January 28, 2007

Fourfold manifestation of the purusottama

fourfold iı¯s´vara (ishwara)— the ı¯s´vara in his four personalities, usually referred to in the Record of Yoga as Mah¯ av¯ıra, Balar ¯ama, Pradyumna and Aniruddha, to whom correspond the four aspects of his ´sakti and the four psychological types of the c ¯ aturvarn. ya; each of these personalities is not a separate deity, but an aspect of the ¯ı´svara or Kr.s.n.a, “Four who are One, One who is Four”, often combined with one or more of the other three aspects.
Sri Aurobindo adapted the Vaishnava tradition of the caturvyu¯ ha (fourfold manifestation of the purus.ottama) in giving to the four aspects names associated with Kr.s.n.a as an avat ¯ ara.
Mah¯av¯ıra (“the great hero”) designates ´ Sr¯ıkr.s.n.a himself, Balar¯ama was his elder brother, Pradyumna his son and Aniruddha his grandson; they figure together in the legend of Us. ¯a and Aniruddha told in the Bh¯agavata Pur¯an. a.Other names that are sometimes used in the Record of Yoga for these aspects of the ı¯s´vara are Mahes´vara or S´iva for the first aspect (Mah¯av¯ıra), Rudra2 for the second (Balar¯ama) and Visn.u for the third (Pradyumna).

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