Sometimes we think "Why the God needs to take an Avatar and protect us? Can't the same thing be accomplished in his true form?". Let's analyse this a bit further as follows:
We all know and agree to the fact that GOD permeates everything, is all pervading, is omnipresent and entire universe is inside him. So, now answer the following questions.
- If i want to put a garland of beautiful lotus flowers around the neck of the God, will it be possible for me? certainly not. Since God is so vast that i can't measure his neck
- If i want to touch/hug God, will it be possible for me? Again the answer would be 'No' since he stands immeasurable and is not in a physical form
- if i want to perceive God with my earthly eyes (Charma Chakshu), will it be possible to bear his infinite aura (Teja)? No!
In such cases how can a common man (let's not talk about Yogis and Kundalini etc. here) show his/her devotion to the God then? Definitely God has to take some form and occupy limited space within the limits of human perception in order to let a common man know him, dwell in him, and reach him finally.
So, God has to take a form which is called 'Avatara' and come near us, become one of us, speak to us, feel our sentiments and all such humane qualities he needs to exhibit only for ourselves!
Meaning of Avatara:-
Let's try to understand the meaning of the word 'Avatar' first.
if you are a musician or a singer you would be acquainted with the Sthais (levels). There are 3 levels/octaves viz. Mandara, Madhyama, and Tara/Taraka. When someone sings in 3rd octave (Highest sthayi) we say, "He/She is singing in Tara Sthayi"!
So, Tara sthayi is something beyond. God in his true form remains in the Tara sthayi, means he is Durgama, not perceivable, not attainable, not discernible with normal/common human qualities.
Avatara=Ava+Tara, means opposite of Tara, which is attainable, perceivable, touchable, etc.
So, in order to come closer to us, God takes incarnations (Avatara) and protects us, loves us, plays with us, indulges in all worldly activities as like as we human beings do. (Otherwise it's not impossible for the lord to do the same in the true form).
It's all about the devotees, in order to protect them, to love them to become easily accessible to them he takes so many forms.
God is all pervading, and can come out from anywhere, the best example being "Narshimha Avatara". Lord Sri Hari didn't come when Prahalada was being punished. he didn't come when Hiranyakashyap's attrocities were at its peak. Lord Hari came out of the Pillar when Hiranyakashyap asked Prahalada the following questions:
Hiranyakashyap: "Where does your Hari live?
Prahalada: He is everywhere
Hiranyakashyap: he is everywhere? Is your Hari in this stone Pillar?
Prahalada: Yes, he is everywhere!
Then Hiranyakashyap breaks that pillar with his Gada (mace), and Lord Hari in the form of Narsimha (half man half Lion) comes out just to keep the word of the Devotee (Prahalada) and to keep his faith of "Hari is everywhere" undeterred.
God is Bhakta Vatsal, he always loves us (the children) and that's why comes in various Avataras and lives among us, plays with us, loves us, lives like us and what's not?
Credits: This explanation is written by me with the inspiration from the discourse of Sri Chaganti Koteswara rao on Bhakti TV in 'Venkateswara Vaibhavam' Episode. Idea belongs to him which i have tried to pen in my words.