Most religions cannot accept the concept of God with a form. Further, some religions do not allow the acceptance of God in a human form. Yet every religion agrees to the fact that the Lord is all-knowing and all-powerful. If this is true then He, who is beyond all forms, can take up any form by His Will. If there is even a single form that He cannot take up, then He is not all-powerful. Therefore one must accept that the Lord can take up even the human form. He can take up a human form and come to earth as a human being. Such a human being is called the human incarnation of God or an Avatara. Not only that the Lord is capable of incarnating in human form but He has also done so in every age and continues to do so even today. He, alone came to the world as all the prophets and human incarnations of the Lord (Avataras) in the past.
The important question arises as to why He needs to come down in human form in the first place. The answer to this is simple. He comes to the world for the sake of His devotees. The devotee is an individual. An individual consists of three bodies namely; the causal body (soul), the subtle body (mind, intellect and past impressions) and the gross (physical) body. The gross body is the exterior-most body and is made out of matter. The causal body is pure awareness or life energy. It can be compared with standstill water without waves. The subtle body can be compared with waves in water. Past impressions, which are waves in the pure awareness, form the subtle body. As the waves cannot be separated from water, so also the subtle body cannot be separated from the causal body. The gross body is like a cup containing this disturbed water (water with waves). At the time of death, the external gross body is given up. The causal body (soul) along with the subtle body ascends to the upper worlds. The subtle body and the soul together are called as jeevatma ('jeeva' is the subtle body and 'atma' is the causal body).
In the new world, the jeevatma, takes a new external body called as the energetic or luminous body (taija sharira). This body is made up of inert energy while the jeevatma is made up of life energy. If the jeevatma goes to heaven the energetic body that it takes up is called a 'body of enjoyment' (bhoga sharira). This body is the result of good worldly deeds or dharmic actions. If it goes to hell then the energetic body that it takes up is called a 'body of suffering' (yatana sharira). This body is the result of sinful worldly deeds or papa karma. Souls, who do dharmic or good worldly deeds such as serving people, society or country, go to heaven. There they enjoy the results of their good actions and fall back to hell to suffer the results of their bad actions. They are caught up in the endless cycle of birth and death. This shows the limitation of good deeds. A few rare souls serve the Lord in His human incarnation on earth with full devotion and effort. These souls reach the highest heaven or Brahma loka. Here the soul takes up an energetic body which is highly refined and is called as a divine body or divya sharira. This body is the result of actions performed in the service of God. Such souls are very near and dear to God and do not have to be reborn except along with the human incarnation of the Lord, to serve Him in His divine mission on earth.
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