—extraordinary. We should understand very nicely that incarnation means Their feature and Their nature—uncommon.

There may be difference. Just like Buddha. Buddha's activities and Kṛṣṇa's activities, there is difference. Buddha's activity was different because, according to the place, according to the time, according to the audience, the activities are... Avatāra, incarnation, comes when there is necessity. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati (BG 4.7).