(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 16th May 2012, Melbourne, Australia)
In the Vedic times, the universe also had periods like seasons that are rotating. Each of these universal seasons lasts from 400,000 to a million years. So there are four seasons in universal time and within a cycle of four, there are ten avatars that appear again and again.
Vedic literature tells us Buddha doesn’t appear just once but he appears again and again as one of the ten avatars! One of the ten major incarnations. The word incarnation is a translation for the word avatar because avatar actually means ‘he who descends’. An avatar is a divine manifestation in a human form or even in an animal form, but sometimes the bodies are made up of spiritual energy and sometimes they are actually bodies of flesh.
In the case of Buddha, he is an incarnation that he appears in a body made of flesh. Then it is described that this category of avatar is known as ‘śaktyāveśa-avatāra’ or the incarnations who are empowered. They have a body like we have and we all know that the material body dictates our life. As we all have experienced that when you are ten years old, you have certain desires and when you are twenty then you have changed quite a bit. So the body dictates many needs but these empowered personalities, they are within the material body and yet they are transcendental to it. They are completely on the divine platform.