Tuesday 3 January 2023

Mindblowing Hindu Inspirations In Avatar ( Movie )

प्रणो देवी सरस्वती वाजेभिर्वाजिनीवती ।


praṇo devī sarasvatī vājebhirvājinīvatī ।


( Rig Veda 6.61.4 , Taittiriiya Samhita, Krishna Yajur Veda;; 3.11.9 )



dhiinaam = of buddhi ( intellect )
avitrii = feminine descent 
avatu = protect 

(1) The concept of Avatar portrayed in the movie is deeply inspired by Hinduism. The idea of 'conscious descent' forms an integral part of Hinduism. We find this in the reference from the Vedas I quoted. The Itihasas and Puranas also, describe the myriad of Avatars of various deities across the timeline of history. Popular ones include Lord Krishna and Shri Rama.

The Shaiva Agamas list 64 incarnations of Lord Shiva.

In the movie 'Avatar', the core concept lies in having an advanced technology which enables one to transfer and incorporate his consciousness and traits into another vessel which can accommodate within a desired ecosystem.

This is what Jake Sully undergoes. In the sequel, we find the antagonist Quaritch who uses his 'avatar' to camouflage with Pandora's ecosystem.

This is how the concept of Avatars works in the Vedic culture too. We understand Lord Krishna and Rama to be divine, who are camouflaged and born into an ecosystem ( human civilization ) to execute a divine mission.

(2) In the movie, Cameron depicts the beings blue. This can be easily linked with the blueish depiction of Hindu deities. This is also something that is commonly known. There is something additional which people are missing. The gigantic, slim and muscular features used again correlate with the Hindu culture. The scriptures actually describe our deities as Ājānubāhu. It referst a huge being whose arms reach his knees. For example, Lord Rama was huge, about 9 feet tall.

(3) amṛta 
from Tulkuns. The nectar obtained from the whales is said to confer immortality. The word Amrita can mean nectar. In the context of Vedas, it means immortality.

Krishna Yajur Veda, Taittiriiya Samhita 4.7: 

 ऋतं च मेऽमृतं च मे 

 ṛtaṃ ca me'mṛtaṃ ca me 

May the cosmic rhythm and immortality be mine

Krishna Yajur Veda, Taittiriya Aranyaka 7-4-1 & 2

छन्दोभ्यो ऽध्यमृतात्-सम्बभूव
स मेन्द्रो मेधया स्पृणोतु
अमृतस्य देव-धारणो भूयासम्

chandobhyo 'dhyamṛtāt-sambabhūva
sa mendro medhayā spṛṇotu
amṛtasya deva-dhāraṇo bhūyāsam

The Divine who Has sprung from the immortal Vedas. May Indra bestow me with Medha Shakti. May I be the possessor of immortality. May I be fit to attain enlightenment which grants me immortality. 

(5) Worship According to Landscapes

The ancient Tamizhs were categorized into 5 landscapes. This includes Neythal ( நெய்தல் ) which very much resembles the water-tribe shown in Avatar 2.

The ancient Hindus worshiped deities in accordance to their landscape. For example, the Neythal people worshiped Lord Varuna. In the movie, they show a similar sentiment with the water tribe, who share a state of oneness with the ocean. Their worship is with the ocean.

Video: Aranyani Suktam, Rig Veda by my student Shravanthi

The worship of absolute reality in the form of nature comes from Hinduism. The Rig Veda elaborately celebrates and worships elements and nature as living deities. The forest is revered and worshiped as Aranyani Devi in the Rig Veda 10.146. To us, fire is sacred. Even today, you will find Hindus who find it offensive should you address the ritualistic fire as literal 'fire'. To us, He is Agni Bhagavan.
Even the digestive fire in our stomach is identified and understood as a manifestation of the absolute reality in the Bhagavad Gita.

(6) Moksha and Enlightenment

In the way of water, the theme resolves around life starting and ending with 'water'. This is very significant as the Vedas quote consciousness as 'water', both literally and symbolically. In the Taittiriya Aranyakam of Krishna Yajur Veda, a prashna speaks about water being the source for other elements. It also speaks on how the heavenly bodies and other elements of nature are influenced by and influence water.

To quote a few magic:

अग्निर्वा अपाम्-आयतनम्
आपो वा अग्नेर्-आयतमम्

agnirvā apām-āyatanam
āpo vā agner-āyatamam

Fire is the source of water; water is the source of fire.

Literally, this truth applies in the form of fire as lightning, whose source is the water in the clouds. Vice verse, it confers to the fire of hunger which gives rise to the water of digestive juices.

In a profound level, water is used in the Vedas elaborately to denote the absolute reality.

यो'पम् अयतनम् वेद
आयतनवान् भवति

yo'pam ayatanam veda
āyatanavān bhavati

He who knows the source of water,
Becomes established in himself.”

The theme of life beginning and ending with water denotes creation which arises from the absolute reality and merges into the absolute reality. There are many verses from the scriptures which speak on this.

Ganapati Upanishad, Atharva Veda

सर्वं जगदिदम् त्वत्तो जायते
सर्वं जगदिदम् त्वत्तस्-तिष्ठति
सर्वं जगदिदम् त्वयि लय-मेष्यति
सर्वं जगदिदम् त्वयि प्रत्येति

sarvaṃ jagadidam tvatto jāyate
sarvaṃ jagadidam tvattas-tiṣṭhati
sarvaṃ jagadidam tvayi laya-meṣyati
sarvaṃ jagadidam tvayi pratyeti

Lord Ganapati is the source from which the entire Universe is created and sustained. It undergoes dissolution through Him and finally merges into Him.

These are some of the examples that I can think of for now. I will update in a Part 2 if I find anything else significant.


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