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Avatar Movie similarities with Ramayana and hinduism
Posted By Sarin on May 04, 2013     RSS Feeds     Latest Hinduism news
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Avatar, a Sanskrit word, means incarnation or descent of divine beings sent to earth to restore goodness and peace. First recognition of word Avatar in western world is as a pictorial symbol in computers where your uploaded image is termed as your avatar. Avatar word was used in Yahoo messenger to change your image (Change Avatar).  
Meaning of Avatar in Hinduism
Hinduism-the oldest religion on earth, with more than a billion adherents, is the third largest religion in the world, with majority of the population still living within the Indian subcontinent. In Hinduism, Avatar is dominantly associated with Lord Vishnu (the Preserver in Hindu trinity) though there are avatar of other deities like Shiva, Shakti etc. An avatar is a manifestation or incarnation of a fragment of God on Earth. This means avatar is not the actual god but a part of supreme god. Common perception is that only lord Vishnu is born in avatar forms like Rama, Krishna, Buddha, parshurama, matsya etc. However, scriptures suggest that according to the need of the society, any deity can take an avatar (like Lord shiva took avatar of Hanuman). An Avatar is born in a home of a pure, karmic but ordinary father and mother. Avatar arrives in a human body which is mortal like others but the avatar himself is aware of his divinity and his mission on earth. Avatars may do his task miraculously or may use others to accomplish his tasks. Avatar is best explained from the following verse of bhagavad gita
Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya Glanirva Bhavathi Bharatha,
Abhyuthanam Adharmaysya Tadatmanam Srijami Aham
Praritranaya Sadhunam Vinashaya Cha Dushkritam
Dharamasansthapnaya Sambhavami Yuge-Yuge  
Which translates as

Whenever there is decay of righteousness and a rise of unrighteousness in the society, I manifest myself again for the protection of the good and the destruction of the evil...which in turn would lead to a time of peace and righteousness...  
Also read
Why all gods are born in india


Comparison with Movie Avatar
If we compare this Hinduism concept of avatar with movie ‘Avatar’, then one can easily correlate this movie with Ramayana (Great epic of India)
Avatar Movie similarities with Ramayana and hinduism
Lord Rama (Left) and jake Sully (Right)
  
In Movie Avatar, Humans take form of avatars to exist on a planet called pandora. However, there are some of the materialistic humans who use their technology to ruin the resources of Pandora and exploit Mother Nature like they did on Planet earth. This human didn’t care about indigenous Nav'i and called them Humanoids, Blue monkeys, roaches or savages. Hence the Avatar ‘Jake sully’, is chosen by Eywa, their goddess   to protect Pandora from such evil humans. Hence, in this movie also, Avatar is born when there is rise of Adharma(Greed, Ego, Jealousy) and the task of this avatar is to send back evil lower dimensional beings(humans) who want to invade Pandora and loot of all resources. The same concept is found in Hinduism where the avatar is born to save the earth from lower dimensional beings (Demons). Our puranas contain thousands of such stories. Ravana and Kansa were the demons killed by Lord Rama and Lord Krishna respectively.
Avatar Movie similarities with Ramayana and hinduism
Krishna kills Kansa
Avatar is shown blue in color
In Hinduism, Lord Vishnu and his Avatar is shown blue in color. Blue is the color of the infinite, the color of the formless Brahman (God). Blue color symbolizes immeasurable and all pervading reality (God). Lord Vishnu, Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, everyone was blue in color. This concept is comparable to ‘blue’ as the chosen color for the Navi’s. Also read
Why Gods-Krishna are shown blue in color
Tails of Navi similar to Vanaras species of Ramayana
Tails of the Navi’s very closely resembles Vanaras species of Ramayana. Lord Hanuman, the most prominent of all Vanaras, used his tail for magical and spiritual purpose. He used his tail for burning Lanka in Ramayana, to teach a moral lesson to Bhima in Mahabharata and for many other similar purposes. Tail was the pride of all Vanaras. In Movie Avatar, Tail is shown as very important part of the body since it was used to connect with other living beings on the planet (Ikran, Horse) and also their goddess Eywa  
Navi’s used Bows and Arrows for fighting
Lord Rama used bow and arrow to fight battles against all demons. Archery reflects the fighting capabilities of the warrior in Ramayana, Mahabharata etc. Warrior was known for their skills in archery (Ex: Eklavya, Arjuna, Karna, Bhisma). Use of bow and Arrow by Navis remind us about our avatars, Lord ram and Lord Krishna.  
Avatar Movie similarities with Ramayana and hinduism
Bows of lord Rama and tail of Lord Hanuman

Also read
Neanderthal man and hominid species in Ramayana

Animal used as a vehicle for transportation  
All Indian deities are shown flying on a bird/animal cum vehicle. For Example, Lord Vishnu flies on eagle, Lord Brahma on swan, Lord Shiva on Bull, Lord Kalki on horse etc). In Movie Avatar, Navi’s fly on a dragon like bird called Ikran and ride a horse-like quadruped animal. Also read
Why Animal worship in hinduism

Concept of floating mountain
Floating mountain of movie ‘Avatar’ is again picked from Ramayana and mahabharata.
Lord Hanuman carries the mountain in his hand and keeps it floating in the air to transport the Sanjeevani medicinal plant to sri lanka. Lord Krishna lift the mountain by just one finger and keep the mountain floating till all the humans are protected from destruction caused by flood.  
Avatar Movie similarities with Ramayana and hinduism
Hanuman lifting Floating Mountain

Leaving the body temporarily and coming back again
In movie ‘Avatar’, there is a concept of living one body temporarily and entering the body of another person. Jake sully leaves his human body and enters into his Avatar body and vice versa. In Hinduism, this concept is called as Parakaya Pravesham, which means the same- leave your body temporarily and enter into the body of another person. Puranas have hundreds of stories based on astral travel or body travel. Adi Shankaracharya left his body and entered into the body of king ‘Amaruka’, to learn about erotic love and other intricate knowledge. After forty days, Shankaracharya re-entered into his own body and defeated his opponent Bharati in an interesting debate.

Everything is energy of supreme god
Hindus believe that all animate and inanimate are born from same energy source (Brahman or god).
All the plants, animals, minerals are a part of this energy source. This formless entity is called as supreme God in Hinduism. When the soul is liberated or attains Moksha(Salvation), soul returns back to this source(Brahman). The same concept is found in Movie Avatar. Navi’s believed to be inter-connected with all other living entities and were able to physically connect with plants and animals. This concept is at its peak when the Navi’s form a human chain holding each other hand and chanting mantras to invoke the mother goddess Eywa. They believe that all animate and inanimate present on their planet Pandora is the energies of Goddess Eywa. When any entity dies in Pandora, soul unites with Eywa, their energy source. Neytiri teaches Jake about "the flow of energy.” a network of energy that flows through all living things.” Energy borrowed from eywa returns back to the Goddess Eywa.” This entire concept of energy is described in detail in Upanishads.
Avatar Movie similarities with Ramayana and hinduism
Soul returns to Supreme Brahman (Krishna)
  
Avatar is based on the Vedic phrase asudhaiva Kutumbakam, which means the whole world is one single family. This is explain in detail in Upanishad as
ayam bandhurayam neti ganana laghuchetasam udaracharitanam tu vasudhaiva kutumbakam
Only small men discriminate saying: One is a relative; the other is a stranger. For those who live magnanimously the entire world constitutes but a family.
Another Vedic verse states
Udâracharitânâm tu vasudhaiva kutumbakam”, meaning, “‘This is my own relative and that is a stranger’ - is the reasoning of the narrow-minded; for the noble hearts, however, the entire earth is but one family”

Ritual of twice born
Hinduism believes that humans are twice born (dvija). His second birth is when he chooses what he wanna become. His chosen field defines his new caste (Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishyas and shudras) and his new community. His first caste is the caste of their parents. Parents celebrate the ritual ceremony of their son second birth. This same concept is found in Movie Avatar where the Navi’s go through the ritual ceremony of second birth after which the person becomes the part of the community i.e. he becomes one of them. Concept of dwija born can be found in below article
Vedas Quotes Against Present Caste System
Goddess worship
Goddess worship is one of the ways of worshipping the supreme god. Eywa is none other than the supreme goddess Durga. Goddess durga is said to be the mother of the holy trinity Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Also read
Is god female-Yes or No
  Is Goddess Durga the supreme universal mother
Avatar Movie similarities with Ramayana and hinduism
Supreme mother Goddess Durga

Nature Worship
Nature worship is a very important aspect of Hinduism. Almost all the rituals are dedicated to nature. Tulsi plant is worshipped, sun is worshipped, water of ganga is worshipped, fire is worshipped etc. Hinduism believes that since nature is also the energies of the supreme Brahman, nature (Which gives us life) is not different than god and hence everyone must do nature worship. In this movie also, nature is worshipped. Their supreme God ‘Eywa’ is shown as a tree. They don’t harm their forest and treat lovingly all plants and animals. Also read
Why humans are naturally herbivorous
  
Animal wages war against evil
In this movie, when the war begins out with humans, animal joins with the local Navi’s and fight against human. Same we can see in Ramayana where the eagle (Jatayu) fights with Ravana and all the conscious monkeys (Vanaras) join hands with Lord Rama to fight a war against Ravana.  

Non-Violence against animals
Vedas preach non violence against animals. A Vast number of Indians, especially in north are vegetarians. They even avoid killing any insects or lower forms of animals. Mountains, rivers, lakes etc are considered as gifts or incarnation of deities and are considered as male or female entities and so, is sacred.  Similar thing we find in movie Avatar. Navi’s avoid killing of other animals and worshipped trees. Killing was allowed only for self defense using bow and arrow just like lord Rama did in Ramayana. Also read
No violence against animal in hinduism
  
Respect and liberation of animals
When an animal is killed, Navi;s says, "I see you, brother. Your spirit goes with Eywa and your body stays behind." This action shows the respect toward each living beings, a belief centric to Hinduism. Do these words do any good to the animals? Yes they do, since their liberated soul listen to what you say. Same concept is found in Hinduism. Whenever an animal is killed, a mantra is chanted which means “I wish you liberation or birth in higher forms. If you don’t get liberation, you come back again and punish me the way you want”
Avatar Movie similarities with Ramayana and hinduism
Non violence against animal- Lord Rama caressing Eagle

Connecting with our ancestors
There is a ritual of Nav'i where they attached their tail to roots of Eywa tree to listen to their ancestors.  This tree also connects to all other living things on the planet. When Grace is dying, Ritual of chanting and dancing is performed to bring her life back but grace dies saying “I’m with Eywa”.  Hinduism is full of such ritual. There is a ritual or yagna where the mantras are chanted to communicate with our ancestors. There is a ritual where the food is offered to the crow and if the crow eats that food, it is believed that their ancestors blessed them by eating their food. Chanting and dancing to invoke god is a very known concept of Hinduism.

Also read
Why Dance worship in hinduism
Avatar does what they are born to do
At the end of the movie, Jake sully decides to live with Navi’s for love. This is exactly what all the avatars does. Be it Krishna, Buddha, Ram etc, everyone stayed on earth even after the completion of their mission. They continued to stay for the love of their people, preach love and humanity, to rule their people wisely, to establish lost morals etc
  
Chanting mantras to invoke god
The scene where all the Navi’s gather together to form a human chain around the mother tree to invoke their mother goddess ‘Eywa’ feels like chanting Gayatri Mantra to invoke the supreme goddess ‘Durga’. Even today, in Indian villages, people gather around the sacred banyan tree or peepal tree praying to Dharti Maa(Mother Earth) on day of Bhumi pujan(Earth worship).  
Avatar Movie similarities with Ramayana and hinduism
Women of Indian villages worshipping peepal tree

Also read
Why gayatri mantra is the most powerful mantra
.  
Why worshipping nature is important
People in India still love nature and animals. Vedanta(mining company) tried its best to bribe bishnoi people to allow mining in their mountains but they failed. Bishnoi people stand for nature. They know that this corporate won’t stop after mining, they would destroy the entire mountain and forests to construct new buildings, factories etc.  Thinking our self as superior intelligent living beings, we have been continuously wiping out the green cover of our mother earth to cause massive destruction of our own. We say technology helps us in preparing instant dinner in our microwave but we tend to forget that without nature (Sun), this technology is of no use. Food comes from sun and earth and not from any superior technology. We are living in a fragile ecosystem where everyone is dependent on each another and each one of us is responsible for the destruction of our mother earth. If you don’t worship nature, you will not see any harm in destroying nature and when everyone starts thinking the same, our destruction is irrefutable.
Avatar Movie similarities with Ramayana and hinduism
  
Message of this movie
Vatican City lambasted this movie because this movie talks about worshipping nature which is against the teachings of Christianity. In reality, not worshipping nature is against humanity. Today, worshipping nature has become significant since natural change is the cause of all sufferings. For long, we have continuously destroyed our nature for greed and materialistic pleasures. As a result, our nature has become unbalanced and so, we are facing the issue of global warming, extinction of species, pollution, deforestation etc. Through this movie, James Cameron appealed to the maximum number of people. He tried to make the point that tyranny of technology, controlled by private security companies and other corporates, would destroy our mother earth. We need to overthrow the harmful dangerous technology to preserve our mother earth. The main message is all living things are born for a purpose and is dependent on each other. If any living beings die unnaturally, nature is out of balance and this imbalance of nature leads to various destructive events like cyclones, earthquakes, tsunami, flood etc.
Protect your nature. Be your own avatar


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