THE LORD'S FORMS AND INCARNATIONS
DEVOTEE: The Vedic scriptures give voluminous information about various incarnations of the Lord, describing their names, activities, color, appearance and so on. For example, Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu's future appearance was so described: "When Gargamuni was performing the name-giving ceremony for Krsna and knowing of the future appearance of Lord Caitanya, he predicted, "This boy Krsna has three other colors-white, red, and yellow as He appears in the different ages. Now He has appeared in a transcendental blackish color." [Cc. Adi 3.35,36] Lord Krsna had previously appeared in the colors of red and white, and He would later appear in the color yellow as Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu. Are there any similar descriptions in the Jewish scriptures?
RABBI: Yes, although I do not know of any descriptions of the activities of God given in as much detail as you describe from the Vedas, there are some references to His colors. In the Zohar, R. Eleazar says, "It is written, 'And he brought me thither, and behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; [Ezek. XL, 3] "Ezekiel saw in this prophetical vision a 'man' but not 'a man clothed in linen' [Dan. X, 5]. for it is only when the angel is on an errand of severity that he is called 'a man clothed in linen'. Otherwise, he assumes various guises, appears in various attire conforming to the message he bears at that time. Now, in the present vision 'his appearance was like the appearance of brass.'
God appeared to Moses and his followers on Mount Sinai in the form a burning bush. According to R. Abba, "When the smoke came out of Mount Sinai a fire ascended enveloped therein, so that its flames were of a blue color. They flared high and dwindled again, and the smoke emitted all the aromas of Paradise, displaying itself in the colors of white, red, and black, as it says..." Perhaps these colors can be related to the same colors of God as mentioned in the Vedas.
DEVOTEE: The Jewish scriptures are very difficult for me to understand with so much written allegorically. The Vedas are very direct and to the point. It is described in the Vedas that although there are many different incarnations of the Lord appearing throughout the ages of universal time, the appearance of Lord Krsna includes within it all the other incarnations.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada says, " All the incarnations of the Lord, including the Lord Himself, descend on the different planets of the material world as also in different species of life to fulfill particular missions. Sometimes He comes Himself and sometimes His different plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions or His differentiated portions directly or indirectly empowered by Him, descend on this material world to execute certain specific functions. Originally the Lord is full of all opulences, all prowess, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation. When they are partly manifested through the plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions, it should be noted that certain manifestations of His different powers are required for those particular functions. When in the room small electric bulbs are displayed, it does not mean that the electric powerhouse is limited by the small bulbs. The same powerhouse can supply power to operate large-scale industrial dynamos with greater volts. Similarly, the incarnations of the Lord display limited powers because so much power is needed at that particular time. [Bhag. 1:3:28, Purport]
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